With a long weekend ahead of us in the end of September, I decided to sell my tickets for a concert I was planning to go to and instead accompany Nuria to pick up her car from a workshop in Tulum in Mexico. All completely unplanned, we jumped on the first best chickenbus on Saturday morning and made our way north though the green landscapes and swirly northern highway of Belize. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love going by bus. (Look at this collection of tripping from 2012) I was listening to music and disconnecting completely, and even if it eventually took us almost 11h (twice the time it takes by car) to arrive in Tulum, it was all pleasure.
In Tulum, we were picked up by my friend Alfonso who runs the creative and environmentally responsible space Residencia Gorila, a sort of artsy collective where creative minds from all over the world gather to spend some time, get inspired, and create. A very nice place to disconnect, and very much in line with what Tulum is all about.
We spent the night at Gorila and the days at the beach, and some time at Alfonso’s home and office in Aldea Zama. We went for dinner at the always amazing Casa Banana, breakfast at La Zebra according to tradition, and had pizza and tequila with new acquaintances, we also had random talks about art and went dancing a bit. The town was very quiet because of the low season, but it was still a million times better than spending a long weekend in Belize City.
We spent the entire last day at the car workshop, waiting for the car to get ready – which they had promised over and over it would be. I had my book and music so overall it was actually a nice relaxing time even if a bit frustrating and worrying. I finished the book – Jessica Alexander’s “Chasing Chaos” is an entertaining and very personal account of the life, doubts and insights of a humanitarian aid worker – recommended!
By 9pm the mechanics realized that the car wouldn’t get ready on time for us to drive back, which was a bit of a nightmare since the only option we had left to get back to Belize City on time for work was the ADO night bus. And this bus is nothing short of horrible – it’s ridiculously cold and blasts the AC so hard you can’t hide from it, it stops and throws you off for bureaucratic bullshit every time you’re about to fall asleep, and you arrive in the morning at 6.30am feeling completely destroyed, kind of like as if you haven’t slept for a week and as if 5 elephants stomped all over your body. I guess it works if you’re doing backpacking for months and have time to spare – although then I would definitely even more strongly opt for the chicken buses – but getting to work directly after is really not to be recommended.
I had coffee when I got to the office that morning and made it through the day even though I wished I could have spent all day in bed. I will try really hard to avoid ever going by this bus again, but overall it was worth it. And thanks for your utter kindness, Alfonso! You know you always have a home wherever I’m at.