By Dawn Pier
Literally translated as, “What a miracle! It’s going to rain!” ¡Que Milagro! ¡Va a lluver! is a saying in Mexico employed when someone who has been away a long time reappears. In an area that receives as little rainfall as the peninsula, suggesting that a person’s appearance is just as rare as rain makes it a truly regional expression.
I was reminded of this expression yesterday as I drove my ATV the four miles from my house to an area known as Santa Elena and discovered that the grader had finally arrived on the Coast Road to repair it of large wash outs, erosion channels and never-ending washboard.
It’s only been a year since they last graded it. Yes, we’ve waited a year, two (albeit meager) rainfalls, several road races and immeasurable coastal traffic for the grader to return after it was here at the same time last year. The maddening thing is that it won’t last. They are repairing the roads just in time for the hoards of people who flock to the beach during Semana Santa to tear it up. Semana Santa is the “holy week” before Easter—and in Mexico, Easter is a bigger deal than Christmas. Children are let out of school and adults are given anywhere from four to ten days off work. And they all head for the beach. Over the next two weeks, the roads will be crowded with a flow of vehicles loaded with people, dogs, beach toys and camping gear. All this on a road that sees minimal traffic throughout the rest of the year.
It’s already begun – two days ago on my way home from the beach in Santa Elena, I witnessed a veritable traffic jam near a spot we call The Fig Tree. Five, maybe six, large SUVs were all pulled over to one side of the narrow road, hazard lights flashing in the dim light of dusk. It was a strange sight to behold on our normally quiet little Coast Road.
For now, I am enjoying the improved quality of the ride to and from town and the beach. It’s hard to believe it, but my drive time to town has been reduced by 20 minutes. For now. Of course, if I’m driving faster, then others are as well. The downside of an improved road is the risk of running into someone going even faster, pushing the boundaries of safety and control. Between the speed demons and the much-prayed-for spring rains, the improved road conditions won’t last. So I relish it while I can.
Heck, I might make an extra trip to town, just for the fun of it.
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