Mexico Bound - Friday, March 28, 2003

After riding a jam-packed water taxi back to Panajachel from Casa del Mundo, we caught a 4 hour bus to the Mexican border. We had heard that entering Mexico through the state of Chiapas was difficult for folks who need more than 2 weeks in Mexico. The border folks don't want reporters or Zapatista sympathizers hanging around!! Besides having to compete for time with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" playing on the Mexican Border Official´s desktop TV, our trip through the border went off without a hitch. After finally finding the local collective bus from the border (thankfully just before sundown), we endured a 45 minute hot, humid, and slightly comedic ride from the border town to the town of Tapachula. Similar to our Chicken Bus experience, this mini-van packed with about 17-20 people at any one time and with my pack across our lap, we stopped, started, and lurched our way to Tapachula. Much to our dismay and discomfort (especially riding in the back of the van), the Mexican Police have a habit of putting large speedbumps along the highways.

Immediately upon crossing the border into Mexico, we noticed that Mexico (not without it´s own problems) seems to have more infrastructure in place for its people: better electrical access including streetlamps, more built out houses (not cinder block cities), and a higher level of cleanliness. Just our first observations before boarding our 10:30 PM overnight bus to the Huatulco area (on the Pacific Coast south of Acapulco). Hopefully, we´ll get some sleep on the 11 hour ride and awake to blue skies and clear water, this is going to be one long day/night/morning. Oh wait, we aren´t allowed to complain much, we don´t work!

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