Saturday, March 24, 2012

Planes, Trains, Automobiles

I joke with B that he has really bad travel luck.

This observation is not based on any consistent or quantitative measurement, as he and I have had many adventures that have not ended in catastrophe. In fact, there has been a fair amount of star-gazing, pastoral walks, bustling markets.


There was that time in Paris when we forgot to adjust our watches to account for the time change from Dublin, leading to our missing our train and having to pay the expensive tickets, twice.

Then, there was that time when Volcano Eyjafjallajökull of Iceland erupted, grinding all air travel to and from the United Kingdom to a halt, leaving us stranded in Spain. Escape meant train, rental car through France, then ferry back to England.

Most recently, there was that time a few weeks ago when we had just finished our 12 day spring break trip to Mexico, and student protestors took bus drivers hostage in order to use them as collateral against the government, leaving us no way of getting to the city we needed to fly out of the next day.

Do you see this pattern of catastrophe right at the tail end of a period of relaxation?  The need for vacations from your vacations?

It is infinitely more difficult to troubleshoot your way out of a crisis in a foreign country. When B and I arrived at the bus station, the most we could understand from the ambivalent clerk behind the counter was that, amigo, there weren't no buses heading to Zihuatanejo.

"But we fly out from there back to Canada tomorrow!"

Shrug from the lady with long, talon-tipped fingernails.

We proceeded to sit at an internet terminal for the next two hours, coming up with a plan. At one point, we had to make a flow chart on a scrap piece of paper  to wrap our heads around the legs of the journey we would have to make if busing (bussing?) was no longer an option. How does this sound: a taxi ride to the nearest town of Moreleon, where buses were still running to Mexico City (approx. 5 hour ride), in order to make a $600 one way plane ticket to Los Angeles, where we would be able to catch the last leg of our original, ALREADY PAID for plane ride home?

At the zenith of our crisis mode, this was the best option.

As I was about to press the submit button to (re)buy these flights, B bursts into my line of vision, talking of taxi rides straight to Zihuat. Apparently, the roads were only closed to buses and taxis and personal vehicles were free to make the five hour trek to Z-town.

I have never been happier to be squished behind the seat of a large Mexican cabbie, zooming over potholes with no seat belt for hours on end, thighs sticking to the vinyl in sweat, paying for the most expensive taxi ride of my life.

Maybe we'll just stick to road trips from now on.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's funny how your words and pictures tell two different stories. Road trips are nice and all, but the food and sun and surf and midgets aren't quite so remarkable. I'm seriously jealous of those tacos! Glad to read another entry. Sounds like an awesome adventure! - Jess