Friday, September 5, 2008

Veracruz - only three driving days left!!!

9 stops down
Thurs Aug 28 - Baltimore
Fri Aug 29- Asheville
Sat Aug 30 - Nashville
Sun Aug 31 - Memphis
Mon Sept 1 - Dallas
Tues Sept 2 - Austin
Wed Sept 3 - Brownsville
Thurs Sept 4 - Tampico
Fri Sept 5 - Veracruz
3 to go...
Sat Sept 6 - Villa Hermosa
Sun Sept 7 - Campeche/ Merida
Mon Sept 8 - Valladolid
Tues Sept 9 - Cozumel!!!!!
Phew it makes me feel better to see that!! Another long drive today. Little did I know that when I took this picture in the Blue Ridge Mountains, that this would be a common sight on 180 in Mexico:
Most of 180 is single lane - so you take your life in your hands when you over-take/pass someone. My car does not have its usual acceleration, as it is so overloaded, so I have to make absolutely sure I have room to pass the guy in front (lemon carrying trucks seem the slowest). So twice today, I'm tootling along in the right hand lane and I come over the crest of a hill to see two trucks side by side coming right at me - one in the left lane and one in my lane flashing his lights at me furiously. Well my options were limited. All I could do was grind to a halt avoiding a head on collision by inches and with the guy behind nearly ramming my ass. Yes the driving here is quite exciting. I will say that they do have better lane discipline than the yanks. No one 'drives' in the fast lane and if someone is not driving fast enough they are flashed over. The drive from Tampico to Tuxpan was nasty. It was through thick Congo like jungle (the cool part) - the roads were FULL of potholes. I made myself laugh because my Dad was sitting with his glasses on and all of his maps bundled on his knee while I tried to avoid potholes and head on collisions in torrential rain. Did you ever see the scene in Indiana Jones where Sean Connery is riding in Indie's side car? That was the expression on my Dad's face.
Anyway we made it to the hotel by 3 and I parked the car, deposited Dad and the bags and jumped into a cab to meet my immigration attorney - Rafael. This all went swimingly. He met me on the street just outside of his office and we went directly to the immigration department. I gave all of my documents over, was fingerprinted and photographed and my FM3 should be ready by next Tuesday. Rafael is then going to send it by courier to Cozumel. It will be an independent contractor's FM3 which is awesome, and means I can work anywhere. The bad thing was that I did not realize that I would have to be photographed. I had no make up on and was fresh out of a sleep deprived, 7 hour stressful drive. I look like an ex-con. The photos are also mug shot style. One face on and one sideways.
Anyway tomorrow is Villa Hermosa which I understand is not so Hermosa (beautiful)! After that we may skip Campeche and head on to Merida. I favor this idea because that would leave very little driving to Cozumel. We could even spend an extra night in Merida or Valladolid (my dad wants to see Chichen Itza - as do I). I don't like to fantasize or tempt fate but one could even imagine the possibility of a late lie in bed.
I didn't get much of a chance to take many pictures but here is a picture of the unexpected mountainous terrain:And first glimpse of the ocean:

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