|Posted by chemuyilproperty on September 18, 2009 at 1:06 PM|
As written by my hubby Bijan Zade.
Day 9 - Getting close almost home thought we could make it, but car broke down again and we barely made it to Merida.
We could have made it home this day. If only we didn't break down. About an hour or so before Merida, I noticed the car had dropped a gear. It was revving too high for it to be in drive and it wouldn't go into top gear. It was right after we heard a noise from underneath the car. It sounded like gears being sheared off. It was not loud but it was not heartwarming either.
The truck did ok in third gear. I drove on the outside lane and put on my hazards and drove a bit slower. As we got to Merida, I had to start slowing down and even stopping. The transmission now got very funny and would have trouble even getting into first or even gearing up. Third gear was now gone. At one point I found that reverse was gone too. So wherever we had to go, we made plans not to have to use reverse.
I had a transmission replaced in Canada years ago and I paid around $2000 for a rebuilt tranny. That idea of spending that again made me ill. This trip was costing us huge. We could have flown down and saved. Damn!!!
Again we found an auto motel and there was a Ford dealership close by. I thought they might be able to help in the morning... thought.
We ordered a couple of hamburgers, beers and prayed.
Day10 - Car gets a new transmission, we get a break to chillout
We woke up and I went over to the front desk to get some help. No one spoke any english. I practiced my spanish using a phrase book. Finally they got to helping me. I found a chev dealer in the phone book and at 7:20 am they were closed. We walked over to the Ford dealership and they were opening at 7:30. They told us that chevy is their competition so no, they couldn't help. Damn!!!
We walked about a mile or so to see if we could see the Chev dealership. Usually they hang out close to each other. Michelle had worn her new shoes that morning and she was getting blisters fast. We got her bandaided up and walked back.
I went back to the office and found a new guy there. Great! Now I had to explain myself all over again. I managed to get him to call the Chevy dealership. It took me 20 more minutes to find out where it was. No one has a map in Mexico. It was frustrating.
I wasn't quite sure where it was but he said to go straight. I figured that meant just stay on the road. He said it was only 5km down the road. Well we finally found it. It wasn't hard but when you're not sure youre going the right way, it can test you.
The people at the dealership were very nice. A few of them spoke enough english to make it smooth. They told us that it would take a day maybe two to check it out. They asked us find a hotel and go there and they would call.
We decided since it was so early, we would stay in their waiting room. We brought our cat and our main bags to take to the hotel to the waiting room. I guess they sensed we were a bit desperate. They asked us if we needed to find a hotel and we said we would wait to find out even if it takes the whole day. Within ten minutes the mechanic came to us and asked what the problem was. We told him and he left only to come back to say the problem is serious and they can't fix it until next week. It would take 6-7 days to get the parts.
The cool thing was they already planned ahead and had called around. They referred us to a specialist in town who had the parts and could do it. I asked where it was and they were stumped. They couldn't explain it so they hired a taxi to show us. We packed up the car and waited for the taxi.
The taxi driver got directions from Juan who was helping us. It cost $5 to take us across town to find this little shop. I clearly could not have found it. The streets were narrow and one way and it was not easy to navigate unless you knew where you were going.
The shop was walled everywhere and very secure. They dont' mess around with security here. They are all concrete and too high for anyone to jump over. They had a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. They clearly took their religion very seriously. There were tons of cars in the shop. It was an outside shop with cover on the sides for the cars they worked on. It was orderly and tidy with a few piles of tranny parts.
They told us it would take 2-3 days and to get a hotel and give them the number so that they could call us when it was done. Only three blocks away was the main strip and there were hotels there. We left Ziggy in the shade and took our stuff out to take to the hotel. I took a picture of Ziggy in his crate so that we could show the hotel people to let him stay with us.
We found a hotel after a bit of walking. The staff was very helpful but when we metioned the cat we heard the usual hmmms and haws and after showing them the picture they said ok.
We went back to get ziggy after dumping our stuff in the room. I turned on the a/c but it didnt' seem to do anything. I hoped it would be cooler when we got back. It was still morning and we hadn't had breakfast and we were hungry.
We decided to walk to get him but if we saw a place for food, we'd partake. The first hole in the wall had three people standing there and when we went in, we got the look that said "who the hell are you?" so we left. We found a little bar that looked very inconspicuous.
As we walked in it was ready for business with music on, darkness, videos playing and a bartender doing some bartending. No one else was there. We asked if he was open and he nodded so we ordered two beers and asked for a menu.
Instead of a menu a plate of food appeared. Three tostados with meat and sauce. Very yummy. As we ate that another plate of food appeared. Pork & sausage on cabbage and lime. I wasnt into the pork so I let michelle get her fill which she did. Soon after we remembered we had to pick up ziggy. The bar was refreshing. the cool a/c, the music, beer, food...wow. We got up to pay and it took the bartender, the owner, and two waitresses to doddle for five minutes trying to figure it out. we gave him 100 pesos ($10) and he was happy.
Ziggy was hot when we got to him so We called a taxi since his gear was heavy. His litter box was about 15 pounds alone. The taxi took us to the hotel and we dropped ziggy off. We took advantage of their pool. It cooled us off nicely and we had another beer each. No one was there and it seemed we had the pool to ourselves.
At dusk we started heading off to explore the city a bit. We walked towards the old Merida. The roads were tight and narrow and in some areas the sidewalk were barely wide enough to walk on. we walked to St. Lucia park. They were having a festival that night that later we found out it happens every week on that night. Every day of the week something else happened like clock work there. Nice to see rituals everywhere.
We were quickly picked off by a master salesman. A ten year old boy selling wrist braids. Only 10 pesos. I tried to say no but he wouldn't listen. Just kept begging me to buy. Man they're persistent here. I need to learn that. Eventually I caved in and bought two for us. I gave him a 100 pesos and he took it to his mom who gave him change. He brought back 80. Now his sister came in to sell purses.
A man sitting close by interupted the flow and spoke for us to the kids. He spoke great english. the girl really wanted to sell a purse. She tried to get us to buy for 100 pesos but i talked her down to 80, our change we got from his brother, when Michelle showed some interest.
After paying for that, three more girls came to us but now we were done. No more, please go away. The man, Enrique, was a professor and he said these kids were from a region outside Merida and came here to sell their wares.
He mentioned that he had visited Canada and that his son was now studying engineering or something and would come back to be a tour guide. I didn't get it. He was studying in Quebec so he could learn french. He mentioned that nearby was a place called the Maya House and that it was very special and that today was the last day it would be open for several weeks. It was normally only open one day a week. I thought it would be neat to go there. He gave us directions but decided to take us there. It was a cool little shop with authentic Mayan gifts.
Day 11 - Car is fixed late in the day so we stayed another night in Merida. Its a very beautiful and old city that we would like to revisit someday.
Day 12 - Short uphill drive to our new home on a coastal highway #307
Stay tuned for our new beginnings................................................
Categories: Drive from Canada to Mexico
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