Monday, July 01, 2013

Mexico 1987, Part 7: B's the Bus, the Bouncing Bus

Nov 8
These jungle birds, with their wild noises and space cries - Star Wars in the morning - make for some pretty crazy dreams. Roberto got off at Valladolid 2 days ago, and I continued on to Tulum, Quintana Roo, to witness for myself the amazing BLOOOOness of the Caribbean and visit my first ruin. Not a stirring sight, until you climb up on the largest pyramid and look out over the sea. EXQUISITE! One has to double-take again and again to believe let alone describe it. Most of the tourists get off the bus at the ruins, then get back on when they're finished looking, probably heading back to Cancun. The rest, a sparse few, stay behind in the one small hotel we're in, or the cabanas on the beach, where I had intended to hang my hammock. There were 2 French girls on the bus with me, and since it was dark, we decided to take the last room - clean sheets and HOT WATER! - and avoid the mosquitoes and the cold morning ocean breezes. The feeling while on the beach is non-belief. You're sure you're going to wake up and find yourself back in some blizzard, scraping ice off your car. Lori says it snowed already.

The Frenchies turn out to be good companions - Natalie and Francoise - and are as enchanted with the paradisiacal (is that a word?) totally dream-like beach, so unbelievably post-card pure and virginal. The sand is nearly as white as paper, and the WATER! Transparent aqua marine to turquoise to azure, clear and clean to the white sand depths. One more day of heaven, then back ON THE BUS.

The buses are old, with windows that don't shut (or open!) all the way and at night the drafts are COLD!! The city buses are plastered with religious pictures, stickers on the window, the crucifix hanging in the front windshield next to the driver. The bus to Celestun had quite an impressive crucifix and I'm sure I felt safer. And there we were, the whole bus LOAD of people, pulling into a gas station to filler up! In the market you can buy and repair just about everything - there was actually a sign hanging in one of the stalls "reparacione de los santos!"  - reparation of saints! For surely they must get broken from unfulfilled wishes. Roberto says in Italy saints who don't grant requests are broken and thrown out.

Nov 11
Back on the bus, in the dark, a pretty fancy bus, too, decked out like a sleezy night club. Red fur around the rear-view mirror, sort of looks like a toilet seat with the lid up. But what's really special are the holes cut out  in the shape of a cross in the black backing of the destination sign at the front of the bus!! Ooooo looks really neat when they turn out the inside lights, like Christmas!!

I'm leaving Palenque, Chiapas, in the pouring rain, weather nobody understands for this time of year. The ruins were FABULOUS, in a clearing in the middle of the jungle, with long skinny paths through the vines to who knows where? My legs were almost cramped from climbing so many steps. One should definitely see the ruins when one is young and in good shape . . . I'm already planning the itinerary for the next trip to Mexico. One can stay here a year and barely scratch the surface. Tomorrow, after 16 hours on this disco bus, I'll be in Mexico City again. There I want to see the museum of anthropology, which will be enough museum for this trip. I wish I'd read more history and paid attention in Anthropology 101. I have a lazy mind.

Roberto regretted his decision to go our separate ways and tried to catch up with me. I learned this in a letter I received from him about a month later, which contained this photo and a Lorca love poem that I only just disposed of in one of my purging fits.

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