Sunday, 4 September 2011

Puebla to Catemaco via Veracruz

Fri 2nd to Sat 3rd September

Another day of Mexican motorways to get to Veracruz. Although generally better quality (and no topes), they are not a cheap option. Today we rode about 170 miles and it cost us over £15 pound in tolls each, that’s nearly twice what we spent on fuel. Another oddity I've noticed, English motorways have emergency telephones every mile, here in Mexico, they have large concrete containers of water in the shape of wells instead. They obviously don't have much faith in the reliability of their vehicles. I wonder whether they are for vehicle fires or dodgy radiators.

As we descended from the highlands, the temperature and humidity shot up. We quickly became as wet from the inside, as we had done from the outside yesterday.

We finally arrived on the east coast. Veracruz, another colonial citywas founded by Cortez when he arrived from Spain in 1519 for the areas gold. It became, and still is Mexico's main sea port handling the majority of the Country's trade. The city retains much of its heritage, including the forts and is certainly worth of a visit if you're travelling this way. We only have a few days to get to Cancun, so it's overnight stops only for us at the moment. Not much time for exploring.

Enjoying street music and a beer in the Plaza

View from the hotel


We wore our Rukka suits yesterday for the first time since the beginning of July but today it was back to jeans and mesh jackets to try and keep cool. Our route was along the 180 following the Gulf of Mexico coastline to Catemaco.

Our first view of the Gulf coast. It's not all pristine sandy beaches and palm trees.

When refuelling, we often also stop for a drink as most of the petrol stations have small shops attached. A surprise today was when a local, also in the shop, smiled, said ‘buenas tardes’, wished us a good trip and then offered us a bottle of beer each that he had just bought. The incident reminded me of Shane the off-road rider that we met way back in June at Koosharem in the States. He was going to follow the blog to find out what we thought about the Mexicans. He had ridden here a number of times but had been put off coming back as he had heard that they were all glum and unfriendly these days. Well our experience to date is just about all positive. Granted they don’t seem to be smiling all the time but if you wave, nod or acknowledge them in any way they almost always respond with a smile and a wave and that includes the police and army. Today just reinforced that view.

Catemaco, our destination for the night. The town is located on the edge of a large lake and is a bit of a tourist trap for boat trips to the nearby islands that have a wealth of wildlife, including monkeys, alligators and numerous species of birds.

Another thing that surprised me on coming into Mexico was the number of VW Beetles on the road. They used to be built here apparently and it is probably still one of the most common vehicles on the road. If you're into renovations, there are plenty of very old models that would be worth lots of dosh in the UK.

Enjoying a frappe (except mine had part of the mixer blade that had broken off in it)

Not sure if Bob's into cross dressing or whether he was looking for a present for Carol when she arrives next week.

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