Dear gentle reader, you may remember my last blog post where I shared the amazing campsite we found on the first night… how it felt like home, was comfy and safe… Uh huh. That one. Please, read on… this is DAY FRIGGIN TWO and you couldn’t possibly make this stuff up!
The morning started out fine, we were having left over bean burritos and chattering about how happy we were wake up in this beautiful place. It was so peaceful that I took this picture just before the sh!t hit the fan.
We heard a car on the side road, I turned my head just in time to see a large brown truck backing down the road at a high rate of speed and a second following, also in reverse, but this one was white with flashing lights. We silenced ourselves and listened. “Are you scared, mom?” “No, just listening” (I lied, I was). We heard nothing further and wisely hurried to break camp. Less than 3 minutes later, there were 20 Federale soldiers (Patty counted) in fatigues with VERY large rifles over their shoulders.
They had swept around from the main road through the brush and surrounded us. They were calm and non-threatening. I speak precious little Spanish and the one that appeared to be in charge spoke no English. We established that we are bicycle tourists, from America and had slept there last night and that we were leaving. He tried to tell me something that I did not understand. Then they left. We began to scramble to assemble our crap, Patty far faster than I. Then the men returned. There were more brown trucks, the new ones with soldiers/Federale standing in the beds with their weapons. An older man appeared with the soldiers to speak with us in English. “What are you doing here?” “We are riding bicycles over Mexico, we don’t understand what the man said but we are very sorry and leaving now”. “You must leave this place very quickly, it is dangerous here. There is a prison.” He pointed to the very top of a white building in the distance. PAUSE: again, if you read the previous post, you have probably deduced this to be the SAME DAMN PRISON the spring-breakers saw from the airplane. We did not until later this day. The men left and we skeedaddled.
I have never seen Patty pack so quickly in all her life and she later told me that she was trembling so badly that she could barely stand. We rode for about 5 miles
then pulled over to the side of the road to collect ourselves and brush our teeth. We are both able to see this encounter for what it was and at no time were the men threatening or aggressive. Although, Patty did say she felt like she was in a movie… Oddly enough they do NOT put prisons on road maps. You’d think THAT was a bit of useful information.
The rest of the day was better and started with this view of the road ahead: