Musings on the Boca Paila

by Howie Xamach

The road is always the same really. The travelers just have a different opinion of it than people who live here. There are long stretches of deep holes that appear to be the size of Crater Lake after a rain, mixed with short spots when I can hit 25 km/h.

Once I get back home, the truck loaded with supplies for two or three days, is when the drive seems really quite short. The next day, when I realize that I forgot to get salt or a new propane hose, the drive becomes something to avoid.

I get dug in here. Do without the salt for another day or two—it's OK. Move the hoses around so that the important stuff still works. I can't just jump in the truck, get what I need and be right back; it's a day trip. Now I have been dug in for three days and I have to go. Kind of exciting actually until I pull out of the driveway and hit the first hole.

I bump along through the jungle cursing the damn Jeep tours for beating the crap out of my road—bastards! I come around a corner out of the palms and see the beach. Waves crashing, throwing perfect white spray to the sky, an Osprey goes to terminal velocity before leveling off inches above the water and snatching a sardine for lunch. The pelicans are performing a ballet together, stabbing the shallows then stretching their necks to the sky to swallow their catch. I have to stop. Being on the road for 10 minutes, the Jeeps should be here in five or so minutes, and I do not want to be hit by some dazed tourist watching the show instead of where he is going at 80 km/h.

Relaxed, I watch all of the pure splendor that is the Ka'an and fully understand why I live here and why the road is now beautiful.

On the move again, just a quick drive and I don't feel the bumps anymore as I wave to the people who are always going in while I am coming out. I make the arches and pavement in what must be record time but I have no idea; I never use a watch while in the Ka'an.

Once I hit the 307 it is south till my turn toward Pool's and an hour inside picking through the vegetables. Across the street to El Tornillo for a hose, then a short drive for my parking spot by Don Cafeto's. I just love my late break at Don's—a great ice-cold limonada and two fried eggs and toast while I people-watch. There are some very interesting people here; it's not as much fun as the drive, but still a great time.

Finally on to San Fran and another hour or so inside, lazily doing a shop that I hope will last us for three or four days. Get gas, before stopping at the store for a bottle of water and a six-pack for the drive. The water is gone by the time I hit the arches and wave to my thrice-a-week amigos who guard the Sian Ka'an. Pop a cold beer and lazily drive back into the Ka'an at a neck-breaking pace of 25 km/h. What's the hurry? This is a great road; hope the Jeeps are still in Punta Allen.

Damn, I forgot the salt again. Guess I'll head back mañana.