This weeks it has been half a year since I set off to live my Dreams. Half a year of life on the road, among strangers and Smiles. In this half a year I managed to somehow domesticate myself on the road. Sleeping in different place every time is an everyday occurrence, searching for a secret behind a curve is almost “routine” and a conversation with a complete stranger may it be asking for directions or a more profound conversation about Life feels so familiar.
Even if sleeping in a different place every time became an everyday occurrence, this still does not mean that I’m always eager to look for a place to pitch my tent. Sometimes I opt for a simpler option and I stop at a fire station.
Firefighters (Bomberos as they are called around here) are, judging by the information that I have received, traditionally friends of travellers, especially us that are wandering around on a bicycle. With them you can almost every time find a place to sleep. Sometimes a lawn for pitching your tent, but more often a corner inside the fire station or even a bed. Usually there is also a kitchen where you can prepare yourself something (if they do not offer you a meal as well), lots of times a shower (though not always with running water) and on some occasions even a Wifi.
On the day I have reached 6 months on the road, I found myself waking up in a bed of a fire station in a town of Ixmiquilpan. The evening before I have sheltered myself there since the night was approaching and I really did not feel like looking for a place to camp in town. I have politely asked if I could camp there and this eventually turned into an offer to sleep in a bed that I have gratefully accepted. After a whole day of pushing the pedals I was properly sweaty so I have turned my attention to locate a place where I would be able to wash myself. Behind some door there was a big room that was hiding a modest bathroom (two toilet seats and two showers). Overjoyed I prepared some fresh clothes and headed for the first shower. I turn on one handle and nothing happens. I turn on the second handle, again nothing. So I try the next shower – nothing. Little less overjoyed I walk to the firefighters and tell them that apparently there is no water. No problem comes a reply and one of them steps outside with me following close behind. With a bucket he scoops water from some sort of a holding tank and hands me a full bucket. Yes, this could work as well. And again overjoyed I go into the bathroom and as I was about to start washing myself someone knocks on the door. So I put on my clothes and I take a look at what’s going on. I was not really prepared for a question what will I use the water for but somehow I managed to compose a reasonable answer. The man replies that with the water I have might not be suitable for what I wanted to use it for. It’s “filthy”. He will give me some clean one and then he rushes outside for a new bucket just that this time around he does not fill it from the holding tank but directly from a fire truck.
Freshly washed I later lay in a bed and connect myself to their Wifi so that I can connect with the world a bit before I cover myself with a blanket and fall asleep knowing that I’m in a safe place with a roof over my head.
In the morning when I got up, there was coffee and some Mexican pastry waiting there for me.
Thank you firefighter team from Ixmiquilpan!
This however was not my only experience of spending the night with firefighters. In US I have camped twice next to a fire station and in the town of Gueydan, Louisiana the dispatcher, Kyle opened the doors of the garage where I was able to spread my sleeping bag on the floor. Afterwards he also prepared me an excellent birthday dinner for me. – Thanks Kyle!
I was hosted also by the firefighters in Aldama, Chihuahua where I turned up just before nightfall and with a thunderstorm looming, they offered me a bed with a fixed roof over my head. – Thanks team!
One night I spent also with Civil protection/Firefighters in Rodeo, Durango – Thanks Enrique & Mario!
Well soaked and well after nightfall I stopped at firefighters in Sombrerete, Zacatecas. They have also given me a warm welcome and offered a roof over my head – Thanks team!
Also firefighters in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato opened their doors for me and offered me a couch where I was able to spend the night – Thanks team!
For sure I’m very thankful to all the firefighters that have so far hosted me (as well as to all the other people that have in their way helped me in these 6 months on the road). I hope and wish that this trend will continue.
With a Smile on my face, until next time!