Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Worst Summer Vacation Part II Or What happens when you run a police road block in Mexico?

This is Part II of a 2 Part story. For Part I, scroll down.

A few cars passed by, one slowed and then hurried on. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I saw a truck coming toward us, slow down and come to a stop in front of me. I held my breath and sunk lower in the seat.

To my relief, Wes jumped out of the back. No one answered at the house with the light, but this truck stopped while Wes was walking back and offered help. Still thinking the battery was the problem, Wes and the truck driver tried to jump the car.


We realized our only hope was to get a ride into the closest town to find a phone and call for help. The driver of the truck was willing to take us, but insisted we all go since, he said, it was much too dangerous to leave a family on the side of the road. (And I was so grateful!)

We all loaded into the back of the truck and drove the 15 minutes to Janos—where we discovered there were no working phones at that time of night, but there was an open gas station that sold us a tire to use as a spare.

Our friendly truck driver was headed to Arizona and already late, so he flagged down another truck going in our direction and asked the driver if he would tow us into town and he agreed.

With the car not working, we also did not have any steering or brakes. Not understanding that, however, our new truck driver friend hooked up a chain to the back of his car and took off towing us—at about 60 miles an hour down the same pot holed road that caused our two flat tires in the first place!! We all clung to the back of our seats and fervently prayed for our safety as we bounced up and down and swerved from side to side. At one point the truck slowed just enough for us to run over the tow chain. As the man sped up again, the chain caught under our front left tire and shot off sparks into the dark night.

I was so afraid for my children! And I was sure we would not all come out of this alive.

Then it got worse.

Just outside Janos, the federal police had set up a road block. They were stopping all cars passing through and searching them for drugs. For reasons I will never understand, the truck driver ran the road block! The police ran after him with machine guns and ordered him to stop.

And so he slammed on his brakes.

And we slammed into the back of him, scrunching the front of our car and buckling the doors. Surprisingly, the machine gun toting police surrounded OUR car and ordered us out. They then searched the car with their dogs, including our luggage and food we brought across the border.

Although they didn't find anything, they were convinced we must be guilty to run the barrier (even though we tried to explain that we were being towed and it was the truck in front of us that ran the barrier, not us) they impounded our poor, non-functioning, flat tired, smashed car and left us standing on the street with nothing.

Graciously, the truck driver (who caused the problem in the first place) agreed to drive us to Wes’ aunt’s house 40 miles away. So after waiting for him to eat at an all night restaurant, we loaded our suitcases and ourselves into the back of his truck—which was already filled with crates and therefore left us nothing to cling to—and miraculously drove to safety.

I was so relieved when we arrived with all of us still alive that I burst into tears. And it was many years before I dared journey back to Mexico.

One little side note . . . In the morning Wes and his dad drove back to the police barrier to get the car and discovered the police had robbed us. They took our food and all of our cassette tapes—which included several Joy School singing tapes. Those tapes drove Wes crazy, so he felt the police having to listen to them was adequate punishment for what they stole.

And that is the worst vacation we have ever had—and hope to ever have.

Definitely NOT one that brought . . . joy to our journey. :-)


Rebecca Irvine said...

Wow!! Now I am even more scared to vacation in Mexico. I can't believe the tow guy went so fast and then went through the barrier! What was he thinking?!?

Lisa said...

What a scary experience- crazy truck drivers, police road block, guns, robbery, broken car, shhesh. I would have been an emotional mess.

Sue said...

What a nightmare! It's the kind of story you wouldn't believe if they made it into a movie.



Mary said...

All of a sudden the cheep souvenirs don't seem like a bargain. And I bet no one complained that the prayer was too long in the back of the car.

Jenny-Jenny said...

What about the car? Did you fix it? Did you get a new one? What a horrible experience!

Donise Price said...

You Win The Prize!!

MissKris said...

Wow... I almost wish I'd been old enough to remember that. Crazy story.
Haha and the image of those policemen listening to those Joy school tapes made my day :)

Gramee said...

i was waiting for this story to end
with you all in Mexican jail.. so glad you didn't go to jail!
what an experience.!