Have you ever travelled across Mexico by bus? I tell you, it’s an experience. Mexico’s superb ADO buses come complete with television screens and snacks, and did I mention air conditioning?
Boarding the night bus in Merida to Palenque I wandered why people were walking on with winter woolies and blankets. Maybe Mexicans feel the cold a little more than us Europeans, after all, this was technically their winter.
Nothing prepared me for the gale-force winds that were about to unleash on my face for the next 10 hours via the air conditioning unit above me. I somehow managed to slip in and out of consciousness for a few hours until my mind became completely preoccupied with thoughts of how I could stop this air from getting to my face. I tried shifting my body to the side but the air blew into my ear. My hair was flapping in front of my face for gods sake, this was just impossible – and yet everyone around me was sleeping through it – even Seamus! How!?
If only I could block the air from blasting into my face. My thoughts turned to the contents of day pack. I knew that I had no clothes in there – just my bikini which I had packed last minute as it had been drying all day at the hostel. Wait a minute…
I reached into my bag and pulled out the bikini bottoms. Should I? I looked around me, everyone fast asleep. Fuck it, I thought! I unfastened the ties to the pants so that they stretched out as one piece of material – my arse it turns out, is just about the same size as my head. Bloody genius! Proud of myself for my Blue Peter, do-it-yourself windshield, I put my pants on my face and tied the ends together around my ears. I breathed extra hard to get the warmth circulating around my face, and then I drifted off into a deep sleep.
My first brush with the law
All of a sudden I stirred, conscious of movement around me. As I lifted myself out of my sleepy state I felt a little tap on my shoulder. I fiddled with the ties around my ears and was acutely aware of the fact that someone was trying to communicate with me whilst I had pants fastened to my face. I gave up on the knots I had created and managed to pull the pants to one side of my head and found myself looking at a bewildered Mexican police officer with a machine gun hanging off his arm. He asked to see my passport. Seamus was now looking at me, confused as to why I had my bikini half wrapped around my head. As the policeman walked away I explained to Seamus and he burst out laughing. Needless to say, as the bus continued on its way, the pants made a comeback.
I now travel with a scarf and extra layers.
Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in the world: Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Argentina, LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.