Monday, 3 November 2008

Low- and higher-stakes gambling

Today is my last day in Mexico. I spent it as I had always planned to: on the white-sanded, Caribbean beaches of Cancún. It was a nice day and I took another small step towards evening out my farmer's tan. (Still many steps on that path. I may never make it to the end.) But I must say that after my third trip through Mexico, having taken in a broad sweep of the country from north to south, I am really underwhelmed by the Yucantan Peninsula. Mérida was nice, but the Caribbean Coast is very much the American Costa del Sol. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous weather, and no need to trouble yourself with local food, currency, customs or language. For a "hardcore", adoptive tapatío/mexicano like me, it just isn't right. The parallels with the Costa del Sol even extend to the fact that both areas were deveolped at the behest of non-democratic governments in the 60s/70s. I like my American history to go back at least 60 years....

Anyway, having given myself a fair bit of time around the Peninsula, a couple of times I found myself at a bit of a loose end as to what I should do. Embracing the freedom of not knowing where I might sleep the next night, and in keeping with my mini-philosophy about the randomness of life and how often decisions needn't be mulled over, I found myself tossing a coin a couple of times to decide where to go next. The coin came up tails both times and, as a result, I have still not been to Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan ruins in the peninsula. Instead I have been to Izamal ("The Yellow City"'s yellowness was - as far as I could see - it's only notable quality) and tiny Puerto Morelos (very pretty, almost as quiet as I was hoping).

But today I'm deciding to gamble for slightly higher stakes. Technically, to enter Colombia I need an onward ticket out of the country, or at least South America. I don't have one, and I've decided to risk it, in order to save the cash I would otherwise have to shell out (the pound isn't doing so well, after all) and retain full flexibility.

The (rather flimsy) evidence I have gathered suggests that border officials in Colombia rarely bother about the onward ticket or the evidence of sufficient funds (which I do plan to have covered if necessary) but still, my next blog post will either be coming from sunny Colombia (the first South American, and the first equatorial country I've ever visited - exciting!) or perhaps a detention centre in Miami.

The question I will have to ask myself, waking up at 3.45am tomorrow, is: do I feel lucky....?

1 comment:

Richard Smith said...

Here's hoping it works out. Would they send you back to Miami or sell you an onward ticket? We're waiting to find out and to see who wins the US election.