As we turned between a set of tall, shady palm trees, greying under the firey sky of sunset and out of the gated entrance of our resort and towards the highway, I was feeling optimistic. They had given us a map at our hotel, and I found myself niavely, but firmly believing that getting from our current resort to the next one was going to be as simple as following a skinny black line on the map. Shakespeare once said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but what he forgot to mention was that google maps will get you back off of that road, and on the one heading to your destination once again. I just hadn’t realized it yet.
I was following our path on the skinny black line that connected our resort with the town. It was easy. Almost impossible to get lost. And then my father said this.
“I just want to drive by the resort row up here.” He said, “Its on the way, and this way we will be able to see more of the area. I want to see them all lined up together.”
And just like that we were lost. Dante and shakespeare would have both agreed, that we were now on our road to hell.
Minutes after turning off the road, I was in over my head in over our heads. There were hundreds of roads that deviated from the main one we were supposed to be on making new black lines that didn’t exist on what now struck me as the small, cartoon depicted joke of a map that our hotel had given us. We were lost in a maze of huge, gated resorts.
Mopeds were deviating around us in swarms, while massive pickup trucks lingered, tailgating our little fiat under their stream of heavy headlights until they had enough marginal room to pass. If the mopeds weren’t passing us, they were so overloaded with people and baggage that they couldn’t go faster than 10 miles an hour, and clogged the road in front of us. We were surrounded by a very active, and hellish traffic that put me in an anxious hell.
My dad didn’t seem to care very much.
“Look at these massive resorts.” He said, “They each have the same setup. A guard station, massive fake walls, tons of lights, and what looks like the promise of a little paradise. Its so over promoting.”
Between my anxiety with the mopeds and pickup trucks, I was barely able to look over and see that he was right. Each resort set itself up like a miniature city state, A sort of modern Sodom and Gomorah that promises every pleasure in life, just on the other side of its massive stucco walls. But the most frustrating thing of all was that we hadn’t reached our own resort yet, and we were lost.
“So where are we George?” my dad asked, as though he had never deviated from our original route, and we werent in the middle of a massive maze of resorts. “Should I keep going down this road? Or where do I turn? Are we close?”
With a smug smile, I Pulled out what I had long ago realized was a joke of a map, I pointed out to my dad how there were 3 black lines we could have followed, and we had chosen to try and make our own, somewhere in the middle of the off yellow ocean that made up the land around cartoon characters.
“Well we must be somewhere between the cartoon guy smiling on a surf board, and the happy lady enjoying the shopping center.” I said, “Or perhaps we are somewhere near this large cartoon building with the very smiley guy standing out front. Do any of these look like they could be a large cartoonish building?”
My sarcasm was not appreciated. “Why don’t you just take your bloody phone out?”
“You know how much that would cost. Data Roaming costs a fortune.”
He looked over at me, and at that moment a pickup truck chose to go roaring past us, narrowly missing our tiny rental Fiat. A flurry of curse words and braking followed followed by me turning my phone back on.
I opened Google maps, like a good son, and everything started becoming better again. We had just grazed against the deepest circle of hell, and were now on our way back towards the lights of our own room and sleep. Or so I naively thought.
We found our way back onto the highway, and towards our resort. The road passed through the lights of resort row, and continued to cary us into the rural area of farmland outside. Our two lane highway slowly turned into one, and then had us turn off onto a conspicuously empty looking road.
“Are you sure this is right?” my dad asked.
“Yes” I said, showing him my phone as proof. I watched him examine the little glowing blue turn from the highway and onto the conspicuously empty space of a palm tree forest. we reluctantly continued.
What I had thought was the deepest layer of hell, wasnt even close to this. As we turned off the main road, things started to get creepy. First we passed a tin hut farm. There were no lights on, and no fire was present. It had only just recently gotten dark, so the lack of activity was slightly unsettling.
Particularly because the next thing we passed was an abandoned hotel resort. The grand structures skeleton was still in place, but everything that had value was taken. Concrete bricks were stacked in piles near the bare poles of what had been a massive sign. All that was left was the skeletal body of a city state.
“They look a lot worse without all of the grandeur and color.” said my dad.
“Kind of creepy.”
Our car pushed through a few branches of overgrowth, and we were once again flooded with the lights of a resort.
“Is this it?” my dad asked.
“Google maps says it should be a little further up. We are almost there.”
We continued driving, passing the gate of another resort very closely situated next to the first, and the road stopped. Well I guess not entirely stopped, but turned into a 4 wheel driving adventure that our little Fiat could not handle. And there was more.
There were a pair of very rabid looking sick dogs, eating trash that we could see from our car had rotten a long time ago.
“Oh no.” said my dad, “We are done with this road.”
We turned our car away from the final circle of hell, and backed into the light of the resort. I got out and asked the guard, only to find that our resort was the first one we had passed. We checked in, and found ourselves once again within the amazingly relaxing confines of resort life. There was free beers, free food, and beachfront access. We were once again wrapped in the safe arms of resort life.
If you are looking for the road out of hell, turn your phone on and go to Google Maps.