Rideau River near Manotick (Ottawa), Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alamo, Mexico

Sunday November 23…10:15pm

The morning started off cloudy, so we made an early decision to head further south.

The road we want to take to Tampico is well marked, however none of the three maps we have show a bridge at a location where there needs to be one. In fact, if Claudio from the beach restaurant hadn’t insisted that there is indeed a bridge, we would have taken a much longer route. So we started out before 9am, and for the most part the road was narrow, but in good condition and with little traffic. After about 30 km’s (19 miles) though, the road became very rough…in fact it was so bad that for about 5 km’s we were crawling. We had been warned that there was a bad section, but it seemed to go on forever. I guess at 5 km/h it takes a long time to cover any distance!

Horses tethered up beside the road to eat the nice grass

Sherman driving over some rough road

We made it to the section where there needed to be a bridge, and had found that the road ended at the village by the water. Fortunately, we could see the much needed bridge a little further upstream, and had to backtrack a few minutes to get to the road that crossed there.

Laguna de San Andres in El Morron

Looking at Laguna de San Andres the other way

The old bridge we had to cross

Our next obstacle was getting around the city of Tampico. We have read in many online trip reports that the Tampico bypass toll road isn’t well marked and that if you try and drive a motorhome through Tampico you risk getting stopped by police and fined. Fortunately, we had no problem getting through the bypass, although once again, it was slow going and the roads were in terrible condition. We figured that because we were going through on a Sunday there would be less traffic, and maybe that was the case, but it sure was busy.

"Flagman" in a construction zone outside of Tampico

And, we made several stops throughout the day looking for internet access, but no luck.

We did make it through Tampico by about 1pm, so we decided to continue on. Wherever we stopped for tonight was just going to be just an overnight rest stop, so it didn’t matter really where it was. Our current short term destination is the ruins of El Tajin.

And so we drove on. The highway at this point is in TERRIBLE condition. In fact, I don’t think I have ever driven a stretch of road this distance in such poor condition. We spent over two hours playing pothole rugby on a two lane highway filled with drivers who were in a big rush to go nowhere.

We stopped at a hotel that had a roadside sign advertising RV parking. There was nobody else there, either at the hotel, or in the RV area, and yet she would not negotiate her 150 peso ($14.80 CAN, $12.40 US) charge for the night. And so we drove on. I have no idea how these people stay in business.

We are parked at a Pemex gas station for the night. We are about 140 km’s (87 miles) from the El Tajin ruins, so tomorrow will be a coasting day! We only drove almost 300 km’s (183 miles) today, and it took us 7 hours to do so, even though we only stopped for about an hour in total. Did I say the roads were terrible?

Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…397

November Fuel $ 464.74 CAN

November Grocery $459.06 CAN

November Overnight costs $ 32.80 CAN

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