Crazy Drivers and Awesome Days

Day 69 to Day 71
Sunday May 16th to Tuesday May 18th, 2010

Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico to Taxco, Guerrero
Taxco to San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico



Taxco had been reccomended as a favourite by two friends who had done a similar trip to mine a month before me. In a coffee deprived state I headed out for the relatively short ride to Taxco. The road was flat and the highways were mostly four lane affairs, with the usual crazy drivers thrown in for good measure. Today I had my first experience with a road raging bully in his SVU. High beams were flashed in while he was riding within 10 feet of my rear tire. Never mind that I was passing another vehicle at the time. After getting out of harm's way he proceeded to bully the next driver in line who was also in the process of passing another vehicle. We were all already exceeding the speed limit but that didn't seem to faze this bully. Well, this is about 45 minutes from Mexico City and I had been fairly warned about the drivers around here.




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico


I was beginning to question how nice a city in such a flat and uninteresting landscape could be. Within mere kilometres the road started twisting and winding uphill into some spectacular hills. And there was Taxco in all its' splendor, hanging on to the steep hillside as if its' life depended on it.




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico

VW Beetle taxis and a few private ones, along with old VW taxi vans, were buzzing along in big white swarms, negotiating the narrow and steep coblestone streets. I have never seen so many traffic cops directing the swarms of white beetles. They were all friendly and efficient. I loved it!! The weather is fairly mild up here and hotels generally do not have air conditioning. After all the whole central plateau around Mexico City is at a very high altitude. Mexico City itself lies at about 6,500 feet above sea level.




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico


For Taxco I'll just let the pictures do the talking.




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico




Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico



Tasco, Guerrero, Mexico



After Taxco I decided to make it to San Miguel De Allende in Guanajuato state. Another beautifully winding, high altitude road wound its' way through fertile farm country. It was cool enough that I had to put on a jacket and windbreaker to keep from getting the chills. This high plateau is a pleasant little surprise after the tar melting heat from the low lying tropics further south.

A thunderstorm moved in and ice cold rain pounded down on the road. I had to turn on the heated grips to keep my hands somewhat warm. The rain stopped and I was moving along safely at about the speed limit. To my right was a new road section being built. The packed gravel and dirt seemed ready to accept the asphalt. It was also strewn with soccer ball sized boulders, which I assume are placed there to dissuade crazies from using and tearing up the roadbed. Somebody in a red car had pulled out into my lane from the oncoming traffic. She was attempting to pass a truck in front of her while I was coming at her in my lane. There was no real time for me to do anything except flash my high beams and start to slow down. She just kept on coming instead of hitting the brakes and pulling back behind the truck. This has happened to me several times in Central American and Mexico. There seems to be no sense of backing off and trying again once the passing maneuver has started down here.

I couldn't swerve to my left with the oncoming truck and couldn't swerve to my right with no shoulder and a boulder strewn gravel stretch. All I could do is watch in horror and hope for the best. I thought for sure that she would swerve to my left, cuting off the truck she was passing. Instead, with a (in hindsight) absolutely precious look of terror on her face, she swerved to my right and went off the road crashing over the boulders into the construction zone. Sickening sounding loud crunches could be heard as the underside of her car got ripped to shreds.

I was in a bit of a state of shock and what just happened didn't really quite register and sink in yet. In my rearview mirror I could see that her car came to a stop without flipping over or hitting anything solid aside from the muffler and oil pan crunching boulders.

Think of it as you will, I decided not to hang around. I'm the foreigner here; I was not at fault; My Spanish is insufficient for this kind of thing; she's acutally better off with her insurance company without my input ...nothing I could say would help her unless a string of profanities and vulgarity are valid input in Mexican insurance matters. I also know that in Mexico all parties involved in accidents can be detained, insurance or not, until liability is determined. I didn't particularly feel like potentially being held in a jail for something that clearly wasn't my fault. It bothers me that I made that decision but it seemed the best one at the time, given the circumtances.

After about 10 minutes the shock was starting to wear off and I was starting to feel sick to my stomach, picturing myself crashing head on into her speeding vehicle and going for a little flight with a bumpy landing. It sure reminded me of our vulnerability out on the road. I let out a huge primal scream into my helmet to release some tension and it felt good. I'm now actually quite mad about the stupidity of that driver.




San Miguel De Allende




San Miguel De Allende




San Miguel De Allende


I decided to celebrate my "survival" with a $35 bottle of nice Mexican wine from Queretaro and some nice local chocolate, which I enjoyed in the bathtub in my room in San Miguel De Allende. This is the first room with bathtub since I crossed into Mexico and Central America more than two months ago.




San Miguel De Allende



So far I really like San Miguel De Allende. My hotel has a top floor patio with a great view of the city and surrounding lakes. Church bells can be heard and the narrow cobblesttone streets are clean and lined with nicely maintained colonial buildings. The coffee is actually good and there is international food available as well as the usual rice and beans.





San Miguel De Allende




San Miguel De Allende



Walking around yesterday evening I spotted a huge rainbow flag, under which sat three young males who were so obviously gay that it almost was funny. But there's nothing funny about being gay in Mexico. While things are getting better, there still is a lot of discrimination. The youths were staging a protest for human rights and sexual rights. I immediately went over to chat and indentified myself as the dyke from Canada that I am. They seemed in good spirits and quite open about who they were. Gay women are apparently much deeper in the closet in Mexico, as I could glean from my conversation with these kids. Minutes later I saw two men in their forties walking past. They were cosied up to each other and obviously a couple. I gave them an encouraging smile and they smiled back. I've noticed a lot more gay men and women in the areas surrounding Mexico City.






Brave Young Men Protesting For Sexual Rights

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Sweetheart,

You are blessed and we are meant to see each other again...
Ride safe, I love you.
p

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