8/4/97, Villahermosa--

Woke up real sick. Sore throat, congestion, water works, the whole bit. I feel like H-E-double toothpicks. We picked up Alaska from the mechanic. Three days of labor resulted in a bill of $850 pesos. Thatís about $107 bucks for a clutch replacement. Ouch! (not!). We tipped them $100 for their dedicated help. The mechanic was a real pro. We gave him a scare, however, when it came time for the big test drive. He couldnít get the transmission to engage, so I gave it a try and couldnít do it either. He was looking real worried, when I noticed the transfer lever was in neutral. We all shared a sigh of relief! We were well taken care of by these folks. I took some pictures of their outfit and couldnít recommend a better, more experienced group to entrust your vehicle to.

Chanda has left us. We put her on a plane this morning at 8:30. Her absence has me pretty bummed and, combined with the cold, makes me a bit depressed. Todd said, "Weíre all youíve got now!" That scares me. Later this morning, Herculesí front windows were smashed, and a few things were stolen. Nothing of significant value: The CB and some hiking boots. We cleaned up thousands of bits of broken glass, then Dave set out to find a glass shop to replace the windows. Two hours and a couple hundred pesos later, they were fixed. Not a fantastic job, but itíll do to get us home.


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