In a state of semi-controlled panic I gradually nursed the car to Xela, a small city one hour outside of the capital. Stopping about every five kilometers or so to let the engine cool down and refill the radiator with water borrowed from the local roadside farms.
I would like to say that I was very cool, calm and collected during the whole experience but I wasn’t, not even close. By the time we finally limped into Xela and tracked Alex down, I was a stressed-out mess. Every light on the instrument panel was blinking, making the inside of the car look like a cheap, shiny Christmas tree, the speedometer had stopped working and she was losing power with every kilometer. What should have been an easy three hour drive had ended up being a pain staking nine hour ordeal. I cannot tell you how relieved I was to finally make it to Xela and put an end to what had been one of the most stressful days of my life.
We went straight to a local bar for a much needed beer and a few strong shots of tequila. As the alcohol slowly started to make its way through my veins and my nerves and anxiety from the day’s events started to melt away, Alex put my stories from Mexico to shame as he described his eventful past two weeks. While I was enjoying a comparatively relaxing drive across Mexico with my new Lithuanian companion he was doing it the hard way, backpacking alone around Guatemala, getting a taste of the poorest country in Central America.