Arriba! Arriba!

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Don't mind us, just passing through

Flag of Mexico  , Chiapas,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As part of the package trip from Flores to Palenque, a different company's shuttle was due to collect us Mexico-side. It's always a bit uncertain when one gets passed over like this, even more so from one country to another! The language barrier made it even more challenging. What choice did we have? 

But they were there as promised, albeit with a much smaller van that we all squeezed into. We were told to leave our luggage with them while we walked about 100 metres ahead to get stamped into Mexico. They'd drive up to meet us once our luggage was secured to the roof. Er, ok then... Inhale. Exhale. Quick mental check: there's nothing irreplaceable is in those bags, right? 

Again, our encounter with the officials was uneventful. 

We completed the forms, had our passports stamped, used the loos and we were off on our merry way. Thankfully the van had pulled up right outside WITH our luggage attached! Two of the Israeli travellers said something about the driver wanting us to give him money for something. Their Spanish wasn't that great so they weren't sure what exactly he was on about. Just when we thought things were going smoothly! No bloody way are we paying... again! I remember thinking that we can easily overpower the driver, especially with 6 out of 10 of us having had military training! That of course excludes Manuela, Mario, me and one Aussie. 

It turned out that there was a 2 US dollar charge per person charged further down the road by uniformed guys. They even gave us a receipt that stated that the fee was for maintenance of the road. Fair enough! If they were gonna rip us off, they would've charged more. Judging by the poor condition of the road, they should've!

Spotting heavily armed military police along the way wasn't entertainment enough for us. To keep us sane on this seemingly endless straight road we started playing "Spot the Sombrero". We were curious to see how long it would take. It turned out to be longer than our endless journey! Everyone was wearing cowboy hats! Whatzup with that? Is this yet another urban legend planted in our minds by Hollywood...?
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