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Sickness in no country for old men

semi-overcast 21 °C

Charlie and I were both a little apprehensive about the overnight OCC coach journey from Pochutla to San Cristobal. Unfortunately Mexcio gets quite a lot of negative press when it comes to bus/coach travel and this route in particular has been known in the past for hold-ups, hi-jacks, and the like. Whilst the occurrence of hold-ups are very rare they can, and have been, violent. So, with the most precaution we could possibly make; Lonely Planet forums searched, talking to other travelers, google searches on Mexican hold ups etc. we decided to make the 12 hour overnight journey. To be quite honest, aside from our own personal safety, the laptop and camera were our main concerns - we decided to pack both in with the hold luggage. On the off chance that some crazed Mexican bandit wished to rob either of us all he, or she, would get would be the small amount of money we had each placed in our fake wallet and purse (not our well concealed money belts). Cunning hey? The journey was in the end rather tame though and the 'security' man who very, very quickly filmed everyone as they got onto the bus made sure that any potential thief would be put off by the film evidence of their presence on the bus. Very 1984!

San Cristobal itself was rather a flat affair for both of us. Indeed the small church lined square and cobbled streets were very twee and postcard like. Whilst this makes for great tourist fodder, the Subway, Burger King, and endless souvenir shops made it feel slightly commercial. I guess I was hoping for something a little less over exposed and less like the other World heritage towns that we have already seen so far. Our hostel was also 'run' (in the loosest possible sense of the word!) by two overwhelmingly annoying British, straight out of university, finding their inner-hippie self, plonkers. For the first time on the trip I felt my pulse racing at a slightly higher rate than normal, I started grinding my teeth, twitching uncontrollably and cursing under my breath at the slightest hint of a 'Good morning!' from the floopy haired twit and his poor future spouse. This pair of dim-wits were trying to meddle on the running of the hostel in many ways. Their main project was to try and introduce a Murder-mystery themed tour of the town! Granted, the town is very quaint but there are still plenty of serious looking men who wear cowboy hats (for real) and chew on nails for lunch and this pair want to start a murder mystery tour! Start with cleaning the showers and toilets each day and then we can talk about becoming Sherlock 'Gomez' Holmes and Dr 'Mario' Watson...

...sermon over!

The journey onto the border for us was not great. Joining a 24 hour coach journey 20 hours in is akin to entering a nightclub at 1.20am. The bus stank to high heaven of vomit and smelly Mexican socks. Poor Charlie has a phobia of sickness over and above that of most of us and for her the 4 and a half hour journey was pure hell. Don't get me wrong it was no stroll in the park for me particularly with the main sickness culprit sitting pretty much in front of us. We had literally joined the vomit comet!

Finally, No country for old men. Wow what can I say? A real Mexican border town with one hotel, one restaurant, kids with their eyes too close together and a genuine Hollywood like film eeriness to it. Because of the route we had chosen into Guatemala Charlie and I had no option but to stay the night in the hotel Camino Real, Ciudad Cuahtemoc. Complete with Modelo beer, nachos, refried beans, tortillas and a fat expressionless Mexican woman who kept all of her earnings in her bra - the night started as it went on. Our subsequent room which contained no less than three double beds and cockroaches was old, run down, and slightly spooky. Couple this with the fact that a rather nice Danish family (who arrived long after we did) shared the same bathroom as us it all felt a little odd. To get to the bathroom the family, literally, had to walk through our room! And so it got even more bizarre; the youngest daughter of the family had contracted a rather nasty bug and looked a little worse for wear when the family arrived. Throughout the night and early morning she then proceeded to be sick (out of both ends) and was constantly rushing past the end of our bed to reach the porcelain. The poor girl was in a real state and after about 2 hours of sleep Charlie and I decided to 'start the day'. This was probably at around 5am and Immigration did not open until 8am. We sincerely hope the Danish girl received the help she needed though as her temperature rocketed and did not look like subsiding. We left the family with some rehydration sachets and walked through the immigration checkpoint into Guatemala, onto the tenth country of our adventure.

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 16:43 Archived in Mexico

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Funny, funny, funny. This latest entry had us both spluttering with laughter. It goes to show though, you really do need to keep in touch with your sense of humour to survive some of the more extreme situations on a trip like yours. By the way, the latest photographs are superb.
Stay safe, love,
Mum and Dad B xx

by vancoevorden13

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