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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Friday, January 14, 2011

I love you!

I find it FINALLY – the beach! The hotels and restaurants that signify VEGGIE OIL USED!

AND I find a lovely small nearly deserted street that dead-ends right into the beach for me to park at. Right off the main strip with 24 hour restaurants and stores within a block! (i.e. bathrooms)

The streets are heavily patrolled with police, federales, and soldiers. Soldiers and federales often travel in two trucks together – I mean two trucks of federales together; and two other trucks of soldiers together – not 4 trucks together.

It is really a frightening site, men suspended like robotic things programmed to turn slowly as they peer intently from side to side, standing in the back of pick up trucks with only a small semi-circle of skin visible around their eyes indicating humanity.

They are all totally covered in uniforms, hats on their heads, masks on their faces, gloves on their hands, boots laced up to their kneecaps – and long, massive rifles or machine guns pointing out into the crowds as they survey … potential targets? Potential shoot-em-up opportunities?

 I drive down the main strip that is more crowded than a Times Square street at rush hour. Two trucks of federales pass me. One of the men shocks me, although I merely smile and flash the peace symbol, as he yells at me  “I love you” in a Spanish accent that lets me know his english is as limited as my Spanish.

I’m still pondering if he loves me because of the messages on my truck, or maybe because I’m a tourist from the u.s. who dares to set feet in Acapulco?

They turn and I continue forward to find my beach street parking.

412 miles on $4 and no blood!

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.