Monday, December 3, 2012


Today turned out to be very interesting. When we set out from our hotel this morning I had no idea what was about to happen and I like it that way. I like days that hold adventure and the unknown in their bag of tricks. I would rather not have a routine, not go to work the same way each day or say hi to the same people or have the same conversations, but instead discover something new, live my life like it was my last day! After a night of planning and doing laundry in the sink we decided to make a go of the southerly highway. I thought we were heading into the unknown because the map shows that the road we were planning on taking stops abruptly, but I figured we would be able to bridge the gap somehow. What I didn't know was that the road did to through, but not without something a bit more serious that just a break in the pavement, but I get ahead of myself here. I should start at the beginning. We left our hotel in Acapulco, after a 2 night stay to take care of some logistical issues, and were immediately pulled over by the cops. They said that we didn't stop for pedestrians or that we were speeding, but they couldn't make up their minds, so they showed us some pictures of people doing things wrong in cartoon format, and told us that we had to pay a ticket of 200+ dollars each. We hadn't committed any of the cartoon crimes, so we figured we were in for our first bribe situation of the trip. We didn't handle it as well as we could have in retrospect, but hindsight is 20/20. We are looking at it as a 30 dollar lesson in how to handle the next one. Got some good pointers and we were on our way. Had a great ride for quite a while, even though the temps were well into the 90's. One would think that after the bribe incident and the hot humid weather I might be in a bad mood, but for some reason I felt some sort of calm oneness with the world. I let the sweat drench me and cool me off, it actually felt comfortable, I let the kilometros roll by and the worries about making it far enough slide off my back. I realized that we were in the trip and that it all counted, that it was ok, no matter what happened. Things got richer, smells got stronger, the pollo asado we had tasted like the best chicken I had ever had. Life was good and the trip was fantastic. I started to notice the little things more, like the 70's VW buses everywhere, they use them for cabs in this part of the country. My wife, Lisa, wants one of those so if anybody has a line on one let me know. The road was a mess with the usual speed mountains, but I was having fun jumping over them! We came around a corner and boom, traffic jam, full on craziness just outside Pinotepa! Cars in reverse in the other lane, people walking in between everything selling food, water, trinkets, ceviche, etc. We started to ask around and heard that there was some sort of roadblock and that the highway was closed until late into the night! This was the section that we were concerned with, so instead of freaking out we decided to weasel our way to the front and the motos could fit between the craziness, gotta love motorcycles! Once at the front we discovered a protest by the people of Oaxaca against their government officials! The had pushed boulders into the road and stopped traffic in both directions in hopes of a peaceful solution to their poverty at the hands of the man! I immediately wanted to help, because if you know me you know you can assume if I am ever in a bad mood it's just the man keeping me down! I walked up to el jefe and asked if I could help spread the word here. Dad and I talked with the leaders of the resistance for two hours, about the man, about motos, about their kids in college and the hotels we should stay at once the protest was over. We made friends and handed out stickers and talked with others in line, including a nice couple of guys from Canada who make this trip every year and have been caught in similar protests for days, where they have slept on the road and at taco stands. They were a good source of info and very nice as was everyone in the line, people laughed and made jokes and just hung out! It was amazing! One woman in the back of a truck/covered transport thingy even asked my dad if she could ride on the back of his bike to Argentina with him, I think she had a crush on him! After two hours the road block gave way and miles and miles of cars continued on with their lives. I hope that some good comes from the protest today, that rich people stop stealing from the poor and corruption in governments all over the world stops, and that the people with the power actually give the power back to the people. Once through the road block people we had met waived goodbye and we made it to a hotel right as it was getting dark. Secure parking in the back, tent set up on the bed, because the window has no screen, and no A/C, but somehow happy as a clam. Excited to have experienced the day and the people and the protest.

1 comment:

  1. If I am ever in a bad mood, just assume it's the man keeping me down!
    Classic Ben, classic.