The “25 day tire” story started late one night, on my second day here, driving alone on the Corridor. The Corridor is a two-way road that goes North to South, and at night is basically pitch black dark. There are a few portions of this road that are lit up, but for most of the road – darkness. I am still confused every time I drive it at night, why the lights are not on….There are lights, but they just don’t turn them on???? HUH??? WHY?? Some parts of this road are very curvy, and don’t even have lane line indicators making it very, very dangerous – especially driving in total darkness.
Ironically, I had been to look for new tires earlier in the day, as I was concerned from the looks of the tire shops that my tires came from. I went to Costco and they did not have the tires for my car. A local friend then was kind enough to take my car to a tire shop and they had one tire in stock, which I had them replace, and a second tire was ordered. Not that I need the most expensive tires, but when two tires cost $120 for a Mercedes, I was a bit skeptical. The tire on order was going to take a week to arrive.
So, on day two of my arrival, I was still nervous about driving in the day time, let alone driving alone at night….and not totally sure my tires were in good shape. I guess this post should also be the one that talks about driving in Cabos in general. You might be thinking, it’s only a two-lane road, how difficult is that? Let me count the reasons….
1. There are NO merging lanes. You have to gun it, and move super fast to merge on to the corridor from basically any entry point. (Think Fred Flintstone)
2. Many Mexican drivers either drive about 90-100 miles an hour, tailing you closer than the French do (Trust me, I know this), or they drive the extreme opposite, about 15-20 miles an hour. So, you are driving around 60mph, and all of sudden the driver in front of you is crawling….You can’t be distracted for a single second, or your will ram right into the person in front of you. I was told that Mexicans are required to have a drivers license, but do not have to pass a driving test – many don’t know how to drive.
3. There are no turn around points. Well, this is not technically true because here, they consider the underpass (bumpy, dirt, gravel pathway) the turn around point. These “Retorno’s” or Turn-Around Points are actually ARROYO’s which means “Dry Creek” in Spanish. This is where here in the Baja, the water flows out to the Sea of Cortez after a rain storm or hurricane.
4. The Bumps or TOPE’s – They are EVERYWHERE – and they come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small diameter but mountainous, some are fatter and lower, and some are large sized dotted bumps in the road. Another surprise is that sometimes there will be a sign alerting you that is a TOPE ahead, and sometimes there is no alerting sign and BANG! Oh…and sometime the sign is right in front of the TOPE and BANG! No wonder tires are such a big business here….and Tires are actually supposed to be the topic of this post.
Back to the “25 day Tire” story – So, day 2 of my arrival, I was driving North on the Corridor from the Montage Hotel back to my house. It was night time, and like I said earlier, most of the drive is pretty dark. As I was driving, all of a sudden my tire indicator lights go on, which has never happened to me before. It was dark and I really didn’t know the landmarks here yet to know how far away I was from a gas station. I fumbled around for my phone (got rid of the facial recognition after this night) and of course called Xavier. He was not far behind me, and I was able to get to a gas station without incident. Now, being that Xavier had just driven the 22 hour Cali to Cabo drive, and had 3 flat tires, he is now an expert tire changer. He changed my tire in less than 10 minutes, put the spare on, and we were on our way. Oh, this tire is one of the tires that got changed on the Cali to Cabo drive – obviously from the looks of it, it was VERY VERY used.
Clearly, I needed a new tire ASAP – this was the other tire that was ordered earlier in the day. I of course had NO IDEA I was driving around with a tire this bad. After this incident, I told Xavier I wanted all my tires to be looked at, ,and wanted to take my car to the Mercedes Benz dealership (there are actually a lot of Mercedes here) right away! I think he knew that this was the only way to move forward with handing this situation. We drove up there the following morning and they were really nice and helpful. They said that I actually, needed TWO new tires. Ironically, the tire that was changed the day before, was not the right tire for my car so this one needed replaced again. I felt better about ordering all the necessary tires from the dealership. Not sure where the tires came from but it took over two weeks to arrive – so by the time I got new tires it took 25 days.
So after 25 days I was back on the road again. Krug was super happy, as my car is low to the ground and he can hop in and out very easily. The moral of this post is to “Be Patient” here in Mexico – sometimes you just have to wait it out…..