About Us

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

November 08, 2010

Attacked by Bandits!

Our morning started out ominous with the potential troubles ahead, I kept telling Deya not to worry and our companions seemed confident that if we didn’t stop for anything we would be okay. We got to the border by about 11 am and the party started, first you have to ride over these brutal little metal bumps intended to slow people down, but they tend to throw a motorbike around a lot. As the first of us entered the gate the barrier slammed down, a big red light lit up and a siren started screaming, this meant we were going to be inspected.

As each of us went through we got pulled into the inspection station and ripped apart. They pulled everything out, casually checking for stains on underwear and having their drug dog sniff every piece of clothing, bolt or toothpaste we might be carrying. It was brutal, of course we could have made things go better if we had simply paid the poor fellows a tip for their extraordinary service. You know, they have families to feed , blah, blah, blah. An hour and a half later we were clear to go line up in the office to get our passports and vehicles stamped into Mexico. Of course it’s 35 degrees out and we are now all dehydrated and upset and so it goes on that we must stand in “this” line to have someone tell us to go stand in “that” line when of course the first guy forgot to stamp the paper so we have to go back to the “other” line to get the payment made so the first guy could finish the process before we go to “another” line to play the same game for the vehicles. Meanwhile a bunch of dudes are outside standing around our bikes pissed off that we wouldn’t pay them 10 bucks each to make sure the bikes remained in one piece on our return. Another 2 hours and we were on our way.

It’s now afternoon and we are bombing through town to try to rid ourselves of the poor feeling and frustration and regain some confidence in the fact that we made it through without any problems when we get pulled over by the local authorities. At first I thought they might tell us to be careful about our route and to watch out for all the crazy speeding drivers, or maybe it was to check on us after nearly getting smashed by a drunk guy in a big truck who was driving on the wrong side of the road. Nope, we had run through a stop sign that used to be posted but no longer existed, that doesn’t matter because, “you should have known better”. Of course he wouldn’t release our passports until we paid him 100 USD each and he was going to take Deya to jail for being born in Mexico. Another hour and we talked him down to 10 bucks each and were on our way stopping at every intersection whether it had a sign or not.

A few miles out of town there was a military check point, I couldn’t help but feel shell-shocked at this point and figured we would probably get shot. I noticed that each of them was carrying M16 assault rifles, they wore black military fatigues and balaclavas. Boots were bloused properly and their demeanour was serious, unlike the border. I was expecting some kind of thorough check of a rather serious nature, instead we came to the check point, one soldier came out from behind sandbags with the rest manning the machine guns, asked us our nationality and said in broken English, “Carry on and don’t stop for anyone”, a reassuring note I’m sure.

It wasn’t 50 km later we came to another check point with sandbags and safety cones, I think we were all glad to see more military guys since the last stop left us feeling we were going into no mans land. As we approached Richard was in front followed by Deya then me and finally Tony. Richard was stopped by a guy with an assault rifle, as he walked out in front he was wearing camouflage uniform but carried a rifle I could not immediately identify. That’s when I noticed the other two guys, one was unarmed and the other was carrying a medium machine gun. The two guys with guns were dressed differently and both had poor weapon handling, they waved their weapons around without much consideration of muzzle direction, none had balaclavas. The machine gun guy was leaning against a beat up white pickup truck.

I was now fully freaked out, the third guy ran over to Deya and grabbed onto her handle bar on the throttle side, Richard figured out what was happening and started to go but the guy with the rifle ran up and butt stroked him in the head and he fell off his bike and onto the ground. I motored up to Deya and the guy with the rifle came running at me, I got off my bike and stood beside it, the rifle pointed at me, Deya two meters to my right. The guy with the rifle came right up to me pushing the barrel into my visor; I could see the rifling of the barrel.

He was busy yelling at me and pushing the weapon into my face, I slipped my head to the left and at the same time as the barrel went over my right shoulder I grabbed him by the neck with my right hand and the stomach with my left and pulled. I had a death grip of fear on his throat and I could feel about a pound of flesh in my left, I rammed my helmet into his face as hard as I could. I could feel my nose hitting the top of my own helmet and could hear a crunching cracking sound. I wasn’t sure if the sound was the guy’s face, my helmet or the rifle in between us hitting something. He went limp and fell backwards releasing his rifle.

