Day 90 – Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Today we left Panajachel at 9:30 headed for San Cristobal in Mexico. This meant a long driving day and another border crossing. We didn’t make it to San Cristobal, MX but at least we made it to the border. After much delay and many phone calls, they decided they would let our truck back into Mexico. The “official” at the border felt he should make a big issue of the vehicle’s weight rating. Of course, they let us into the country at the northern border so could not very well keep us from entering at the southern border. The late start and the border delay made it impossible to make it to San Cristobal. Secondly, after we finally got the permit for the vehicle, their computer system shut down and Julie and I could not get the immigration permit we required. We spent the night at the border station and I was first in line at 8:00 AM to get the necessary $48.00 US (for two) immigration permit. Julie notes “3.5 hours to ‘almost’ finalize our crossing and Brad and our guide were the only customers. I think the customs fellow was hoping for something green to grease the wheels. But the people parked beside us had a worse night as all of their stuff was being searched and confiscated. It’s possible that the ‘100 pairs of flip-flops and slippers, etc. may not have just be souvenirs gifts for the kids. But their loss my gain. Big flip-flop sale, coming soon to a place near us!”
Some pictures before leaving Panajachel and Lake Atitlan.
Julie making another small purchase from a very happy “single mother of 3” vendor. She told us it was slow season and this had been her only sale all week. She was very pleased. Julie notes “She was lots of fun and relentless and her woven fabrics beautiful and made by her mother or at least somebody’s mother. It didn’t hurt that she was named after one of my favourite drinks. Everyone knows I could never turn down a Marguerite.”
Our street front camp site. Julie notes “hmm what’s the hood ornament doing on the back?”
Tortilla makers Julie notes “The best show in town is always the tortilla shop with people coming and going and the steady ‘slap,slap,slap’ of tortillas being made, then flipped on the grill, then flopped into the basket. This thriving business was a few yards from our camping spot above. Went to sleep and woke up early to the aroma.”
On the road. Julie notes “Sure I’ll just reach out and grab your bag from the roof as we’re buzzing down this busy street.”
Julie notes “I am obsessed with taking pictures with laundry on the line. (Note on the top of the yellow building.) As I’ve said before, every day is laundry day here so lots of photo ops. So do you think it may mean I have dirty laundry to air or that I feel hung out to dry or all washed up? More therapy I guess.”
A road washout detour down to the river and then back up to the road.
Heavy rains throughout the afternoon as we travelled through the mountains.
…over and out, the muleskinner and his sidekick
Julie notes “I know many of you have missed hearing about our nocturnal adventures. Things have been pretty quiet lately comparatively speaking. Even the border crossing parking lot seemed quite peaceful so while we were just closing our eyes for our forty to sixty winks, not a soul around that we could hear, relaxed and in that drifting off phase, BANG, BANG, BANG! on the door. Brad luckily was wearing his super hero skivvies and leaped directly from the bed to the door, yelling super hero stuff and peeking through blinds and such. Turns out Nicky, Nicky Nine doors is a game in Mexico or Guatemala, depending which side of the border line your toe is over and there was a young kid and his dad, walking nonchalantly up the street. Probably whistling and looking askance. (One of mom’s favourite words.)”