Saturday, August 13, 2011
Not the Janitzio Ferry Company
As I mentioned we took a weekend, ok extended weekend trip to the islands.
I am use to seeing overloaded boats in Patzcuaro. Those boats are mostly overloaded on the Day of the Dead celebrations when the passenger boats that are designed for about 50 people have about 150 or more people stuffed to the gills, crammed to dangerous proportions ferrying between Patzcuaro and Janitzio.
Since there are no boat police, coast guard or OSHA this is one of those accidents waiting to happen situations. But stuff like that is never a big priority in Mexico. It's the simple non invasive attitude that makes simple life possible.
I am sure that it has been that way since the Jantizio became a pilgrimage magnet years ago.
On our trip to San Juan we had to get on their ferry system. Washington state has a ferry system that would make the Patzcuaro boat owners salivate. The ferries have to transport vehicles, residents and visitors 7 days a week.
This was the first time I have ever been on a ferry that cars and trucks drive in other than a years ago, I travesed the Coosa River in backwoods Alabama. That ferry was man powered and it could fit 2 cars on a good day!
On planning our trip I knew that we had to use ferries and that I always heard of people being stranded because they "Missed the last Ferry".
Not knowing all the ins and outs of ferry travel, that was an tense unknown for us.
We arrived at the the terminal just as the ferry was finishing loading. And it leaves on time, something that would make a German Train operator proud. So if you don't show up when the load time is done....you're done!
So we sat around waiting for the next ferry. It got me to thinking of how many and what the capacity of the ferry was. After we were on it, there are several levels of seating a restaurant and bar, nice restrooms and decks that you could walk around on. In my mind I figured that the ferry would hold 50 or 60 cars, and who knows how many hundreds of people.
It turned out that my guess was way off. After all the cars had been loaded and we were on our way, I asked one of the workers what the capacity was and he said it was 165 cars.
Man, that is one big boat. Just think if Lake Patzcuaro would have a car ferry, to take tourists to the islands.
A new tourist attraction......NOT.
It was a great ferry ride, comfortable, pretty quick considering and very efficient. The trip cost about 70 dollars for a car and two people but considering that was for both ways, it was almost as reasonable as a ride in Disneyland.
The ferries there run about 6 or 7 times a day, I was surprised to see large and long tractor trailers loaded with all kinds of stuff roll onto the boat.
The trip on-loads and offloads in a matter of minutes and operates like a well oiled machine. We are already planning on when we can come up there and spend some more time... We really enjoyed the trip and can't wait to check out some of the other islands. Perhaps next year.