So we started driving –realized we didn’t have enough Belize money to buy gas, or American money to buy gas to get back to Mexico. We had plenty of Pecos but no gas station wanted Mexican money. So Fred asked a tourist family for some money and they gave us 5 Belize dollars, and we found every penny we had buried in the car. The guys at the Belize military check points told us we were crazy and wished us good luck.
We barley spoke a word during that couple hour car ride (very unlike us) –so paranoid that we were literally going to have to push the car over the border and to a gas station. I prayed the whole time and vowed to Fred and to God that next time I decide to travel to a foreign country I will actually do some research before I find myself in the middle of it, asking people for money and directions. Live and learn.
We passed the border into Mexico, the gas needle under E with the light on. Our guardian angels seriously put in some hefty overtime hours! It felt so good to be back in Mexico; where things are affordable and anything goes. We bought a whole bunch of fruit for our trip home –originally we decided we’d take our time going back to the states, seeing more of Mexico. But once we got moving this intensity to get back to the United States over took us. We drove all day and well into the night, only stopping for gas and fruit and the occasional carne tostada.
When we were coming into Mexico we went to this tiny restaurant with the French-Canadian hitch hikers, Valerie and P.L, one night. Fred was dead set on going back to that restaurant for a final Mexican feast. Seriously all the restaurants in Mexico are basically the same: tacos, tostados, café, etc. And their all small family owned joints who all use the same ingredients bought from the same stores but oh no, we had to find that one nameless restaurant from that one day over three weeks ago. This is my partner, got to love him! After a trying half hour out of our way to the small town we were before, and then another 20 minutes to find that nameless joint we learned it was closed. On the road again. We drove nonstop for three straight days! Sleeping in somewhat sketchy places; just pulled off the mangled roads and slept by the car.
Getting into Mexico, no problem, coming back to America…WHAM! Huge lines and tedious existing and entering ridiculousness. Did I mention we were out of Mexican money and were below E again? Yup just barley made it by the seat of our britches yet again. And waiting in a huge slow moving line back into our country. So we cross the border finally and of course they have to search our car. So we go through the process of taking everything out of car which really isn’t that big a deal. Then we ask” So were do we return our mexican car registration for our deposit?” See, when you enter Mexico you have to pay a $300 car fee that they give back to you when you leave so you don’t sell cars in Mexico but of course when getting your passport stamped to leave Mexico no one says, “hey would you like your money back?” American military told us we crossed at the wrong border and had to go back to Mexico and then exist again to get the money. NO, we were so close!!!! Another line in, another line to get the money, another line back into America. I was so certain we were really going to have to push the car over the border but we made it back into America. When you cross through borders there is a system. Kinda like a toll booth, you pull up to a gate, and at random a light either flashes green, opening the gate, or red, directing you to pull over to be searched. We had managed to get a green light every single time… until this time, when we wouldn’t have even been there if we hadn’t mad the mistake. Problem was, they had to check our car again –with new military people. Stressed and homesick, Fred tried to explain that we just did this whole process twenty minutes ago but of course we had to take every single thing out of the car yet again. And they made us through the potatoes we grew in Michigan away! That really pissed Fred off since the first time we went through they didn’t say anything, and we had reached that point, after hours of customs and communicating in broken espanol. We had been driving the insane Mexican roads for three days, living off fruit, and just wanted to talk to our parents. At the border they make you sit super far away from your car while they search through all your stuff, it’s funny now, but at that time we were so angry at the situation and were quietly yelling at each other to “chill out” while trying to be calm in front of the people with badges, guns and handcuffs.
But we got through it, as we always do; when one of us is weak the other rises, we take turns having melt downs and then we bring each other back to a good level. The cool thing about it happened when we were finally cleared on the Mexican side. Dressed from head to toe in camouflage, with assault rifle slung over shoulder, a military guard whistled Fred over. In broken communication of english and spanish, they chatted about the adventure. This man was stationed at one of the numerous military stops a thousand miles away and recognized us and our car. He was very excited that we had a good trip and glad that we appreciated the country and culture. Of all the people and all places… very serendipitous. We generally got along at all of the military stops. After asking “despacio porfavor(slowly please), no hablo mucho espaniol.” They usually chuckled and thought we were a couple of locos, admiring the art on the car and waving us through friendly. The laughed, shook hands, and we were on our way. “ADIOS AMIGOS!”
We called the crazy farmer in Texas where we had stayed before and he was super psyched to welcome us back and get our feet back on the ground. We went to the store and bought an insane amount of food, even items we never buy: nacho chips, salami, ice cream, cookies, hot dogs(grass fed of course), and much more. Just being able to read labels and have those familiar brands was amazing. Even though we were in a mostly Mexican inhabited area, English was widely spoken! I will never take simple communication for granted again. And we got to call our parents and have long conversations! It was heavenly! Our great Mexican-Belize (and one bad day in Guatemala) adventure completed! Awesome, we did it and it was amazing. Everyone was so freaked out about us going to Mexico and what not, but honestly the people were nothing but kind and fun. We never got messed with or got any bad vibes. Thousands of Americans travel to Mexico every day, but on the news you only hear about the one guy or gal who got in a pickle. It’s really unfortunate that our society hears only the bad and that’s what they believe without trying to experience it for themselves. Seriously, you can always be in the wrong place at the wrong time but that fact didn’t stop up from adventuring – and it was freaking amazing!