Mahahual 2017 – The Report Part I – Getting There

I’m back from Mahahual. It was a good trip, although it was certainly different than I had anticipated. There were highs and lows and a lot of sweat.

The Getting There

AeroMexico is not my favorite. The point of flying a redeye on Sunday night was to get into Cancun in the morning and have a nice leisurely drive down to Mahahual, a four hour drive south from Cancun. That is not how in panned out. The flight leaving SFO was late and the connection out of Guadalajara wasn’t waiting for anyone. Missed that flight. In Guadalajara they also told me I couldn’t bring my fishing rod case as a carry-on. It might have been the cuda poppers in the box (the big ones for a spinning reel), although they seemed to say I couldn’t bring any hooks on, period. Can’t find anything on-line with Mexico-specific regulations. Missing the connection to Cancun they told us we had to fly to Mexico City to make it to Cancun. This we did, although it became clear at some point on the flight that they had actually booked both of us under my dad’s name. So, landing in Mexico City, I was going nowhere fast. My dad was going to Cancun. About two hours later I was on my way to Cancun. I would land about 4 PM, not at 9:30 AM, as we had hoped. I’ll also add the seats are tiny and I am 6’3″. Not a great combo. I’m going to avoid flying AeroMexico in the future.

The whole point of getting there early was to NOT drive at night. I now know from experience that I don’t like driving the less-traveled highways of Mexico at night. Some sections had no reflectors or lines indicating where the side of the road was. It was often white-knuckled stuff. We survived and there was only one tope (crazy Mexican speed bumps) that I had to brake hard for, and that was just out of Mahahual.

I had never driven in Mexico before and was a little apprehensive about it, but it really wasn’t too difficult. You needed to understand that you were expected to use the shoulder lane when folks wanted to pass you and you needed to watch the speed limit, which could go from 100 km/h to 40 to 80 to 100 to 50 to 90, all in the span of about 5 minutes. Whatever the posted speed limit was, it seemed most Mexicans drove about 110 km/h, fairly consistently, unless driving through an actual town (where the dreaded topes) would be found.

Making it into Mahahual it occurred to me I should have maybe mapped out exactly where the National Beach Club was. I had read on Verizon that my voice, text and data plan would port over to Mexico. 2/3. No data. No data = no mapping or access to the internet. Lucky for us… Mahahual isn’t that big and if you just keep driving straight, you’ll find it. We found it, getting in about 10:00 PM.

Celebrating getting there with a beer.

We were never pulled over, so got to avoid the whole “bribe” thing and we didn’t hit any wandering cows or run into any 2 foot deep potholes.


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  1. Steve Levinson

    Always great stuff!

  2. Scary and happy that you arrived safe. Yvon Chouinard wrote (paraphrased) that adventure really only happens when stuff goes bad.

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