Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27th, 2011 Mexico trip of doom day 1

Ok where do I begin....
   A while back I offered to take the father in law of the director of the rescue up to Cancun. His flight back to the U.K. had gotten all messed up and he had to fly out of there instead of Belize City. I like Dennis and figured it would be a good way for me to see a bit of Mexico. I was wrong, this was completely the worst possible way to see Mexico ever. This is the list of events that took place over a period of three and a half days.

Day 1- Got about an hour from home and got stopped because the bus system had gone on strike and to show everyone that they meant business they parked their buses across the main roads (keep in mind their are no side roads in Belize) and then proceeded to pile up tires on the road and start them on fire.This first snag held us up for about an hour or so.
                                              notice Dennis trying to talk some sense into the police : )

The next road block was a bit more intense. We decided to follow a fast moving car up through all of the parked cars on the side of the road right up into the front lines. We then realized we were following a car full of policemen with guns. OOPS.
These people got restless and decided it would be best to throw rocks

When I think about what happened next I seriously look back and think, wow, how am I not dead....
A man dressed in plain clothing comes to the car, which unfortunately I was driving, and he says follow me you can go around the buses. We start to go and a police officer stops us asking what we are doing. We point to him. She points out the obvious, he is a random man leading you into a mess of burning tires. We wait, he keeps telling us to come, she says no, another well dressed man shows up, then a police captain proceeds to tell us that the lawyer for the bus system guys has talked to them and they have decided to randomly let us and another vehicle drive around the chaos and pass. If you look at the pics above you will see a large ditch type area that they are telling us to drive through. The officer then tells us "if you want to go you can, but if something happens then we will not be held responsible."  Ding ding ding!!! Red alert!! Stop, do not pass go!!! That's what a reasonable person would've thought and it is what I thought. Unfortunately I had Dennis sitting next to me telling me in his british accent. "Go on then" And we did, and we drove through fire and almost broke the car and I can't believe we survived. 

The next road block was a bit smaller but also impassable, at least for the common person. Dennis was driving at this point and I had fallen asleep in the back. When I awoke I was told that Dennis had talked to a guy and we were going to follow them down a random dirt road that would take us around the road block. Keep in mind the guys in this vehicle are completely random and as we are following them Dennis tells Hayley to write down their license plate number. Very encouraging! At this point I just put my head down and hoped for the best. We did end up getting around the road block but it did not come cheap and Dennis had to pay up. 

     From that point on it was uneventful, until we reached the border. Now please keep in mind as you are reading this, with each passing second I am thinking more and more about leaving Dennis behind on one of his many pee breaks that he took next to the vehicle. So we get to the border. Hayley and I have to pay to leave Belize and as we are doing so Dennis disappears so as to avoid paying for us. We then enter Mexico. I have only been through Mexico a few times and it is unreal. EVERYONE is trying to scam you always. So out of the three of us we know basically no spanish which is also quite helpful. Also on a side note, as the day went on my confidence that Dennis actually did know everything as he had previously stated started to fade.    
    So here we are at the border and Dennis sends us out as he parks. We walk up to the guy outside in the booth and he gives us the proper forms to fill out etc. We then look inside and there's Dennis. He opens the door and says "what are you two doing out there?" We get confused and go back around coming in through the door Dennis came in that is clearly marked "exit" in spanish. Dennis gets up to the guy inside and he is promptly turned away to the man outside. His response "Well this has changed since last time I was here." My thought...."so previously it was ok to enter through the exit door?"
   It gets better... we make it through customs etc. and Dennis wants to exchange some money. He tells us there's a guy behind the place that has a good exchange rate. He seriously walks up to a random man taking a nap behind a fence and says "hello sir, do you give good rates on money." At that point I had my camera ready to take a picture of Dennis's expression as a random man ran off with his cash. LUCKILY for him the man was honest and pointed him in the right direction.
   After that it was pretty calm. We saw a police raid that was blocking off a street and hit a speed bump going way to fast and almost broke the car, yet again.We finally arrived at the hotel after eleven hours of being in the car together. Dennis chose the hotel for us and it was well worth the chaos of the day.

  Dennis then treated us to a lovely dinner at some weird place where they walk around with sticks of meat and you flip a card over if you want some. It was gross and weird but the salad bar was top notch. After getting back to the hotel Hayley and I had drinks, got harassed by some guy who wanted to play the guitar for us and another who was wasted and who's Mom was sitting on a chair behind him watching over him. I think the best part of that night though was the sleep. It felt so nice to sleep in a room with air conditioning and watch american tv. I forgot how much I missed those things!

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