“Ripley, what are you doing??”

T – We have really enjoyed our time in Merida but these things must come to an end and it was time to move on.

We wanted to find a Wal-Mart first on the way out so we could replenish our AA battery stocks for our GPS. Having found one nearby we set off into the early morning traffic.

We were cruising down a major highway and had about 500 mt to go to our turn into Wal-mart when I suddenly saw cars and a bus brake hard and swerve. In the next instant an elderly gentleman was right in front of me, pushing his bicycle across 3 lanes of fast moving traffic.

I hauled on the brakes hard as I yelled into the headset “You fucking stupid old man!”

Mabels front end started to wash out and I knew I was going down. But no way was I going to run down another person if I could help it. At that moment Chantelle yelled “Shit!”.

Mabel can out brake Rosie every time and as Mabel shrugged off her speed in a very short distance Rosie and Chantelle just plowed straight into us. Then we were all down and screeching down the road. Bits of luggage flying off in all directions. I was back on my feet the moment I stopped sliding and ran back to see if Chantelle was ok.

Rosie was laying on her side, her throttle jammed wide open and screaming. I hit the kill switch and saw Channy was getting up. I then noticed that one of us must have clipped the old man and he was being helped to his feet by a multitude of bystanders. Where did these people suddenly appear from I have no idea! I asked him if he was ok and he said yes. I went back to poor Mabel who was laying tipped up on her side in the road with a steady stream of fuel running from her tank. Once I had her uprighted and off the road I turned back to help Chantelle get Rosie out of the way of stopped traffic. It was at this point an elderly lady appeared from nowhere and started yelling at me. She was very angry but I didnt understand what she was saying. By this time, and it was only maybe a minute after the crash, the old man who caused it all was several hundred meters down the road and moving away fast. I was a little miffed about this as basically he caused this whole mess.

Another gentleman had righted Rosie and wheeled her off of the road. He spoke a small amount of english and said he had seen the whole thing. He agreed that the old man had caused it, but his advice was for us to leave as quickly as we were able and he would deal with the screaming lady.

I kicked the bikes over and all the while the old lady stood and yelled at me from about a meter away. I don’t know why she was so mad at us but all I heard her say was “Policia! Policia”. Now had the old man been there still I would have been quite happy to speak to the police, but as he had quickly disappeared himself I figured that there wasn’t much point hanging around. As soon as the bikes started the old ladys screaming reached fever pitch. The man who had seen it all happen had given up trying to reason with her and just kept saying to us “Go. Go”. So go we did.

Mabel rode a little weirder than before. She steers a little more to the right while riding straight on. Poor bike. She has now had 3 major crashes and one fire, but still she goes. Will she make it to Usuahia? You can do it Mabel!

We rode straight out of there. Not even stopping for fuel, heading north as fast as we could. Then Chantelle said she had a pain in her side and wanted to get off the bike for 5 minutes. Both of us were quite shaken up and as the adrenaline wore of the shock of it all set in. We had narrowly missed killing someone else. And it wasn’t even our fault.


After a quick inspection of Chantelles side, which had a nice little bruise, we carried onto the coastal town of Progreso. There was meant to be some pink flamingos there and we were keen to see them.

It was a very touristy looking place and we ended up just riding through. Neither of us had the heart to get off of the bikes and look around today. We turned south east and headed for Izamal where we would stay the night. Just out of Progreso we saw some pink flamingos though! Pretty cool!

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As we got close to Izamal Chantelle started to feel really sick. She quickly hobbled off of her bike and sat in the gutter and heaved a few times. I was a bit worried about this as I thought maybe she was more hurt from her spill than we realised. When she stood up I had a quick look at her bruise. What I saw scared me a little. It was protruding out from her side. ALOT. This looked really bad and I was worried about internal damage. No wonder she felt ill.

We raced to the hospital in Izamal where the emergency doctor took one look at the rapidly growing lump and made immediate arrangements for Chantelle to be transferred by Ambulance back to a private hospital in Merida.


Back in Merida Chantelle was admitted to hospital and immediately underwent some tests. The lump kept growing and soon a surgeon was called. An ultrasound and an xray showed there was no major damage done and the cause of the lump was bleeding between the skin and the muscle. But it would need surgery to drain it and find the source of bleeding.

