Craig always refers to me as a homing magnet for weirdos. I'd prefer to think of it as just possessing a friendly approachable look. Don't get me wrong! We've met many wonderful people on our travels who have turned into good friends, but there have been a few strange rangers along the path.
One afternoon in January on Isla Mujeres when we were joyriding in the golfcart down Sac Bajo way, we stopped at this dock so I could take a photo of the pink graffiti clad entrance. When I was set to snap the picture, I noticed two women walking back up the dock towards me, so I decided to wait for them to pass so I could get a clean shot. I waited, and I waited. They stopped directly in front of me with blank stares, so I greeted them with a hi and gestured with my camera that I was taking a photo. They still stood there mouths gaping, so I stepped around them to get my shots. When I headed back to the cart, they quickly approached and I realized something was screwy. Both women were extremely sunburned (lobster faces), and both women appeared to be stoned.
They asked if I was American and I said yes. In their heavily accented by French English, they explained they were staying in El Centro and had gotten lost on their way to the beach! Hmmmmm -- it takes an extreme talent to go on a walking treasure hunt for Playa Norte in the downtown area of Isla Mujeres and wind up on a deserted dock on Sac Bajo. At least three miles of wandering in the wrong direction? I looked at them carefully just to make sure they weren't males disguised as females. (You know, that whole resistance to asking directions thing? I know -- lame joke.)
Craig and I quickly figured out they were angling for a free golfcart tour of the island. They wanted to know which way to Playa Norte and I explained Playa Norte was back in El Centro where they'd come from. They then wanted to know what the distance was in kilometers. Since I didn't have my trusty metric system conversion chart with me, I told them about three miles. They told me how they'd walked for hours in search of the white sand beach and all they'd found was this lousy turtle farm and ugly backwater mud flats. The one with the short dark Twiggy haircut (probably in her late 20's) then explained she had bad feet and started rubbing her bunions. Give me a break! I'm 57 and I'll put my bunions up against her bunions anyday! By this time, they were halfway onto the backseat of the cart.
We're basically from the urban jungle, so there are very few circumstances where we'd give a hitchhiker a ride in our car. With that in mind, we also weren't inclined to spend the rest of our afternoon giving two stoned French women a private tour of the island on our golfcart despite their compaints about having missed the pretty part of the island. And really, God knows what they were hiding in their little backpacks! Knives, blow, Mary Jane, bunion pads? In addition to my homing radar for nuts, I'm also equipped with a fairly accurate bad juju detection system, and I just wasn't getting good vibes off the French girls. At the time, we were headed back to La Joya so Craig could fish and I could take a nap on a lounger by the pool. Craig and I decided to compromise and give the two pleading French girls a bottle of water and a short ride back to the Isla Moon Palace with directions on how to catch a ride on a bus or combi there at the roundabout.
We dropped them at the bench outside the Palace after checking with the guard to make sure buses and combis still stopped there. I figured if they had the money to get to Isla Mujeres from France, not to mention the money for whatever mindblowing drug they were tripping on, they surely had the 4 pesos for a bus ride back to El Centro. I know, I'm hard-hearted.
And then there's the story about our strange encounter(s) with the weirdest ex-pat in Yelapa. I've been waiting to write that tale, and Craig gets the blame for attracting that one!