I’m so excited – I made it from Manzanillo to Acapulco on the veggie oil that I picked up in Manzanillo – mostly for free! I think I only paid once, 50 pesos, which is about $4.00! So I went 412 miles on $4.00 and no blood!
I am totally overwhelmed driving into Acapulco. The streets go up and up and up, and of course down, and down, and down. And it is as crowded & crazy as Chicago, which is much worse than New York. At least in New York the streets are square.
Here, as in Chicago, I have no idea where I am, where I started from, where I’m going to. And there are so many little white and blue VW taxis that at first I thought I was in some kind of a VW parking lot – until they all started moving, honking horns, swerving in and out, in unison.
I get a view of the vastness of this city. It looks like there are houses perched on every part of the giant hills around here.
I drive and drive, passing little stores and homes, parks, the military of course, institutions and long, long walls – but no signs for the hotel district, or downtown (centro).
All on 1 or 2 lane roads with cars parked on the shoulder – and often in the right lane, making consistent traveling in that lane near impossible. And no one in México wants you to get in front of them. And everyone slips into another lane, daring the next car to hit them.
It is very nerve racking – and then to not know or be able to sense where I have to go, while I attempt to interpret the few indecipherable signs I do see.
There are few overhead bridges in México so when one suddenly appears, I pay close attention. I see it is going under a major road, 95, which is what I will need to take when I leave here. I wonder if it will take me back to Acapulco.
I see a Pemex and decide to pull over and see if I can find some help. It is hopping but there are a couple of parking spaces left.
The minute I get out the truck, a man approaches. I learn I have driven out of Acapulco without reaching the beach, that there really is a beach and not just cliffs, and that is where the majority of hotels – and tourists – are at.
When I ask about parking for the night, he tells me there’s a hotel and rv park – where a lot of u.s. trailers – are camped at, another kilometer down the road.
I decide to check it out. I only have about $150 pesos left but a shower and toilet would be very nice right about now. I feel like I’ve been trapped in the spin cycle!
When I pull off the road, through the gate, I see a lovely little hotel with pool, and a big grassy area with lots of palms and other trees bordering it. I ask the womon about camping there for the night and she tells me it is $150 pesos for 24 hours.
Geez, that’s all my cash. I tell her I don’t need anything but a place to park. I have my own electric (to a point), water (to another point). I ask if I can park for $100.
She goes upstairs and asks the owner, comes back to tell me there is no more camping as the lights aren’t working but I can stay in the hotel if I want. $300 pesos.
I decide to go back to Acapulco and try my luck. I can always return.