The Adventure Begins

About 12 hours ago I wrote a blog post. In a quick series of events, that post was lost in the sands of time and cyberspace. I will get back to that, after I re-begin my story…
Last night I was as prepared as I have ever been for a trip. I pared down a pile of stuff into a 35lb backpack and a 15lb duffle bag. I felt like I was slightly over packed, yet I felt everything had its purpose. I decided I would bare this weight, figuratively and quite literally. Still, I could not bring myself to sleep. I was restless and excited to embark on a journey I had envisioned years ago. This plan lay dormant until the possibility arose late last year. I came up a few dollars and a few days short of being able to make it happen, and still adhere to my commitments further down the calendar. This year things fell into place, and it has now come to fruition. I was preparing to cross the smallest continent by backpack.
I began by crossing the border from North America into Central America over land. Sure I could just fly into Belize City and begin there. But, it just seems worth the effort to cross that border by land. It just seems more complete in my mind.
So there I sat, waiting for my dawn departure to Cancun. Fidgeting with my luggage contents and their optimal placement, and other busy work to kill time. Sleep was only a concern to be avoided. No way I was going to miss my flight by over sleeping.
I made it thru the airport in stellar fashion. I paced the terminal until boarding. Sleep came quickly after reaching altitude above the freezing cold and snow storm below.
I awoke in the B seat, between a retired couple, who purposely chose their seating arrangement. We had pleasant and humorous conversation for the short remainder of the flight.
Luggage pickup, customs, and duty free booze were a breeze. Less than 10 minutes later I was on the bus, and on my way to my transfer to the border. The transfer had a little confusion and a slightly late bus.
The bus shows up and I am one the last to board. Luckily I get my prefered seat on the driver’s side, which is also the ocean side. Another stroke of luck; my phone begins chirping with accumulated emails and texts. One of which saying that I have unlimited text and web, because (unbeknownst to me) it was part of my global connection plan that included a national Mexican carrier.
With a long ride ahead of me, I figured I would tap out a blog post thru traffic, and sleep the long steady ride.
So, that brings us full circle to the beginning of this post. I finished some semblance of the preceding story. I added a couple pics, and clicked post. A couple of minutes into the upload, I got a low battery warning. At that moment, before I could reach for my auxiliary backup battery, I noticed some construction workers gathered at the curb with their hard hats off. There was a young man lying just out of the way of the traffic, but still on the asphalt. A small pool of blood puddled where his head touched the pavement. His strapless hard hat was lying a foot or so from his head. He clearly had died within moments of my bus window passing within a couple feet of him. I had never experienced human death in such close proximity of space and time. It was slow motion time as we passed. My eyes captured many details of the scene like a long time exposure of a camera. I can still see it; probably will forever. The hard hats off with bowed heads, the traffic cop holding the space, the washed grey of the pavement contrasting with the rich red of the fresh blood, the procession of ceaseless rush hour traffic, the faded white buildings decorated for Christmas, the people one block away totally oblivious to what had happened 100 or so feet away, and so much more…
As I transitioned from this surreal moment demonstrating the frailty of life, I noticed to that my phone had died as well. And with it, my blog post was gone too. I pictured the young man’s soul riding the lost radio waves of my post into another dimension. I recited the Gayatri Mantra 3 times to ground my experience, and perhaps propel him peacefully to the great beyond.
I slept restlessly for the next few hours of the bus ride, as the sun sank in front of the windshield. And the day turned into night.
I arrived at the terminal hungry. With the help of an unknown fellow on the bus, I sorted a taxi ride to the border. But first, local fare from a street vendor. Delicioso!
The friendly taxi driver overcharged me a bit, but was very pleasant. He spoke some English and gave me the lowdown on crossing the border. The Mexican exit was $25, but otherwise friendly and painless. The Belizean entry was free and easy. I was happy to be back in Belize. A place where English is taught in school and the exchange rate is a quick 2 to 1.
While waiting for the van to town, a young girl who had overheard my destination at the terminal, offered a free ride with her and her father. They brought me to this guest house. I had great conversation on socially and environmentally pertinent topics, with two lovely Belizean ladies, both named Anne, as we drank icy rum and Cokes. I knew I would not sleep until I penned or tapped this blog post. But, the time was well spent with them.
It was a beautiful day; leaving the snow to bask in the sun. My eyes grow weary as I finalize this blog (Who got the Primus reference?)
For the next few days I will be facing fears on a remote island atop the Great Barrier Reef. Hopefully I will live through it, and make anther blog post by Friday. Surely, at that point, I will be embracing my fragile, adventurous life


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