The fact that he was right in the middle of switching from backstroke to the front crawl is credited with saving the boys life, for at this instant he was attacked by a crocodile. The cocodrilo was going for the old head bite and twist, but actually got all shoulder and torso... The boy escaped with one of the stranger scar patterns available.
"I was soooo vexed, That a croc took a pass at MY boy." Said the El Salvadoran father after unloading a shotgun on the beast, and then diving into the river to finish it off with bare hands.
By all accounts a true story. My Irish friend Saoirsa, says she checked it out thoroughly. Either way, everyone can probably agree just how vexing a cocodrillo a can be.
After kicking around the idea of returning to the states for Christmas, and after many hours of research I have determined that it is not legal, but generally accepted to leave your car in Mexico while you return to your country of Origin. This, provided you remove it from Mexico with the six month temporary import time limit. Costa Rica is the only other country to actually allow this provided you store the car in a government lot (to make impounding that much easier). All other countries claim they put a vehicle stamp in your passport which prevents you from leaving without it. I will be giving my tourist card to frontier airlines, so I think I'm going to be ok...
Note: I wrote the above section prior to leaving Mexico for a vacation from my travels... It is true. You can definitely get away with leaving your vehicle in Mexico, although it is not without its minor hassles... (I say this from the safety of Belize...where it is also true that they put a vehicle stamp in your passport.)
The common scam was to bring a US car to Mexico, sell it for more than you paid, claim it was stolen, collect your insurance money, and leave the newly acquired cartel mobile to cruise Mexico with whatever identifying plates are preferred...A note If you are a Mexican, there seems to be some loophole whereby you do not have to have plates on your vehicle at all.
Offers to buy the vehicle are continuing at a steady rate. Apparently, the fit and finish of a first world car is much better than a third world car, even of the same models. Where my truck has some cloth door panels a mexican tacoma has plastic, etc etc...Details that I have taken for granted are not lost on them in the least, and they love it! Of course this fact (that you may be in possession of a very rare vehicle) will in no way hinder them from low balling you, or balking at your price. "Negotiations" are non negotiable and will also be with multiple people of the same family all at once.
The yucatan / Quintana Roo... Skip it. Flat, exploited, expensive, white, gaudy. Some ruins and some beaches but these are not exactly hard to find in southern Mexico, and for my money and time its better elsewhere.
If you are trying to store a vehicle and fly away though...Cancun is IDEAL.
After soaking up the soft life back in the States, I decided I should probably get back into travel shape right off the bat, so I booked the cheapest flight I could back to Cancun and landed at midnight. My plan was to stay in the airport and then get a good early start in the morning. I even found a travelers website dedicated to sleeping in Airports. IE "head to terminal 2, they have food, the music isn't as loud and some of the seats don't have armrests..."
Well, on an international flight you are pretty much dumped into the customs grinder and spit out into the night, no chance for detour. This of course is a none too thinly veiled trap, as the taxistas patiently wait outside in gill net formation. The choice was between a 2 minute $32 cab ride and a 30 minute midnight hike to my truck...or wherever I was going to bed down.
I chose the pre-paid robbery, and caught a cab.
Then at the Multi bodega I tried to ply the security guard with beer so that he would let me sleep in the back of the truck for the night, but he insisted on calling the boss, who raised the price of storage (slightly) and demanded instant payment...Or I could return in two days on monday during regular hours... "The pig had done me on all fronts" to quote Hunter S Thompson.
I paid up and spent the night in the truck. My first night back was a grade A Mexican shellacking, but the cerveza never tasted so sweet.
The truck had a dead battery, but that was quickly remedied, then I managed to rather painlessly locate a Walmart, where they changed the oil for me. Every went swell, so I headed for Belize.
The border was a sleepy place....Well, the border officials and edifices were sleepy, outside of them all hell was breaking loose in the general population. I just kept trolling along in the cue and before I knew it I was out of Mexico and into the "free zone" which is the space between borders. The "Duty free zone". The problem with this was that I needed to check out of Mexico, and more importantly get my vehicle "checked out" so I could reclaim my $300 deposit, and so they didn't impound my vehicle on the way back through...
Note: The Mexicans control the vehicle imports at the borders. They check you in at the border where you pay $300 deposit promising to take the vehicle out in 180 days, and they check you out at the borders. What you do during the 180 days is mainly up to you but failure at either end of the import period could be as significant as them charging you the import tax on your vehicle...or jail, or whatever is in the mystery box. Depending on what is significant to you.
Stay tuned for Moneyball in "no man's land", and and Dogs of Belize tiger alerts.
Adios Amigos, Amigas, y Familia.
Alison He's back in the saddle again! Wahoo! Ali
Rose holy smokes?! here I am thinking youre eating worms and drinking well beer when you mention a Walmart?!?! Silly Me. btw, I very mush enjoying reading your adventures :-)