“We’re lost, but we’re making good time…”

ITINERARY: Mass, Isla Mujeres, a drive through a barrio Peggy knows well. Her mantra (cf, above) should have been my first clue, but I am still so fascinated by the colors – houses, ceramics, sky, water – that I never thought twice about navigation skills.

Mass at Cristo Resucitado, in Spanish, possibly Greek, but with George Clooney (or his double) distributing Communion, the language barrier ceased being a problem.

We waited for the ferry at Puerto Juarez.

Pedro, demonstrating how to work Isla Mujeres' ubiquitous golf cart. We used it all afternoon. Fortunately, the island has a "Peripheral Route" so all we needed to do was circle the island. Returning the golf cart at the end of the day was a challenge, as the One-Way sign was usually hidden by palms or hawkers or our general inattention to detail. However, we rarely went more than 100' before noticing all the traffic was...ONCOMING.

Several "Iguana Crossing" signs on Isla Mujeres, but most of the creatures,like this fellow, wisely kept their distance from our golf cart.

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We watched the tourist ferries drop some Asians and quite a few Americans, then boarded our own humble craft for the ride back. Peggy assured me that the captains (every one had “CAPTAIN” inscribed on his cap) were all trained for International Waters. Her fascination with people who are well trained in navigating should have given me pause.

Once back on land – Cancun – we began our drive to see the apartment Peggy had often rented, years ago. I became, as she pointed out, a co-conspirator: if we needed to get to the other side of the road, I always found a crossroad and encouraged her to ignore the “no turn” sign. I am not proud, but I know I saved time, and we visited the apartment and the apartment owner; while the two of them reminisced, I listened unsuccessfully for phrases that would give me a clue about their conversation.

Then we set out for the street food vendor Peggy loves.

We polished off several pieces of the best pork in the world as we drove. We saw houses and people that were a lot different from the ones in our area of Cancun, or on most of Isla Mujeres; eventually, I thought to ask Peg if she had any idea how to get back to the Salvia, her condominium complex. Never mind that she began her answer by assuring me that she had never run out of gas while trying to get anywhere — I really didn’t mind: the Jeep is fun, the people around us, fascinating.

Then I heard, “Uh-oh,” and felt her pulling out of traffic, and off to the side of the road. The oil dial had dropped below Zero, the Jeep had died.

We talked about alternatives

Peg: “I sure wish I’d thought to bring my phone.”
ME: “I turned mine off and put it back in my suitcase.” (the bill after my first day here was the price of a return ticket)
ME: “If you keep an eye on traffic, I’ll get out and look at…” I had no idea what to look at, or where.
Peg: “We can take a bus.”
I chose not to ask if she had ever taken a bus in Mexico, and instead suggested she try the ignition one more time.

And, of course, the Jeep started easily, and we were home in time to watch the sunset.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. RTJ
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 00:50:15

    This sounds really fun. Peggy sounds really fun. I would check the oil tho before next trip.
    What wonderful days you are having.



  2. mebtravelling - U.S. to India & Back (& Around)
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:26:35

    RTJ – appreciate the advice, and if I knew how to check the oil, I certainly would do that.
    BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!



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