A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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We returned to Ciudad Victoria for a few more days, getting a lot of writing and email done, and then we began to feel like moving on. Where would we go? We could go directly east to beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, southeast towards Veracruz, south into the mountains near Ciudad Valles, southwest onto the main central plateau via San Luis Potosi, or even a bit northwest to Monterrey. Travel in Mexico offered many choices to us in our little RV, though generally we were more interested in warmer weather. It was still January, and plenty chilly at times.

We had been planning to go to Ciudad Valles, center of a region of Indian peoples and archaeological ruins and near a famous and beautiful biosphere reserve called El Cielo. But something wasn’t quite “it” about that decision for me, and I told Kelly so.

“Sounds like it’s time for a bit of intuition,” he suggested. We had often used simple processes to tune in to our inner wisdom, so we sat down and made a list of our choices. Then we closed our eyes and as I said the names of each route aloud, we asked ourselves internally if it would be for the highest good for us to go there. We also asked to get a sense of what that direction offered.

When we were done, we compared notes. We had both felt very strongly to go southeast towards the state of Veracruz. It seemed that there were a number of things calling us there, especially the great yet little-known ruins of El Tajín.

We went off toward Veracruz the next day, our guidebooks tucked in behind my seat. Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping was a gem that provided complicated directions – which worked perfectly – for bypassing downtown Tampico, the eighth largest city in Mexico. It was fun to be in a more tropical area, with lush greenery everywhere and papayas growing by the side of the road.

By the time we were south of Tampico, it was late afternoon and I was worn out. There were no campgrounds in the guidebooks for this area, so it would be a matter of nosing out a place where we could boondock. Our water tanks were full and we had plenty of electricity from the driving, so we could go anywhere.

We pulled over and studied the map. “I want to be on the water tonight,” Kelly said.

“Great,” I replied, just a little sarcastically. “Manifest it!”

We had the best maps available for Mexico. I had asked on the Mexconnect internet forum, and several people had advised me to get the Guia Roji map book. I’d bought it online, and we had already used it a little. We didn’t yet realize that we would need to interpret it with imagination, nor had we yet seen how minimally Mexican roads are signed. The map book showed a smaller road along the coast, parallel to the main highway that we were on; the two came closest at Horconcitos.

“Look! That’s where we are… Horconcitos!” I exclaimed, pointing to a tiny road sign near our parking spot. We continued down the highway, but we saw no signs to the coast or the other road. Kelly turned off the highway and stopped by a snack stall. He got out and asked directions, while I waited in the car. I could see that a man was drawing him a map, and another man was nodding agreement. Everyone was smiling broadly.

Kelly was still grinning when he got back in the motorhome. “They were really nice,” he said, “and it looks like we’re almost there. We go down this dirt road a kilometer, then turn left and go three kilometers, then turn right and go out to the water. They assured me it’s a very safe spot, and that our motorhome will get there fine, as buses can.”

And so we went. The three kilometers were on a muddy, potholed dirt road that could only have been the road the map book called a secondary highway. Now and then a bit of paving showed, so it probably had once been the main road. We stopped once to let a man on horseback herd his dozen cattle off the road and through a gate.

A few minutes later, another man on horseback waved us to stop. He was about our age, quite overweight and red-faced, and dressed in a fancy blue satin cowboy shirt with matching pants. “Where are you going?” he bellowed.

“Out to the water,” I said.

“Very good! Go ahead!” He waved and rode off with a flourish. We surmised that he had thought we might be lost and was just making sure. There was no other motorized traffic on the road, and it was wonderfully peaceful. If only travel in Mexico could always be like this!

[Next: a peaceful campsite at Horconcitos]

One Response to “Going Southward toward Veracruz”

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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