Lying in a hammock inside the house of our host Carlos we´re about to write the first entry of hopefully many in the diary of our travels across Central and South America.
Thoroughly prepared, hopefuly :), we set off on a life time journey of ours across the entire continent or two? I’m not quite sure.
It all started at 5 past midnight when we loaded all our gear and bikes on a train from Kosice to Bratislava (Slovakia).
We arrived at 6 am and met with Nadya’s cousin Pasha, who had arrived earlier with a rented car from his trip in Italy. We had completely forgotten that we were going to need to attach the boxes with bikes onto the roof of Skoda Fabia Combi. This is where we encountered our first problem. We brought a very feeble string. Anyway, after several hours we finally managed to sort it out and drove off onto the highway to Brno (Czech republic) and further on to Frankfurt an Main (Germany).When we eventually got there we found that getting the boxed bikes to the departure hall was hell of a trouble. We parked the car right at the lowest level of the parking lot and had to take the lift which was really small. We did it. Few hours later we checked in, boarded the plane and off we flew across the Atlantic. Our destination – Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It was freezing cold on board of the plane. The air-con was working as if we’d already been in Mexico. I had to wear both my jackets and a blanket that were freely available to those like myself. Inspite of all that I caught some bug and stepped onto the Mexican soil with flu which wouldn’t go away for the next two weeks.
Five in the afternoon local time, we landed in Cancun and it took us full two hours to get our baggage and get through the customs. Two hours later we were standing outside the airport with two massive boxes and seven different panniers. Back in Slovakia, we organised a place to stay with some Russian guys liveng here in Cancun. This time we used Couchsurfing. Stupidly enogh, we didn’t think of writing down Demid’s number (our host). We were stuck outside the airport with no number, address and our only hope was to get on internet and find his number in the email he had sent us before. Fortunately, the taxi drivers were very helpful. By using one of the drivers phone, we managed to find the number and even call Demid to find out the address we had to get ourselves to. Later we learnt why they were so helpful. The time came when we had to pay for all that help. They ripped us off just fine – M$100 (Mexican pesos-exchange rate oscillates between 12-13 pesos for 1 American dollar) for the taxi, M$10 for the internet and the phone call and M$10 as a tip to the driver. What a welcome to Mexico.
When we got to Demid’s, it turned out that he (they) live on the 5th floor and the lift had been out of order for years. We unpacked our bikes right in the middle of the street, got rid of the boxes and one by one carried it all upstairs. The first evening we got sweaty about five times and consequently it became our daily norm.
Demid and the Gang were great. They frequently host couchsurfers and apart from us there was also another couple from Latvia.
We got our own sleeping space on the roof of the house. , where we put up our tent and slept there for three full nights.