9 December 2017 – I got up and start getting ready to leave. I am about three days out from the Guatemala border. I think I’m pretty well set for directions to get there. I have Blanche pretty much tuned up and my directions written up. The nearer I get to Guatemala the more mountains I will be driving. It will be pretty much all Autopista driving. As I was loading my motorcycle, the receptionist and one of the house cleaning ladies wanted to have their pictures taken with me. I obliged. They were kind of funny. I spoke with them using my cell phone translator so we really didn’t have any communication problems.
While this was going on I was sending a locator Spot to Mary saying I’m ok. One of the gentlemen spotted the device and went to pick it up. I told him what it was for and he said it was a good idea to let your girlfriend know that you are ok. The two girls from the hotel gave me the thumbs up on that. The man who picked up the Spot had a son upstairs in the hotel who spoke fluent English. He came downstairs and asked me all about my Spot device. I told him what it did and showed him the different locations from day to day. I then asked him what all the music was about last night in the restaurant area and he said, they had a Christmas party for all their client stores that purchase hardware from their warehouse. The warehouse people wanted to show their appreciation and get their customers to purchase more merchandise for the Christmas season. Traditionally that’s when they do most of their business.
There was a guy from Quebec, Canada in the same hotel. He was paraplegic, with his dog and his handicapped equipped vehicle. He drove down from Quebec by himself. I can only imagine his frustrations. I met him the day before and he was trying to locate a Walmart in the area somewhere. He thought the receptionist could help him out. They were struggling with the communications. They were using the cell phone translators and they weren’t working. They were talking in long sentences and believe me those long sentences don’t translate clearly. It seems to me if you talk in short concise sentences you get better translations. Even this is very frustrating when you’re asking simple questions. Anyway, I asked the guy if I could help and he told me he was looking for a Walmart. It just so happened I was looking for something around Mendoza and I was looking at all the different stores and I spotted a Walmart. So I Googled Walmart and two of them popped up. The first Walmart was 18 minutes away and he said he could drive there and get what he wanted. He thanked me and I left. I saw him this morning and asked him if he found what he was looking for. He said, he was looking for a heater and found one to keep him warm on these cold nights. I was glad he was successful finding his heater.
Anyway, I had my bike loaded and was ready to leave. I turned in my room key and TV remote and left. I stopped at the nearest gas station, filled my gas tank and put some air in my front tire. I was off for the day. I stopped along the way to get something to eat. The lady was having problems getting my order right so she asked someone to translate for her. A guy spoke fluent English. He said it took him 8 months to be able to hold a conversation. He said he worked real hard at it. He told me all the jobs he held in the U.S., from working in restaurants, to working in high end restaurants, shingling, running a shingling crew, construction, to putting on copper roofs. He said he was back in Mexico because his wife was here. He talked all through the time I was eating. The woman who prepared my meal told him she liked me and wanted me to stay in Mexico and be her husband. I told the guy to tell her that I had a girlfriend in the U.S. She said that’s ok. You can have a wife in the U.S. and one in Mexico. I told the guy to tell her I didn’t want to look like a henpecked rooster. They thought that was pretty funny. I looked at her and blew her a kiss on my way out.
I looked through a few other small stores for Snickers candy bars but couldn’t find. I hope this is not an omen of things to come. I’m getting kind of addicted to those Snickers. I stopped for the night 200 Miles / 322 Kilometer down the road. I had Blanche find me a hotel. It cost me $200 pesos ($10). It was another Auto Inn. I drove in and pulled my motorcycle into the garage and closed the curtain. I adjusted the chain and oiled it. I unloaded my bike and took everything upstairs for the night. The hotel had a lot of road traffic noise. That was the only downside of it. I looked over my route for tomorrow and went to bed. I had to be out of the place by 9:00 a.m.