We aren’t even on the plane yet and already the wheels are falling off our Pan Ams or Bust adventure. I went on the Guadalajara 2011 website this morning – or rather I tried to go on the website in order to get information about whether there is any welcome for media at the airport, and to write down the address of the Main Press Centre. The website is down…I suppose the drug lords might have hacked it but I doubt that their top ten methods of terrorizing the public include disabling the internet. No, it’s probably la ley de Murphy already at work on the poor organizers who are sure to face even bigger obstacles before the closing ceremonies on October 30th.

I do love Mexico and one of the  things I love about it is that I am constantly reminded while there that a clock is an artificial device that gives us a false sense that things are meant to happen at a specific time. We’ll see how long it takes before my love turns to some other, less cuddly emotion. I may adore the land of Tequila and tacos, but if the seat map of our plane from San Fran to Guad tonight is any indication, I am not in the majority.  It’s two days until the start of the world’s second largest sporting event after the Olympics, and our flight is half empty. It IS a red eye, arriving at the ungodly hour of 0530, but still. I’m quite stunned by the emptiness of a major airline’s flight from one of America’s richest and sportiest states to Guad so close to the Pan Ams. On the up side, perhaps that means we won’t be waiting hours for taxis.

I do have one big regret about attending the Pan Ams, and that’s the fact that I therefore have to miss the Global Dressage Forum for the first time in six years. It’s always been an honour to be invited as a journalist, and well worth the ticket price for those who pay to attend. This year everyone lucky enough to go will get up close and personal with dressage’s newest super stars, Carl and Charlotte.  How cool is that? I got a press release from the GDF last week that announced another uber-cool addition to the program: Bridleless Grand Prix: why not? Why not indeed! French dressage rider Alizee Froment will come and show everyone what Grand Prix dressage looks like without a bit. Here’s a groovy teaser photo.

I’m also sad to miss the GDF this year because my fun loving (and sometimes danger seeking) pals Jamie and Pia will be there getting into all sorts of harmless trouble without me.  If you haven’t yet made plans for the weekend of October 29th and Holland is – or could be – in your travel plans, you really should try to get to the GDF. And make sure you ask lots of questions, to make up for my absence in journalist row.

This time tomorrow Jan and I will be wandering zombie-like with jet lag through the streets of Mexico’s second city. I’ll be posting again by the weekend – earlier if something goes badly enough between now and then. Or never if something goes catastrophically amiss…