When the alarm went off at 5:00 AM, I was ready for it. I had been awake for a while anyway, forcing myself to just stay in bed until the alarm went off. We had a list of morning things to do and check. We consulted the list while we prepared ourselves to load the car, lock up the house and be on our way. The first car ferry to the mainland, and the one we had to catch, leaves at 6:30 AM. Back door locked, security nails placed in windows, luggage and a bag of “road trip” food waiting by the front door, we carried our stuff down the porch steps and started loading the car. It was now 6:10 AM and it is a ten minute drive to the port.
Our first problem was that it was still dark out. We found out the hard way that there is no light in the trunk. So back into the house to grab a flashlight, which was not a bad idea to take with us anyway. We crammed. We arranged and re-arranged. We yelled at each other. Finally we got everything stuffed into that trunk. That left us with a big problem though. We were meeting L in Veracruz and he was coming off a trip. He would have one large and one regular size backpack with him. We had absolutely no room for his stuff! We had promised ourselves that we would not load the back seat. We had to have one comfortable spot in the car to nap, read and just zone out after a turn at driving. Driving down here is much more stressful than in the USA. So amid much grumbling and complaining, we brought all three pieces of luggage back into the house and dumped it all out onto the bed.
The clock was quickly ticking away our precious minutes to get to the ferry. We grabbed the bare essentials; underwear, jacket, t-shirts, an extra pair of jeans, an extra pair of flip-flops and trainers. Needless to say, stuff was not packed as neatly as the night before! We managed to take out the unneeded and get our stuff packed into the two backpacks we should have done in the first place. We raced back to the door, slammed it shut, locked the deadbolt, jumped into the car and dashed for the port. It was now 6:18 AM. As I crested the hill where I can see the ferry, I gave a sigh of relief because it looked like they were still loading so it would not be leaving on time! If you can make it to the parking lot, they will wait for you. So, three minutes after we entered the parking lot, we were loaded onto the ferry and were pulling away from the dock!
Surprisingly, there was no blaming or fault finding between the two of us for getting to the boat so late. I think we both knew we were equally to blame for the chaos that morning because of our over packing.
We were off-loaded onto the mainland and had all of Mexico ahead of us to look forward to. And we were very excited about this trip. It was to be our first great adventure together in Mexico. We would be visiting places that I had seen on my drive down, but B had not. And we would be visiting a lot of places that neither one of us had ever seen but that were on our list of places to go in Mexico. I negotiated the busy morning traffic of downtown Cancun and headed out the west side. Along the way, we stopped at McDonald’s and had ourselves a nice little sausage muffin and some coffee. I knew that just five minutes down the road was the entrance to the autopista (freeway) to Merida and it would be at least two hours before we would have an opportunity to stop. Our first stop would be after we crossed the border between the states of Quintano Roo and the bordering state of Yucatan.
Our bellies full and warm I put the car in gear and we were finally, really, truly off on our great adventure!