Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Caravan

Ibis and I were running errands Tuesday afternoon when we noticed a bit of a traffic jam up ahead. That's not a very common occurrence here in Zihua, so a line of red taillights really stands out. (Especially because half the cars here don't have functioning taillights.)

We approached with caution, half expecting a police truck to zoom through the cars like one did earlier in the afternoon. When that happened I commented to Ibis that "this is what people probably imagine when they think about Mexican traffic." In that particular instance we were at a junction where cars merge from the left AND right into a middle street, and half the people merging want to cross all the traffic to get to the complete opposite side. Add to that a police truck with flashing lights, a loud siren, and a muscular cop with his machine gun ready, and things come to a halt.

But that wasn't what was going on this time.

What originally looked like a slow-moving bus turned out to be a fancy motor home towing a car. From Quebec.

"Wow, Quebec," we both said, marveling at how far these crazy tourists had traveled.

Then we noticed another, similar vehicle in front of it.

"Hey, they're from Quebec, too."

After about the fourth one we confirmed that they must all be traveling together. There were ten HUGe motor homes, all towing cars and some with bicycles strapped to the back, easing their way through Zihua. This unleashed a zillion questions from me, most importantly:

"How do they all stay together when going through towns like this, especially at lights?"

Any ideas?

27 comments:

Penguin said...

When we do caravans we use communication devices.
In the old days it was CB, now it is cell and GRSM(or whatever the letters are, I am dyslexic)radios.

Stacey Graham said...

Nous sommes dans un convoi - la la la la

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, you're so smart. :P

*digs around for translation button*

Adam said...

Muscular cop? Machine gun?

Zihua, you say?

*Heads to British Airways*



Adam

Gary Hooyenga said...

What you expected order when the want-to-be french are around. CB's still work and so do walkey-talkies. Where they heading to the campground near LaPerla on the beach or on the main drag heading south...

Melanie Avila said...

Stacey, I just figured out why you were speaking French. D'oh!

Adam, you crack me up!

Gary, they were heading north. We approached them in that part just before town where you have to slow down and they went really slow for the first lights.

Natasha Fondren said...

It's always so surprising to me: the majority of the Ohians and the Michigans (?) and the Wiscononians (?) head to Arizona; the majority of the Canadians go down to Mexico (all of them? Trying to think of one Canadian couple who wasn't just passing through.... yeah, can't think of any.).

All of the above, plus lots of practice. :-)

Angie said...

Spy satellites. Duh. Any RV that is as big as a house comes with its own spy satellite. Also, jamming equipment so their communications devices always have a clear channel, and a special device that changes the stoplights to green when the caravan rolls through.

Really, Hoo, these things are easy to figure out if you just use your head. :P

*runs*

Penguin said...

Hey Angie, you are getting them confused with the "Urban Assault Vehicle", I don't think she mentioned Green GMC motor homes.

A smilie to the person who knows that reference.

LurkerMonkey said...

Quebec! Argggh!

I've heard it's a beautiful place, but Quebecers are the BANE of South Florida winter traffic. I cringe every time I see "Je me souviens" on a license plate.

Melanie Avila said...

Ooh this is fun! I've made a penguin smile and ruffled a monkey!

Natasha, it's Michiganders. And yeah, we get a LOT of Canadians down here.

Angie, the SATELLITES! Why didn't I think of that? They probably aren't even really driving in there.

Lurker, are there more Canadians or Michiganders where you are?

JLC said...

I was going to say CBs. We used to do camping caravans when I was a kid. We didn't have a CB, but those in front of us and those behind us did. I am sure they enjoyed talking about us while we were on the road. LOL.

Natasha Fondren said...

LOL... they do usually have those TV things inside that connect to a camera that show you what's in back, etc. :-)

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, I've traveled in cars with CBs and it was always a lot of fun to listen to the truckers.

Natasha, you must know ALL the secrets...

colbymarshall said...

Reminds me of funeral processions when you mention the thing about going through lights.

Robin said...

Pinguin,

I'll take half a smilie. I remember the movie but can't for the life of me remember the title. It had two of the dark green motorhomes that were following a family, or so they thought. Am I right?

Melanie Avila said...

Ooh! Ooh! It's Stripes! I love that movie!

Colby, minus the police escort and courteous drivers letting them pass.

Robin, you tipped me off!

Robin said...

You're probably right but that's not the one I was thinking of. It'll come to me when I lay down tonight and then I won't remember why I wanted to know.

Old age is fun!

LurkerMonkey said...

I live in Fort Lauderdale on the East Coast of Florida, so we get all the Canadians and the New Yorkers. The Michiganders and Chicagoans go to the west side of the state, in Naples and Sarasota.

That side of the state is pretty, but sleeeeeepy.

Nadine said...

Wow, they had traveled a long way! I wonder if they just keep all together and travel all over permanently. Would love to know the story!

Robin said...

(She Robin) (I'm so glad I got to write that. I always feel guilty when He Robin has to specify the "He".)

I love RVs. My friend had an RV for awhile, and we'd do girl weekends at campgrounds around here. We'd stay up late, sit in fold away chairs around a fire and drink wine, and try to scare each other with fake poop and vomit that we bought in the campground store. Fun times!

Yet, I would never think of traveling so far to do this. It seems like a lot of time driving, and not enough time playing with fake poop.

Melanie Avila said...

Lurker, that sounds about right, based on my travels and knowing where all my friends "winter". It's like that in Mexico. West coast Canadians come here while east coasters go to Cancun and Veracruz.

Nadine, I was curious about that too. It'd be like a traveling town and I'd think you'd get annoyed with some of them after awhile.

Robin, that sounds like so much fun! Even with the fake poop.

Penguin said...

Robin, I think I remember that scene in a movie also, but it is not the one.

So Melanie gets the :)
The "Urban Assault Vehicle" was Stripes.

Melanie Avila said...

I've seen that movie a zillion times and can't believe I didn't get it right away!

WendyCinNYC said...

That would probably be a fun way to travel. If you get tired of your driving companions, you can ride with someone else for a while.

Aimless Writer said...

They slow down and tie up traffic?
Wow, I just saw one of those "I shouldn't be Alive" shows where a family was in Mexico for a car race and their motor home got hijacked and they were left in the desert without food or water. I don't think I'd take a motorhome to Mexico...it was a scary TV show.

Janet Ursel said...

You know, it's pathetic. I lived in Quebec for over 20 years, but I have no idea, other than guessing CB's or cell phones.