Mexico is CHAOTIC 🇲🇽 | They tried to take away the Airstream

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We have been living and travelling throughout Mexico for over 2 years already! It's been a beautiful experience, at the same time as a horrible adventure. Many people have just recently started followings and don't know the story. I won't start at the beginning in this post... But let's start with this crazy month and our drive to Valle de Bravo, MEX, MX.


After spending more than a month in a hidden gem at the north end of Mexico, we decided it was time to hit the road and make some more memories. Our first sign of bad luck was when we found ourselves waiting on the side of the road for new spark plug cables... The breakdown wasn't our problem here. We found a wonderful spot, and used Mercado Libre, to get the cables delivered straight to us and so fast! We installed the cables, packed up and then weirdness started as a truck full of 8 armed men pulled in front of us for a chat. Mr fancy pants in a full bright white suit and cowboy hat came out of the driver's door and asked me my name. As soon as his door opened the 8 men jumped out of the truck box and surrounded us in a perfect circle. My name in Mexico is Gabriella. He asked where we were from, assuming we are American. When I replied that we were Canadian, he giggled then had an immediate serious face and return to the truck like I was the one pointing a gun at him. I got back into the Airstream as Rémi looked at me with big eyes asking what they wanted, we quickly started up the engine and got back on the road towards Valle de Bravo.


This next stretch of road was at over 8000ft above sea level, full of twists and turns, climbs and drops. The Airstream did great but it was certainly a lot of stress on our little baby. As we pulled into Valle de Bravo, it was starting to overheat and these roads in town were also up, down and around... at a slow speed, the airstream did not like it. We found a nice wider street and decided to park up along the side. Once again people were taking pictures of us like we are some sort of celebrity. We explored a few streets and shops and then returned to the Airstream for bed. In the morning, not too early, one of the town workers nicely asked us if we could move within an hour. I found our next location close by and we left immediately.

Rémi missed a turn which led us so far out of town that we decided to just keep driving.


Initially, we were heading to Acapulco to meet up with a new friend and acquaintance we've had online for years from Australia. The non-toll road was filled with warning signs that it was a dangerous area and we felt so comfortable in the mountainous weather that we decided to turn back towards Valle de Bravo. We spent such a long time in the heat, we had no interest in cooking ourselves quite yet.


A beautiful parking space next to a bike trail made the perfect spot for us to settle for a few days and set up our lotions for sale. Using iOverlander I searched and inquired about places for us to park with some extra bonuses such as (shower, water, and power)

We found a few options available and then I got a message that could have changed so much for us!


SIGN UP ON PATREON TO BE THE FIRST TO FIND OUT ABOUT OUR SECRET TRIP TO MEXICO CITY. We spent 2 weeks in the big city, the weirdest, most incredible, and such a bad experience all at the same time.


We also got some really bad news... The next big project and item on the agenda was for us to rescue our vintage Jeep Wagoneer from the big city. We left it here when we hoped on a flight to the US to come and pick up our Airstream. The jeep had been moved out of parking and onto the street without permission or reasonable warning. We tried to arrange for it to be picked up, but it turns out that was a scam. We found out unexpectedly that it had been CRUSHED only one month ago...


We got escorted just outside of Mexico City towards Tepoztlan where I had a friend from Canada that we haven't had the chance to meet yet. We parked at a gas station for our first night and were ready to hit the road early in the morning until I realized that someone had made a huge mistake, and I was right about something very important... We couldn't drive this highway with foreign plates. The hours were Monday to Saturday from 10 PM to 5 AM and all day on Sunday. Luckily it was Saturday so we asked permission to stay one more night and left early in the morning for our new spot in Amatlan.


This is where everything started to get interesting... we arrived in Tepoztlan still early in the morning, following our GPS to the campground in Amatlan. It took us down the busy main road where people were starting to set up their tents along the street full of little shops and boutiques. There was a red car parked along the side of the road, not in the way at all. As we drove past we heard a horrible sound on our rear rack, I wondered what it was, and within a split second, there was a big angry lady who ran around the airstream smashing on our windows trying to break them. I quickly opened my window to scream "WTF?", as another angry guy (who looked very rough with bloodshot eyes) started moving a tent into the middle of the street to block us from moving. I closed my windows, told the kids it was okay since the window smashing terrified us all, threw on my sandals and went outside...


You can still see from the wheel position how they reversed into us

It turns out this red car moved as we were driving by and hit our rear rack (they must have been waiting for us to get by so they could move and didn't realize we have a rear rack which makes us a foot or two longer) Luckily we had no damage but the red car needs a new fender and mirror. The man who moved the tent in front of us started screaming at Rémi as we walked up into his face, saying we are selfish Americans that come to this country and fuck people up... (Yeah sure... what sort of drugs did this guy take that morning? I'm not so sure) With Rémi being a redhead his anger built up and screamed right back at him. The situation was getting crazy. I called my friend from nearby to see if he could make his way down here as I had no idea what was about to happen. A few minutes later the police came by, they were happy and smiling but of course didn't speak English and our Spanish was limited to explaining such a situation. Luckily there was a Frenchman that had witnessed the whole incident walking down the street. He stopped to talk to me and said sorry his English wasn't great, can we speak in Spanish. I mentioned needing to grab my phone so I can properly translate. When he noticed our license plate, he asked if we speak French, this felt like a miracle. I quickly explained it all in French then he said that he knew and saw what happened.


