Lost in Mexico

Posted on Posted in Central America Expedition 2010

In the morning I headed south to Copper Canyon. Only problem was I completely missed the turn and by the time I realized it I was too far to go back. I ended up taking the road to Hwy 24 near Hidalgo del Parral. From there I headed West to a small dirt trail over the mountains over to Sinola. The road became more remote as I continued. Eventually my GPS had problems keeping my position and all of my paper and digital maps didn’t agree about, well anything. Needless to say I got lost. The further I went the more frustrated I got, thinking I should be crossing the mountain soon. Eventually the road turned to dirt then sloppy mud. I had fun in the mud for a while. I passed small villages that seemed to be from decades ago. Most of the bridges crossing the rivers had holes in them making them impassable. I had to drive through the rivers, which were only a foot deep at most.

Down the mountain road a couple trucks were stopped blocking my path. I parked and hoped out to see what was going on. Apparently the lead truck had broken, but the owner couldn’t get the hood open. A pry bar came out and was used to beat the hood loose. It took quite a while as the truck had been in some sort of front end collision previously. Bailing wire held what was left together. Since my Spanish isn’t that great I wasn’t able to communicate and didn’t want get in front of the guy wailing the pry bar. So I headed back to my truck and sat in the drivers seat to look over my maps. After a while an older guy in the group who looked like Yosemite Sam walked down to me and started talking. I replied, “poquito espanol.” Then I asked him for directions in my poor attempt of Spanish and showed him the map. He motioned me to pass the other trucks. I started to pass and he slapped my passenger window a couple times. Stopping abruptly I rolled down the window to see what he wanted. After a couple words looked up in my translation book I figured out he wanted a ride. I agreed and off we went.

The drive was quiet for a while. Then I asked “quantos kilometers a ciudad?” He motioned with his hand five. Then he started, well what sounded like rambling. A few words I did catch were hotel and duerme. I kept my composure, though it was hard not to laugh having Mexico’s Yosemite Sam sitting next to me acting out sleeping and repeating “duerme.” “No gracias, yo acampar” I replied. Though I don’t think either of us knew what the other was saying most of the time. Continuing down the road I was starting to pick up speed whipping around the curves. He began to shout a word over and over again. “Great,” I thought, “I’ve pissed off Sam and he’s gonna try and shoot me with his rifle like a no good varmint.” I slowed and came to a stop. He motioned to look to the right. Positioned right off the road was a small Military installation. Which I almost blew passed. That would of been very bad.

The old man motioned me to continue forward where we pulled into a small mountain village. In a short bit had me stop and yelled through the window for someone. An old lady came out of a rickety old shack and they began to talk about a hotel. I followed his lead up to a concrete building missing a few chunks here and there. We got out and went inside to the first room, which was the hotel’s kitchen. Sam had a few words with the small group of people inside. The cook turned to me and we muddled around with poor translation and what I was doing there. At some point during the flipping around in my Spanish book and trying to figure out how to string a sentence together quickly Sam had disappeared. I was left in an unknown place with some more unknown people. Eventually someone popped their head from around the corner up. “Is that English?” I turned to the guy and started laughing. “Yes,” I replied, “Can you help me translate? My Spanish isn’t very good.” He agreed, though he did say his English isn’t good as well. This should be fun.

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