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After arriving in Ciuadad Constitucion, I immediately find a pay phone and call my friends to let them know that I am OK. I'm really not looking forward to the next step in my adventure. Somehow, I need to find a repair shop that will do at least a good enough job to get me back to the U.S. border 788 miles to the north. I've had difficulty finding good repair shops in the U.S. How will I ever overcome the language barrier and find a decent shop in Baja?photo caption: Unfortunately, the factory bed mount simply wasn't strong enough to support my camper on Baja's tortuous roads. This driver's-side mount had collapsed (see arrows), and passenger-side mount had completely broken.
Fortunately, my problem is easy to explain. I can simply point to the broken mounts and the problem is clear. Fixing the mounts will be more difficult. I don't want anyone to try to weld to the frame for fear that the frame will be weakened. How will I ever communicate this? I remember reading a section about Mexican garages in one of my guidebooks: The People's Guide to Mexico. Here's what the author has to say:
"In Mexico, the challenge of finding a reliable garage is compounded by the new language and customs. One of the difficult things to accept is that the best garage may look like a hobo hut in the middle of a junkyard. Appearances don't count as far as the average Mexican mechanic is concerned. You'll have to learn to accept the absence of fancy hydraulic jacks, power tools and crisp coveralls. A typical Mexican taller (garage or shop) is incredibly filthy, littered with junk and parts, dark, smelly and filled with ragged kids casually smoking cigarettes as they wash strange metal objects in cans filled with gasoline."