Toh-pays. That’s how you say “topes” in Spanish. I really wanted to get a picture of the topes and their warning sign, but alas, I was either too busy relaxing to think about it or hanging on for dear life when actually experiencing one.
What are topes?
Well, just calling them “speed bumps” doesn’t quite do it justice. These are not messing around! And, they were everywhere on Cozumel. Everywhere. Anytime we saw the sign or the tell-tale skid marks on the street, we’d yell, “TOPES!” …just in case the driver hadn’t noticed. Some of the topes were the equivalent of trying to drive over a beam that has been bolted into the ground…because they were beams that were bolted into the ground.
Regardless of who was driving, the warning shout was much appreciated. After all, we didn’t want to break our rental car…or our teeth. Driving in Mexico is a team sport, after all.
Moh-tohs. That’s how you say “motos” in Spanish. Motos are little scooters or smallish motorcycles. Nearly everyone in Cozumel has a moto. They are everywhere. They come out of nowhere. You have to pay attention, as a pedestrian, and as the operator of a lager (albeit smaller than normal) vehicle.
We saw whole families on one moto. Yes. For real. Mom, Dad, and two or three kids…all teetering on one moto. Yes. For real. Nearly everyone had on a helmet…except the babies. Yes, the babies. My heart stopped every time I saw a family on a moto.
“MOTO!” was another word we yelled as we were driving along. Between avoiding the motos and the topes, it’s a wonder the driver wasn’t jittery.
The Direct Translation of Mexican Road Signs Makes Me Giggle.
All along the highway were signs. There was no rhyme or reason to the signs, and they almost all looked alike at first glance. None of them were in English, but I wouldn’t expect them to be. Some were informative with mere suggestions (“Don’t forget to dim your lights!”), and some were extremely important. (“One lane road ahead!” or ” Loose gravel!”)
This has to be my favorite:
“NO REBASE CON RAYA CONTINUA”
Literally means, “It does not escape with continuous ray.”
Do you have a continuous ray? Because if so, we’re never getting out of here.
What does it really mean? “No passing with a solid line.”
Gee, that’s not nearly as exciting.
Then again, after dodging darting motos and coming to a screeching halt to hump it over topes, the bar of excitement was set pretty high. ;)