.. and of course it happens whenever you do not need it at all = Murphy´s law.
I posted some pictures on Instagram before but here is the whole story :
I am on my way towards Yucatan peninsula. My attempt to stay as far away from Mexico City as I possibly can to avoid all the associated problems gets me far north of MC on the highway towards Veracruz on the golf coast. As I am high up on more than 2000 meters at some point the road starts to descend to sea level. It is a winding one lane highway that descends for about 80 km until it gets to the sea. But I will not get there this day …
There are signs „area de niebla“ and soon thereafter there is fog all over with a sight of far less than 50 m. So traffic is crawling downhill and I feel there is something wrong. The diving just doesn’t feel „normal“. I don’t know what it is. There is no possibility to stop, so i continue.
Way down the road it seems that the trailer is looking somewhat different in the rearview mirror. The toll booth comes up and there is a parking lot just behind it.
I get out and don’t believe what I am seeing. The whole attachment of the hitch. Is basically ripped off the vehicle. It is still in place but it is kind of hanging low as is the trailer.
1. Mistake: instead of leaving the trailer behind on this parking lot and try to fix the problem I am afraid of leaving it behind and decide to take it with me. I continue to the next exit in order to reach the village there.
2. Mistake: the road just behind the highway exit turns into a winding gravel/mud road giving the hitch the rest ! It rips off. No way to continue.
I manage to pull the trailer into a farm exit along the road and can get it off the hitch with the help of my Hi-lift jack (so it did make sense to take it along) . Some people are exiting that farm and I ask them if it was ok to park the trailer here because I needed a mechanic for the car. They tell me it was ok and the mechanic was about 10 km from here. So I continue on that road that is getting worse and worse. It is more or less a aggregation of potholes. I reach the first mechanic (as mentioned earlier there are mechanics along the road everywhere) – he has no energy to do the necessary welding. Another 8 km from. Here I reach a main road and a village , the people here call it „la una“ – the official name is
I stop at the first mechanic and get handed over to another one and a third one. He is the welder ! He is reluctant to do the work though as he „has too much work to do and cannot let others down because of me“. I try to tell hm it is an emergency. Finally an older man shows up, seems to be a respected person within the village, and tells him something that sounds like : „you help the guy now ! “
So they start working on it. It is obvious that in Germany or elsewhere in the so-called developed world they would have told me to ist throw the shit away ! His shop looks crazy , all dirty , messed up and The guys put the 4 or 5 parts back together, we go buy on bolt that was broken in order to get it attached back to the car and finally it´s done ! I am really thankful. They ask for 1500 pesos (75 USD) after about 3 hours of work ! I recall the Mercedes service in the US that charges 150 USD per hour !!! So I give them 200 pesos extra, we take pictures and they wish me save travels – „god would be with me“ .
It got dark meanwhile so i decided to stay in town. Didn’t make sense to go back in darkness and stay there in the middle of nowhere. I am of course worried about the trailer alone out there. Nothing I can do.
The hotel is ok. At checkin the guy hands me a (clean) towel, a piece of soap, a roll of toi paper and the room key.
Now I am ready for some beer ! Around the hotel there is nothing. La una to me looks like a really poor place in the middle of nowhere with nothing attractive in the area. I end up in the Hotel´s restaurant. Dinner is ok. It is cold these days and I’m still up in the mountains so I sleep all dressed as I am.
Don’t get much sleep but at least some rest. At sunrise I am up and away back to the trailer – everything is ok !
Finally I was really lucky that nothing serious happened. The mechanic in Mexico are great and can fix everything. I could continue another 1200 km with it without problems until I had a new part brought over from Germany. And it was ok to trust in the people that there would be no issue with the trailer left behind in the middle of nowhere.
I assumed that after this I had really arrived in Mexico.
Meanwhile several parts have been flown from Germany to Cancun thanks to ORC and VL outdoor for fast delivery and to Petra and my father for flying them in. So the whole towing system has been renewed and I am back playing. It took one week though to get everything ready and working again.
There has been a major discussion in the „panamerican travelers association“ group on facebook of wether or not taking a trailer on this trip would be a good idea. I have to confess that thee are some drawbacks. One is the connection between truck and trailer that is obviously a weak spot.