May 6th, 2010 Comments Off on Gasolina

Went to Edzna today–amazing and barely visited ruins southwest of Campeche. It was populated from 600 BC to 1450 AD. Aside from us, there were only a handful of people there. In addition to the excavated pyramids and buildings, there are mounds (buried buildings), and half-exposed structures partially dug free from the dirt, rocks, and vegetation growing upon them. It’s a good opportunity to see the various stages of uncovering these wonders, and also to contemplate the massive amount of work that goes into piecing them back together and restoring them.

When we got in the car in the a.m. to go there, Benjamin said, “We need gas.” And then we proceeded to follow a route via our gps that on a map would be one of those squiggly lines the width of a hair. The type of back road that has no gas stations.

All the way there, I couldn’t stop my left eye from drifting away from the passing fields and patches of jungle to the gas guage that showed 2 out of 8 bars full. The sun was baking the world outside our car (it’s the hot and dry season), and we were in the middle of nowhere; hopes for a gas station decreased when I saw that the road signage was overgrown with jungle vines.

We made it there OK, and learned from the site attendant there was gas 1km from Edzna. About 1km down the road, we pulled over to ask a family hiding in the cool shadows of what looked like a small store, “Donde hay gasolina?”

There was a lot of Spanish we couldn’t understand in reply, interlaced, now and then, with the words we did know: “aqui,” and, “casa.” The man was pointing next door, but the house on the other side of the small dirt road looked abandoned. Certainly, it was not a gas station; we continued down the highway thinking he meant something else.


We turned off the highway, into a tiny village, and ended up circling back to the store where we’d started. The whole family: man, wife, and 2 small children were out in the sun, now, waving their arms at us. “Aqui! Aqui!” the man shouted. Again, he pointed at the abandoned house. He motioned that we should pull behind the house and honk our horn.

Once there, we saw a wonky gas pump. Apparently, residents of small villages, such as this, assume the duty of gas station. It’s too bad, though, that these people have lives to lead and don’t sit around waiting for people on empty to show up. There was no one there except for an angry dog that tried to eat the car.

We had to head back to Campeche on those 2 bars. We made it, on fumes, with a little knowledge gained; much of the rest of our trip will be on those small squiggles of roads. I now know 2 bars on the gas gauge will get us about 100 km at least, and when in the middle of nowhere, someone will have gas in his back yard…as long as we have time to wait for him.


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