Yesterday we received an email from friends back home in BC. Barb & Mike drove the Pan American highway 15+ years ago. Her reply to our hold up was “if nothing goes wrong, it’s just a holiday!” During their journey, they were without their truck for a month because of port closures, endured a hurricane, an earthquake and to top it all off, a bout of Malaria! So, I guess sitting for 6 weeks in paradise isn’t much to complain about.
This morning, 24th, we saw 6 more leave camp, Jeremy & Chloe from France, along with Dave & Ela from England & Germany, they stored their vans here with the plan of one day returning for it. Phil has decided to return home to The Bay Area, San Francisco and Victor is heading to Oaxaca to meet up with a friend & hang out for a month. We were soo close to joining them with idea of heading back home too, but decided to stay another couple of weeks as things may start to change….or we hope so. Tim joked this morning, saying, “it’s like the supermarket line up scenario, Murphys Law the line up you choose will always be the slowest, then if you switch to another, faster one, it too will grind to a halt before you make it to the front”. The grass is always greener, and knowing Murphy, we’d end up waiting somewhere else, and possibly where we wouldn’t want to be. The camp is empty looking, left behind are Suzannah & Martin a super cool couple from Switzerland, Oliver, Anja & kids from Germany, Dad & Jenn, Josh & Peru (dog) from Santa Cruz, CA and us.
Update from the crew who left this morning, it took them 7hrs to get to the border, where they pleaded their way out of Guatemala, but were stopped on the bridge in ‘no mans land’ as Mexico wouldn’t let them in. So tonight they are safe and sleeping where they are. Am still not so sure if we made the right choice to stay or should have gone, especially as today was the last flight from Guatemala City back to Canada.
morning of 25th. Fear woke me at 5am, with the dawning realization that we could or are in fact ‘stuck’ here. News reports that an American couple were gunned down in their Jeep in Juarez, (not sure if they were just hanging out or making their way back to the US border). Chatting with the boys on What’s App this morning it sounds like the locals in Mexico are acting independently from the Government and blocking the roads. I’m not one to panic, but this morning I’m feeling the pulse quicken with the realization that our door of opportunity to leave has closed.
Afternoon 25th It’s been a yoyo day, my turn to have the stomach churn and head spin. Have I arrogantly refused to listen to all the news reports? Do I feel that this advice doesn’t include me because we’re on a mission to travel the Americas as planned come hell or high water?! Probably.
Which shows clearly that I’m an emotional feeler and Tim is the practical thinker. Twice now he’s suggested we go, even though he doesn’t want to. I guess he’s made his peace with it all because he’s now happy to stay and I’m the one who thinks we should go. ‘They’ are saying up to 80% of the worlds population will contract this virus, it doesn’t take Einstine to work out those odds! not to mention we have the two kids….Ahhh what to do??? Medical insurance is now invalid and we are in a 3rd world country with a truck that I can drive on nice big flat easy roads, but not outta here or on the Guatemalan roads with 2 kids.
Tonight Tim’s gone to play Poker with the boys. I’m thinking, if we pack up tomorrow, we can roll outta here first light on Monday morning and make our way North. Latest update is that the boys made it into Mexico after what Phil calls ” a 24hr total shit show”. It sounds like the British Embassy organized the police escort through the town. They are camped tonight with Paul & Pam on a beautiful Mexican beach and breathing a sigh of relief, Paul & Pam were part of the first convoy who left here mid March .
I have since learned that the border where they crossed is well known for slow processing, on a good day it can take 3-4hrs, apparently the slow process is to try and extort money from travellers wanting to speed up the process, that coupled with arriving at the border at 3pm, one with an expired TIP (temporary import permit) resulted in them spending the night on the bridge. Vlad with his expired TIP was sent down to the Tecun Uman Border.
26th, I don’t feel any different this morning, time to leave, I vote we go on Tuesday at dawn, the truck is nearly packed.
28th……… So…we are still here. Shit!!, hearing back from the UK & NZ embassies, no word from the Canadian, we were told rather sternly to stay put, that IF we got ourselves into trouble, they would not be riding out on a white horse to save the day. If we leave the property, we don’t get to come back and would have to find somewhere else to camp. In this heat, we decided to stay…. that’s the 3rd time, that’s 3 strikes. I’ll say no more and make the most of our time here.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!!