Life as a Mexican Truck Driver
We could simply caravan with Kent and Lynn forever but we wake up knowing that our desire to be on a pacific beach is only growing.
We both pack up our rigs and head out after a plate of breakfast nachos. The mansion turns east for tulum the riviera maya and we aim west for oaxaca. My brain just cant wrap its mind around the fact that we are traveling from Guatemala to mid mexico and we barely go north at all...jen keep showing me the map as proof.
Our day of driving is completely uninteresting. Like an interstate highway in the states it cuts through open land rather than the small towns and we have clearly found the major trucking route through mexico. Were it not for the topes built to allow vendors to try selling fruit and juices to the truck drivers we would have no reason to stop at all. As sun is setting we are past the midway point in our trip back and have been watching for a decent place to sleep for the last two hours. It hasn’t existed, probably why the trucks simply pull over to sleep on the side of the road whenever they are lucky enough to see a strip of land. We follow suit but opt for a pemex instead of the highway. Try to camp next to the small grass area but security ushers us to the designated truck spots and we have what is unquestionably our least desirable campsite of the trip. We don’t need much to see the bright side (thats what i have jen for) and have been happy camping in gas stations, alongside highways and in areas of questionable security. This spot was stuck between the doorway to the restroom that truckers stumbled in and out of all night and a makeshift landfill of garbage bags and oil drums. We are lulled to sleep only by the stream of passing trucks on the highway and the buzzing of the high tension lines over our heads. We are exhausted and have no other options, but are up at 2 and discussing leaving even in darkness.
We tough out a few more hours and pull back into the current of trucks at daybreak. At least today we know we are heading for ocean, and its a good thing because otherwise theres no way we would continue on. We haven’t really felt like driving since the big push of the rally, and in the last few days we have almost recreated the mileage of those days. At this point i’m exhausted and grumpy and even a delicious barbacoa taco only improves my mood until we hit the next tope on the way out of town. Luckily, with the ground we covered yesterday and the early start today we arrive at salina cruz before noon. We stop momentarily to discuss staying in salina cruz but jen drives us up the coast to barra de la cruz.
There’s no question we have moved into the last frontier of beaches in mexico. Our last two hours were spent looking at amazing vistas down the hillside to unspoiled beaches and passing through quaint small towns, and we take note that we saw not a single resort, shop or sign in english or aimed at tourists. Thing just slowed way, way down.
As we turn left we descend rapidly into the town of Barra de la Cruz and we realize that we might not be leaving this town without the help of a tow. Only one way in and out and it’s really steep and making a run at the hill is hampered by switchback curves...but we’ll worry about that another day when we need to depart. The town itself is tiny and a biy difficult to grasp as its scattered throughout the hilly landscape but we find pepe’s cabanas and pull in for the night. He points to a palapa we can park under and we spend the rest of the day trying to recover from the drive.
We find enough strength to make the 15minute walk down to the beach for sunset. The beach is gorgeous white sand framed by a rocky point but sadly the 3 surfers in the water aren’t having any luck. We sit in the sand, breathe deeply the ocean air and then head back before darkness takes over completely. We make a quick attempt (no streetlights and few porchlights in town) to find the internet “cafe” but they are done for the day. No updates, only back to camp to shower off my pemex camping and i’m asleep by 7:30. Jen sits up for another half an hour staring at the stars and then crawls in beside me.