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Published: December 19th 2011
No one to be seen anywhere.
The No Tell Motel
Red and I left the ferry at 12:30 and set off south and east on highway 15. I had printed out Google maps directions complete with the photos of the intersections, but quickly found out that the aren't very helpful in Mexico. There are two problems. The first is that street signs are mostly non-existent in Mexico. The second is that the pictures Google supplies rarely helped me to identify an intersection. Trying to look back and forth at the picture and the view out the windshield was very difficult to do because of the speed you are traveling and the need to watch the traffic like a hawk. Mexican drivers do not use turn signals and generally ignore traffic signs of any kind. There are basically three kinds of vehicles on the road - huge double trailer semis and buses that do 65 on the flat, as fast as possible down hill, and 25 up hill. The second is dilapidated vehicles that can barely get down the road. The last is a newer passenger car where the driver goes as fast as he can (over 90), whenever he can and weaves all over the road to
picture shows the units, all have a garage on the first floor with an internal stairway up to the room.
avoid potholes and dead animals. Defensive driving is a must.
The landscape I was driving thru was rolling hills with farms in the valleys. The only crop I recognized was corn. The natural vegetation was low trees and grasses, some bushes and altho wetter looking than the desert of Baja, still pretty dry. I wish I had taken a few pictures, but didn't think of it, being busy staying alive on the highway. By about 6 pm it was getting dark and I was just outside Guadalajara when I ran into a massive accident on the highway. We were detoured off the road onto a frontage road of some little town. I am rolling along when a police car with lights flashing roars up along side me and waves me over. Oh crap, what did I do? I stop and the cop comes up to me but we can't seem to communicate, so he goes back to his cruiser and the other cop comes up to talk to me. I tell him I don't speak much Spanish and ask if he speaks English, and he says no. Then he says a lot of stuff, the only part I get
Parked in the Garage
I liked having a secure area to prark the car. It meant I didn't have to unload/load the car every day and didn't worry about the car being stolen or vandalized. This kind of motel really suits my needs when I am traveling in Mexico.
is "infracione" and "ticket". This doesn't help me much, so I tell him I don't understand. Another torrent of Spanish and I get the impression I have committed an "infracione" because my "placa" (license plate) doesn't have a "circulara" (whatever that is). This is my first clue that he is trying to shake me down. My documentation is perfect. I researched what was needed before I left. The fact that he is not writing any ticket is a second clue. The general rule in Mexico is to not pay mordida, but a friend of mine in La Paz told me that sometimes it is just easier to pay it and consider it a charitable gift, since the police in Mexico are so miserably paid. I decided to try this approach so I asked him how much the ticket was and he sail "dos cientos dolares" ($200); this got my back up a little. If he had said something reasonable like 200 pesos ($20), I would have paid him. No way was I going to give him $200. I told him "no possible" and that my documentation was "perfecto". I proceeded to show him every document - TIP, license, registration, title,
Looking Up the Stairs
Here are the stairs in the garage up to the room. The room has no locks. Access is controlled by the garage door. No second fire exit from the room. You'd have to jump out a window. The only problem is there aren't any.
insurance, passport and my Mexican visa. He looked at this stuff but still wanted to give me a ticket for the lack of the "circulara". I'm a little more than ticked by now, so I told him no, I was not going to pay for a ticket and asked him to take me to his "jefe" (boss). He frowned and just looked at me for a minute. Then he asked me where I was going. I told him Cancun and he said "bienvenidos, buen viage" (welcome,have a good trip), waved me away and walked back to his car. Yay!
I start up again and see the Motel Nogales just ahead and decide to pack it in as it is dark and I'm tired. I don't see an office so I drive in the entryway, around a corner and find a stop sign. Being a good boy, I stop and wonder why there is a stop sign here when I hear someone speaking. I roll down the window and someone is talking to me thru a speaker like in a drive thru restaurant. I go through the usual "I don't speak much Spanish" routine and he switches to perfect English
Nice little sitting area for scarfing down the room service. The whole unit just sparkles.
and rents me room 121 for 400 pesos a night and telsl me to drive in the garage for that unit. Now I realize I have found a "no tell motel", which people have told me about, but have never experienced first hand. You will find the rest of this story in the comments to the pictures of the Hotel Nogales.
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