Ok, lets see, where did I leave off? Oh yeah. We were stranded. On the side of the road. In the middle of nowhere.
Lucky for us we weren’t stranded for long. One of the most amazing things we have learned during our time spent in Mexico is that most everyone is willing to stop and help. Within the first 3 minutes of being stranded we had two cars pullover to offer assistance. One of those cars was an american couple that actually turned around to check on us and the other was a couple of young mexican guys that were on their way to Loreto.
We learned from the american couple that we were actually only about 10 mins from Mulege and the Mexican guys offered to drive us and Reina into town to find a mechanic. Whew! Only 10 mins from Mulege and a ride into town within 5 minutes of breaking down!? We must be in the twilight zone. Nope, just Mexico!
So, we grabbed what we could and hopped in our new friend’s rental car. Another lucky for us moment occurred when we found a mechanic right when we entered town. Our new friends helped translate for us and then went on their way while we hopped into who we thought was the mechanic’s truck. Alex, the “mechanic”, drove us back to the Burro intending to tow us back.
We were both extremely against that idea and I’ll tell you why. If you remember, we were just about to wind up a large hill before we broke down. On the way up and over that hill with our first two friends was a white knuckle, hold your breath experience and going back with Alex was a similar ride. You can tell that all three of these gentlemen were used to that drive and had done it so many times that it was second nature. Although we put our trust in Alex to get us safely back to the Burro the thought of Jamie getting into the Burro and steering from behind while Alex towed us, with nothing but a rope, to the mechanic was enough to make me cringe. It just wasn’t a good idea and we told that to Alex, who just so happened to speak pretty good english.
With towing the car out of the question we needed to come up with another solution. At this point we had all decided that it must be the alternator that was the issue so Alex swapped out his battery and put it in the Burro to see if that would get the car started. Did you know that you can take the battery out of a vehicle while its running and it will continue to run!? I know… Mind. Blown.
The battery swap worked and Alex (remember: he’s not the mechanic. At this point he’s a nice guy that is going above and beyond to help us out) followed us back up and over the hill to the mechanic. When we pulled up, what was a shop filled with dirt bikes, was now an empty shop for us to pull right into. We got out and were introduced to Daniel and Daniel Jr., the cousin and nephew of Alex. Daniel is the actual mechanic and Alex had just been at his shop to say hi and check in on his bike. Can you imagine!? Taking 45 minutes out of your day to help a couple strangers and their dog? And we aren’t even finished yet.
Daniel got straight to work on the burro. After 4 hrs., three different alternators, and two battery swaps we still hadn’t diagnosed the problem but the Burro was up and running for the time being. It wasn’t running perfectly though and Daniel wanted to continue working on it because he didn’t feel he had actually fixed the issue. So, we had two choices; we could stay through the weekend and bring the 4runner back to Daniel on Monday or we could drive to Loreto to get a new alternator. Either way we would have to stay through Sunday because nothing is open on Sundays.
We left Daniel and Alex that evening at 7pm, which was 4 hrs after the shop closed, to get to the hotel La Serenidad before sun down because our headlights weren’t working. After checking in and getting Reina situated we meandered over to the hotel restaurant for dinner and then called it a night.