Friday, 18 October 2013

244 Puebla and Coatzacoalcos

Wednesday 16th October 2013
Miles today  174 Total 24,931

I am still not fully recovered and Ray has come out in empathy for me and got a milder form of whatever it is I've got.  Neither of us were looking forward to the journey, but we soldiered on..

Getting out of Zacatecus was slightly more of a challenge, but eventually we found the road we wanted and headed for Puebla.  This is supposed to be a lovely little place with ruins and a historic area.

Looking back down on Zacatecus
There was a lot of construction going on and the journey proved long and hot.

He was going faster than we were!

Our route took us towards Mexico City.  We have been in two minds over whether or not to stay here, we were not enamored by going to another city, but we had heard it had good points, however we hit the ring road that runs around the North of the City and our decision was made.  The traffic was awful.  Mexicans rate alongside Italians in the driving stakes, very scary, no judgement on distances, speeds or idea what an indicator is, they also don't use their horns.  The thing that makes it all work is that they are all at the same level, so quite happy in their old beaten up vehicles.  Me I was scared out of my wits.  Thank goodness Ray was driving, I would have parked up and cried like a big girl had it been me.  Suffice to say we "got out of dodge" pretty dam quick, well as fast as we could. 

Construction, buses, mad drivers and a screaming wife, Yeah go Ray!

A bit of variety, mad horse and cart men.  You can see the state of the roads from this too.
On the outskirts of  Mexico, we did another bit of a detour, and unfortunately this is another side of Mexico.  This was a massive landfill come rubbish tip, and these are make shift dwellings with families living in them.

Very sad.
After all the stress of getting out of New Mexico, we pulled over for petrol and a much needed caffine fix.
A rather warm Ray and some spooky friends.
The rest of the journey was reasonably straight forward.  The roads are pretty straight, but the tarmac is quite rough.  I'm sure there is a technical term for it, but they are quite slow going.
Lovely sky again

We finally got into Puebla just before the sun disappeared altogether and hunted down a hotel.  We pulled into one and asked to see the room.  It was awful and when I saw a sign saying charges were by the hour, that was it, I was off, no way Jose.
We did find one far more suitable, called the Aristol, we booked in and were given a room with no outside windows, it was actually quite weird.  The hotel was okay, but was very stark and cold feeling, absolutely no atmosphere at all.  We booked one night, thinking we could always extend our stay.
Tired as we were, we went out to have a look around and saw a couple more religious venues that looked lovely at night.

We ended up in a little bar for some food, although neither of us is eating very much and were entertained by a lone female doing a play on the stage.  I think it was the Spanish  equivalent of the Virgina Monologues but who knows, we could only pick out the odd words, the audience thought it was quite good though.

Thursday 17th October 2013
Miles today  300 Total 25,231

We were obviously a bit tired and grumpy yesterday, and we reached the conclusion that it was time to move on.  Again we had an extended tour of the city, trying to get out, but once we found the route we were flying. 
Leaving Puebla
The roads were usual standard, bumpy, lots of construction again, but the countryside was beautiful and ever changing.  We passed through agricultural areas, where the shepherds just sit at the side of the road, watching their flock feed off of the verges, horses pulling ploughs and men using scythes to cut grass and corn, all very physical jobs.

Then up through the mountains..

and then back down to the lowlands, where the vegetation changed to palms and the cacti disappeared.

We got into Coatzacoalcos just after 6pm and booked into a lovely hotel by the sea.  We are planning to stay here a couple of days.

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