As I begin to type this entry into our road ‘guide’ I have a sudden shudder as I remember the open manhole that Teri and I struck last night, thankfully at low speed. It’s not that the cover was missing by the way, it’s just that it sank into the ground about a foot and
therefore failed at its intended purpose. So far Tootsie, that’s our toffee coloured VW Jetta / Tank, has not shown any adverse effects but I’m still concerned for her. You may be thinking, “how did you not see a ‘missing’ manhole cover?” and I would normally concur. But here in Mexico, I have to say, the remarkable multi-tasking art of operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in traffic is next-level challenging and at the time I was short one extra pair of eyes as I was watching 3 groups of people crossing in three different areas near the intersection, oncoming traffic that was still advancing after the red to turn left into the lane I was legally proceeding into and also keeping an eye out
for the Churro guy who sets up on the roadside there. Ok, I confess, I was more excited about finding the Churro guy… mmmmm hot Churros are so good! Seriously, 3 fresh baked Churros for 10 pesos? I’m surprised I’m not diabetic already.
On to today’s topic.
Today we identify another species in the topé genus: the Ropé (rope – eh)
As we previously discussed the topé is a form of speed-bump that occurs all over Mexico. What was not mentioned in our last post was that topés are placed largely without rhyme or reason. Yes, there are the standard areas where they are normally found, school zones, approaching dangerous curves or intersections but they also appear for what may be less road hazard oriented reasons and more, shall we say, lucrative to someone, somewhere reasons. Let’s face it, constructing a lasting topé in a high traffic area requires a few dollars and it has been noted by this driver that they seem to pop around interesting places like; the new condominium sales centre on the coastal highway (for those who know the area yes, I am talking about the Barra de Navidad between PV and Mismaloya). The converse is also true that there is a noticeable lack of topé installation in some high traffic yet somewhat lower housing cost areas. What is a good neighbour and community member to do when there is a clear need for traffic calming and seemingly no interest from government to install the requisite topé? Enter the Ropé.
The Ropé is what it says: a rope. A rather large rope but yup, a rope. Perhaps the close proximity to the local marina explains the size and material of this particular specimen but it need not be nautical nor does it need a knot. Simply stretch it across the desired slowing area and watch it work, 24/7 no breaks, no siesta. Brilliant. Mexican ingenuity at its best and this driver can also add, surprisingly effective. Tootsie has a pretty resilient suspension as aforementioned, but a ropé like the one pictured will produce a sound knocking about that will remind you your velocity requires adjusting.
So in addition to the Standard Topé, you now have the Ropé. Have you encountered a ropé? Contact Us with your pic and we will feature it in a future update.
Drive safe everyone.