“Twelve lords a –leaping” Val awoke + rose with the sun. Neither of us had slept very well, but I was able to find sleep late, while it escaped her. So she busied herself, packing up as much as she could, while I slept on, despite the tent collapsing on me a couple of times. Eventually tho’, I arose, + we stumbled up the path to the ruins’ shopping area, to drink chocolate milk, + for me to make use of the toilet there… under the active warfare of numerous fizzy drinks, my illness had at last broken to diarrhea. Then a short walk to the main road, to both the accepted hitching place, + the bus stop. It was the latter purpose to which we were finally forced to resort, being unsuccessful at the former. Quite the most comfortable bus we’ve yet found, with plenty of room, + air-conditioning that worked. I was also – starved as I am of news – able to borrow the latest edition of Time, + discover that the Polish trade Union, Solidarity, has been put down by the Polish army. What a brilliant stroke! Now, no-one can do anything, because it is a Polish internal affair. Still, Lech Walesa has been made Time’s Man of the Year, which must be a great consolation to him.
Arrived in Chetumal, where we immediately set about arranging our earliest departure from Mexico – we are both heartily sick of the country. Ran around a little – pointlessly – + Val bought a hammock, but eventually made it onto the 5 o’clock bus to Belize City… only we’d decided to get off at Orange Walk, a small town on the way. The border crossing was painless, despite a rather abrupt + intrusive Customs official. And then… Belize.
An immediate + noticeable difference – so much greener, with real houses, not just shacks. Found a reasonably cheap hotel, then went out. I even risked a hamburger, + coffee. Not exactly cakes + ale to celebrate leaving Mexico, but good enough.
And so, at last, our departure from Mexico. And entry into, so far as we could see, a Caribbean culture. Which promises, at the very least, some welcome variety.
Lech Walesa is a name that has largely disappeared into history, but for a while, he promised real change… though that was not to come in fact for another few years. But it was always the case that we – or, I suppose, I – was on the hunt for any sort of news. At the risk (ha!) of repeating myself, we really were cut off from the world, in a way that is unimaginable nowadays.
Pamela J Blair
I know how you feel about being cut off from the news, but I loved it, being outside the fray, so to speak. It’s so different these days. Even when my son was traveling around Europe in 1998, there were internet cafes where he would occasionally go to write. I’m sorry you didn’t like Mexico–it sounds like you were unprepared for the difficulty of traveling in a less-developed country. That difficulty was what I loved about traveling (at least in retrospect).