Did you know that about 40 miles from here are acres and acres of asparagus fields, orange groves and olive groves? Or, that Caborca, sister city to Prescott, AZ, has a mission church that sheltered Spanish soldiers during the Spanish-American War, and an art school with a gallery of good looking student art for sale? Or that Pitiquito has a mission church with wonderful frescoes and a leather factory with a store full of beautiful vests, jackets, coats, purses and more at very affordable prices? Or that in Magdalena de Kino are the Chapel of San Francisco, the Mausoleum of Father Kino, a nice little museum, a gorgeous plaza? Hermosillo, the state capital, is a vibrant city, quite large, and very cosmopolitan, with all the big city amenities from an arboretum to a zoo – definitely worth a visit!

Puerto Peñasco is the perfect place from which to explore and delve a bit further into Mexico. The state of Sonora, our state, is quite large – the second largest state in the Republic of Mexico, or so I think from looking at the map, but that is not fact checked. It is large enough so that driving it yourself is tiring, and it takes a long time to get there from here. The good news is that you can ride the bus to from Puerto Peñasco to many places in Sonora, including those mentioned above. Albatros is the bus line that specializes in Sonora travel, and you can get just about anywhere in the state from the Peñasco terminal on Blvd Benito Juarez just north of the stadium. Fares are reasonable, the buses are comfortable – they really are coaches rather than buses – with reclining seats, bathrooms, wifi and movies. Check them out at http://www.albatrosautobuses.com.

I recently left Peñasco at midnight, slept half-way across the state, and awoke in the Hermosillo Albatros terminal at 6:15 a.m. – that is ‘way better than driving myself, plus I arrived rested with the entire day ahead of me. I hired a taxi, told the driver, who is called a taxista, where I wanted to go during the day, and negotiated a price of $200 pesos for the day. The agreement is he drops me at the museum, and I call him when I am ready to leave, then he comes to get me, and drives me to the next destination. I am able to leave my book, blanket and pillow, needed on the bus, in the trunk of the cab, and as the day goes on I can add shopping purchases – very convenient, because I don’t have to carry around a bunch of stuff through the day. When I have had all the fun I can stand, the taxista takes me back to the bus depot, helps me in with my blanket, pillow, and packages, and I pay him the agreed fare.

Exhausted, I caught one of the nearly-hourly buses back to Peñasco, read for a short time, visited with my seat mate, then was lulled to sleep by the rolling motion of the bus, and arrived home after a good nap at the end of my day trip. This is an excellent way to see another city or town in Sonora very affordably and very safely, plus it is so easy – remember the old slogan “Take the bus and leave the driving to us?” Riding the bus does make exploring easy! Vaya con Dios!