I drove real slow to minimize any chance of a flat tire or any sort of breakdown. I didn’t need a breakdown. Personal or otherwise.
I had nothing on the top of the van. That decision proved to be one of my best ever. Like better than best.
I had five, 12 foot Stand Up Paddle boards inside my van. I had a couple of regular surfboards stuffed in there too. I had my full size Roland keyboard. A couple sets of speakers. Clothes, rugs, suitcases, coolers, fins, blankets, tennis rackets, and all sorts of other little shit.
I began this solo journey through the heart and guts of Mexico from The Manialtepec Lagoon. The Manialtepec Lagoon is located about 20 klicks WNW of Puerto Escondido. The goal was to reach Cuernavaca.
Pretty straightforward drive. An excruciatingly, slow-going 400 kilometers up Hwy 200 towards Acapulco, followed by a very speedy 350 kilometers on a toll road towards Mexico City via Cuernavaca. Like a 10 hour, 375 mile day altogether. People do it in eight hours, but I ain’t those people. It’s really the worst leg of the drive.
I chose to head home in the EXACT reverse direction that I had just driven here but two months ago, and nobody could talk me out of it either.
Like you perhaps, I had been hearing about the troubles in the state of Guerrero. You know, the missing 43 students from the Acapulco area that have been popping up dead in ditches and dumpsters. Well six hours of my day was going to be spent driving in the state of Guerrero. Sketch.
I made my first stop at an OXXO/Pemex. I had only gone 80 miles in three hours. I put a little gas in the tank even though it didn’t need it. I bought an Arizona tea and a Snickers bar. It was then that I split up all my money into four hiding spots. I’m real good at hiding spots.
At this point, all seemed to be good. No incidences to report. Oh I did see a dead calf on the side of the road with big buzzards standing on it, and a couple of savage dogs ripping it apart. Other than that, not too much else freaked me out.
80 down, 2,920 miles to go.
Well it didn’t take but being in Guerrero 20 miles before I found myself in the first, of what would ultimately become five roadblocks. It was noon. I got out of the van. One guy said it should only be thirty minutes. Another guy said they were real serious, and it was going to be at least three hours. The snow cone guy said that the tamale guy said that it was going to last until dark. Did you say d d d d dark??
The only person that appeared to be nervous was me. I was halfway to Acapulco, daylight was already half over, and now i wasn’t moving.
And it was hot.
And i was alone.
When i got to the fourth roadblock, I was forced to seek shade on the right side of my van. It was now 330pm, and the sun was murder. Ducking behind the shady side of my white van proved to be the only refuge. Although that is when i noticed the screw in my right front tire. It’s moments like this that warrant a travel partner.
I found my tire pressure thing and tested the PSI. It was 15 lbs low. Good Fucking Grief Guy! I decided not to pull it out or put on the spare despite a reasonably well dressed man telling me that this roadblock wouldn’t let up til after dark. Did you say d d d dark? Decisions, Decisions.
Long story short.
Ten grueling hours to Acapulco, followed by five hours in the dark to Cuernavaca. Around 9pm, I finally pulled over at a neon sign that read Hotel Rosario. I came to find out real quick that their specialty is two hour room reservations. Two hours? Ohhhhh….two hours. Wink. You pull in your car. They hide your car. You and your secret someone slip through a hidden door that leads to a private room. In the room there is a bed, a bathroom, a television, and a jacuzzi.
I told the kind lady that I was alone, and needed a room for the entire night. She said I could do that too. Since I was no longer in the tropics, I made sure they had hot water. They did.
I paid cash, took a 20 minute hot shower, ordered a burger and a quesadilla from room service, and watched porn until I fell fast asleep. It was the only thing on the boob. Pun times.