This morning we decide that we’re content enough at this roadside pull-off in the middle of the desert that we’ll stay another day.
A vehicle goes by every half hour or so. An equal mix of locals and fellow travelers. This afternoon, while Mark is grilling our dinner, a Mexican family stops, gets out of their truck, and walks up to our camp. The woman is trying to communicate something with Mark but the language barrier is making it difficult. She is friendly, but appears to want something. Through hand signals and the little bit of Spanish that Mark understands, he concludes that they are asking for food. We give them two burritos out of our refrigerator. They seem as though that’s not what they wanted but take the burritos and leave.
This interaction prompts a long conversation between Mark and I about the challenges of the language barrier, what constitutes valid and invalid fears, how we might handle a threatening situation, as well as pondering why we both struggle with trusting people. Nothing about what had just happened was bad, it just got us thinking about hypotheticals. And for whatever reason I felt a little on edge.
The next vehicle stared us down as he slowly drove past and my insides said “I’m ready to be somewhere else”. I’m so grateful for my relationship with Mark and the fact that that’s all I need to say. We packed up and moved 30 minutes down the road to a beautiful beach, arriving just in time to enjoy a vibrant sunset and cleanse our pallets with great conversation had with our new camp neighbors, a friendly couple from Arizona.
This is the beauty of having a home on wheels. If you don’t like where you are, then you can simply move on to somewhere new.
Good move. I wish that I could just wave my magic wand and give to you all my understanding and knowledge of Mexican Spanish. It is such a magnificent language.
Me too Danial! It’s a long process to learn a new language but one we’re very interested in. It is such a beautiful language!
Do you have a map that shows public land in Mexico? I know nothing about Mexico’s public lands or their rules about camping.
I, too, would be apprehensive about being in a strange place and not being able to communicate effectively. Having heard so much about the violence by gangs in Mexico, I would be very reluctant to go to even those places deemed safe.
I’m guessing you can tell by the local’s reactions, whether they are friendly or unfriendly or angry.
We’ve had so many great experiences with the people of Mexico and believe the gang violence centers in the cities and border towns, places we don’t frequent. In the situation I’ve written about here, the people were entirely non-threatening. But it did prompt Mark & I to discuss hypothetical situations and how we would handle them. I think I was mostly on edge because of the subject matter of our conversation. We use the app iOverlander to find campsites and are able to read reviews from other travelers about whether or not they felt safe at any particular spot we’re interested in staying at.