Our Journey

Across Mexico

Yay. Through Mexico

We woke up soaked in sweat and with a headache. That always happens to me after a night in a stove. 33 degrees was the lowest temperature during the night. We cooled off with wet towels that we held under the water every hour. I would have killed for electricity to power our air conditioning?

I left our little cabin, which was mounted on the bed of our pickup truck. I jumped from the cabin entrance on the sandy floor and looked around. It was dark when we arrived here a few hours ago. Now in the light of the new day, I gazed over the desert. Nothing in all directions. Only the gray strip of asphalt we had come here and an endless rusty fence in both directions. Also no other car. The absolute silence was impressive. We didn’t hear anything. No chirps, no cars, no planes, no wind. Nothing. Like two years back at the Grand Canyon, when we stayed in a forest half an hour before the famous southern rim.

While I used our outside shower to cool me off a bit, Nina prepared us a strong coffee and a lovely breakfast. We sat on the tailgate of the truck, leaned against our camper cabin, and watched the sunrise. Wonderful Orange, purple, and red tones soaked the country in an unreal light. Gone were the blue tones. A couple of minutes later the air was shimmering in front of us. Like in one of those Wild West movies.

Another ten minutes later, when the sun reached us, we felt the heat and got a taste of the coming day. We tidied up, folded our cabin (after all, we had a pop-up camper), and set off for Tulum. In between was literally Mexico. A journey of 3000 kilometers (about 1900 miles). That is a long way. It is so long as you would drive from Lisbon to Berlin or from Seattle to El Paso or from Cairns to Sydney. So definitely not a day trip. Time to go.

We drove through Coahuila, our first and third largest state in Mexico. The scenery reminded us of the dry part of Utah and Arizona in the USA, only with more bad roads. Some parts of the roads were full of potholes like Swiss cheese and it was not uncommon for us to crash into one of the deeper ones.

After such an event, I stopped and checked that if the cabin was still accurately attached to our truck. We had chosen the “cheaper” version of the mounting set because the “good” one was not available and would have cost us around 2000 USD. So I remained careful. I didn’t want to lose our camper cabin anywhere in Mexico. When I stepped out of the air-conditioned car into the desert, It was always a temperature shock. Over 40 degrees Celsius.

Roadblocks – sorry, only for residents

We reached our first town after Allende, Sabinas. It was also the first time that we saw another car. The few houses that we had passed so far seemed abandoned and looked like ruins. We didn’t see a soul. A few cars became many and soon we stood in our first traffic jam. An hour later we knew why. An armed military post checked every car that went into town. Only those who could prove a residence in Sabinas were admitted. Covid regulations. Since the road went south through the city and there was no bypass road, we had to take a detour of several hours. Yay.

The same thing happened to us further south, in the steel capital of Mexico and all of Latin America named Monclova. Again, we should bypass the city extensively. We did some wrong turns and suddenly found ourselves inside the city – without roadblock. The city appeared abandoned. Streets were swept empty. Due to the strange atmosphere and our ignorance of how panicked Mexicans react to Covid, we decided not to take a happy tour of the city with a camera and soaked up the unreal atmosphere from our car. On the way out of the city, we saw the military checkpoint that we had somehow slipped.

After this experience, we decided not to pay a visit to the most American of all Mexico’s cities. Monterrey, the third-largest city in Mexico, was under Covid lockdown, as we had learned from friends. And now that we had seen what such a lockdown looked like, we are happy to be on the road again.
On the way south we realized how little we had really understood the whole quarantine situation in the world while we have been in the USA. Some states reacted sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker to the virus, but we had never experienced situations like in Europe before. Using a mask in a supermarket was the highest thing that we, as regulations, faced in the USA, and that only rarely. And of course the closure of the national parks. That hit us hardest. Now observing the situation in Mexico was as if a war had started. It was surreal for us.

Doubts about security in Mexico

Another issue we thought about a lot was the security situation in Mexico. For six months we heard countless horror stories about Mexico. About people who simply disappear, people who woke up on the roadside with a missing kidney, about child trafficking, shootings, knife fights, corrupt police officers, violence on every corner, and the most ridiculous story was about the burial pits outside the cities, filled with corpses because they didn’t know what to do with the Covid dead. Of course, we knew that this was all nonsense and statistically the USA was a much more dangerous place than Mexico. Still, a bad feeling remained. In the USA and Europe, we had already developed a good feeling about what looked criminal and what was dangerous. Where to go and where not to go. We haven’t developed this feeling in Mexico so far.

