Exactly 2 years ago, we were sitting in some tiny cafe in the mountains of Honduras, long weeks without mobile network, trying to catch any internet and then we have received an email. That my beloved papa very suddenly passed away. This is the worst in travelling. That you are far, far away.
It was an of-course decision, we wanted to go back home as fast as possible. Not that easy, when you are long, long, dusty and full of holes roads from good roads, leading to the airports. Not that easy, when you are in the country you cannot fly from (because you bought a car, you have it in your passport and you didn’t declare selling it). Not that easy to take any decision, when you are just crying.
We managed to get to the funeral in Poland, in 3 days. But there are people-travellers, who haven’t manage to get somewhere on time, for the funeral or for the last, very important talk. And I think this is the very, very worst thing about travelling. That sometimes you are not there, where you should.
But this you can never know.
Last time I talked with my papa, two years and few days ago. I told him we were nominated for the „blog of the year“ prize of National Geographic. He was very proud and he said that of course we will get it, no doubts about it. And this is 100% how he was: „of course you will get it, whatever you will wish“. I think I couldn’t get more from him, for my whole life.
And there was no question „if“ we go back to Poland. The question was „how“.
You want to know the story „how“?
Thanks to our good friend, who found the fastest flight, thanks to Tom’s parents, who bought us the tickets. In 3 days we were back in Poland. Driving like crazy, crossing whole Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan Peninsula, to get to Cancun. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, changing the flights twice in Europe and landing in Warsaw. Who would ever expect that..?
And we were again a bit lucky in this tragedy. Lucky to make it on time to Cancun, lucky to sell the car in half an hour, lucky to meet good people on the way.
We couldn’t fly from Honduras, because we didn’t tell on the border that we would sell the car and didn’t pay the taxes. We couldn’t fly from Guatemala, because the proper flights were just after 5 long days. We couldn’t fly from Belize, because that would mean crossing US and we didn’t have visas and time. So Cancun in Mexico, even if far away, was still the best option. 1500 kilometres (on Central American roads), during days and nights, tired and crying.
The first big problem appeared very fast: on the border with Guatemala. If you were with a car in Guatemala and you left the country, for next 3 months you are not allowed to get back. But we had to, our flight was in 2 days. In the right moment we met the nicest guy in Central America. He promised to open us the border at night and pretend that he has never seen us. Fiiiiine. Yes, we can.
But when he heard that we want to drive by night through Zacapa region, where the level of murders and kidnappings, especially at night, is the highest in the country, he said that he cannot risk our lives like this. And that we should sleep at the border and at 6am his friend will open the gate for us. He still showed us his house and offered some blankets and we really slept in the middle, between Honduras and Guatemala land. At 6 we are approaching the barrier and the “friend” doesn’t understand anything we are trying to tell him. No way, we won’t cross this border for next 3 months, no way. No, we can’t.
But we had to. So we went to the house of the guy from night, woke him up and beg for help. The morning guy was really thought but it seems that it’s difficult to say no to honestly crying woman. He let us go, illegally, fast, anyhow to Belize.
On the Belize border we have already been. So we knew that there is no real barrier, that there are a lot of people and you stop your car on the side, go to offices and drive again. So we knew we will be able to drive through the border, without being checked. But only after crossing the last border, with Mexico, we were sure that we will make it: getting on time to get the flight. We called Miguel, the guy who sold us the car 4 months earlier, and asked if he maybe doesn’t want to buy it back. And you know what? He wanted… And he even brought us to the airport afterwards…
We made it: sold the car, packed our stuff, get the plane. The girls were really taught, like they would understand the importance of those crazy hard days.
And it’s crazy that it is already 2 years from those days. And it’s crazy how much Hanna still remembers her beloved grandpa and how much she is talking about him. We have this little album with all her pictures „Hanna playing with grandpa“ and she is watching it at least once a week. He knows it, right?
PS. Santa Clause this year brough Hanna this book, in Polish („Niebo“) or French („Paradis“). The best book about death I have ever seen: “Niebo” by Bruno Gibert.
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »
Yes, it’s very sad post, but there is some kind of wisdom hidden behind these lines. It’s like a conspiracy of the nature that helps you when you are in need. As Paulo Cohelo said: ¨And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it¨. That, being objective, you wouldn’t have made it to come back so fast (due to the problems you wrote), but you did it. I didn’t know your dad, however, looking at those photos I can say that he was such a great man. I think that you have inherited something from him:)
Piękny tekst i wzruszające zdjęcia. Pamiętam, kiedy nagle przerwaliście Waszą podróż, obiecując wyjaśnienie. Niewykła ta historia i te niesamowite zbiegi okoliczności. Cudowne jest to jak zaszczepiacie w dziewczynkach pamięć o dziadku i ten album ze zdjęciami u Hani…Łzy w oczach, a to przecież obcy dla mnie człowiek. To jest w Was cudne, że tak przybliżacie siebie innym, pozwalacie się poznać i polubić. Tak zwyczajnie, po prostu. Widać, że lubicie ludzi, a sądząc po wpisach – oni lubią Was. I ja też Was lubię :) I czytam. I pozdrawiam, czekając na Waszą kolejną przygodę.
Ale miło przeczytać taki komentarz! Szczególnie podczas raczej średniego dnia. Dzięki, dzięki bardzo i pozdrawiamy i my!
This post made me cry… Very sad indeed… However, It is good you keep his memory alive and share your love to your father to us.
The pictures depict a very kind hearted man. May he continue rest in peace and be alive in your memories!
Oh, I can go on sharing my love, go on and on :)) Thanks!