Thursday, 22 November 2012

GREAT MOMENTS IN TRAVEL: PUNTA de MITA

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP 

So we're travelling by rented dune buggy along the coast of Mexico. Our journey takes us to beautiful, remote Punta de Mita, where we enjoy a frosty Corona ($1) and homemade nachos and guacamole ($3). As the sun begins to set, we head for the dune buggy and discover the brake line has broken. Sheer...Flipping...Panic.

"It's going to be dark soon!" I helpfully observe. "We have to have the rental back by 7! It's rainy season! It'll be pouring by 6! I need another beer!" 

At some point during this soliloquoy, I realize my travelling companion has gone to find help. He returns with a one-legged, club-footed mechanic (above) who grins incessantly and speaks no English whatsoever. I begin to mentally prepare myself to spend the rest of my life in Punta de Mita. 

But the grinning one-legged man has a plan and a couple of Spanish-speaking assistants, and within minutes, the dune buggy is fixed. We are so grateful we would cry, if we had time. We offer money. "No! No! No es necesario!" The one-legged mechanic is adamant. In the end, he lets us buy him and his helpers a round and a pack of smokes. Total cost: $6.

I remember things like this when everyone tells me how dangerous Mexico is, and I think: "This story would have had a very different ending in Detroit . . . "