ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View


Hitching in Guatemala

Well it was pretty stupid. We were in Belize and going by bus through an area where English was not spoken. Somehow or other we understood that we should stop overnight in this extremely humble sleeping place.

But at about three in the morning we heard a great deal of activity and got up to find everyone getting on a bus to Guatemala. Great. We did too. But it was pouring rain, and we lurched through mud and downpour, and the bus got more and more crowded (including of course livestock) until it stopped and everyone had to get out who was going to Tikal. Which wasn't very many of us -- maybe eight, all Europeans except me and my boyfriend. The word seemed to be that another bus would come along and get us.

We waited and waited and I finally was pretty mad and just decided to start walking. What did I imagine? Alone. Uphill. Eventually, an army-type truck stopped and offered me a ride, which I eagerly (and somewhat smugly) accepted. Until I decided that what these two men, with machetes and four-day growths were talking and laughing about, in a Spanish that suddenly seemed all too easy to understand, was having their way, so to speak, with me. I sweated.

Eventually we got to a sort of guard post which everyone had to stop at what I thought was the entrance to Tikal, and I insisted on getting out, which they finally let me do. The very friendly and concerned guards (or whatever they were) then did me the huge favor of arranging a ride with the next truck that passed through. Except that there was no room in the cab, so I had to sit in the back. It had been a pretty warm day, so at first I appreciated how cool whatever I was sitting on seemed to be. No, cold. The road was horrendously bumpy of course, and I turned out to be sitting on frozen chickens on their way to the restaurants in Tikal.

Still I did finally arrived, with an extremely bruised backside, proud to have beaten all those other tourists, and to have a chance to select the very best shack for our stay, but about fifteen minutes later a bus arrived, with my boyfriend and the others, and I had to pretend that it had been a great experience, but I was pretty black and blue as well as sobered.




{ Previous Letter | This Week's Index | Next Letter }

{ Main Letters Page }

American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy