From Patzcuaro, we headed towards Guanajuato. Along the way, you pass Morelia. We had heard amazing things about Morelia. In fact, the entire historic city center is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Negotiating our way into the historic center of Morelia with a one ton truck required patience and care. The main road through the historic center has 4 lanes, but our truck seemed to take up about one and a half by itself! After we passed the cathedral, the easiest land mark to spot in central Morelia, we pulled off and parked.
We only had a couple hours, so we quickly set off to explore the city. We visited several cathedrals, a market with sweets, and the Palacio de Gobierno where there were murals of the history of Michoacan painted by Mexican painter Alfredo Zalce. Erica loves murals….
After a quick lunch (amazing tortas), we had to hit the road — we don’t like to be on the road late in the day, and we still had some miles before Guanajuato.
As we arrived back in the parking lot to leave, it was clear I would need some help getting out! The XP was parked in a space meant for a compact car and while we were gone someone pulled in very close next to us.
I hopped into the car, and Erica walked out in front of the car to help guide me out of the lot. This is something we do all the time, but honestly, we suck at it. I don’t know why. We should be pros at it by this point, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t happened.
As I began to pull out of the parking space, I had no idea that there was a car to the right of the XP. I was cranking it hard to the right, trying to make the turn. Meanwhile, Erica was standing in front of the XP on the drivers side, signaling me to move forward. About 5 feet forward, we heard a crunching sound!
That must be the worst sound in the world. When I was in San Francisco, I heard (but didn’t see) an accident, and that crunching sound is so unique and so uniquely awful!
I backed up, and hopped out to survey the damage. I had side-swiped the beautiful new VW Jetta that was parked next to me. There was some deep scratches on the side, and the plastic casing around the light was cracked. On the other hand, the XP was fine! It had hit on one of our storage boxes on our aluminum flat bed but you couldn’t tell from looking at it.
It’s times like this that I wish I spoke better spanish. I was immediately overwhelmed and not sure what to do. The parking lot attendant was standing right there, and he suggested we call our insurance. Dang, this sucks. I’d rather just give the guy a hundred bucks to fix his car and be done with it, but the other car was parked and the owner was nowhere to be found and we had a crowd of people all trying to “help” us, there was no easy way out of this one.
We grabbed our insurance info, gave them a call, and thirty minutes later an insurance adjustor met us in the parking lot. It was surprisingly efficient and fast. However, he said we needed to wait for the driver of the other car. So we waited. And waited……
And it was during this time that we got in our second accident of the day. We were sitting in the cab of our truck while another person tried to pull out of a space across from the XP. I wasn’t paying attention at the time, but the jolt we received definitely caught my attention and we heard another loud crunch! Did this really just happen? Two accidents in only a couple of hours?
Again, I hopped out to survey the damage. Well, the score was XPCamper: 2, Compact Cars: 0. This time, it was a Toyota Corolla. I felt bad. The front right light of the corolla was introduced to our massive ARB bumper, and the Corolla got its ass kicked. There wasn’t much to be done on this one. Our rig was fine; you couldn’t tell that anything had happened. The poor lady who hit us just drove away after we told her it was ok to leave.
About 10 minutes later the driver of the Jetta showed up–a sweet old man and his wife. He was devastated. I felt horrible. We kept saying that we were sorry, I think we ruined the poor mans day. It sure was a crappy one for us.
Luckily, the insurance adjuster handled everything (thanks baja bound). About 20 minutes later, we were on the road and headed to Guanajuato.
Guanajuato is a city built into the side of a mountain and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has crazy tunnels, lots of narrow one way streets, and roads so steep you only see the sky over your hood! Our GPS decided to route us through the center of the city which is a maze of small underground tunnels and narrow streets. We went through a few streets that were so narrow Erica made me stop the car as she walked up them to make sure we would fit. It was not a relaxing driving experience, especially since we were both on edge because of the accidents earlier in the day. Luckily, we got through without any more damage, but by the time we arrived, we were ready for a really strong Margarita.
At the camp ground in Guanajuato (another beautiful world heritage site), we also caught back up with our old friends, Richard and Ashley of Desk to Glory and headed into the colorful town for dinner.