January 1st 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Chris showing off his Mexican shirt

“Seven geese a –laying”  Val was up at a reasonable hour, and set off to look for dough: a) bread b) money.  She had some success in the former, none in the latter.  We had been rather caught out by the banks being shut for 2 days over the new year, so once the bread had been converted into breakfast, with the aid of some bananas + honey, + duly consumed, we set off together to seek a means of getting money.

Eventually we arrived at the large supermarket, who changed $US20 for us, tho’ I think we were expected to buy something, so we satisfied both sides by lashing out on a small cabbage + 2 plastic beakers with lids.  We then spent some of our hard-won wealth on a couple of milk-shakes, + then it was time to get moving.  Packed up our troubles – + belongings – into 2 kit bags, + walked to the bus station.  It wasn’t far, but it was bloody hot.  And then when we got there, we discovered – or at least I think I discovered, it being so hard to get coherent information at such places – that we had the wrong place, at least for Plan A, which was taking a bus to the first town, + then hitching.  So rather than switch bus stations we switched plans, + booked seats on a bus to Chichen Itza.  That left us with a couple of hours wait in a boring waiting-room, so we read: Val the Vonnegut, + me a Gore Vidal book, “Burr”, that we found in a Merida hotel.  However, the bus ride itself was very pleasant – we’d managed to get ourselves the front seats, + the  bus itself was in the luxury mode.  Unfortunately, we got out about 1 km too early, so we had a little walk to the camp-site.  It was really just a trailer-park, but we found a reasonable spot, + then had reasonable success in cooking sardines + cabbage.  It tasted fine, but lacked a little in the presentation.  We were camped right next to a guy we’d met in Palenque, so when he + a mate returned, they built our fire up some, + we sat around talking for a while.

Apologies for the “dough” pun; I expect I thought I was being clever at the time.  Getting reliable information was always a problem, and I imagine modern IT can help with that (though I do struggle to believe it would be of much use with the Mexican transport service… though maybe things have changed.)

Reading was always vital, as a means of passing long periods involved in waiting for transport.  And that meant physically lugging a number of books around with us, and always being on the lookout for book swaps, with other travellers or in travellers’ accommodation.  Considered myself fortunate to have found a couple of Vonnegut books, as he has long been one of my favourite authors.

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