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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the Lake Chapala area, is it safe to drive to:

Guadalajara?
Puerto Vallarta?
Areas between Lake Chapala and the US?

And (hate to have to ask) can you always (mostly) trust the Police?

c
 

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From the Lake Chapala area, is it safe to drive to:

Guadalajara? Yes
Puerto Vallarta? Yes
Areas between Lake Chapala and the US? Yes

And (hate to have to ask) can you always (mostly) trust the Police? Yes

c
There are no guarantees in life. The above answers are based on my experience. Mostly I take buses, but I have driven around as well, often on back roads, sometimes at night. I frequently hitchhike in rural areas. I have never had a problem. My only experience with the police was in a tiny town (Guadalupe y Calvo) near the Zacatecas-Chihuahua-Durango intersection. We were trying to find a mountain and the local police got in their truck and led us to the base of it.
 

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There are no guarantees in life. The above answers are based on my experience. Mostly I take buses, but I have driven around as well, often on back roads, sometimes at night. I frequently hitchhike in rural areas. I have never had a problem. My only experience with the police was in a tiny town (Guadalupe y Calvo) near the Zacatecas-Chihuahua-Durango intersection. We were trying to find a mountain and the local police got in their truck and led us to the base of it.
Would you recommend that a woman on her own drive on back roads at night or hitchhike in rural areas?
 

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We drive ole Bessie between Lake Chapala and San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a distance at its shortest, of some 1,500 kilometers. Sometimes we go through Veracruz State from Puebla to Minatitlan to Tuxtla GUtierrez and sometimes we go through Puebla to Oaxaca City and Tehuatepec and on to Arriaga and home to San Cristóbal and then sometimes we head through the primitive Costa Chica up through Guererro through Acapulco and then on to such places as Taxco and then on to the lake and, By God, we are still here. Watch out for Taxco, however, if you start rolling down a hill in that town you may end up drowning in the Pacific. That is one steep town. I once dropped some eyeglasses there and picked them up in Cuenevaca impeccably polished by pine needles. Some fartblossom tried to sell them to me but he did not succeed.
 

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Would you recommend that a woman on her own drive on back roads at night or hitchhike in rural areas?
Yes. Most of the rides I get when I hitchhike are in the back of pickups. Usually, it is a couple in the front. Driving at night, the biggest danger is hitting a tope (speed bump).

But everybody's tolerance for risk is different. People have to do what they are comfortable with. I don't hitchhike in the US.
 

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Yes. Most of the rides I get when I hitchhike are in the back of pickups. Usually, it is a couple in the front. Driving at night, the biggest danger is hitting a tope (speed bump).

But everybody's tolerance for risk is different. People have to do what they are comfortable with. I don't hitchhike in the US.
Speaking as a woman of "a certain age", I wouldn't be comfortable hitching a ride in Mexico City, much less on a lonely country road.
 

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Yes. Most of the rides I get when I hitchhike are in the back of pickups. Usually, it is a couple in the front. Driving at night, the biggest danger is hitting a tope (speed bump).

But everybody's tolerance for risk is different. People have to do what they are comfortable with. I don't hitchhike in the US.
Between San Cristóbal de Las Casasa nd Pelenque, Chiapas, a distance of maybe 350 kilometers at most . there are at least 280 topes, many unmarked and quite dangerous. Most are under the jurisdiction of indigenous villagers who do not give a damn what you think about their traffic control procedures. I suggest you respect their prerogetives . It´s an oterwise nice drive if a bit hampered by road obstructions placed here and there at random by people disinclined to seek you opniion.
 

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Speaking as a woman of "a certain age", I wouldn't be comfortable hitching a ride in Mexico City, much less on a lonely country road.
In my opinion, hitchhiking in Mexico City would be far, far more hazardous than hitchhiking in some rural area. I never hitchhike in large cities. Not to mention that no one would pick you up even if you tried.

But I appreciate that the world is a different place for women than it is for men.
 

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In my opinion, hitchhiking in Mexico City would be far, far more hazardous than hitchhiking in some rural area. I never hitchhike in large cities. Not to mention that no one would pick you up even if you tried.

But I appreciate that the world is a different place for women than it is for men.
It certainly is!
 

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I have hitch rides in rural Chiapas but always with a man. It is common there to hitch rides where there is no public transportation available and it is also the custom to offer money for the ride. You usually get picked up on the back of a pick up but not always.
 

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I suggest you approach the "are the police honest" types of questions from the starting point that most police in Mexico are your enemy ... not to be confused with "we serve and protect" (persons other than the criminal element) and honesty. "Topes" are oftentimes the greatest risk one facts on some of the nation's (non-toll) roadways. If you're not accustomed to them, it'll be quite an experience.
 

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I would say that in driving at night ther are more dangers than topes, animals potholes and the risk of breaking down leaving you stranded on the side of the rod. During the day most of the time someone will stop to help you but I would not want to be at the mercy of the first person who stops at night. We were stranded once for many hours during the day because a metal piece on the road slahed out tires and damaged the underside of the car. We were in the middle of nowhere in Vera Cruz state and altough it was bad because of the beating sun , I sure was happy it was not dark. Another time my husband broke down going to SL Potosi , it was dark and raining by the time someone helped him and it is not a good situation to find oneself in.
Another time my husband flipped the car at night on a mountain road and the municipal cops who got him out lifted his wallet. I demanded to get the Federal cops on the site and told them the municipal cops had robbed him and they told me they believed me but that was not their job to do anything about it. By the time all this ended (it started at 8pm) we found ourselves in the jungle on a mountain road at 2am, the Federales took us to the hotel and extorted money out of me...If someone ask me if the cops can be trusted, I would say sometimes but you are better off not having any dealings with them without any witnesses.
 

