Wow, what a day. I think it was my best day and my worst day so far. Let’s see, I started in Victoria, a beautiful little city at the foot of some mountains. I had breakfast and blogged in the restaurant. This is a picture of the hills outside the restaurant.
Then I got on the road headed to the “Costa Esmeralda” and the little hotel “Sarita” that my buddy, Ed had told me about. Just outside of Victoria I saw this guy and wondered what it would have been like to see Mexico from a horse. A Tamaulipeco is a guy from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas (where I am).
The big city on the trip today is Tampico. It is on the Gulf of Mexico. I had intended to sort of bypass it with some bypass like roads, but I got screwed up and ended up right in the middle of the old section of town. It was cool, but slow (here’s a couple pics).
But then things went a little bad. I sort of knew where I was, I was looking for a bridge to get out of the city when a couple of what I thought were police officers waved me over. Now I had read up on how to deal with these sort of fellows but I fell for all the things I wasn’t supposed to. I gave them my license, they asked for cash, not pesos but US dollars (btw, that is a pretty good indication you are not dealing with legit officers). But in the end I gave them 70 US dollars and they gave me back my license and we went our ways. It was a little stressful. But I finally found the bridge. Here I am on the bridge.
But then only about 2 hours later. I was pulled over out of a long line of cars by more officers. Now these guys had automatic weapons and had squad cars. So I think they were legit. But after asking me a couple questions the guy basically said (while holding my license again) how much money will you give me? He said it with a little smile. This guy shook my hand too. Anyway I gave him 200 pesos, which he didn’t seem happy about but he gave my license and registration back. Then I had the thought why am I the guy always being pulled over and then I realized that I have this big, bright sticker next to the mirror of my car. It is basically a “kick my @#@” sticker or “pull me over and I will give you money” sticker. (It is the import/visa sticker I got at the boarder). See photo below.
So I sort of got a laugh out of that. Then I was in a real cool town called….well I can’t say it, you try it is in the next photo.
Where they have a cool statue of Jesus on top of the hill and the village has a real friendly, clean spiritual feel to it.
It was a long drive 8.5 hours in the car but I finally made it to “Sarita” and met Dan and Sarita the owners the next morning. Here they are.
Of course I insisted on being in the shot.
Total miles today: 471