The trip to Barra de Potosi yesterday was uneventful. We were a little unsure what the main road would be like once we got outside of Zihua, but everything looked the same as it always does. We had a relaxing day at the beach, enjoyed some fresh fish and coconuts, then headed back as evening approached.
On the return drive we noticed more police trucks on the road, the men in back armed and ready to take out anyone who looked at them the wrong way. That in itself wasn't too scary (you get used to having machine guns pointing your way - well maybe not used to, but it seems less surprising the more times you see it), but the masks they wore were a little freaky. You see that a lot more in places like Ciudad Juarez, where the police hide their faces so the drug cartels can't identify them. They fear being murdered and so wear a heavy mask over their entire head (a hat with eyes & a mouth cut out) in the 90 degree heat.
We made sure we didn't drive directly behind any of the trucks and especially avoided coming to a stop next to them at the traffic lights. Before everyone freaks out though, this is a normal precaution. Sure, it's not something you have to think about in the US, but I don't want to give the impression that we were shaking in fear. It's more like, "Oh there's another police truck," Ibis would slow down, and a car would get in front of us. Or if a car didn't pass us (since no one else wants to drive near them either) you just leave a space between vehicles. Easy enough.
We had to drive by the police station to drop off my friend and they've turned the parking lot into a bunker. A wall of sand bags stands taller than me, and they even have the roof covered. They've repaired the topes (speed bumps) to slow down traffic, and have removed some trees that were blocking their view up the street. My friend said they've occasionally blocked traffic from one direction - making it one way - I guess to better control who passes by the station. Today there's a picture in the paper. Their solution: orange cones. That'll stop a truck full of cartel members!
Now about that meal. My brother has promised to cook again this evening! He said it won't be quite as involved as Tuesday's dinner, but I'm still looking forward to it.