I’m shivering still when reminiscing what happened to us few days ago in Mexico. We should have listened to all the people who told us to be careful and arm ourselves before crossing the border to Mexico.
Sleeping soundly in the tent. Tom feels something tickling him. When turning around, he opens his eyes and sees some ants on the tent and A HOLE against the moonlit sky! So he nicks them down, one of them falls directly on my face. Nice wake up call, 2:30 am. “Bloody shits, they have bitten through the tent. It’s full of holes!” swears Tom. I am totally blind without the glasses, so you can imagine that terror knowing we’ve got the tent full of ants but I can’t SEE them.
“What the hell, what are we going to do?”
“We have to get out of here, now. Otherwise they’ll eat the rest.”
These ants are huge, with big heads and massive mandibles. Tom is outside, getting them off the tent. At least 100 holes. I’m packing the mattresses and sleeping bags frantically when I feel something crawling on my back. I touched the ant, I’m sure I touched its huge head and start screaming. Worst nightmare! So I put on long trousers, tuck them into the socks and long hoodie to cover everything plus my head. Hysteria has settled and I can carry on. Once everything is packed, we commit ant mass murder and move it at least 10 meters.
We should have anticipated this last night when they climbed on my bike leaned onto a tree. Tens of them. Tom nicked them down but didn’t notice anything strange. Also we camped there at least 3 hours before going to sleep and not a single ant climbed on the tent. Now I go straight to my bike and look at the scarf tied around the frame. So many holes. My beloved silk scarf that absorbed all the cycling sweat from my forehead.
As the night went on, we couldn’t possibly think about going back to sleep as the adrenaline rush kept us alert, as well as the reality of not being protected from the insects in a colander like tent. So Tom made big pot of coffee and we started sewing and patching. When the sun rose, not even third of it was done.
My nights in the tent will never be the same again. Bear country, coyotes howling, shepherd dogs in Nevada encircling our tent – all this we survived and I slept peacefully throughout. But this nightmare keeps waking me up at night and I could still feel the ants walking over me.
Good night, folks, be grateful for your home with actual walls. Hopefully the ants are not able to chew on bricks. And yes, cycling is probably safe in Mexico, it’s a bit worse with wild camping ;-).