|Accommodation Caye Caulker style|
|Even road transport is by boat|
To a degree however I was putting off the inevitable journey north to Cancun. Several months ago during my aborted attempt to drive to San Diego I'd pulled off the highway somewhere in Southern California needing a break from driving, and spying a market gardener had pulled in to buy some apples. As I approached a short portly American in denim overalls with a USS [insert suitable word 'Destroyer', 'Freedom', 'Touch of Paradise'] appeared chomping on a fat cigar.
After he convinced me to buy some strange apple pear fruit blend he asked where I was from. It was obvious he didn't have a Scooby Doo about Australia, but he did have a rather strong opinion about Mexico, 'worst damn country in the whole world' he repeated a number of times as he gestured in a vaguely southerly direction over the field...and even more profoundly and insightfully once he'd tired with this statement, he gravely announced that 'they were his neighbours'...not literally given we were about 200 mile from the border, but I understood from his bulging eyes and gesticulating that geographically, yes, they were the next country along the highway.
Having now been to Cancun I have a feeling there maybe a Mexican market gardener making similar comments about what happened to their country in Cancun once American tourists decided this was the place for them. It is a strange place, 'muy plastico' I profoundly announced to a cab driver when there, but saying that I had one really fun night out there despite having my tshirt stolen at a pool party (the first theft in my travels, kind of ironic considering where I've been), and then probably stayed one night too many.
My departing flight to New York and the next stage of my trip bought to an end my time in South and Central America. I had no idea when I started the amazing adventures I'd find myself involved in and could not have asked for more in terms of an experience. I'd often catch myself inadvertently smiling as I travelled along.
In travelling these countries you often meet people who are seeking answers for the next directions in their life. I wasn't seeking this, but I did learn, or have reinforced a few simple insights.
Probably the most poignant for me is how simply one can live and have an incredible time, I already knew this, but it's comforting to have it reinforced. The other, as someone who is habitually late, is that there are times in life when it pays to be early, as often it allows you that extra inch of leg room slightly closer to the only form of ventilation in the portable sweat box you find yourself locked in for the next few hours as you stare mindlessly for miles at the passing scenery.