Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Driving the Jeep to Mexico - Part 10

So onto Orange Juice City and it is just starting to get dark. Not really dark, but shadows starting to appear and that funny gray light everywhere. It quickly became apparent that this was not the kind of city we had hoped for. Main street lasted for four miles and we never did see a hotel, motel or Holiday Inn! Just shacks, more desperately poor people, more sellers of stuff at speed bumps and dogs everywhere. We even had to swerve around a, shall we say, overly amorous pair in the middle of the road! I remember two things most vividly about the drive through that city.

The first was that the entire stretch of road through the city was a mess. Giant potholes, places where the pavement ended and turned to dirt, one lane or the other completely missing so that vehicles had to wait for oncoming traffic to clear. The other was our only near accident. A bus was parked on the left side of the road, completely blocking that lane. As I cautiously passed it, a panel truck with a bunch of people standing up in the back nosed out from behind the bus. I was way to close for it to proceed. It stopped and I kept going, In a split second, the driver must have decided, “What the hell. It’s a gringo plate and I’m bigger than he is anyway” because he suddenly floored that broken down old truck and pulled out in front of me! I only had a split second to see people in the back of the truck falling to the floor because I was busying laying on my horn and swerving to avoid a T-bone crash into the side of him. Off the road we went, bouncing as never before. We got by him successfully and were more than a little grateful that that particular stretch of road had a shoulder, was not crowded with people and that we were in a Jeep built for off-roading! As my adrenaline continued to pump, Jaimie broke out in volleys of laughter, swearing in English, swearing in Spanish and congratulating me on not killing him, thus depriving his children of their father. I think his adrenaline was pumping too!

We had no choice to but continue on to Tuxpan. I did not want to drive in Mexico after dark and here I was, my first day out, driving after dark! With no further incidents and some slow, careful driving, we arrived in Tuxpan at 8:30 pm.

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