DAY SIX - THE RACE
Stranded! Standing in front of the gates in the throngs of people desperate to get out and get home. Our bus had left. The Smurf's spoke very little English. I understood they were trying to secure us a ride to the bus! A van approached and stopped. Lots of chattering between the Smurf's in the van and the Smurf's outside. The van drove off.
Joe and I were perplexed. I had no idea what to expect. All we could do was stand there and wait.
I looked at all the taxi cabs lined up in front of the LaSalle. They must have had a tremendous day the day before ferrying the unfortunate to the Hotel Zone for their luggage. Things were slower today. The tourists were all catching the buses this day. I looked over Joes shoulder and saw the Maestro! I was so very glad to see him since he had made all my dreams come true the day before!
We shot the bull together for awhile and then explained our plight to him. He immediately began talking to the Smurf's. Rapid fire Spanish, lots of shaking of the head, a phone call made on the only cell phone I ever saw in a Smurf's hand and it was settled.
For $10, he would take us to the bus!
We loaded out luggage in the back of the station wagon and off we went! He took us about 20 miles out of town towards Merida! I thought we were going to the Cancun airport! I was totally wrong. This was no time for idle chit chat. Traffic was dense and he had to concentrate on driving very fast. We took a wrong turn. The usual road to Merida was flooded out and there was no way to get through. He had to make his way to a turn around area and double back. He honked and swore and even went nose to nose with the Military man who tried to stop him. In a matter of moments he had us turned around and once again on the right path, chasing down the bus.
The bus had pulled over on the side of the road waiting for the caravan of Funjet evacuates to make the journey all together.
We made it. I felt like I had driven the 20 some odd miles. I only had the $10 to give him. He kissed me goodbye and told me not to worry about tipping him.
"I'm giving you the Friend rate." he said.
We left him and ran to catch up.
I never did know his name.