San Christóbal to Comitán

Daaaaaaah what time is it? 12:27pm?! gaaaawd! Crack one eye and look around. I’m still in my new green rain coat now with sky blue paint on it. Ideal. MacKay and Hunter are out cold. Ahhhhhlright, upsie daisy. Whoooooa. My body hates me. I hate me. Whhhhhhhy? It feels like there’s something lodged in my throat. Like a pen top. Water. Doesn’t help. The hell is that?! Crash walk to the in-room, half walled micro-baño. Stupid thing daaaar! (Hulk kick!) Ahhhhhhhhh… The droning monotone of me taking the longest urination of all time wakes the other animals.

“What are you doing ahhhgg”, “Peeing”, “it’s too loooooud”, “Guys, it’s 12-fucking-30”, “Maaaaaaan, what the hell”, “ohh gaaawd”, “We Suuuck!”, “Get up, let’s go”, “Eat shit and die!”, “Whhhhhhy?”, “Faaaaaaawk!!”, etc….

We pull our lousy shit-selves together and hit the street. Sooo damn bright. Oh wait it’s raining. Again.

On the way to the car is a place called Cochinita Pibil. I know the dish from a Yucatan restaurant in Mentone, California called Casa Maya so I urge the Hate Life Club to head inside.

We all got cochinita pibil tacos, which is a marinated pork. They also had some Yucatan sauces to toss on them. The orange habanero sauce was the bomb. These were the new best tacos in Mexico, replacing last night’s champion.


While at the table we hit up WiFi and researched a route to Antigua, Guatemala and a place on Atitlán lake called Santiago de Atitlán.

The tacos brought us life from death and James and I were in full rally mode now. We didn’t want anything to slow us down, complicate things or hinder our progress. We needed to be ‘Rally Hard’. James expressed to Hunter that crossing the Guatemalan border with him in the non-backseat may cause problems. After a short exchange an understanding set in and we agreed to drop Hunter at a hostel in town where he could figure out a bus route.

We went to grab the car in the torrential rain. When we got to the lot it was locked up tight. Wtfffphh! They said it would be open at 10. Shit. I peeked through the window and saw a phone number on a whiteboard. Tapped it into my phone and went to the hotel lobby next door. Dude at the desk spoke excellent English and called the parking guy for us. He’d be by in 10 minutes. Yessh! Desk Dude used to live in Canada and worked for a framing and windows place in Vancouver for a while. He was more than happy to help us out.

Parking dude came by and EL-BP was freed. We dropped Hunter at the hostel, doled out the man hugs, high fives, best of lucks, and we parted ways.

The rain was relentless and the streets had poor drainage so things were getting kind of flooded. Good thing we were in a car with huge tires and amazing clearance!

Outside of San Christóbal things cleared up and we were cruising. Well kind of. Near a town called Teopista animals (and fucking TOPES!) started coming out of the woodwork. Goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, cows, horses, turkeys, and tons and tons of road dogs. So, so many dogs. And so many dead dogs on the road. Bob Barker would be pissed if he saw this place. We were in a farm obstacle course, weaving El Burro Peligroso slalom style through the cluster. Finally, we busted through the other side of town and began climbing higher and higher up the mountain.

And that’s when the check engine light came on. Faaaaawk! MacKay tells me to check the owners manual. Drop the glove box. Scan the TOC. Engine light, page 161. Flip to it and there’s an Encinitas sticker sitting there right on that page. We’d bought that sticker back in Cardiff by the sea on the very first day of the trip. Weird. Need to slap that on the car somewhere. Anyways, constant engine light. Warning that repairs are needed and continuing to drive blah blah blah, not what we wanna hear. Have you modified your car recently? Changes in tire size may set off sensor. Hmmmm, new shocks? Nah probably not that. Your gas cap may be loose. Ok, we did just drive over a thousand topes and 23 dead dogs, so that’s a possibility. Did you recently drive through a large puddle? The electrical system may be wet and need to dry out. Bingo! Book back in the glove box. el-BP trudges onwards.

We drive into Comitán and there are LCD screens on some of the road signs advertising sights in the surrounding area. And there are dogs on leashes. Dogs on leashes?  Whoa what kind of futuristic town is this, Neo Tokyo?

We spotted a hotel off of the highway and sallied up. Seemed pretty swank actually. We walked up to inquire. There was a bell boy holding some older biker dudes stuff. A room was 950 pesos. Whoa what’s going on in NT? That’s double anything we’ve paid so far. Too rich for our blood, we split to try our luck further into town. Spinning the car around we noticed the Biker Dude’s bike had Quebec plates. Damn. Wish we’d had a chance to talk to him.

We cut into town. Comitán is nice. It’s one of 81 ‘Magic Cities’ in Mexico. We found a hotel off the main square for around 450. Better. We’re in.

Back at the square we mosey around and take a look. Nice gazebo. Nice church. A museum. Z’alright.

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We spot a place called Wings and Pub. Interestingly, in the past few years wing joints have kind of taken off in Mexico. We help ourselves to 10 of the Lemon Pepper, Mango Habanero, Kamikaze, and Atomic wings.

While we sat there wiping wing sweat from our dripping faces the town started to come alive. A large band was setting up under a covered bandstand. More and more cars and pedestrians were funneling in. A group of three mini skirted trannies walked by on their way to some gig. Something was happening.

The band started playing traditional Mexitunes and some older folks began old time dancing the way only old folks can do. We polished off all of the napkins at Wings and Pub (sheesh, those atomic wings are a real creeper) and walk to the plaza to check things out for a bit. Both of us are pretty zonked though and after a song we kick it back to the hotel.

I feel terrible. No sleep. Sooooo tired. Too much fun juice last night. MacKay’s stupid dengue fever. My throat is still hella sore. And… was that something red that just dripped out of my nose when I bent over. Wait… is that grasshopper juice? Whooooa do I have a dead grasshopper lodged in my throat? I down a bottle of water. There IS something there. Is that a fucking grasshopper?

I tell MacKay there’s a grasshopper stuck in my throat. “Well I’ve got a 4 inch dip sti..” “Alright! What’s on TV?”, “McBurger and Diesel?!”. Click through the channels. Damn, no D and McB. Not even Racecar Detectives. But what’s this? Groundhog Day! Wait, weren’t we talking about that back in La Paz? We sit and watch the whole thing. That is a great movie. Watch it again. S’ok. Lights out.

McBurger crashes out big time and trees are being sawed down instantly. Between that noise, the 3 mosquitos I had to hunt down and murder, and the discomfort of my throathopper, I somehow managed to stay up all night in a pissy-fit of insomnia. Gonna be cranky pants tomorrow. Sorry Guatemala.