Stick In the Mud

On the road North from La Paz, I notice a sign to a town called Adolfo López Mateos. What kind of name is that? The sign featured whale watching. So I go there.

I get to the whale watching place early in the morning but it is drizzling and windy so I decide to go birdwatching instead. I had seen a sign at the entrance to the town that indicated birdwatching down a dirt road.

This should come with a safety warning

I end up on a flat dirt plain with lots of pools in the distance. I am a little wary of the condition of the road and decide to turn back. I should have reversed out but instead I swung around and 2 meters from the road sank into deep mud. Oh dear. This was a very bad decision.

One tiny wrong call results in this.

So I spend from 8:00 to 13:00 sprawling around in the mud trying to dig out and jack up the truck. This is really hard, dirty and tiring; not old man’s work. No good. In fact, with every attempt to drive out, the truck digs itself in deeper. I am coated in thick mud, my fingers are bleeding. I am so exhausted. With a strong feeling of inadequacy, I pack it in and walk off towards a small group of very run down houses about a mile away. Here I meet Martin, who is the man I need.

He was just standing in the dirt road. My luck holds strong, apart from getting stuck in the first place.

Martin is a hero He helped me so much.

We go back in his V6 Tacoma to try to drag out my truck. Martin’s truck gets stuck. He calls his friend Elio who shows up in a Ford F150 and succeeds in liberating Martin.

Elio liberates Martin. !3:00 fish

Martin then takes me to the post of an important Mexican government body.

The rest of this post will become a little incoherent as I am very wary about writing about people who would rather remain anonymous. But these people helped me beyond all expectation.

Because their own Hummer could not pull my truck out, they called upon a JCB digger to come to haul me out. The digger nearly gets stuck and apologetically leaves.

He doesn’t like it

A crane is called but it is now pitch black. No one knows what time the crane will come. At about 8:00, Martin takes me to a hotel, which is actually his friend’s house that has a couple of rooms. I am showering off the mud when there is a rap at the door. Lo, it is the Chief of Police who says the crane has turned up and can now drag out my truck. His name is Marcello and again is super helpful.

Off we go to the disaster area through sandy tracks. The crane turns out to be a car haul away truck that has a big winch. I wait my turn. It is suprisingly very cold. Covered in mud, I doze in the camper for a couple of hours. At 03:00 the Police Chief, Marcello, explains that the crane is not going to work, so let’s go back to the hotel and like, see what happens tomorrow.

I get 3 hours sleep and then the Police Chief, Marcello, takes me back to the dreadfulness.

Situation at 8:00 the next day

Six men from the Mexican authority dig out my truck. They have been up all night.

A line is rigged between my truck and a Hummer. There are multiple rope breaks as the Hummer takes the strain. I have absolutely no confidence that what we are doing will get the truck out.

Yet, lo and behold, with six people pushing and the Hummer heaving, she pops out of her muddy sargophagus. I am driving. We hurtle off over the mud. Few moments of elation have equalled this.

She is out! I really thought it would take days of digging. Mexico came to my aid.
Jefe Jose gives the thumbs up. We are all electrified

The police have been incredibly helpful.

By the way, this town has more Ospreys than sparrows.


What an adventure! I meet so many good people.

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7 Responses to Stick In the Mud

  1. Alan says:

    Now that’s an adventure – and you got to see some birds!
    Great how you get to meet interesting people when disaster strikes. Interesting how much mud there was in what appears to be a barren plain, I can see how you were tempted into the Pit.

  2. Alan says:

    Diplomacy? Hope you got out of the area OK. Just hope the Orange Loon’s not involved as you’d be in real trouble.

  3. JoAn RoMa says:

    Increíble mi Amigo… A nightmare that in the end with help was finished. The best thing is that you get to be surrounded by the kind and indicated people for such a situation. We hope to see you back in Mexico soon. Saludos desde San Blas, Good Birding.

    • Jose Antonio! So good to hear from you. Thanks again for the magnificent guiding in San Blas. The trip has been fantastic with lots of adventures. I hope to get back next year. I now spend a couple of weeks in San Francisco and then back to Japan. Different birds!

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