The rifle was now cradled in my arms as I let the fellow fall backwards to the ground. I fumbled slightly to position the rifle into my shoulder, pointed it at the guy on the ground and pulled the trigger. It didn’t fire and at that moment I thought it was on “safe” and looked at the guy on the ground, he was unconscious. I was having severe tunnel vision and knew there was screaming and stuff going on but could barely hear anything, let alone see much. I looked at the rifle like I was reading a book with fine print and saw a safety switch, I moved it to the upright position and thought how weird it was that everything was moving so slow. I looked up towards the machine gun guy and he was now in the back of the truck doing something with his gun. I squeezed the trigger and several rounds flew at the truck, I began walking towards the truck. I saw the guy who was holding Deya run behind the truck and the gunner dropped down in the bed of the truck. I continued to fire about a round every two seconds, maybe, and was screaming, “GO,GO, GO!”, I tried to look over and saw Richard waving back at Deya and Tony to ride. I looked back to yell at them but they were already moving.

I ran back to my bike, turned and put some more rounds into the side of the truck, and the front and rear wheels. The gunner in the back never came up. I squeezed the last round out and chastised myself for having no idea how many rounds I fired. There was still one guy on the ground and two unaccounted for. I dropped the rifle and got on my bike, it seemed to take forever as I mentally walked myself through the process of getting on the bike, making sure the key was on, putting up the kickstand, starting the engine, making sure it was in first gear and then accelerating away without stalling, I would need to dodge a bit in case some one was fixing a bead on me; there would be no room for errors here.

I pushed the bike as hard as it would go and I caught up with the rest quickly, together we rode at a steady but fast pace, probably 120 kph for about 30 minutes until we reached a town. We stopped at a policia station to tell them that we were just attacked. Richard was laughing and saying, “Holy crap that was insane!”, Deya was crying, Tony kept saying we need to do something and I just sat on my bike feeling empty and stunned.

Fiction is fun but real stories blended with people’s opinions and imagination can be down right stressful; this is our case. It is often what we face on our way through an area and while there are certain risks inherent with any travel, it’s important to plan and try to mitigate them without being too afraid. We’ve been told that we’ll get hassled at the border, that the policia will stop us relentlessly and that the bandits will blockade the road, rape, murder and steal from us and while I don’t disregard these warnings they often carry the same sound as the grizzly bears that were sure to eat us in Alaska or the roads that would certainly be impassable, or the Quebecers who would definitely spit on us as we approached.

I’ll tell you the truth about our journey across the most dangerous part of Mexico later and recognise that there is some risk but if you are willing to hang your food, the bears aren’t likely to bother with you.


  1. Wow... I am stunned!!!
    What a Novel waiting to be printed... I must forward this to Shawn...
    So glad you are alright...
    Be well... Ara & Spirit

  2. Wow!!!! Lucky you all came out of it in one piece. Much respect on the quick reflexes and having the courage to do it. Hope this event will be the last that threatens your lives like that. If you need any help, drop me a line.


  3. Burl and I are enjoying getting to know you both and after reading this, I must say, good move. This whole scene could have turned out way worse. Cannot help but wonder what the boys in the truck had to say later, and their condition. Must not be as much fun to have the tables turned.

  4. Oh My God!!! This is serious travel Guys!!!!! So much is happening to you and you are seeing the world as it truly is (unlike our cushy life in North America.) Take care of yourselves and come and visit us in our 4.5 star resort in Playa if you're in the area. Hell, we'll rent you a room or you can crash with us for a night! I'm feeling very guilty right now! Take care and be safe!!!
    Love, George and Julia

  5. Anonymous21 July, 2011

    So this account was fiction right?

  6. Anonymous21 July, 2011

    This is a fictional account, clearly to mirror all the media terror that goes on. The last two paragraphs, maybe not clearly, talk about fiction, fear and about telling the truth in the next post. The next post seems to tell a more realistic story of the border crossing without all the blown up media terror. I think this is post is what people want to hear or at least what they're used to hearing.

  7. This is all bullshit... Mexican military uses german made H&K G3 assault rifles and not M14 as stated in this pile of crap...

    Mexican police officers would NEVER be standing at crossroads because of possible drug cartels hitmans attack...

    Et cetera...

    Just boring lies!!

  8. Dear Anonymous (bullshit),
    Thanks for confirming what I've been saying for some time about people wanting bad news. You manage to portray the kind of individual who goes looking for bad news in order confirm their own fears about the world around them. (Anyways thats what the google search statistics suggests)

    I invite you to actually read the blog and try to understand the point. By the way, I mentioned the M16 made by Colt which obviously isnt Mexican inventory, but you didnt really read it did you....Did you.....