Ciudad Victoria to Cerra Azul
TAMPICO Travel Blog› entry 10 of 57 › view all entries
Nov. 13, 2008 C. Victoria to Cerra Azul
Today was a driving day- 9 hours! We made it all the way from
Left CV at 9:30 am (just after 3 Canadian RV’s heading North). Followed Rosie’s excellent printed English directions. First stopped at Pemex for first gas in
We connected with Hwy 83 to go to Tampica, a very unappealing, challenging, dirty city with aggressive traffic, peddlers and smog -even on the outskirts. At intersections, people selling all sorts of food items, kids had squeegees cleaning windshields for tips (not as aggressive as in Matamoros fortunately), and the streetlights were really hard to see across busy intersections (there’s nothing overhead, just on the corner). The streets have no lines painted on them and while I think they were paved, are so dirty and unmarked that they appear to be dirt. Police were on foot in the intersections and appeared to be ticketing cars or blocking traffic for students to dart across after school (no crosswalks), etc. It was a riot of overwhelming activity! I was in high-stress mode driving through that- it was really scary!
Meanwhile, Charles was reading Harry Potter to Lia (after their schoolwork was done) and they seemed oblivious to the action.
Jazy, however, was promised dinner if she could help navigate the Church’s version of the Tampico Bypass. RV’s get ticketed going through town and
The lower part of the bypass the road was a horrible road thru tiny towns with bikers, kids, walkers and huge, double-trailer trucks jockeying over torn-up roads with construction and enormous potholes.
The road continuing south (Hwy 180) was awful in some places, but brand new for much of it and very nice. It was either terrible or terrific, but we didn’t complain ��" we can handle some rough roads as we just slow down. I think our
We saw armed military men in camouflage waving traffic over some tire-tread topes- not sure what they were looking for. Passed a Federale swat team with 3 vehicles and probably 20 men dressed in black gear with helmets and guns. Then we saw a Federale car with lights on coming toward us and it sped by with a few guys with guns sitting in the SUV’s rear door windows. But we missed where the action was directed and none of the locals appeared alarmed in any way.
Just south of all this activity of Cerra Azul, we thought of overnighting at the Pemex Station, but it was too dirty, crowded and busy, so we continued 5 miles to the campground at the Condado Western Auto Hotel and RV Park. We missed the RV park entrance, but could drive around the building. We got one of several sites with electric and sewer hookups for 150 pesos. It wasn’t until many hours later that I figured out what the Church’s book had meant when the said the hotel clientele seemed to be all male who stayed for a short while. Naïve? Anyway, the RV grassy area had beautiful trees and while close to the highway, was otherwise peaceful. Unfortunately the pool was still in a “build” or “repair” condition and we couldn’t use it. The sewer hoses were so high that gravity could not work- a nice concept, but it required a little work to caterpillar the hoses repeatedly.
At the campground, we did enjoy meeting Hymie and Barbara, in a VW bus from
My bank called my cell phone today to confirm charges in
On three occasions we passed people standing by topes and holding shovels - they’d apparently taken out the tope or filled a pothole and were now collecting tips.
Charles’ eye is doing better, but an antihistamine helped considerably.
Weather has been hot during the day, but nice at night. The RV is very hot until the fans pull in cool air. Mosquitos are fierce.
Things we’ve noticed:
We’ve seen few Mexican women driving at all. There are no women working in outdoor jobs, such as road construction or driving trucks.
People seem nice enough. Women walking near the road don’t look very happy- they don’t look up and appear somewhat grim. Perhaps it is the fact that they are beside the roadway and not among their friends which results in protective countenances.
Probably half of the people we wave to do wave back. Others (mostly men) sort of glare- women don’t look out enough to notice.
This morning, as we were leaving
We see lots of donkeys, cattle, horses tied near the road. Lia saw a turkey and goat on ropes.
We haven’t had enough nerve to stop at a restaurant yet, since we feel so conspicuous and rusty on the Spanish. Working on our Espanol- Jazy is a big help.
Sending FindMeSpot messages to Ned so he can track us. We have had no internet at all and haven’t found a payphone, although we did buy a phone card. Just need to find a phone now.