Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Taxi or the Bus (or is it the Rabbit or the Hare)

This is a blog post from one of my friends and fellow Soggy Duckers, Ken Fuirst who recently visited us.

New Yorkers and Cruisers
Everyone that reads this blog already knows that the Soggy Duck adventure this year was down in La Paz with Whatcha Gonna Do as base camp. Two Soggy Ducks (Steve and myself) plus my wife Sue traveled from NY for this adventure.
I think the story that best describes how you        accept the new life of the Mitgang family is to share with you our departure from La Paz story. Mike and Barb both strongly recommended that the most efficient, comfortable, and affordable, transportation for the 2.5 hour trip back to the airport would be the bus that goes directly from La Paz to the airport twice daily. It is a modern deluxe bus with air conditioning. However, us New Yorkers know better and decided that if we hire our own taxi we will have more control of our schedule and more security that we will make it to the airport on time.
So the morning of our departure, Steve and I walk into town and hail down a mini van cab. We negotiate a price and confirm that the taxi has air conditioning. We agree that the driver will pick us up from the marina at 9am. This is the same time the bus is scheduled to leave from across town. The taxi shows up early and Steve, Sue and I start the more “expedient” transportation to the airport.

We drive for about 5 minutes and the cab pulls into a gas station to spend 10 minutes filling up on fuel. Keep in mind that he had an hour between the time Steve and I hired him and when he came to pick us up to take care of this chore. Once filled up with gas, we drive another 5 minutes and then he turns to us and asks which airport we are going to. When we confirm which airport, he begins an argument that his price was based on going to a different airport and proceeds to give us a new price to get us to our airport. We argue for a few minutes and tell him we are paying the price we agreed upon originally. Since he doesn’t speak any English, we only hope he is still driving us to the correct airport.

About an hour into the drive he pulls over at a grocery store to pick up some snacks for himself. As we sit there waiting for him, the bus zooms by us on its way to the airport. We end up driving directly behind the bus for the next hour and a half. And of course, the air conditioning in the taxi breaks. So Steve, Sue and I just sit there laughing at how smart us New Yorkers are!
If any of you are thinking about visiting Whatcha Gonna Do, we strongly recommend it. The Mitgang family are great hosts and Harrison and Danielle are amazing. Those kids act like they have lived on the boat their whole lives. I had the pleasure of having Harrison give me tours around town while I motivated him to sleep outside on the boat’s trampoline with me.

No matter where they are docked, you must make the effort to visit.

Ken F

PS. The bus ended up pulling off the road 5 minutes before the airport. We don’t know why. The taxi ended up winning the race!

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