no way out?

aug 2nd/3rd

i was starting to think that there would be no way for me to leave Camaguay. each thing i tried, one thing after another didnt seem to work. my guidebook was useless as far as getting any info, and i´ve spent a fortune in cab fares trying to figure out how to leave. would i be stuck here forever?? here´s what happened:

camguay has a bus station and a train station, but neither is conveniently located and they´re a pain to get to. the bu statsing is especially bad, being 3km outside of town. on the 2nd, i went to the trains station to get tickets. after waiting forever, i talked to a lady who told me that tonight´s train was at 4:30am and tomorrow´s train was at 1:20 am. ouch. both of those are pretty shitty times. maybe i´d have better luck with the bus? the bus station is hella far away, but i end up forking over cash to take a bike taxi over there.

the maze of a bus station is really confusing, but eventualy i find the right office. i ask about Astro buses leaving tomorrow, but apparently taking one is not possible, though i can´t understand what she says is the reason. then i ask about the other bus company. she says i can put my name on the list, and opens up a book with a TON of names already in it. ugh. what´re the chances of that working out? for the hell of it, i put my name down and leave.

looks like the train station is my best bet, so i go back there (all the way across town). i tell the lady who i spoke to earlier that i want to buy tickets for the 1am train. “this is not possible”. apparently, i need to come back the following dfay to buy tix since you cant buy a day in advance. great. on my way out, i notice a huge schedule of trains posted on the walls. according to the schedule, there should be a train passing through in my direction at 1:15pm. i as kan attendant if there is a train at 1:15PM. he says yes. i ask him again if he is SURE. and if it´s *PM*. i repeat “del dia” which means during the day several times. he says yes, and that i can buy tickets for it at noon tomorrow. i ask him again, if he is sure. yes, yes.

the next day i show up at noon, sweating like an animal from carrying my pack in the heat. there is a mob at the ticket window. i wait. at 12:30, the mob is only partrially gone. i´m starting to worry i wont buy my ticket on time. finally, i get to the front and then am told that this is the wrong line and i need to go into a different office. i go ther and ask about the 1:15pm train. “there is no 1pm train… only 1:20am”. WHAT!!?? i tell them that i talked to a man yesterday and he assured me there was. they just shrug. i then tell them that there is a huge sign outside w/ a train schedule. when i mention the sign, the woman just starts laughing. “no es correcto”. nice. wonderfull. now what? i guess my only option is to buy tix for the train that night. but no, that´s not possible either. i have to come back after 5 for that.

sheeeez. how do i get out of this town?! then i remember my name on that long list of names at the bus station. should i spend the cab fare to go all the way down there and try? may as well. i get to the bus station, and soon there is a small mob of tourists standing aroun d a lady w/ a clipboard. everyone is looking nervous. it´s obvious not all of us will be leaving a winner. the woman starts calling off names. after several, miraculously, my name comes up. holy shit! i go into the office and get a bus ticket. walking back out, push through the sea of unhappy toursists, still waiting and hoping to be called…

i was so happy. phew!

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