Not a very scenic drive today. The Mex57 south from Matehuala is a busy four lane highway with a lot of truck traffic. Nothing but scrub brush to look at, with the exception of the few businesses that spring up at the side of the road to try and take advantage of the truck traffic.
The only excitement of the drive was the number of Federal Police we saw. There were convoys of vehicles, and a lot of officers. We were glad to see them serving to protect the public.
We took the toll road (cuota) bypass around the city of San Luis Potosi. We had decided to avoid that city and head for a balneario (hot water springs) and hotel that was in our Mexican camping book. Stopped for lunch at the main Pemex gas station near the end of the toll section. We needed gas, but this station was not nicely designed, and it was very busy with both car and truck traffic. We decided we had enough gas to carry on. Paid the 93 pesos ($7.95) toll charge and a short while later turned off the main highway onto a side road.
The toll roads are in good shape!
Found a gas station along that road, and pulled in. It was a fairly new station…I asked the girl pumping gas, and she said it was less than a year old. I asked for 1,000 pesos ($85.50) worth. Yesterday when I put in 500 pesos ($42.75) worth, I remembered how little that does towards filling up Sherman’s tank!
One of the other attendants came over and started speaking in pretty good English. This is not a tourist route by any means, and this guy wanted to practice the English he had learned working in Oklahoma for two years. So we had a good coversation. The girl was listening to us instead of watching the pump, and it ran over 1000 pesos. Not a problem, we stopped it at 1,078 ($92.00). I pulled out the Visa card, and once again they ran it through the terminal that sat beside the pumps. Only problem was that it ran out of paper during my transaction and the boss had to come out and print me a copy of the receipt. We are now 2 for 2 with Pemex stations accepting Visa.
So we drove on a few more kms to the Gogorron Balneario. As per the Mexico Camping book, we were expecting to pay around 200 pesos ($17.00) to stay overnight and have the use of the hot pools. The guard at the front gate told us that it was 150 pesos…per person! It looked like a really nice place though, so we asked if we could go inside the gates and have a look around, he said no problem. We got out to take Whiskey with us, and were told that there are no mascotas (pets) allowed! We were already balking at the price, so this made our decision easier. The only concern was…where do we park now?
Driving into this place, we had seen signs for some other balnearios, though not quite as nice as this Gogorron one. We stopped at the entrance to one, and I parked at the side of the road and walked down. It was closed and there was nobody around, but it was far enough off the road and out of view that we decided to stay for the night. Eventually, a guy showed up with a key and I spoke to him. He didn’t like where we were parked, but he volunteered a spot just across the parking lot. I raised one eyebrow and asked if we would be safe here. He waved his hand and said we would be fine, it is a very safe area. Turns out that he lives here, and he is the security for the property.
There’s a fair bit of truck noise, even though we’re off the highway. But we’ll sleep fine once the hour gets later.
Here’s today’s drive…
235 kms (146 miles)