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  • After a fairly uneventful yet painful time back in Scotland due to the healing process of my surgery (farting blood is not a good thing), I make plans to get myself back out there. I´m really racking my brain for thoughts on where to go and what to do. Do I go back to the Bolivian refuge I´ve called home for over a year or do I try something different? I do still have another ten months on my recently acquired visa in Bolivia so it would seem silly not to use it.

    While sweating blood (again with all the gore, but not literal this time) to raise the funds needed for another long stint overseas I fail to notice the three months I´m allowed to be out of Bolivia for my visa to still be active passing by. That’s one option out of the question now.

    I´ve booked a ticket to Mexico City via just about every airport in the world it would seem with the intention of farming on a ranch I´ve been in contact with and from there deciding whether to travel North to take part in an internship in Tampa Bay working with big cats on a rescue center (still waiting on news to see if I´m worthy of a Skype interview) or go South to volunteer in a rehabilitation and re-release program in Ecuador where I´d plan to settle down a while like I did in Bolivia.
    An hour after booking my flight to Mexico I receive an email from the Mexican host informing me that they are fully booked and can´t accommodate me. I take this news well.. F*****g w*****s!

    I´m writing to every ranch, farm, refuge and dog shelter in Mexico without much luck and still no wiser as to the situation with the big cat sanctuary (had my interview by now) and I´m now just thinking of my time in Mexico as being a quick stopover where I make plans for what I´m really going to do.

    Night before I´m due to fly I´m given conformation that I´ve been accepted for an internship to work in the USA for three months and they need a deposit asap and so begins a night of much needed rest being spent setting up a PayPal account and internet banking while under the influence of farewell Guinness and whiskey supplied by my parents.

    The next few days are horrendous and a constant string of calamities. My phone seems to have activated Roaming which I really don´t want and can´t figure out how to turn off, my email address has been frozen as soon as I try to activate it from Spain (O.K Mr. Ritchie we will email you a security code for you to reopen your account.. What the f…?) and my card isn´t being accepted for the flights I need to book from Mexico City to Tampa Bay.

    Eventually I manage to book flights and set up a new email address, but I really need to get into that other account and it´s no easy feat. I could do without all this.
    I fly to Frankfurt where I´ll get another connecting flight to Cancun and find it´s running 2 hours late. Perfect, I´ll probably miss my next connecting flight which was already going to be a close call. At the last moment before boarding my flight I´m told “You have a ticket for a different airline, you should go downstairs quickly to catch that one”.

    There is nothing down stairs and everyone is telling me I should be back where I started. I run up and explain this to the girl who originally sent me away from the boarding desk. “Oh, well it´s too late for this one now as it has boarded and ready to leave”. I begin to lose my cool. She then finds that my flight has been moved to another departure area not far from this one and is luckily for me (and her) running even later still.

    It costs 8 Euros to watch films on this flight and they don´t accept Visa debit or Mexican Pesos and so my long distance is cramped, miserable and I have a drunk pain in the arse trying to talk shit to me. Cancun would do nothing to ease my trip.

    From check in at Madrid I was told that my main luggage would go all the way to Mexico City and I wouldn´t need to worry about that. Bollocks! I just happened to ask while checking in at Cancun airport if my main luggage was in fact going straight through to which I´m informed that no it is not. I have to go back and retrieve my hold luggage and bring it back here for to be loaded onto this next flight.

    The security guys won´t let me back in to get my bag, I´m running out of time and I just want to sleep. I still don´t have a hostel booked for when I arrive in Mexico City and the fact I´m due to arrive at midnight is a worry still to look forward to, but that’s if I even catch this flight as I now wait forever for someone from the customs department to fetch my bag for me. It was a case of “tough shit” at first from them when I told them my predicament and how I couldn´t leave without my bag and eventually after much flapping I persuaded them to go and get my luggage.

    The security guard had a bandaged hand from an accident (maybe from the last tourist this happened to) and so while thanking him on getting my bag, I make sure to give that hand a firm squeeze.

    I find a taxi after finally landing in Mexico City and explain that I don´t have a hostel but would appreciate very much for him to help finding one that’s not too far away and not so expensive. While curb crawling for hostels in the middle of the night I slowly watch a large rectangular boulder about a foot high and maybe two foot wide get closer and closer to the middle of the car. I should have said something and had plenty of time to do so, but really thought he´d see it. Nope. Too busy doing me the favor of checking for hostels. I have no doubt that his vehicle is in need of repair.

    My hostel is so cheap and a room all to myself. A double bed, T.V, plug sockets, is that an on suit? Is that blood on my pillow?

    To be continued..
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