By the time the surgeons team was ready to operate the lump was huge. It reminded me of the Alien movies in that I was waiting, nay expecting, almost hoping, to see and alien burst forth and scurry off into an air vent! So we named the lump Sigourney in honour of Sigourney Weaver and the brilliant Alien movies.

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A few hours later the surgeon woke me up in the waiting room with a gruesome video of the surgery procedure. I watched horrified and feeling very ill as the footage showed handfuls of congealed blood being squeezed from the lump and then hands reaching inside the incision in Chantelles side and pulling out more blood. It was gross and I battled to hold my stomach together. And yes, there is a chance we are going to get the video for any of you weirdos who want to watch it!

Chantelle was then placed in a room for an over night stay. She is ok and is a bit groggy from the anaesthesia which made for some weird conversation! But she is ok and the surgeon is happy with the results.

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Tomorrow we shall stay put. In fact we shall stay put for a while. I have to go and pick up Rosie from Izamal, somehow, which is about 80km’s away.

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18 thoughts on ““Ripley, what are you doing??”

  1. I am so relieved that you are both ok, in spite of Sigourney. That must have been terrifying and not to mention the pissed off factor of someone doing something stupid. Hope Channy is on the mend quickly.

    • tncpowell

      Thanks Dar! It was a little freaky to be honest! But everything is good now! We also get to take a forced break, which we probably need. Gives me time to find a loophole for us to migrate to Canada!

  2. Jax

    Glad to hear Channy is ok.
    If you had been on bigger bikes the outcome could have been a whole lot worse.
    Take care of those girls Todd!

  3. are you alright aunty channy? miss you get better soon
    love bailee

    • tncpowell

      She is ok Bailee! Just a little bit sore! We are going to have a nice holiday for a week and rest up. Love Todd and Chantelle

  4. Janette and Dean

    Oh my! We are so sorry to hear about Chantelle’s injury. Big huge hugs and speedy recovery. Thinking of you both. xxx

    • tncpowell

      Oh hey guys! How are you both?! Chantelle is doing well. These things happen! We will spend a few days relaxing in the city!

      • Dean and Janette Daly

        Hey Todd and Chantelle! Great to hear Chantelle is coming around – that looked truly awful. Sorry to say, but overall it sounds like you did the right thing to keep moving after the accident. Unfortunately you may not always get fair legal treatment if you are perceived to be wealthy enough to pay compensation in a Central / South American country.

        Janette and I are both well – busy and happy! Wish you guys wee able to head north for Christmas in the Bulkley or Kispiox! We’ll keep track of you and be thinking of you both!!

        Safe and exhilarating travels!

        Dean and Janette

        • tncpowell

          Thanks guys! We talk about you two almost every day! We sent you a couple of emails, but I probably got the address wrong! Xmas in Smithers. Be careful what you wish for or we may just turn up on your doorstep!

        • tncpowell

          We are actually looking at what we have to do to be able to immigrate to Canada. We just loved it there so much! There is always that old house up the road from Graham that needs a new owner……

  5. Karen

    Oh my god! SO sorry to hear. And of course, I don’t expect an answer to my e-mail until you guys are all well and on the road again. Heal up quickly and if you find a way to move to Canada, you’ll have to stop back in on the way. (If I’m still in the US.)

    • tncpowell

      We both have been looking at moving to Canada, but it appears to be pretty well impossible for us as Aussies to do that unfortunately!

      • Brenda

        You need to find a sponsor or an employer who wants to hire a few ways I’m sure you have looked at. My wife is American I was able to sponsor her.
        Write a book of your worldly travel’s sell millions of copies 1 or 3 to me lol then you can live where ever you please.

        • Brenda

          Hey you are both Authors does that qualify 😆

          • tncpowell

            Hahaha! We can certainly try! We are updating our CV’s and will be submitting them to see if we do qualify with the work experience and qualifications we have!

        • tncpowell

          Haha! Does that mean you will buy 1-3 million copies? Hehe! We are going to look into it a bit more and see how it might work out for us. We both have absolutely fallen in love with Canada and the people there. It would be a dream come true if it worked out for us!

  6. Kris Edwards

    wow! so glad you are okay –

    • tncpowell

      Thanks Kris!

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