Living in the Moment on the Road

I’ve come to the conclusion that few things make you live in the present moment like travelling.  There are two reasons for this:  Everything is new and attention-grabbing … and you have to keep alert and on your toes, especially if you are travelling alone in a country like Mexico.  I like the combination!  

After writing my last Blog, I climbed on a bus heading from the village of Barra de Navidad north along the Pacific Coast to Puerto Vallarta, caught another bus inland to Tepic, and one more to coastal San Blas.  (Indirect, I know!)  There, I drank scotch with strangers and had a free, but very professional, massage to die for – before leaving the next morning for the historic zone of Mazatlan. 

After three days there (I had planned to stay one!) amid the art scene, colourful architecture, and an impromptu birthday dinner for a semi-friend who appeared from nowhere (even Mexico is getting smaller), I followed my northern route to the lovely, colonial town of El Fuerte.  There I was spontaneously invited into the gorgeous home of a prominent local family, offered beer, some nibblies, and a tour of their house.  Lovely welcome in the midst of nowhere! 

The oddest part of my journey began the next morning when I caught the train, called Chepe, which wound its way east and upward along rivers and mountains covered with pink-flowered trees.  En route, I met a Montrealer who convinced me to stop in the town of Creel 8,000 feet above sea level.  Why not?  From there, we toured the various canyon vistas and I managed to get several photos of myself standing or sitting near dangerous drop-offs!  We also visited the villages of the colourfully-dressed indigenous Tarahumara, who survived the Spanish by hiding in the depths of the canyons.

Finally, I said good-bye to various new, high-altitude friends and took a bus across dry ranchland to Chihuahua, followed by another to the drug-cartel capital, Ciudad Juarez (where three people were murdered yesterday).  At one point during my bus ride, I awoke to see a man with his face half-covered walking up the aisle toward me!  Fortunately, a Mexican across the aisle quickly whispered that the intruder was just a soldier who had come in from the cold to inspect the bus.  Arriving at the Juarez bus terminal at midnight was probably not the best idea, but I grabbed a cab (my driver admitted he didn’t feel safe in his hometown), crossed the border into El Paso, Texas, and made it to the airport with little trouble.

You never know when and where to expect kindness!  When I told the airport night cleaners I was hungry after my 12 hours of travel, they brought me tasty leftovers from a potluck dinner they had had earlier, plus coffee and a donut.  I finally left El Paso at 7:30 am and, three plane trips later, arrived in Toronto at 11 pm that night – totally awake despite my lack of sleep.  All that stimulation, living on the edge in the moment!  Now, I’m ready for more.

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2 Responses to “Living in the Moment on the Road”

  1. kath says:

    Tell me about your travels! Kathleen

  2. An interesting summary and I look forward to seeing the photos at some point in time………R

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