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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Anything goes...Mexico!

MEXICO | Friday, 12 October 2012 | Views [1083]

We all walk over the bridge, crossing the world's busiest border crossing into Mexico. Straight on past the touts and taxi drivers we go, we spot our converted red school bus. Our driver is Nico, an expat from New Hampshire whom I call "half cowboy, half throwback hippie" and his girlfriend is Kally, from Orange County. Both live as undocumented aliens in the town of Tecate (nobody has heard of the town, but everyone has heard of the beer of the same name. Nico shouted out "the rule is: there are no rules" and we were on our way. The school bus was originally registered in Minnesota but it would never, ever make it back across the border. South we headed and the first stop was for beer. A short ride later we had the best tacos on either side of the border! Tacos asada with onions...you have to try them; I can't describe how great they are with words. Since I don't like beer I opted for stuff to make Cuba libres once we got back on the bus. Americans clearly view Mexico as an "anything goes" sort of place. It's the only border in the world that seperates a first- and third-world country, and you can ride in the bed of pick up trucks, drive a motorcycle without a helmet, forgo seatbelts, and drink as much as you want wherever the hell you want. That doesn't mean you should drink 'til you drop; otherwise it's very possible you'll find your passport and all your money and credit cards gone when you awake from your booze-induced slumber. Officially you need to get a tourist card and show your passport when entering the country but in practice it's almost never enforced within the "frontier zone" just south of the border. As we drove on what was once regarded as "the most dangerous road in North America" it's on the side of a mountain with boulders, boulders, and more boulders. Nico stated "Look off into the distance; a drunk person says he can see all the way to Arizona, but a sober person sees the Salton Sea. My rideshare partners this morning are Delia and Ayako. Delia is a librarian with a bit of seriousness to match and a very thick Texas accent. Ayako is originally from Osaka and lives in downtown LA. After driving for more than 100 km on a paved road we turned onto a dirt road. This is what I thought was the dry lake bed we were driving across but it turned out it wasn't. From there is was time for "bus surfing" (not CouchSurfing) but it's riding on top of bus! And what a blast it is! Seriously, anything goes in Mexico, or at least Baja for that matter. Bouncy, bouncy! Riding along on top of a red bus beneath the Baja sun with the mountains on one side of us and a vast expanse of desert on the other! I was a little drunk from having a couple of rum and cokes but I figured what the hell, I'm in Mexico! Nico had let someone else have a go at driving the bus I was thinking I'd like to give a go (even though I don't have a driving license). Personally I would have preferred nobody be on the roof if I was driving but I later felt confident I'd be fine even if there were, because the road is bumpy enough that it's impossible drive faster than 20 mph and there's nothing, not even a fence, to hit. Those who were on top didn't want me to drive, and I got out and did something that I really shouldn't have: I started cursing at everyone and got very angry. It was very wrong of me, and Ayako and Delia tried to calm me down. It was another situation where I felt as though it was a "Chris Farrell" thing. Both of them seemed to feel bad for me. Kally then pulled up in a smaller vehicle; she had raced ahead, dropping off backpacks, equipment, and food at Guadelupe Canyon Oasis. Nico was like "I'll tell you what, I'll let you have a go at the smaller vehicle" and I thought "awesome!" Delia, Kally and Ayako rode with me.

For about 20 minutes I drove; the longest I've ever driving a motor vehicle (other than an ATV or moped) and they all gave me a thumbs up for my effort. Despite having only driven a vehicle about 8 times in my life, I've driven in three countries (U.S., New Zealand, and Mexico). The only other times I've driven have been for short practices or to help someone move a vehicle. Feeling bad for my outburst earlier I knew I had to make an apology, and if I'm going to be that angry then I shouldn't drink. It's Mexico, and they say anything goes but still, that's not the kind of person I am. We had to wait a few minutes for the bus to catch up. When I offered to drive in the little car down to the resort Nico said it was too difficult but I could ride on top of the car! Delia and I rode on top and we were bouncing and flying all over the place! I couldn't have driven down this road if Nico paid me to it was so bumpy! Suddenly there before us was Guadelupe Canyon Oasis, and absolutely no other settlement around for more than 35 miles. Everyone was worried about me going to Mexico, but with hot pools, gorgeous mountains, and unrivalled solitude, this is a great place to lock up your worries and relax for a day or three. It didn't take long for me to set up my tent and jump on into one of the hot pools.

One hot pool is hotter than another, and as we were soaking in the hot pools a tasty dinner was being cooked up. The area is so remote and so dry it's hard to believe there's any water at all. The hot water is caused by the nearness of the San Andreas Fault; the water boils no far below the surface. On tap for dinner was a tasty vegetarian chili with black beans, corn, and other things. Food tonight was amazing! And there is enough beer to last everyone at least a week. It's extremely rare that I'll have a beer, so for me it was time for a few Cuba libres (rum & coke). I drink sometimes, just as I did earlier but my outburst earlier was uncalled for, drinking or not. I feel bad and I should. The rest of this journey shall be a lot of fun, and there was no bitterness regarding that incident tonight. As we all sat around, I gazed at the dazzling night sky whilst sharing a few of my many travel stories. Tonight I shared several before getting back in the hot pools. There are a few of us who were on the trip to Zion as well: Clara, Carina, Jeremy, and myself. Jeremy is one guy who really seems to find me entertaining and enjoys my stories. He's a high school math teacher but seems more like a guy you'd find at a motorcycle mechanic, or perhaps being a professional surfer or skateboarder. Tonight I had a few too many rum & cokes, and I staggered my inebriated self to my tent, and out cold I was. 

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