Thursday, October 1, 2009


I cannot believe it, but we drove 18 hours non-stop to reach Mazatlan yesterday at 11:30 a.m. local time. My wife and I changed driving seats in order to achieve this remarkable feat. However, we did experience a situation about 30 minutes past "EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO" or "DEVIL's SPINE", this is the highest point of the Mexican rockies, about 12,000 ft.

We had a flat tire on the front passanger side.

I ran over a metallic object that sliced the inside of the tire, God blessed us that this happened in an area where we could pullover on the curve ridden road.

We did not only have a spare tire, but an actual regular tire with us - one problem, I forgot the key to the padlock back home.

We had no cell phone coverage either from our U.S. or Mexican cell phones. We had nothing to cut the chain that had our spare locked under the truck.

We reviewed our options and I decided to catch a ride.

The problem was which way should I go? Up or down the highway?

At that moment a "GAMESA" distributor passed by, somewhat like a "DUNKIN DONOUT" truck, and they told me that there was a small rest stop about 3 minutes away downhill. So, I was given a ride.

Upon reaching the stop, the distributor hooked me up with someone he knew that could help me, except the cavalry did not have gas in his vehicle to drive us back to where my family was waiting.

We decided to walk.

Although we were on the road walking UPHILL in mountains over 10,000 feet in elevation, it was PAINFUL! Every hotdog and hamburger that I have ever eaten and that had been conserved as fat in my body was yelling at me.

The mechanic was just like nothing, to him it was a walk in the park.

As we were walking, I was able to appreciate God's beauty in those mountains, there were several natural waterfalls next to the highway. It was green and jungle like.

It took us 30 minutes of walking straight up before we got my wife and two daughters.

In a matter of minutes everything got fixed.

We arrived at Mazatlan safely after that.

Needless to say that upon arrival at the hotel, there were several organizational issues with the Mexican Chess Federation that we solved except one. During the day, both Anna Jin, the Canadian Delegate and myself with consultation from our national federations will work with the Mexican Chess Federation President, Mr. Raul Hernandez, to iron out one last issue.

We will keep you posted once everything is solved.

On other news, last night we went to the airport to receive Deepak Aaron and his father, Deepak will be representing the United States in the under 16 boys. I was personally touched when his father gave me a gift for having picked them up at the airport.

Today we return to the airport at 12:30 to pick-up 80% of the U.S. delegation.

By the way, as I am writing this post, I am looking out my window and I see the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

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