Our way south led us through Coahuila, then through the state of Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi. Somewhere in Nuevo Leon on a deserted and lonely part of the street, our thermostat showed 46 degrees. We had never experienced anything like this before. I just had to feel this. So we stopped, got out, and experienced the hottest temperature of our life. I could feel the heat everywhere. As if I had drenched myself with hot water. I got a headache and all strength drained from my body. And that after about two minutes. We fled back to the interior of Pepe and drove on. We mostly slept next to the street or at gas stations. The heat at night was unbearable and we slept very little.

San Luis Potosi

San Luis Potosi, a beautiful colonial city in the state with the same name and once one of the most important mining cities in Mexico, welcomed us with only a few Covid restrictions. As if we had arrived in another country. Nobody here wore a mask on the street. Many shops were open and people were bustling around in front of restaurants and talking. We ate chicken from a local supermarket in our Pepe.

We carefully explored the city. We didn’t want to let our belongings out of sight and on the other side, Nina was still very weak with her right foot. We finally sat down in a cafe in the historic center of the city. Nina got us some croissants and a Danish from a famous Polish bakery. We enjoyed the casual life here. We sat outside under an awning, enjoyed our coffee, and felt a little like as in Italy. The heat was bearable at about 33 degrees. Families gossiped and discussed everyday things. Normality. How wonderful.

The following night we stayed at a campsite for the first time. It was a motel with a swimming pool and four RV sites. We had an electricity connection and could fill up our water. I tried to track down the problem with our refrigerator and finally came to the conclusion that it must be a chip on one of the two control units. I googled and found the only Dometic dealer on our route to Tulum. In Mexico City. So we decided to drive to Mexico City. The air conditioning battled the temperatures all night. With success. We slept like babies. Well rested and energized with plenty of coffee, and continued south.

San Miguel de Allende

 

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

Like Stirling Dickinson, the American who visited San Miguel de Allende almost 100 years ago, it happened to us when we stood at a bar and marveled with big eyes and open mouths the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, built-in pink sandstone. The oversized church with its neo-Gothic towers is the opposite of the churches that are otherwise traditional in Mexico. The last sunbeams glared over the top of the church and soaked the city with its enchanting cobblestone streets and colonial buildings in a unique light. Like Dickinson almost 100 years ago, we thought “What a scene!” The city, where one in ten residents are American, has a cosmopolitan atmosphere that can be found in only a few other Mexican cities.

Had it not been for an ugly yellow caution tape wrapped around the green main square “El Jardin”, like a hastily wrapped birthday present, none of us would have thought of Covid. But as so often since this crisis began, there have been many positive things. We only had to share the city with a few tourists.

We met a German-Mexican couple. We chatted and enjoyed the warm but not too hot evening. A nice feeling. Viva la Mexico!

We explored the fantastic city as far as Nina’s still weak foot allowed it. We set up our night camp in a 24-hour parking lot in the middle of the city. We had spent hours driving around town in search of what is supposedly the best campsite. So we got to know every little corner of the city. Unfortunately, the well-known campsite had closed its gates to guests, like all other campsites in the region.

Different countries, different germs

Back in the camper on our “enchanting” parking lot, I started having acute stomach pains. Shortly afterward there was nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Fever and body ache an hour later. I don’t want to paint such an accurate picture here. Anyone of you who has ever become introduced with a “gastrointestinal infection” or has already been to India knows what I’m talking about. What you probably don’t know is when you have the whole thing in a small camper without a private bathroom – in a parking lot in the middle of a city. And to top it off, the camping toilet only held a fraction of what came out of me and I had to empty the content several times into a public toilet. So now it’s enough with the description. I already mentioned that hotels and campsites were closed?
My condition improved in the early hours of the morning. With a fever, I crawled into the passenger seat. We canceled our planned trip to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and instead drove to Mexico City, which is three hours away. There was the only Dometic dealer on our way to Tulum.

Mexico City

If I had children and one day told my great-grandchildren about Mexico City while they sitting on my lap, this would be my start: “Never drive to Mexico City with a license plate that ends on 3 on a Wednesday.
A second after we crossed the state border to Mexico City a police motorcycle with a flashing light passed us and signaled us to follow. We stopped somewhere a few miles away from the motorway on a busy road.

