Most toll roads are quite expensive in Mexico and you have to weigh the pros and cons. There is always an alternate free route, but it will be slower, usually going through a lot of small towns and with a lot topes (speed bumps) to slow you down. The toll roads on the other hand are usually very well maintained, you can make good time, it's a more relaxed drive, and your fuel mileage will be better. But the tolls are expensive.
The first part of the drive was on a beautiful four lane highway.
Through the more mountainous sections, it became a two lane, but with wide shoulders where people would move over to allow someone faster to pass.
Interesting scenery along the way.
With a few mountainous areas.
And some interesting bridges.
Tending his goats by the highway.
The speed limit on most sections was 110 km/h (68 mph). We were in no rush, and we wanted to optimize our fuel mileage so we kept the little blue car at around 90 km/h (56 mph) for most of the trip. There were a couple of steep downhill sections where we coasted up above that though!
A chapel on a hilltop.
In the background of this photo, you can just barely make out the snow at the top of Pico de Orizaba, the highest point in Mexico. At 18,491 feet (5,636 meters) this dormant volcano has a glacier at the top with ice nearly 160 feet thick! I bet you didn't know there was a glacier in Mexico!
Farm workers tilling the land with horses.
We had made arrangements to spend two nights with a couchsurfing host. Maurina lives in a suburb of Puebla, and we had no problems finding her house which was just a short distance off the highway we were on coming into the city on. We stopped at a big Soriana grocery store to pick up a few things and then to her house.
Yesterday's drive, 328 kms (203 miles).
We arrived at about 12:45pm, so the entire drive took us about 4 1/2 hours. Toll costs for the little blue car totaled 245 pesos ($20.33).
Maurina greeted us and we had no problem getting to know each other. Our Spanish is probably a little better than her English, so we were doing most of the conversing in Spanish. She's about our age and has one son who is currently in university in Germany. And she's got two friendly dogs!
Lana and San.
Lana is a two year old lab, and San is a 13 year old mastiff! He's huge! For a large dog, he's definitely having a long life, although he's pretty slow moving. Sure seems happy enough though. I've never seen such large paws on a dog. They're almost the size of my hand!
Ruth with Lana and San.
We really only wanted to relax for the afternoon, but Maurina wanted to take us to a park where there's a nice viewpoint of the city. So we went out for an hour or so.
There's a strange but interesting sloping wooden platform in this area called Los Fuertes.
Ruth and Kevin at the "May Peace Prevail on Earth" monument.
Ruth, Maurina, and her godson Chris who was spending the afternoon with us.
The city of Puebla.
Today, Maurina is going to take us to see the major sights of Puebla. We only have the one full day here but she says we have to see it at night as well so it should be a busy day!