We spent several minutes on the street trying to explain the situation, an ambulance worker spoke English and stopped by to properly translate with the police. As the day was beginning, we had to get off of this road or it would shortly be filled with tourists, so the police moved the tent and we drove just a minute or two ahead to the police station. My friend was making his way down to meet us with his wife who is a local Mexican, this was our only hope to make it out of the situation safely. As a tourist in Mexico, you will always be deemed at fault even if you weren't.


They started asking for 85,000 pesos to let us drive away. Far too much and clearly a bribe. So we said no, we said we were waiting for our local friends and a lawyer to call us back. As we were at the Police station a large water truck went by the same route which was much bigger than us. The Frenchman quickly told me to take a video because they had once tried to tell us the road was closed, then that only cars are allowed to collect a quick bribe. We have had our fair share of police encounters in Mexico, now we know how to deal with them best and easiest.


This is when they pushed some of my final buttons, and played checkmate... They told me that we sort this out within an hour or the Airstream was going to be towed away to the pound (and most likely never to be seen again). If you heard the story about losing our van and everything we had left and owned, you would understand why I wanted to have a meltdown, NOT AGAIN.


How on earth could this possibly be happening? Our friends thankfully made their way to us, and we explained the situation, along with the Frenchman who followed us to the station. Talk about an eventful morning, he was very friendly, lots of help, and most likely just wanted to witness some excitement in his day and see how it all turned out. Our friend's wife was able to reason with the police since she knew the chief and was a local. We still found out that there would be no way out of this, and we had to take the blame. She started trying to negotiate a price with the red car to let us leave and the police were threatening in our ears that the tow trucks were coming. Thankfully this also upset that lady in the car because she needed her car and they would be towing them both away to the pound. (At least they could have tried but there's no way that the Airstream could have been towed like this)


I noticed quickly that we were running out of time before this reached insanity and along with our friends went to the bank atm as fast as possible. We pulled out all of the cash we could in a day and he even took some out too, just in case this got really out of hand. We returned to the police station and saw the tow truck parked infant of the Airstream. A price had been agreed upon, we had to pay the tow truck driver, we had to pay the lady with the red car, and we had to pay the police. They took Remi's fingerprint and signature, and then told us we were free to go 🙌🏼 THANK-GOODNESS.


What we didn't realize it that there was more chaos to come for us that day... I had already been in touch with people and campgrounds in this area for months. Friends and contacts always referred us to the 2 same spots. A contact from our first campground was waiting for our arrival. We parked at the town centre of Amatlan, I knew we were getting close and the road ahead was hard to judge. We asked if he could meet us and show us the way. It was a very nice family with a baby who ran this campground. The man arrived on foot with his daughter in a carrier and hopped in the passenger seat to guide the way.


On the bright side we get to make a new little storage box

We started approaching a bridge that had lots of overgrowth in the trees around, we were losing a bit of head clearance as we turned the corner which led Rémi to take the turn tighter than was possible (I told him to stop so we can take out the chainsaw and cut some shrubs, but he must have thought... well I don't know what he was thinking to be honest) There was a big rock at the end of the bridge and with taking the turn too tight our lower storage box next to the door hit the rock. This was our first real accident with the Airstream. After the event and stress that we had just gone through in town Rémi exploded. We got around this corner and onto the bridge where it was time to stop for a break.


Topping off this horrible day, the guy showed us the entrance to this campground and there was no way on earth we could make it up the rough hill. The second campground was further down this road, I took a walk to scope out the area and quickly saw that again, there was no way we could go any further past this bridge. Rémi was still raging and I felt hopeless for a split second. I have no idea what our friends and contacts in this area were thinking. I made sure such a long time ago that we would be able to get there. One guy showed me a picture of an RV much bigger than ours that made it to the second campground options. (This must have been ages ago before all of the overgrowth and shrubs were like this) Knowing that nothing could be said or done to cheer up Rémi, I told him the bad news and that we had to turn around on this bridge. I told him to take a breather, take a break... this area was dead and it gave us the opportunity to calm down.


We took out the chainsaw and started cutting the shrubs, tree limbs, and vines that were hanging from the trees. This gave us so much more clearance and is what I wanted to do before hitting the rock. I was expecting to make a 50-point turn or maybe even need to take off our rear rack.


Luckily the Airstream is a lot smaller than it seems, we are the same size as a large sprinter van. What could have been a 50-point turn only needed 2 moves to make our way out. I thanked the campground guy and we returned to the town centre where there was a large parking lot.


Ultimately this would have been the perfect spot for us to park from the very beginning. We spent a few days here before another angry local with bloodshot eyes came to ask us what was going on... (Um we are parking in a parking lot...?) A few moments later a blacked-out SUV parked in front of us and honked. our curtains were closed so you couldn't see inside but we could peek outside. These people had rubbed off some bad vibes and it had been such a stressful few weeks already, so we decided it was time to leave. We started driving and just a few minutes away, the black SUV was parked off to the side of the road waiting for us. He followed us extra closely until we were forced to stop for the cows crossing the street. I saw his driver's door open slightly until an oncoming car came by, he then quickly passed us and drove off.


We've heard those types of stories with strange people and vehicles messing with foreigners but it was never anything more than very old stories. This was the first official experience for us.




https://www.gofundme.com/f/Mexicotookourlifeaway


We still have a chance to rescue our van from the port of Veracruz!

Read the updates in our link above

 





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