The policeman, completely hidden under a motorcycle helmet, huge aviator sunglasses, and a black face mask, stepped to the passenger window and shouted at us as if we had just driven over his two-year-old son – deliberately and in front of his eyes – several times. I tried to get him to understand that I didn’t understand a word, but he continued his verbal attacks. After more than five minutes he finally seemed to understand that we didn’t understand Spanish and just said “Translator”. In fact, after a few minutes, two more police officers on motorcycles arrived at our position.

One of the two spoke a little English. He waved a brochure in front of our noses and kept mentioning “Hoy No Circula”. He said that he would now confiscate our car and that we can pick it up from a police station tomorrow after we have paid the fine. At first, we thought it was a joke. But the three policemen were deadly serious and definitely not in the mood for jokes.

The policeman showed us another way after about 15 minutes of disbelief. That’s when we knew we were being ripped off. The policeman’s solution was to pay USD 600. How convenient that the bribe was already presented in USD. We had read a lot about the corrupt police officers in Mexico, especially in the second half of the month when they ran out of money, Mexican police officers followed tourists and forced money. The first rule is don’t give any cop money. Easier said than done.

For an hour we tried to convince the police that we had no USD and only 1000 Mexican pesos. That was not enough for them and they threatened us – with success. When a completely hooded Mexican policeman, covered by two other policemen, has his hand on his gun, from which he had previously clipped the cover, and yells at you in an aggressive tone to leave the car because he is about to confiscate it, all color disappears from your face. And in my case that had little to do with my 39-degree fever. We knew that if we allowed the car to be confiscated, we probably wouldn’t see its contents anymore. So we asked if they could escort us to an ATM so that we could withdraw the bribe (oh pardon, the fine). Too complicated; too involved. Did I mention that our cell phone had no signal here?

I looked for cash in my secret stash of money (which I pretended to have). I gave them a bunch of worthless coins from all over the world, 20 Danish krone, and a few Indonesian rupees. Somehow we must have delivered a convincing show, because after a long back and forth they accepted the money and finally let us go.

We stopped a few blocks away and I googled “Hoy No Circula”. In fact, the cops hadn’t lied to us, they had the right to confiscate the vehicle and the fine is from 2000-2600 MXN, which is about 130 USD. We were cheaper than the fine. The nerves we lost weren’t worth the few dollars. We decided to take a hotel and go to the “Dometic” dealer tomorrow.

Here we go again…

Blue flashing light about five minutes later. Another cop who wanted to take his chance for a raise. He stopped us, started again with “Hoy No Circula” and then I cut him off and said that we had just paid a colleague of his. “How much?” He asked. “9540 MXN,” I said. Obviously, I made up the number “All we had,” I added. He thought a little bit and then finally decided to let us run for 8000 Pesos. I told him that wasn’t going to happen.

We didn’t have any cash and we wouldn’t get anything from the ATM either. He shook his head apologetically and said that he would now confiscate the vehicle. I told him I would call the embassy and he could do anything he said, we would stay in the car. After what felt like an eternity, he let us go.
We were stopped again 500 meters from the hotel. I told the policeman that I had paid twice and we were left with nothing. And again he told us he was going to confiscate the vehicle. I responded with the same arguments and statements as before. And he too let us go after half an hour.

The uselessness of fever meters

We drove the last few meters to the hotel and Nina stopped in the second lane. As I walked into the hotel, I saw a hotel employee walking toward me with a thermometer and disinfectant. thermometer. We measured my temperature an hour ago and according to our liquid thermometer, I had 38.8 degrees. The hotel would hardly allow me to spend the night at this temperature. And maybe they would put us in forced quarantine because they thought I had COVID. That would be logical, as fever only occurs with Covid. Flu, gastrointestinal illnesses, and all other illnesses were on vacation this year. Covid not only scares people and forces them into their little boxes, but also sends all other diseases onto vacation.

I pretended to have forgotten something and went back into the car. “You have to do the check-in, they have a thermoooooomeeeeeter,” I said to Nina. I pronounced the word “thermometer” as if the hotel employee had a gun. I got behind the wheel and Nina did the formalities. She came out and said, “you still have to sign”.

I grabbed my passport and dashed through the entrance right past the assistant with a temperature sensor to the front desk. Haha. I presented my passport and she typed on her PC for a few minutes. Then she handed me a form that I apparently had to sign. I signed and was about to leave when she pointed to a line on the form and then to something behind me. On the form was the word “temperatura” followed by a colon. F ** k! What the heck – close your eyes and get on with it. I could still argue afterward. I turned and walked over to the clerk and raised my wrist for him to take the measurement. It beeped and he shows me the display: 35.4. I went back and wrote 35.4 on the form. I love cheap stuff from China 👍 In the room we checked my temperature again, again almost 39 C.

