Entering Mexico

Trip Start Jan 02, 2010
1
4
17
Trip End Mar 17, 2010


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Where I stayed
Victoria RV Park

Flag of Mexico  , Tamaulipas,
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Victoria

1/6/2010 - We entered Mexico about 9:00 am crossing over the bridge leading from Hidalgo Texas to Reynosa, MX.   It took about two hours for our group to process paperwork for entry to Mexico. All clerks spoke a little English and were friendly and helpful. As we returned to our vehicles we discovered that one of Matilda's new tires was flat. Thankfully Richard had a strong hydraulic jack and it took the guys no time at all to crawl under the motor home and get it changed. Border guards armed with assault weapons were stationed right beside us and perhaps we should have felt nervous but actually it was just the opposite as they smiled in sympathy at our plight. One very young guard that appeared to have been assigned to watch over us grinned widely as he reached out to accept the coke we offered.

Traffic was hectic going through town but not bad in the countryside.  We traveled along a two-lane road with broad shoulders heading to Ciudad Victoria.   We soon adjusted to the rule of the road, which seemed to be,  "do whatever you think you have room for, but do it courteously".  Slower cars pulled to the right and faster traffic continuously passed on the left.  Once we were passed by another car while passing a car ourselves.

We passed large ranches with fields waiting to be planted with next year's crops and small farms dotted with goats, cows and sheep along our route down highways 97 and 180. We saw a farmer herding goats down the roadside and then three caballeros on horseback riding through a field - very old fashion and so perfect in this setting. People smiled and waved as we passed by and we felt very welcome. Outside the city, the highways were cleaner than many we’d traveled in the US. Two vehicle inspection stations manned by federales carrying assault rifles waved us through with only a passing glance. They didn’t appear much different than the drug check points we have in Arizona except for the type of guns they held.

It was late in the afternoon when we reached the Victoria RV Park in Cuidad Victoria. We settled in for an evening of socializing with our new friends and trip companions (John and Betty Stafford from Ontario, Canada and Lloyd and Patty Holmes from Hornbrook, CA) as well as our trip organizers Bert and Geri Iler from Centralia, WA.  Rosie Burrows, owner of the RV Park, an eccentric, entertaining character, brought us sightseeing information and offered to act as our tour guide the next day. Her RV Park is a beautiful, tree-lined and grassy oasis, which she & her husband built 40 years ago.  Tired old tourist cabins flank one side of the park and in a colorful pattern, blue trash cans hang from trees, three feet off the ground to prevent raids by local dogs.  

1/7/2010 -  Guided by Rosie, we caught a small public bus right in front of the RV Park, which careened at breakneck speed through the heavily traveled, narrow streets toward town.   First stop, the historic Mercado Arguelles featuring open stalls of souvenirs, meat, produce and just about anything you might want to buy.   It looked a bit like Tijuana but without the rougher element. No one urged us to buy their products and, though the Market thronged with locals, we saw no tourists other than ourselves. 

Beyond the market we visited the Basilica de Nuestra - Seniora Refugio (Catholic Church), then spent the remainder of the afternoon at Casa de Arte, a government-sponsored school dedicated to the preservation of Mexican art and music. Talented artists, dancers and musicians are sponsored by government scholarships to attend this school and they were practicing Mexican Folk Dancing when we arrived.  Even from a distance the very air around us vibrated with the rhythmic stamping of their high-heeled shoes on a wooden floor. Soon Mariachis joined them with lively music and even though not in costume for this practice session, the group’s wonderful performance entertained us for the rest of the  afternoon.   As we returned to the campground for a quiet evening meal storm clouds gathered and the temperature grew very cold despite the tropical vegetation. 
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Comments

Cyndee Kuttler on

Your colorful descriptions from your travels make me feel as if I am there. Stay safe and I hope you continue to have fun and adventure!

pat hoard on

your story telling skills are so great. really enjoying your trip thanks for sharing. Pat

Carol Croley on

Can't wait to hear about San Miguel! Enjoy it for me, too!

Mary and Tim on

We are really enjoying your blog. We look forward to hearing more. Have a wonderful time and we send our love!

Charlene on

Just had an opportunity to read your amazing story, what a marvelous gift you have to write and make us who are fortunate to receive your emails, feel like we are on the trip with you. Your photos are first class and so very enjoyable to see. thank you for the time it's taking for you to be so generous and share with us. Our love to you and hope every minute is blessed more that you could hope for. We are awaiting our first foal any time now

Bruce and Mary Jane on

Love the pictures and blogs. Sorry we are one day late, but we wanted to wish Kathleen a very happy, happy Birthday. Stay safe and have a wonderful time.
Love, MJ and Bruce

Rosemary on

Hi folks, I sure enjoy reading "the book" of your travels and your pictures are first class. I can just see a quilt made from all those wonderful window snapshots as inspiration. Today was a good day to catch up on your postings and I feel like I'm on the road too. Thanks for sharing

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