We left Bacalar on Monday with the dim-whitted idea of meandering along Mexico’s Costa Esmeralda toward Veracruz, and Tampico while enjoying a peaceful drive with beautiful vistas of the Gulf of Mexico. Day one, we drove like wild women through Villahermosa and on to a “little town” who’s name no one can pronounce. Driving for 12 hours is not a good idea.
As in the US, many small towns in Mexico have exploded with traffic. Narrow streets make for a hair-raising experience and after a long day on the road, the Tortas don’t do so well. We spent one chilly night in Coatzocoalcos as a northern had blown in making a walk along the beach impossible. The hotel front doors were tied shut because of the wind.
Day two, on to Veracruz. This time we got smart and made reservations at a little hotel downtown. We wanted to be in the heart of the New Year’s Eve celebration. What were we thinking!? At two in the afternoon, the traffic was a nighmare. We got within blocks of the hotel only to find roads closed and traffic diverted. I tried calling the hotel but my language skills disintegrate over the phone. We were parked at a curb, trying not to cry, surrounded by street musicians and parties that got started early. They were having way more fun than we were.
We channeled our inner Amazing Race and hailed a cab and told a sweet driver our dilemma. He told me to climb in and off we went with Lisa in tow. Placed in his experienced hands we turned in circles until arriving as if my magic in front of the hotel. He told me why the traffic was so bad. Apparently the presidente of the state was being sworn in downtown that very afternoon. Road closures were for security and our cab driver was not happy either.
We had a blast in Veracruz for New Year’s Eve. Once we got settled in the hotel, the tension of the trip melted away. We walked through the zócalo, cathedral and artists mercado, people watching and enjoying a beautiful evening. Veracruz is an old city with so much to see and do. We decided to stay.
Day three, we walked the malecón, (boardwalk) and visited Fort San Juan Ulúa. Veracruz has a very busy port. We stood mesmerized by huge ships full of cargo containers parking more easily than we could downtown.
We crossed the boarder without event and arrived at our son’s house outside of San Antonio yesterday. The middle of the trip we’d like to forget. To say the least, it was a huge lesson learned and possibly material for a future blog. Our granddaughter is due any time and we are glad to be settling in for a visit with family and friends. Just how resilient are the Tortas? We better find out before we drive back to Bacalar in a month.