Getting Around Town—Makeshift
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Bootstrapped transit traverses cities, rivers, and deserts where subways would leave us stranded

— Getting Around Town

09. Navigation Local Hunts

PIPANTES
Honduras

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Lagoons and canals are the streets, and the Río Plátano is the highway in the Mosquito Coast, the autonomous rainforest region of northeastern Honduras. For short trips, men offer rides
in their narrow canoes, called “pipantes”, which they steer with wooden paddles and poles.

150 lempiras (USD 8) for a two-hour express ride.

 

RIDESHARES
United States

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The culture of hitchhiking across the United States hasn’t died; it’s just taken a different form. Through Craigslist and other online classifieds, the frugal and car-less can arrange “rideshares” with strangers. On Craigslist’s New York page, hundreds of entries offer up seats in passenger cars or seek cheap lifts to places like California, Montreal, or just to the airport. One “mature, responsible dad” will even drive your car— not you—to Florida.

USD 80 for a 450-mile drive from New York to Ohio.

 

CAMELS
Egypt

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Actual camels have served for centuries as de facto delivery vans and tour buses. In Cairo, tourists can barter with informal camel renters outside the Giza pyramids for an hour’s ride by humpback. Unwanted extras, like a last-minute fee to dismount the camel, are sometimes tacked on. Elsewhere in the Sahara, camels have far more arduous gigs. In Niger, where transport by truck remains costly, some 28,000 dromedaries are used to move 4,000 tons of salt from Bilma, an oasis town, to the northern city of Agadez.

40 Egyptian pounds (USD 6) for an on-site rental.

 

CAMELLOS
Cuba

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Cuba’s belching, roaring “camello” buses are a model of post-Cold War ingenuity. The 18-wheeled monsters, named for their dual humps, are made of two Soviet-era buses, welded together on a flatbed and pulled by separate cab. Camellos are owned and run by the government but operate on the margins of public safety; they have no shock absorbers, fans, or capacity limits. In Havana, camellos have been replaced by modern Chinese buses, but in the rest of Cuba, the hulking beasts chug on.

20 centavos (USD 0.01) per ride.

 

KULIGLIG
Philippines

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Filipino farmers originally designed “kuligligs” to carry their produce from field to market. They hitch a two-wheeled trailer to a single-axle tractor and ride in the back. After harvest season, the farmers also use them as private taxis. Kuligigs lack typical vehicle safety features like headlights, reflectors, signals, or brake lights, so nighttime rides often end in collision.

5 pesos (USD 0.10) per ride

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09. Navigation Local Hunts