October 10, 2003 GMT
Room Service!

I met Dom and Leah at the bike rally in Creel. Dom is a plant manager and Leah a civil engineer. They met whilst working on the same construction project on the M25. They are riding to Buenos Aires on Kawasaki KLR650’s they bought in Vancouver. From BA they’ll fly to Oz and start up a business together.

After missing each other several times we finally got together in Puerto Vallarta. They had met another English couple, Howie and Elaine, who are on their way to Mexico City where they pick up the next leg of thier rtw tickets. They'd bought a car in Vancouver which they plan to sell in Belize.

We all retired to a local bar for a few drinks. I left them at 2am when they went off to get something to eat.

I was trying to decide whether I would travel with Dom and Leah on their bikes for a few days as we are basically going in the same direction. The only problem is that they get up and go to bed late whilst I get up and go to bed early. This suggests a fairly basic incompatibility. However, they are fun and since I’ve never travelled with any other bikers before I decided to give it a go.

The result of the nights drinking was a plan to drive south down the coast, spend the afternoon on the beach, stay locally and get to Guadalajara the next day. I got up at 7.30 am and went to get my usual latte and bagel for breakfast. On the way I thought it might be a good idea to get them for everyone as, knowing that Dom and Leah are incapable of getting going before about midday. it might kick start them into some kind of hyper activity. When we met the previous day I was having lunch and they breakfast. Would fresh coffee from room service help?

Their hotel was pretty, larger and consequently pricier than mine. It was like a traditional cell block around a central atrium. There were loads of large potted plants on the ground floor which made it feel less like a prison.

I knocked on their ground floor door, room 4. The windows were shut. It must be pretty hot in there I thought.

‘Good morning, Dom and Leah, Room Service here, coffee and bagels for breakfast, please open the door.’

‘Hi’ Dom said, really a lot more awake than I would have thought. There was no sound from Leah.

I waited outside. Did Dom hear me and then just roll over and fall asleep again? I waited a bit more wondering if I should go through it again. Trying not to get too impatient I chilled out and waited some more.

A short while later I could see movement behind the door. The latch went and the door slowly opened. Dom stood there in his boxers looking slightly sleepy.

‘Hi, I’ve brought you some coffee and croissants so we're ready to leave at nine o’clock.’

‘Wow, thanks’. Dom looked rather pleased.

‘Which room are Howie and Elaine in?’

‘Thirty four’ said Leah from somewhere inside.

I went upstairs looking for thirty-four. It was on the third floor as I remembered Howie complaining about how hot it was in the evening having had the sun on the roof all day.

I knocked on the door and went through my routine. I heard a sound and the curtains started to twitch. I saw a hand draw them aside. I offered the small plastic bag with two lattes held tightly in it to keep them upright through the window. The hand took them and they disappeared inside. At that moment Howie drew the curtain back. He looked a bit surprised but also really pleased that I’d brought him breakfast. It was quite touching.

It was at this point I realised there was a teeny weeny problem. It wasn’t Howie. It was some one I’d never seen before and now he had my coffees. The windows were barred. How was I going to get them back? I started laughing.

The curtain moved again and my coffees slowly re-emerged.

‘Thank you, sorry about that’ I said.

I laughed again and chuckled as I went downstairs to have another go at getting the right room for Howie and Elaine.

I told the story to Dom and Leah. It was just another one of those things that seem to happen to me on a fairly regular basis.

‘This is what life’s all about’, I said. Leah started to snort and giggle. She had an extraordinary laugh. Even weirder than my sneezes.

‘So what room are they really in?’

‘It’s thirty-five ‘ said Dom.

‘Thirty-four was the one we were going to have but didn’t’, said Leah helpfully.

I went back upstairs and tried my now finely tuned routine for the third time.

Elaine opened the door and I gave them to her explaining what had just happened.

‘He’s another biker, Rob, an American'. Rob started in Virginia and is also headed to Ushaia. We’re all on the same southerly wave.

I met him a couple of hours later outside my hotel as I was going to meet Dom and Leah.

‘I was asleep and this bloke woke me up. All I heard was 'I’ve got your lattes and bagels' so I took them as they came through the window. When I heard you laughing I thought you must be ok so I gave them back. I could hear you laughing as you went downstairs.’

I'm sure we’ll meet again in a few weeks. We actually met in Punta Perula two days later. When I asked him what he like to do the next day he replied 'Be allowed to keep my own fresh coffee and bagel for breakfast'.

I'm typing this in a restaurant still waiting for Dom and Leah to arrive for lunch (thier breakfast). I’ve decided to go with the flow today.

Visit www.fowb.co.uk for more stuff.

Posted by Jeremy Bullard at October 10, 2003 11:41 PM GMT
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