And Not A Shot Was Heard!

“Imagine……….Making friends from all corners of the earth”


We have almost completed nine weeks of traveling the Mexican Baja in our van. To me, it is like Tony and I have been the foremost, number one actors in a Tim Conway/Carol Burnett movie.

For instance, consider this. Volkswagen Westfalia Vanagon. The van’s name is bigger than the engine! We chuckle as we toddle up 16% grade mountains, sometimes in 1st gear, but never more than 2nd.

Going Up Hill

Big rigs, loaded down with cargo, lumbering along under their own weight, pass us, their grinning drivers waving.  Buses, driven by mocking drivers and burdened with tons of passengers and their luggage, pass us easily. It is obvious that the passengers are making fun of us.  It is a little embarrassing, although not one soul in Mexico has given us the finger or shot at us. We can only assume that these drivers are hourly employees for their company and quietly are thanking us for their extra earned income.

Big rigWe did hear a rumor that a bunch of drivers got together and had a rally to get a ‘Volkswagen Camper Lane Only’ on Mexico 1. We don’t know how that turned out.


A Hot Desert Highway and A Piece of Wire

Imagine…….Being “Just a Couple” again!


Oh, this trip has been fun! It has turned out to be an experience we never would have expected. We have learned so much

For instance, the other day we were traveling from La Paz to Constitucion (Yes, we ARE headed north), mostly on barren desert road for 100 miles, when all of a sudden, the accelerator pedal broke under Tony’s foot at about 40 miles per hour. He managed to safely pull off of the two lane (and I mean two lane, no shoulders, just desert) road at about 1/2 mile per hour onto the desert floor. No one on the highway (not that there were many of them) stopped to help.
Tony started looking for the problem under the front end and had to remove the spare tire to get to the parts under there. It was only about 98 degrees under the blazing sun and Charro was suffering terribly. He declared that it was a problem he couldn’t fix, but after more minutes (or hours?) of reading his VW book and studying the configurations, he decided that the problem was in the engine compartment in the rear of the VW, so we unloaded all possessions onto the desert dust. Still no helpers.

Accelerator Tony
He found a little broken rod attached to some fuel pump stuff and I marveled at his brilliance, while feeding him water and mopping his brow and also managing to flirt with passing Tecate truck drivers to get them to stop and help. Apparently, I have lost my charm and Tony continued to try and figure out how to re-attach these two parts. As he picked up available pieces of wire from the littered ground to make some kind of hook to hold it all together, I suggested he walk back to a small little ranchita we had seen a while back. I stayed to watch our belongings. I did notice, however, that once Tony was out of sight, that even as a lonely woman, obviously broken down on the side of the road, the truck drivers took no heed. Hm-mm-m-m.


Roadside parts
Finally, he returned. Sure enough, someone was home, two Chinese men who spoke neither Spanish nor English, but cautiously willing to help us with their telephone. Tony assured me that a mechanic friend (or maybe an ambulance driver) was on their way.
We soon heard the ambulance sirens approaching, their flashing red and blue lights giving all the cardon cactus an eerie glow. The paramedics were very disappointed to learn we were both healthy and they appeared slightly angry with the Chinese men, but Tony coyly avoided telling them where he had found the men, feigning that he did not understand their Spanish.
The driver of the ambulance, wearing his plastic medical gloves, picked up one of Tony’s acquired wires, twisted it around the two broken pieces and ‘Voila’, we were back in business. He had earned a 200 peso tip and now seemed to have forgotten his anger with the two Chinese men.
I think Tony is brilliant for diagnosing and finding the problem and the materials necessary to solve it. We really didn’t need the ambulance drivers after all. When we finally reloaded the car and poured water on Charro’s belly to cool her off, we drove to our campsite in Constitucion without incident. As luck would have it, the lady that owned the site had a friend that is a VW mechanic. She had him come to the campsite to help us and he told Tony that his repair was ‘good enough to last all the way to Ensenada .’ Just how proud can one wife be?