As a Photographer hunting for shots around the Chicxulub Crater I must of been some 130 miles from the off coast point of impact, where i found myself becoming subject to one of the Highway hijacking set ups.
Newly built government highways in parts of Mexico are common place for tourists to be hijacked. The roads are completely quite for long periods of time and no signs of civilization so to speak of. Newly laid black tarmac gives the illusion that the road is flat even if somebody has dug a massive hole then filled in with a layer of tarmac, its completely invisible especially with polarized sun glasses on.
It’s not uncommon for a group of people to set up these traps along the highway then just live in the jungle, as many tourists travel with lots of money and possession’s its a well worth venture for waiting gangs to just waiting for a car to hit the trap spin off the road and now thay have tourists in the middle of no were hurt and totally venerable, so you can see its big rewards with minimal out lay.
In my case I was extremely lucky as the road gang must of just returned back to their villages leaving a trap unmanned, but unfortunately I was on my own driving at night along that highway must of been around 9.30/10pm ish I hit the trap at around 55-70Mph at night – I never saw it, I just heard the crack of my hands on the steering wheel and remember seeing the headlights flashing images of the foliage as it kept slapping on the windshield.
The trucks front wheel must of folded at speed from the hole and completely flipped the track over in a twisting fashion and catapulted it away from the road and flipped through the jungle landing on its hood with the cab nearly flattened.
When I came too after slipping in and out of conciseness it was daylight and I was in a very unfashionable position hanging upside down, with a head that feels like a melon. I find myself trapped my face in the dirt the drivers truck door completely bust back but not enough for me to get out I tried but the only way was to dig under the remainder of the door frame. So cutting the belt whilst your hanging from it always looks much better in the movies than in real life, I thought I was uncomfortable before `snap` I cut the belt (well kept tugging with the knife forever) and now my whole body weight is on my face - and is if in a comedy at that point part of my driving diner from last night (part of a sandwich) fell open onto my face. Apart from the pain I started to get a fit of the giggles imaging if I was found by a rescue team trying to rescue a photographer who has his head up his ass upside down in the front of his truck with a sandwich on his face.
So speeding on – cutting a long story short I twisted and got myself around to start to get out of the truck. If I did not tie the (Aquapure Traveller) filter bottle onto my belt I don’t believe I would of been close to hand after the accident. I opened the bottle and removed the filter top – so now i have a small and but very robust digging scoop, scraping away at the earth that seemed like hrs, got enough room to get my shoulder outside the truck. I’ll say 3 hrs later i was free of the wreckage – I remember turning around and looking back at the truck it was completely engulfed by the jungle, completely invisible - still clutching the now quite battered plastic Aquapure Traveller bottle.
After getting myself together, I devised a plan on my situation (long explanation here of the plan and what to do ill move on to make it more interesting). I limped off in a very ungainly manner looking for something to better water proof part of the wreckage as I’m expecting to be preparing for a long duration, so weather proofing is important and whilst on my limping adventure let’s see about water and creepy crawly bugs I can find as I’m getting a little peckish – Well let me say there was no New Zealand style 4000 foot water fall of fresh water, no eveon mountain spring and by the smell of it nothing I don’t think the bravest of men would drink.
There must of been some rain fall because just a few filthy looking muddy mosquito infested puddles left under plants from the truck tyre tread, “well when in Rome !!”. By using part of the largest big ass leaf i could lay my hands on fashions a kind of funnel and set about darting from muddy puddle to muddy puddle scooping and tipping into my bottle (Aquapure Traveller bottle).
I was so thirsty now looking into the bottom of the bottle – I looked into the bottle and thought really quench my thirst and probably die in 3 days of some strange bacteria that will resembal something from the Alien Films with the monster bursting out of your stomach – or drink nothing and die in 3 days of dehydration in this heat, no i got the giggles again and realised why am I always on my own when funny things happen.
Well here goes nothing and just before I drank from the bottle, the amnesia from the accident stopped for a second and I remembered – I still have a filter and its back in the wreak. I shoot off hopping and limping back to the truck, retrieved the filter, and stared checking the filter for cracks before putting it back onto the bottle. then started to laugh to myself what am I checking it for 20minutes ago i was going to just drink the water out of the open bottle …
Got the top on and yes it leaked a bit only because I busted the bottle digging, gave it a shack and started to drink from the bottle, well it felt like a drip a hr fell from the bottle but every drip felt like a pint of fresh lovely-ness. even though it took a long time before I could even feel the water my mouth was so dry.
With this filter I knew there was hope, I knew there was a way out and i knew there was a possibility of rescue.
Without that bottle I could not be writing this story to tell you.