Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Matehuala, Mexico

We left Monte Sur yesterday at about 9:30am. It was another beautiful day, and we were looking forward to the drive through the mountains. Turning onto Highway 58, we saw signs warning of single lane sections on the mountain road ahead. It was going to be a long slow drive.

Heading towards the mountains
The first section of washed away pavement

Once again, we got to see the devestation caused by Hurrican Alex in early July. This mountain roadway was a narrow two lanes even before the hurricane. Now, major sections of the highway had been washed away, as well as two bridges. They had done enough repair work to make the highway passable…and only then just barely. We can only imagine the amount of water that had come down in order to cause this kind of damage.

It was slow going. We think it took an hour to do about 20 kms (12 miles). There wasn’t much other traffic thankfully, because it was true, many sections of the road were passable by only one vehicle at a time. But it certainly made for an interesting drive. That 100 km (62 mile) roadway took us two and a half hours. There really wasn’t anywhere suitable to pull over for the night, in fact the only section where there had been a picnic area had been totally washed away.

We then turned onto Mex Highway 57, which is a major 4 lane route south. The highway is in overall great shape, and we made good time from that point on down to the city of Matehuala (pop 80,000). Stopped for gas. Usually, we pay for gas down here with cash, however we have heard that most Pemex stations do now take credit cards, although it is not advertised as such. We’re going to do a little test of each station that we buy fuel at to see if they will take a Visa card. This time, I asked for 500 pesos worth of fuel (all stations are full service) and when he was done, I pulled out the Visa card. No problem, they had a wireless card reader and I punched in my PIN…it was approved, and away we went with receipt in hand.

We had been in Matehuala in the spring of 2009 when we were on our way out of Mexico, so we were familiar with the drive. There are two hotels in town that accept RV’s for the night, but the Oasis Motel that we had stayed at then was listed in the new Mexico Camping book as being closed for renovations. We stopped there anyhow because it had been the cheaper of the two, and sure enough it was exactly as it had been when we were last here. No renovations, no changes, and it was open. We parked up in exactly the same spot for 150 pesos ($12.80) for the night.

We have wi-fi here, so we downloaded and watched the latest episodes of Survivor and Amazing Race. What did we do before the internet!?

Here’s yesterday’s drive…

276 kms (171 miles)

Happy Thankgiving to all of our American friends!


  1. I would have freaked out on that washed away road. You're much braver than I.

  2. Look's like the highway maintenance budget is non-existent,glad you guys got through alright, it sure is safer to use a visa than have a bunch of cash on hand.Hope Whiskey is doing better and enjoying the trip. Rigg's would be bugging to swim. have a great Thanksgiving, Be Safe out there. Sam & Donna.....

  3. Karen and Al...As we were driving on this road I said to Kevin and Karen from Karen and Al won't like this road. I remember reading in your blog how you don't like mountain roads. There were definitely a couple of spots where even I took a deep breath on.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

  4. We asked most times if they accepted credit cards at Pemex stations last year and found, I think, four that did. At one I had to follow the attendant two or three hundred feet to an office building where they ran the card. It is normally a cash deal and I had no problem with that. It would be different this year though as our Credit Union decided to make our debit / ATM card unusable almost everywhere!

  5. We are trying to use the card as much as possible for gas, that way we aren't having to have as much cash on hand and less chance of being ripped off, not that we have before. So far so good I think it is becoming more common now.

    Kevin and Ruth


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