What you gonna do when they come for yoooou? – Tulum and Bacalar
Run-ins with the police are inevitable on a trip this long. Run-aways from the police are part of the fun apparently. This is a tale about one of the most boring avoiding-paying-a-police-bribe events ever:
3 days from leaving the country, and closest run in with police had been a search at a checkstop in Merida. Then I tried to turn right at an intersection in Tulum while searching for avocados.
At this intersection Jayne kindly informed me that I had missed a sign saying “no right turns”. Not wanting to break the law, I stopped my progress and decided I would carry on straight through the intersection when the light turned green. Fortunate too, because when I looked to my right I noticed a police officer standing 5 meters away. The officer noticed me too. He looked in good shape, but decided he wanted some exercise and walked over to meet the hairy beast on two wheels. I suppose he might have driven over, but he didn’t seem to have a Police car or motorbike anywhere near him. Tilting his sunglasses, the officer informed me I couldn’t turn right at this intersection. (The following “quotes” are lightly paraphrased)
“I know I can’t turn right here officer. my sister just told me. Don’t worry, when the light turns green I’m going to go straight through”.
“You have also stopped past the stop line. You are supposed to stop back there at the stop line. Look at your sister, she has stopped at the stop line. You are in front of her.Â You have not stopped at the stop line”.
“Ok well, I’m not going to turn right. I was going to, but then my correctly stopped-at-the-stop-line sister told me not to. I’m going to go straight when the light turns green. Thank you!”
“The stop line is there (pointing over there). You are stopped here (pointing here)”
“Yes. Yes. Thank you, I am not going to turn right.”
“I suddenly speak no Spanish whatsoever. I don’t understand”.
” INFRACTION!” (making a “I’d like the bill please” motion with his hand”)
“Hmmm, no I still don’t understand. Even though that word is the same in English. I think you want a bribe.”
“INFRACTION! (again asking for the bill, while also rubbing in how Jayne is properly stopped at the stop line, and I am not)”
Jayne pipes up: “Phil the light is green, I no longer need to be stopped at this stop line. The cars behind me also recognize this fact”
I turned right. I know I had said I wasn’t going to, but I did. As did Jayne, and we slowly putted away. I feel the officer may have wanted me to pull over. I also feel that he likely wanted a bribe. IÂ alsofeel that I did not want to give him one. I did not return with the officers bill. We did however park the bikes in the yard and put the covers on immediately. Jayne walked to go find avocados.
Keeping up with our record of sneaking into ruins, I swam into the ruins at Tulum with fellow couch surfer Marcel from Germany. All three of us were couch surfing with the two Carlos’s: Marcel inside, Jayne and I camped in the yard. It begun with a glorious day on the beach.
The Carlos’s informed us that it was possible to swim over to the Tulum ruins. The Ruins are unique in that they are situated right on the coast. While far from the biggest ruins around, they certainly had the most beautiful real estate. I decided to give swimming there a go, and Marcel joined me. It didn’t look far.
Swimming in open water is not the fastest means of human transport. 20 minutes later, Marcel and I arrived on the beach at the ruins, laughing about how perhaps we had underestimated distances, and overestimated our swimming prowess. None the less, we were in, free to roam around the ruins at our leisure… in our swim suits. We didn’t pack a bag.
The swim back was easier. Perhaps feeling triumphant makes you a better swimmer.
Our teamwork continued on the ride home.
Our hosts were most welcoming, and even though they had no space inside camping in their yard was just as good. Thanks boys!
Camping in their yard rather than a campground also put us in the right place for a delightful random run in:
Carlos from Mexico City! In town visiting family, he happened to ride past on a bicycle while we were in the yard. It’s been over SIX months since we were in Mexico city, what a fun reunion this was!
It had to be a short lived reunion sadly, as the police might be after us, and we wanted to get to Bacalar before the roadblocks went up. A quick hot ride down the coast would bring us to a most beautiful lakeside town.
We met Cacho at the bike rally in Cozumel. His family were great hosts and swimming buddies too!
We took the opportunity in Bacalar to check through our belongings and eject extra weight (sorry book), make sure that we had all the copies of any paperwork we need for the borders, read up on border procedures and do some maintenance on the bikes before Belize!
Motorcycle Minute: A local kid came by to have Cacho help him out with his “new” bike. When it starts rough like this, you really feel good when you finally get it back to 100%…
We also met a couple other motorcyclists, as Cacho is the town expert with bikers stopping by often. There was