We spent the day in the beautiful hotel room with room service and since my fever was still the same in the evening, we decided to add another day. I can tell you in your early forties, 39 degrees fever is a really crazy condition. Fortunately, we always have a couple of saline infusions with us in our emergency pharmacy and Nina put me on an IV. That helped me and I soon felt better.

And still no fridge

The Dometic dealer we went to the next day examined our refrigerator with my measuring device. He himself had none and came after half an hour while we were in the second lane on the busy main road, to the same conclusion as me. One of the two control units was defective. He couldn’t tell which one. To order the spare part, he wanted the full amount in advance and he had no idea how long the delivery would take. Maybe three months. We rejected, and later that evening I wrote to our horribly incompetent dealership in Texas about our problem and told them that they should send us the parts.

We walked a little through the streets near our hotel. Unfortunately, we came to Mexico City at a bad time. A day ago the capital was declared a red zone. As a result, many restaurants and shops were closed. All museums and public spaces – that is, everything that was interesting in Mexico City – were also closed. We promised to come back.

Eastward

From Mexico City, we drove our way up at the foot of Mount Tlaloc and crossed the border to our first state to the east, Puebla, in the middle of forests of pines, holm oaks, and other conifers. At high altitudes, the temperatures dropped to 23 degrees and we enjoyed the pleasant temperatures. There was a scent of resin in the air. The further we got away from Mexico City, the further we left the bad air and the millions of cars behind us. In this view, Mexico City was like any other big city.

We reached Puebla. Every building in Puebla had a Volkswagen logo on it. The home of the Beetle or “the bug” as the simple car is called in all English-speaking countries. From 1967 to 2004 over 21 million Beetles were produced in this city. The Beetle is indispensable on Mexico’s streets, you can see it everywhere and it was actually the car for the people.

The next state we passed through was the northern part of Oaxaca. Although there is no real border between the states, there are military controls that stop some cars to the side for inspections. We had learned from our experience in Mexico City and now we always activated our “Gopro” and in addition to that, we directed a camera with a microphone at every window, clearly visible to everyone.

Oaxaca is known for the indigenous peoples and their culture, who have survived better here and are more present than in the rest of Mexico. An important tourist area and on our list is the coast with the main town Huatulco and the sandy beaches of Puerto Escondido, Puerto Ángel, Zipolite, Bahia de Tembo, and Mazunte. Places that make you dream. All beaches were currently closed due to Covid. Oaxaca is also one of the most biologically diverse states in Mexico and, along with Chiapas and Veracruz, is one of the top three in terms of the number of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and plants. Yay, I’m a big fan of snakes and scorpions. Kidding.

We continued through Veracruz, the coastal state that is not only known for its beaches but also for the highest mountain in Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba, also known under the easily pronounced name “Citlaltépetl”. At 5636 meters, it towers over Mont Blanc by almost 1000 meters. High enough to give you a headache. At the moment we were more fascinated by the sea.
Then we drove to Tabasco. Yes, like the famous sauce. To tell this story briefly, since we were already have been to this famous factory in Louisiana, USA:

In the pre-Civil War era in the United States, a New Orleans plantation owner named Maunsel White became famous for serving a special sauce at his opulent dinner parties. This was made from peppers that originated in the state of Tabasco in Mexico. From this dinner party a certain Edmund McIlhenny was inspired and more than 20 years later started a company with a product called “Tabasco”. Dada!

Apart from this little anecdote, Tabasco has a coast to the north along with the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the state is covered in rainforest as unlike most other areas of Mexico, there is rich rainfall all year round. The state is also home to La Venta, the main site of the Olmec civilization, which is believed to be the origin of the later Mesoamerican cultures.

A city is being disinfected

Our cash savings were running out and so we looked for the nearest ATM via Google Maps. We came to a small place that appeared to be in terrible shape. Two thoughts shot through my head when I saw the streets littered with litter and trash: We were either in a war zone or it was a perfectly prepared movie set for a post-apocalyptic zombie movie. I decided on the latter.

Yellow police tape was blocking streets and so we detoured through the town. Some people were sitting in groups in the middle of the street and pointing at us as we passed them. Some figures came out of shady side entrances and slowly followed us. Definitely zombies, I thought. Kind of scary. We were the only car in the streets and when people repeatedly pointed us on our way to the ATM, we knew that something was up. “We should find another ATM,” I whisper to Nina. As if the shady figures could hear me. “Oh, we’ll be there in a minute. We only withdraw money and then get the hell out of here”, Nina replied calmly.