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Agreed

There are no guarantees in life. The above answers are based on my experience. Mostly I take buses, but I have driven around as well, often on back roads, sometimes at night. I frequently hitchhike in rural areas. I have never had a problem. My only experience with the police was in a tiny town (Guadalupe y Calvo) near the Zacatecas-Chihuahua-Durango intersection. We were trying to find a mountain and the local police got in their truck and led us to the base of it.
Agreed. People are kinder and the world is a safer place then some would have you believe in general. But as always use your head and have your wits about you. And a a lil hidden cash in your socks never killed anyone.

:fingerscrossed:
 

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I would say that in driving at night ther are more dangers than topes, animals potholes and the risk of breaking down leaving you stranded on the side of the rod. During the day most of the time someone will stop to help you but I would not want to be at the mercy of the first person who stops at night. We were stranded once for many hours during the day because a metal piece on the road slahed out tires and damaged the underside of the car. We were in the middle of nowhere in Vera Cruz state and altough it was bad because of the beating sun , I sure was happy it was not dark. Another time my husband broke down going to SL Potosi , it was dark and raining by the time someone helped him and it is not a good situation to find oneself in.
Another time my husband flipped the car at night on a mountain road and the municipal cops who got him out lifted his wallet. I demanded to get the Federal cops on the site and told them the municipal cops had robbed him and they told me they believed me but that was not their job to do anything about it. By the time all this ended (it started at 8pm) we found ourselves in the jungle on a mountain road at 2am, the Federales took us to the hotel and extorted money out of me...If someone ask me if the cops can be trusted, I would say sometimes but you are better off not having any dealings with them without any witnesses.
Ask Rodney King
 

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Ask Rodney King

Rodnry King s dead. Citlali´s husband is still allive partly thanks to having paid off the local cops and federal cops on the border of Mexico and Guatemala on the desolate slopes of the Tacaná Volcano in the middle of the morning in the pitch black darkness about 50 kilometers outside of Tapachula. Everyone was crooked. The local and federal constabularies, the local city and county functionaries, the newspaper people, the toilet paper replenishers, everybody. If you want to survive in the Mexican outback when there you are start and kissing ass as if there were no tomorrow, take out the wallet and hope you have bus fare to home once they drrain it. Same is true in Kenya and Mozambique and Chicago and Ouagadougou. Travel abroad at your own risk.

Is it safe to drive in Mexico? That´s according to what crooked cop of errant gangster you happen to pass along the way. Same as in the piney woods of Alabama or redwood forests of Northern California. Hold on to your shorts.
 

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And (hate to have to ask) can you always (mostly) trust the Police?
No. Do not trust the police. Keep about thirty dollars in your wallet and no more, or the equivalent in pesos. It's enough of a mordita that most cops will accept it and go on their way. Fold your real money, and keep the bills under your instep, inside of the socks, because, no matter if you are doing anything wrong or not, the police will empty your pockets and pat you down. They will look through your wallet, of course. They will even pat your ankles. Keep at least $100 with you, in your shoe, at all times in case they accuse you of doing something really serious. $100 bucks, at the scene, with only one or two cops to bribe, will get you on your way no matter what's going on. The further it goes, the more people that get involved, the harder the matter becomes to settle.

No doubt, I'll be accused of making some kind of broad, sweeping, unfair generalization here, but I'll stand by it. Police corruption in Mexico is no joke, and you do not want to go to jail. This can all come about simply because you turned the wrong way on a one way street or missed a stop sign totally obscured from view by a low hanging branch of a tree. Once I was accused of possessing drugs because I had some medicine for my cat in a little bag that still contained the receipt from the pharmacy. It's not about justice. It's not about whether something will "hold up" in court. It's about right now. They want some money. You have some money they want.

That said, I don't even strongly dislike Mexican cops. They work for $45 a week so turn to morditas to supplement their income. Like it or lump it, that's just the way it is. You can rail and complain all you wish, but the best strategy is to understand the game they are playing with you and be prepared to pay when you have to pay. Besides, it doesn't happen that often...
 

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That said, I don't even strongly dislike Mexican cops. They work for $45 a week so turn to morditas to supplement their income.
The worst sort of rationale, IMO. They're poorly paid so it's okay that they cheat, rob, steal and extort money from others to enrich themselves? The ability to abuse people is why so many take the job. They're low-lifes, scum ... and their families know what they're doing and condone it and are equally responsible for the abuse. That's part of the damaged national DNA I refer to. The USA saw some of this same perverted behavior during the Prohibition Era. But the nation eventually had enough. It'll only stop in Mexico when people have had enough. Sad to say, I doubt that'll happen in my lifetime.
 

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That said, I don't even strongly dislike Mexican cops. They work for $45 a week so turn to morditas to supplement their income. Like it or lump it, that's just the way it is....
I don't know where you live but in my area you can't find a high school kid to rake leaves for $45 a week. Where do you come up this number?
 
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