Off The Road

I’m starting a travel blog. Hopefully some interesting and entertaining stories for you.

So my car was completely packed and ready to go and it wouldn’t start. My dad and I tried everything we could find from some Google searches. Nothing worked. Finally, we called AAA and they took it to a shop I found on yelp. They had a full 5 stars and specialized in Toyotas. I figured if somebody was going to give me the bad news, it may as well be them. And the bad news came. First it was going to take a couple hours to check a few things. Then it was a new battery. Then it was a $500 part that was going to take another 24+ hours to repair, totaling $900. The money is one thing, but their lack of confidence of it even fixing my car sucked.

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I started considering other options. Like driving to Mexico in the Prius my parents offered me. I also considered if it was even worth putting any money into a car that had no value to anyone besides myself. Clearly the Prius was the safer option. I also felt pretty silly throwing a ton of money into a car that was still likely to break down. Maybe it was time to let my car go. However, my mom made a good point: People say that things are just things. Meaningless objects that we shouldn’t have any attachment to. Clearly that’s not true. Objects can be very special to people, and that car is special to you. Besides, you’ve given up a lot to travel and that car is your ticket.

True.

While waiting to hear my car’s death sentence my friend told me not to worry, that my car would get fixed. She told me to have faith in God, because God is good. This statement’s absurdity was the first thing in hours to cheer me up. If God was so good, he wouldn’t have broken my car in the first place! I find it interesting that God only gets credit for events happening in one’s favor, and everything else is at best random, or at worst bad karma. As if you have done something in this or a past life to deserve suffering. If God exists, I strongly doubt he’s micromanaging the maintenance of my old Celica, acting only in my favor, or breaking my car to be praised for fixing it two days later. I digress.

After almost 48 hours I got a call: she’s running! Turns out it didn’t need the $500 ignitor, so the total cost with labor, and a new sensor and battery came to just over $500. If you have a Celica, Scion or Lexus do yourself a huge favor and take your car to C & T Automotive in San Mateo, CA. They rock! Chris, the manager, told me to call him from the road for advice if I break down again to make sure I don’t get screwed over in some small town repair shop.

I got my car and got out of town in 30 minutes. Freedom!

Aaaand almost lost it 2 days later.

So Mexico has the worst roads ever. Half the time they’re filled with potholes, speed bumps, rocks, dogs, rivers, and people! And when they actually happen to be paved, there aren’t any lanes! It seems as if like there was a guy, maybe 50 years ago who gave a shit about painting lanes. Then he died, and everybody else was just like: fuck it.

Also, there are fairly well kept toll roads (cuotas). And less well kept free ones (libres). I prefer things the hard and cheap way so you can guess which roads I’ve taken. Some libres are marked, and some are unofficial, Google-inspired routes. After a few mildy interested and stressful detours around the toll, I was ready for more. This one particular road Google said was passable turned out to be a dirt road…at first. Then some bigger rocks. Then little ponds to drive around. Then big ponds to drive THROUGH. I should have turned around, but I got the feeling that every pond was the last one, and that there was no way I could go BACK through it after being so close to getting stuck in 2 to 3 feet of mud. So I finally made it to the end of the road and my car did not sound or feel good at all. AND, as it turned out, the place where the road was supposed to spit back out onto the highway had been closed off. I had no option but to turn around. My heart sank as I saw my car’s and my trip’s inevitable end. So I turned on the video camera on. And this truck driver came out of nowhere and showed me the way out, which as I discovered was right through the MIDDLE of the ponds. Deeper yes, but more rocks for traction at the bottom. I had been going around the sides where all the mud was.

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Video to come!

After a few hours the mud and water seemed to come loose from my car, and she seems to be doing okay.

Happily back on the road,
Cade

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