A few minutes later we stopped in front of a bank. I entered the once beautiful hall, in which four ATMs were set in the wall. Three of them were generously taped with yellow tape. Only one of the four ATM was in operation. I put our credit card in the machine and waited. It took forever to display the menu. I chose cash withdrawal and entered my code. Then I waited. Five minutes long. I hit some of the buttons but nothing happened.

Then I heard a siren followed by a loudspeaker announcement. Nina waved me from the car that I should come. For my part, I gestured that the ATM wasn’t working. I was a lousy charade player. The speaker announcement approached. I looked at the ATM again. Suddenly the screen went black and it showed me that the ATM was restarting. I hate Windows. I really do. How you could install Windows on a system that was important, has always been a mystery to me. No wonder there are so many weirdos out there who said that Bill Gates wanted to implant us all chips. Hopefully, they will work without Windows.

I looked at Nina again. She waved a little panicked now. I ran out briefly and told her that the ATM had eaten our credit card. Then a car turned the corner with a speaker mounted on the roof. The car drove slowly through the street and the announcement sounded again. The sound quality was so bad that I couldn’t understand a word.

I stormed back into the bank and checked the ATM. The screen was frozen somewhere in the restart process. Great. No credit card. I searched the room and found a service phone. I picked up the phone from the wall and before the phone reached my ear, the whole phone crashed off the wall. F ** k. I wouldn’t get a dial tone. The phone was dead. The car with the loudspeaker had passed our camper and drove on. I knocked on the only door in the room that apparently led further into the bank. No Answer.

Nina now gesticulates wildly, pointed back, and showed an explosion with her hands. I had no idea what that meant. She may not have been any better at charade than me. I kept knocking on the door and finally gave up. When I stepped outside, I saw a big water truck with military colors. A sprayer was mounted on each side of the truck. A liquid was sprayed at high pressure in all directions. On the street on the walls on glass surfaces. Everywhere. I jumped into the passenger seat and said “They actually disinfect the whole city”. Then I added, “Let’s get the hell out of here”. I didn’t have to tell Nina that, she was on the street again before I finished the sentence. I immediately blocked the card on my bank app. Number of credit cards remaining: 2.

Along the Gulf Coast

In Paraiso, about 75km north of the state capital Villahermosa, we saw the sea for the first time since Texas. From there it went along the coast, through the tiniest villages, in which there was sometimes no electricity and running water. Our Pepe was the attraction of the towns, not a lot of different from a UFO that had just come to visit from Mars. Tourism was only national – if at all. We passed places like Chiltepec, which means something like the place of the chilies. And in front of the simple huts, heaps of chilies were piled on simple tables. We also found shrimps piled up in front of huts and fish hanging on hooks of palm trees. On our way, we stopped at breathtaking beaches like Playa Miramar or Playa Pico de Oro and enjoyed that we had the beach to ourselves.

We crossed the Usumacinta River and came to our next state, Campeche, and therefore back to a red corona zone. The border-crossing we managed without any problems with our cameras. Stopped, looked in, saw the cameras looked at me in amazement, and then gave as the go-to. A warm “Gracias” I wished the puzzled-looking police officers.

We drove east on Highway 180. Dense and impenetrable jungle on one side, simple farmland on the other. Here the dense jungle had given way to rugged grasslands with a few cows and from time to time a simple house. Later we reached Isla del Carmen. An island that is connected by a bridge. Although we had the sea with its snow-white sandy beaches in view, there was almost no opportunity to get there. Private lots are fenced and spiked.

Meeting with travelers

At one of the few beach entrances, we saw a mobile home from the street. We recognized the European version and decided spontaneously to pay the owners a visit. They were French. We asked if they were ready to share “their” beach with us. Pierre and Monica had been traveling with their three-year-old daughter for about a year now. They had their motor home shipped to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Then they had crossed the United States from northeast to southwest and had spent some time in Baja California, in northern Mexico. The Covid crisis drove them to lonely areas in Mexico before they came to Campeche. Merida was their next destination and then, like us, to Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

We dived into the bathtub-warm turquoise sea and drift with the waves. In both directions as far as the eye can see white sandy beach and nothing else. There were turtle nests that were marked. It was blissful. We drank coffee and enjoyed the sea. We noticed how the tension of the last few months dropped from us. Nina’s foot, the uncertainty of where to go, the stress with the sale of our mobile home and the small Fiat500, the purchase of our Pepes, and the difficult entry into Mexico. Talking to other adventurers in the middle of nowhere was good for us.

