We wake up with the sun and the soggy grass we are parked in heats/steams up quickly. We try to fill our almost flat tire again but our air compressor has decided to stop working. A few banana pancakes by the river and i have enough fuel in me to tackle the repair. Start taking the compressor apart but its nothing more than a loose wire in the battery clamp. I love a bus-side project/repair that doesn’t require outside help, is free and actually works! That done we fill the tire, load up the bus and get underway.
We swing by the public market for some produce and some road snacks (minced meat tacos and some meat pies). Everyone is nice enough, loves the bus and can’t believe we drove from Canada...guess that wasn’t a mexico-only trait. Our ears are still tuning to the garafuna/creole english and we still do a double take every time we see a group of Mennonites mixed in with the typical belizeans. The first tire shop on the way out of town gets our business and its clear that we are no longer in catholic mexico as the guy begins almost instantly trying to convert/save us and asking us if we’ve found our savior. Hard to imagine a country more religious than mexico, but not once did someone bother trying to change us from who and what we already are.
An hour or so down the road we turn off onto what the map clearly labelled as the “coastal highway” but within 3 miles its back to rough dirt road for our 2 hour drive to Hopkins. It also never passes or follows the coast, so we aren’t really clear on the naming convention here. Not as bad as the pothole laden drive of the last two days, but still jarring dirt roads with plenty of washouts and washboard to jiggle everything loose. We have a few rattles from around the bus we didn’t have before belize and i’m guessing we are in need of a welder for at least a few of them. Our muffler, which up until Belize was in need of repair is now a shredded mess and needs a full replacement. These days we don’t sneak up on anybody, and we’ve started getting questions. Sadly, in mexico a muffler shop was around every corner...here we haven’t passed one yet and we are 2/3 of the way through the country.
One quick turn towards the beach to check out a town not listed on most maps (quickly see why as its a total of two small homes on the water and a dead-end street quickly after) and we finally pull into Hopkins. The road we are on stops at the water and is basically the main pier in town, so we hop out and into the water with a few kids playing with their dad. The ocean replenishes any energy we ran short of on the drive and our faces are smiling and happy from the relaxing dip.
Before i’m even out of the water Jen had made friends with a group of young girls who are running their fingers through her hair and checking her out from head to toe. By the time i’m back to grab a photo the girls are moving into the bus and playing house with the tortilla press. They tell us where to camp (not sure it’s legit info but we may still use it) and stick around until we make them get out of the bus so we can move on...nice to know we have friends in town if we need them! A tour of this small town shows a few possible camping spots and we grab a pizza from our favorite. The night watchdogs make this one difficult and we continue on to a few more before parking right in front of the water next to a guesthouse/bar that doesn’t mind our being out front at all (in exchange for a drink at the bar of course). We settle in for dinner, nestle up to the bar for some wifi and to watch the highly contested drama in the annual Hopkins foozeball tourney and marvel at the gorgeous glow of the light from the ful moon on the waves.