Sunday, October 30, 2005


Day Six - Nightmare in Merida

I think you all must know what happens next. All those buses heading to the only functioning airport in the area. I believe the estimate of tourists that night was 38,000.

Our caravan had four buses and 20 cargo vans full of stranded Funjet tourists. 2,000 of us was the estimate I overheard. We were able to drive into the airport parking lot and get out of the vehicles. Joe and I headed into the airport proper to check things out...and go to the bathroom.

We ran right into Bob and Judy our first friends we made at the Hotel Rui Caribe all those days before. Seemed like years!

It would be an understatement to announce that the place was crawling with people. Shoulder to shoulder, wall to wall. They were laid out on the floor everywhere in the airport, and on the outside lawn. Everywhere you looked, there were bodies. The  line into the restroom was long and I feared once again of being left behind.

After all we were told the planes to take us home were waiting for us on the run way. There were no planes. I can't remember how many I heard taking off that night. Only a few and even less coming in.

Total confusion.

Bob and Judy had hooked up with an elderly couple. They had more or less taken them under their wing to help them maneuver their way through the ordeal. Israel and Bella. Russian immigrants.

Bob lent us $20 as we had spent our last $10 with the Maestro. Hurricanes are expensive with all the tipping you have to do! We gleefully spent it on a Pizza hut pizza! We took the remainder back to share with Judy and Bob. What we found was Israel standing alone, under a tree holding Bella's pocketbook.

She had gone to the bathroom some time ago. Yes he would accept the pizza, but he would not eat until she came back. I was somewhat concerned. Here it was, closing in on midnight and a 75 year old man was alone in the dark, separated from his wife of 57 years. It saddened me.

Joe tried to find Bob. I laid on the wet, cold, hard ground with my suitcase for a pillow because there was no room in the van!

Joe was wandering around and ran once again into Israel, holding one piece of pizza and the purse. He had not found his wife. By my estimate, she had been gone for two hours. The line was long, but not that long!

Suddenly......once again, nothing happens, nothing happens, then everything happens!!!.....we were ordered to get into the van! The airport was shutting/closing and everyone had to evacuate the parking lot.

Evacuate!!! To where?????

Our fourth and last shelter.


krobbie67 said...

I am assuming that's a picture of Israel? Whom ever it is it's a great picture! What a face! However, the fire extinguisher growing out of the shoulders behing the shoulder of this individual had me laughing.

It blows my mind trying to wrap my head around how primitive this must have been for you. No money, no facilities, no intelligible communication with 'authorities' just going with the flow on a hope and a prayer.

I can't wait for you to get to the end so you can say how you are doing now. How are you? :-) ---Robbie

blondepennierae said...

OK, I have finally caught up with the story.  What a harrowing tale!  Pennie

artloner said...

Good Grief.

freeepeace said...


freeepeace said...

Oh no.  It seems I'm all caught up.  What, are you taking a break from writing or something?  I can hardly stand it.  But it's worth it.

This has been an amazing adventure, reading along with you.  I'm looking forward to the continuation.

my78novata said...

Golly molly

randlprysock said...

Oh what a nightmare is right!!
Hurricane Charley, Frances & Jeanne Survivor,

gaboatman said...

How frustrating at this point.  Another shelter!  But closing the Airport?  It doesn't sound good!

belfastcowboy75 said...

Now it sounds like Brownie was in charge.