Travelers and covid

Many of our traveling friends did not let the pandemic stop them from continuing to explore the world. Others were frozen in fear. Not always a fear of the virus, more often from the reactions of the people.

Some actually returned to their former homeland. The bad isn’t the virus, it’s the people. Sometimes I think the pandemic is just an outlet for the repressed hatred and helplessness of today’s people. People who pointed their finger at a person on the street or on social media and shouted “Hey you, put your mask on” or “If you don’t stay at home, you kill people” or “China is responsible” or “Covid is just an Imagination and doesn’t exist ”or all the other BS.

Not quite 100 years ago, “good” citizens in Germany pointed at people and shouted, “Jew”. They too had discontent and followed an elected government in blind obedience, without thinking for themselves, without using their voice. How is it that we humans have become so lazy and lethargic in our existence and so quickly forget our history?

You can only understand someone after you’ve run a mile in their shoes.

An American saying goes, “You can only understand someone after you’ve run a mile in their shoes.” The purpose of this saying is to remind ourselves that we cannot know what it is like to live in someone else’s reality, not knowing exactly what someone else is going through, what their reasons are for doing something how they do it. A “Judgmental Detox” would do us all good. No matter what view each of us has about Covid (or whatever) – be nice to each other – should come first.

Change of plan

The next day our navigation suddenly showed a different route. According to Google, the route via Xpujil directly to Chetumal in the extreme south of Quintana Roo was closed. So we drove instead towards Merida in the state of Yucatan and on via Valladolid to Tulum.

 

Amazing Food

Most of the houses we saw along our route were made of local materials, the roofs made of palm or even cardboard, walls made of laminate or wood with foundations made of cement or packed earth. As far as we could tell, only a few houses had electricity or had running water. I doubt the people here were “poorer” because of that. People smiled at us and we got more friendly and curious looks than suspicious looks.

Tulum / Akumal

When we sat a few days later on the terrace of our apartment in Akumal and admired the sunset with a glass of wine, our thoughts wandered again to this unique trip. Sleeping at gas stations and somewhere next to streets, on lonely beaches and next to noisy truck stops black cows in the middle of the road, driving at night on the potholed streets (some were so big that a person could hide in them), simple villages, new friends, corrupt police officers, disinfection of an entire village, lonely and wild sandy beaches with turtle nests and much more. Above all, the cruel heat in the nights bothered us and will stay in our memories for a long time.

We rented our apartment in a “gated community” for a month. The complex in which the apartment was housed belonged to a hotel and therefore we were allowed to use the hotel beach. In summer all public beaches were closed due to the crisis and only the hotel beaches were allowed to be open. So we enjoyed the next few weeks with delicious food, turquoise water in front of a white sandy beach, and few people. Mexican families only booked the hotel to the maximum permitted capacity on weekends and occupied the beaches with hectoliters of beer and gigantic speakers. On these days we mostly stayed in our apartment. We made new friends and enjoyed everyday sunshine. We still mourned our unsuccessful company formation in California. Thank you again for that, dear Covid.

Fate is a lousy traitor

Just as we had really settled in and the first projects were rolling, something happened that we definitely hadn’t expected. I got a herniated disc on the cervical spine that unfortunately did not go away without surgery. How did I know? Because I still could feel the pain after morphine. We may tell you the story that led to this diagnosis and how it went after the diagnosis another time. I can tell you that much in advance.

Our travel insurance denied the operation in Mexico and organized transport to Austria to carry out the surgery there. Then the nightmare really started in Austria. After inhuman treatment in the Hospital in Wiener Neustadt, we had no choice to release me out of the house of horror and pay a surgery in a private hospital at our own expense. Thanks to a good friend, which lent us the money, we were able to do the surgery. Without them, we had no idea how we should survive this without permanent damage.

We spent two months until I was able to escape to different countries in Europe.

Back in paradise

 

We have been back in Mexico on the Riviera Maya for two months now. Next time we will tell you about life here and our first steps in Playa del Carmen.

Hi, my name is Jürgen. Most know me as Jay. I know, this can be confusing. My new name was caused by hundreds of Starbucks cups, all labeled with different names. I have never encountered life as powerfully as it has in recent years and I should not be surprised that I have left behind the realm of quick and impersonal business and conforming to society’s expectations. I swapped my jacket for hiking clothes and shorts, the aftershave for bug spray, and my car for a camper.

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