By Suzanne A. Marshall from the January 2015 Edition
My husband and I were quite happy to put our new ‘semi-nuevo’ car on the highway for its first long distance trial. All went well and we enjoyed having friends travelling in tandem with us as an extra bit of safety should we encounter engine trouble or a flat tire. They were also great company!
Here is some information about our drive that could be of use to those who wish to do the same trip from Manzanillo, Colima to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. We left at around 7:30 AM and arrived at our Hotel around 5:30 PM. This includes; stopping at tolls on the highway, GPS checks and bathroom and lunch breaks.
The hours on the highway will of course depend on speed (we booted it) and delays for construction and traffic. We stopped for eight toll booths each way! The cost of driving each way for tolls was exactly 834 pesos for a total expense of 1668 pesos round trip. This is why those freeways are in such great condition. Adding gasoline as an added expense amounted to approximately 1800 pesos round trip (depending on auto performance etc.). The total driving expense is 3636 pesos.
If you don’t own a vehicle or would rather not drive, a good option and more reasonable cost alternative would be the incredible bus service in Mexico. Depending on your tolerance for sitting you could do this trip all in one day since the connection for ETN (first class bus) allows for 45 minutes to change buses in Guadalajara. Or, you could even stay over in Guadalajara as part of your journey since the schedule repeats on several days.
Remember, first class bus service in Mexico is no joke. It is first class, with lounge seats and foot rests, Wi-Fi, television, pillows , drink and sandwich and great views out the windows with no need to worry about traffic etc. Now here is where being a ‘senior’ pays off. If you are over 60 you receive a 50% discount on bus fare. So for two seniors making the bus trip, you will pay 2230 pesos per couple round trip for roughly 1000 pesos less than driving. No stress!
Of course if you drive with another couple and share the expenses then you’re laughing. The hotel, cabs, restaurants and shopping sprees will all depend entirely on you!
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Suzanne A. Marshall hails from western Canada and has been living the good life in Manzanillo over the past 8 years. She is a wife, mom and grandma. She is retired from executive business management where her writing skills focused on bureaucratic policy, marketing and business newsletters. Now she shares the fun and joy of writing about everyday life experiences in beautiful Manzanillo, Mexico, the country, its people, the places and the events.