We are on the bus to Ocosingo, this is the first time since the beginning of the trip I’m not sitting behind Mateo in my helmet and riding gear. It is strange to be able to point out scenery or fall asleep on his arm. There has been, in many ways, a burden lifted. No more checking on the bike, or dawning heavy riding gear, or bike mantanice. In the hostel in Tuxtla Gutierrez I was admiring how the couple sharing a room with us just got up in the morning tossed on their bags and left. A couple things Mateo and I had spoke of with frustration was a lack of communication when in route to places, how heavy our riding gear was and how sore our bums were when riding. So now our entire trip has changed. We have thought of all the ways we could get places, Vw bug, Vw bus, hitch hiking, bicycle, busses. Re-building the bike will cost too much, buying a used engine will cost too much as well, getting a lower power Mexican engine doesn’t seem worth it, and all these repair options will take at least three weeks and that’s if we get the perfectly correct parts. If ordering parts is anything like ordering dinner our chances are slim, and considering availability in Mexico, we will be importing all the parts. We could be in Panama in three weeks or Costa Rica. So we will decrease the size of our stuff, readjust our hiking bags and head out on bus and foot. Adventures wouldn’t be adventurous if we knew what was going to happen!
Oh wait one thing, the bike still needs to have the temporary import permit redeemed, there is a $200 draw on Mateo’s credit card and if we don’t bring his bike to the vehicle export office at the Mexico-Guatemalan boarder than he will have to pay $200 and will never in his life be able to temporally import another vehicle into Mexico. That’s never a good idea if you consider Mexico as a good place to live. We arrived in Ocosingo around 5pm, it was a painless ride. I managed to sleep most of the rickety combi ride, it was really warm but Mateo and I sat in the very back row and had 4 seats all to ourselves to relax and stretch out.
With the motorcycle breaking down we have had a lot of waiting time, and stress, maybe I shouldn’t call it stress because before I even left Washington I told myself if the bike breaks down to no return that I will be ok with backpacking Central and South America, we did prepare well and our backpacking packs were what we brought for good reason.
It was pouring down rain when we stepped out of the combi, combi meaning a bus (van) with many rows of seats in it and typically as many people as possible. We stowed away under the awning, and prepared our selves for the torrential downpour. Mateo put on his giant blue poncho over his head and also his bag, this is when I became completely unhelpful and started laughing hysterically at him. Did I say unhelpful yes, sometimes I find myself laughing when I should not be laughing, and then becoming offended when Mateo is laughing at me. Double standard I think so.
On foot we went into the city center, the thunder and lighting had started to join the rain. It was raining more than we normally get in Seattle, our shoes were quickly soaked in water. Turning down a street we were stopped by a couple they stood safely in their door way, inquired where we were going and turned us around to the opposite way. The Esmeralda hotel was only a couple blocks away, we found it quickly and hid under the cover. Only 250 pesos! For both of us, and the hotel man was super nice and gave us information about the colectivo that left at 8 am to Emiliano Zapata. It’s a Zapatista community that borders the Landandon Jungle. From there it is a 5km hike to Luguna Miramar. A couple blogs said the transit was something to write home about and it surely is.
Right before the bike had broken down I was sitting back there thinking to myself, I want to find my self on one of those sometime. Now here I am 730 am, stepping in to the back of a small pickup truck caged in by steel, hoping this thing doesn’t get into an accident. This is the most I have ever felt like cattle. We departed 2 hours later than expected because like most transport here in Mexico, the load must be full or no one makes any money, so we wait and wait and wait. Departing Ocosingo with about 11 people and six bins of dead chickens and we were off. Ok Emily this isn’t so bad hot yes, but horrible no. There were about 7 guys riding on top of the cage, I decided to lay down and get comfy for the ride on my 6 inch bench and Mateo’s lap. I mange to sleep an hour, some of the corners nearly swayed me off that little bentch but Mateo tried to counter act the corners. I was surprised to have slept at all between the rickety truck, loud crickets passing by, and corners. The night before I had the worse sleep, it was in my favor for the truck ride to sleep, we still had five more awesome hours of feeling like pigs in the back of a truck being shipped somewhere. I was pleasantly surprised at first when there was only five people in the truck, the rest were up on top of the cage. Then the truck stopped, and it stopped again. This was the most rural bus I had been on, the truck raced along the dirt road picking up as many people as possible, with the pleasantly sheer cliffs on one side of the “road” and intentional brush fires on the other. The fullest our truck was twenty five people, six bins of dead chicken, one live chicken and everyones’ personal luggage. I found myself sitting atop the bins and resting on a big bag of cookies, just inches from some ones butt right above my head. I think I’m going to have brown boogers for the next couple days from the dirt inhalation. I thought I packed my hankerchife at the top of my bag, I guess I only thought about it.