Need island transportation? Take your pick!
|If it runs! Drive it!|
We have - per capita - ten times more taxis on Isla Mujeres than the entire City of Vancouver BC, based on my somewhat reasonably-accurate math of approximately 15,000 people on Isla sharing 180 taxis as opposed to 600,000 people in Vancouver sharing about 750 taxis.
Hailing a taxi on Isla is not normally a problem, unless you happen to be looking for a cab the day after New Year's Eve, or the Sunday morning after the annual Carnival dance. At that point taxis are few and far between as most of the drivers have been up all night either partying with friends, or driving the inebriated celebrants home. The cab fares are posted at the Centro taxi stand, however, if you are one of the local full-time residents the cost is usually less.
|Is it a car? Is it a truck?|
There is also a bus that circumnavigates most of the island about once an hour, or two buses that pass by every thirty minutes, that is if they both happen to be functioning at the same time. This week I have only noticed the bus pass by our house once. The cost is posted on the entrance door. It is four pesos, or about thirty-five cents. It's a very inexpensive way to get around if you are not in a rush, or feel like a sight-seeing ride through the various colonias (neighbourhoods).
|Jeep Wrangler look-alike golf cart|
The unofficial modes of transportation are a lot more fun. There are golf carts galore that typically cost about forty-five dollars a day, or cheaper for a weekly rate. And yes, this is a tropical island, and yes, you are on holidays but letting an underage or unlicensed child drive a golf cart is a disaster waiting to happen. There are speeding ambulances, fire trucks, and police vehicles, dangerous propane trucks, or large tractor-trailer units, plus hundreds of taxis, golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles all vying for limited road space. You are unnecessarily risking not only your own safety but the safety and livelihood of the other drivers.
|One of the many uses for a moto!|
As for golf cart choices there the standard four passenger or the larger six-passenger carts, most are painted a plain vanilla beige, while some of the newer ones have been decorated with bright tropical flowers, or military camouflage. If you are really lucky you might be able to latch onto one of the incredibly popular '57 Chevy or Jeep Wrangler look-a-likes from Ciro's Golf Carts located on Guerrero Avenue. (Carlos the manager of Ciro's can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
And there is the wild and wooly assortment of personal cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles that serve as transportation for the balance of the population. There are a few vehicles that are new and beautiful, a larger number that are a five to six years old and starting to rust. Then there are the ones that defy all logic remaining on the road as the windshield falls out, the fenders and doors warp, and the frame twists. As long as the motor can still create enough power to turn the wheels the vehicle is used.
|Great exercise program!|
But the mode of transportation that fascinates me the most is bicycles. We frequently see people ride two-up, with one rider balanced over the back wheel, standing on two short metal pegs. That takes talent! This could be the start of a new fitness craze, with a complete body workout focusing on the core muscles, legs, and butt. ("The Hitchhiker" - DVD's and fitness manuals available soon.)
But the cheapest and easiest method of transportation is walking! It's good for you, gets you where you want to go, no cost, no waiting, no traffic jams, and a great excuse to stop for an icy cold beer along the way.
Lace up your running shoes! The K9K Run, Saturday Feburary 18th, starts at 8am, people are encouraged to walk or run. All ages are welcome. Plus people can sponsor teams in the name of their favorite sports team.
More information on the www.Islandtimefishingfestival.com web site and hit the K9K button The proceeds go to the helping out the animals on Isla.