Trip to Guatemala – day 6

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