As I prepare to return to Mexico tomorrow for my third visit to this wonderful country, now seems like a good time to tell you about my experiences hitchhiking in Mexico (and Belize to the South).
I once tried to hitch out of downtown Cancun. With the trademark beach side hotels looking over me, I was able to hitch directly off the main Street: Rt 307 (Tulum Ave). A contractor in a pickup picked me up and took me straight down the coast to Puerto Moreles. It was there that I searched briefly for a man who had contacted me about work exchange on his organic farm, but alas I was unable to contact him and, with nothing but a first name and some photos of the farm to go on, I was unable to locate him.
Back on the 307 I hitched a ride from a happy and prosperous car saleswoman. She was driving this car south to show it to a prospective customer. Which is a remarkable act of kindness, if you consider how a sweaty 180 pound man and a crusty/dirty 50 pound backpack might affect the car’s decor. Also, take note: another instance of a lone female giving me a ride. I’d estimate that about 1 out every 15 rides I get are from a lone female driver.
The Saleswoman took me farther down the coast. I forget where. It was not a great spot. I ended up getting on a “collectivo” which is a van that operates as a public bus. After being craammed on the collectivo for a while, I looked out the window and noticed that things looked familiar. The bus had done a detour into the tiny town of Chemuyil, a place with an epic campground with a swimming hole (“cenote”). I got off the collectivo and popped in on Don Renzo, the Dutch expat who runs the campground. He offered to let me stay for free if I did some painting, but I don’t like painting the sides of houses alone if I can avoid it, and I bade farewell to Don Renzo and walked back to the highway.
I finally hopped a bus headed for Chetumal and stayed at Pause Hostel, a hostel with a mission to save and vaccinate cats. As in, “Paws” Hostel.
The next day I hitchhiked a ride across the border into Belize. That story tomorrow.