TBT - (1965) "When Pigs Fly"

In the USA we enjoy October 31st as 'Halloween' - the Mexicans celebrate ''Dia De Los Muertos' (Day of the Dead) on that date and it is a big thing down there. In fact it is a three day holiday established a thousand plus years ago.

My first experience with that three day holiday in Mexico was as a student down there in 1965. This was at 'The University of the Americas'. My wife and I thought it would be great to experience Acapulco during this time off from studies so we gathered some students together to go with us in our vehicle and help split the expenses of the trip.

My wife and I had a Ford panel van that I had customized for travel and camping - including a special rack on the top. So we were able to squeeze 8 students inside and two laid down on the roof rack. The trip from Mexico City to Acapulco was 200 miles of narrow twisting asphalt - dropping down from the high country (8,000') to the steamy coastal jungle.

We left late in the evening of the last day of classes and heard the usual warnings from those that were not making the trip about night travel in Mexico - slow down for narrow bridges, watch out for animals and people wandering the road, and of course there are the occasional bandits to look out for.

One o'clock in the morning we are cruising along the narrow road just east of Acapulco when all of a sudden a huge tusker comes racing out of the tropical foliage and on to the road in front of us. Wham! The truck bucked hard, the pig went flying, and I quickly pulled over to the side. As I moved around the truck with a flashlight to look for damage - a couple guys ran back up the road for the pig. The truck was okay - the pig was dead. So we hauled the pig up onto the roof rack and laid him down next to the only student that sleep through the fiasco - and then made a quick getaway before an irate farmer with a big machete came collecting.

One of the students had been in Acapulco before and directed us to a little fishing village south of the town. Here we were able to trade the pig to some fishermen for the use of thatched huts for the next few days - plus a couple meals off the pig when they cooked it up. Great! I had only collected enough money to cover gas and some food - not enough for any hotels!

We had a lot of fun in Acapulco - at least as much as Elvis. Body surfing the huge waves crashing on Playa Condesa was my kind of sport.

And that little fishing village were we camped out in 1965? They spoiled it by building the world famous Acapulco Princes Hotel on that beach.