I recently took Tica Bus from Guatemala City to Managua. I would like to make some suggestions that, if addressed, could actually encourage me (and probably some others) to decide to travel via Tica Bus rather than one of the many alternatives.
- We are in a sub-tropical region. Many of us actually live here and others have chosen to travel here because it is warm. We all appreciate how you have invested in air conditioned buses in order to make us comfortable but appreciation should be enough. Maintaining the inside of the bus at meat locker temperatures is just not necessary. While many people had been pre-warned that this is typical and had blankets or jackets, others just suffered. I admit that after a group of us complained, the temperature was raised for a couple of hours to what I would call "uncomfortably chilly" things seemed to regress to the meal locker temperatures later in the day.
- A previous NicaLiving post talked about a broken toilet on a Tica Bus. While he didn't get into specifics, the toilet on our bus had a not new sign that said the toilet was only to pee in. My question is whether "just something to pee in" is what you now consider a toilet?
- You suggest two different places to stay in San Salvador. In your description you say that one (the more expensive one) has a restaurant. What you didn't say was:
- The restaurant didn't offer any vegetarian dinner choices or even fish. (The good news was that it was only a short walk from real restaurants.)
- I expected the restaurant to be open for breakfast. Bad assumption.
- When a few grumpy folks got on the bus with no breakfast or even coffee, we noticed that those who had stayed in the hotel with no food seemed to have coffee. Explaining things correctly/in advance would be good.
- Some time later we were informed that we would stop for breakfast. Again, it would have been nice to have known that earlier. In any case, we stopped in "a gas station with something that looked like food". In addition, they seemed to think that Nescafe was a reasonable substitute for real coffee -- something that is grown in Central America.
- Before entering Honduras (but not before we were in route) the cost of entering Honduras was announced. For usanos it was $18. Had I known this I would have flown from San Salvador to Managua. Not because it would have been cheaper but giving the government of Honduras $18 for the right to sit on a bus is not high on my list.
I am interested to hear your responses. At this time I am leaning toward "María Jose" for my next trip. They make this trip in 16 hours instead of two days and they cost less. My guess is that they are more likely to stop at local places than gas stations that pretend to have food. They don't have a toilet on the bus but the good news is that they don't claim to have one either.