Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 2 Including Policia Encounter #2

Well our 2nd day proved to be just as interesting as the first. We started the day off with another police encounter.

So let me say up front we had the exact experience that is thought of as just an overblown myth. We were trying to navigate out of Monterrey (we only took 1 wrong turn this time). A policeman waves us over. Apparently we were driving in the left lane which is only for passing (although were passing people at the time.) Policeman indicates it will be a ticket. Husband, in a tactful way, ask if we can "take care of here" instead of going downtown. Policemen smiles and says yes for $120. We gladly hand over the USDs. We just wanted out of Monterrey and to be on our way. ADDENDUM: As I told this story to Realtor Guy and Mexican Villa Owner this morning - they just laughed and shook their heads. We had been taken! At the most we should have paid $30.

Journey to Guadalajara
The drive to Guadalajara was very, very interesting. We started going on a very straight road with desert landscape and mountains looming. The "forest" of trees that looked like strange palm trees was eerie. We had a couple of security checks by Mexican law enforcement with machine guns in hand but they just waived us through. Then we hit lush valleys with winding roads, lots of agriculture and quaint towns. The drive was just beautiful.

We played a game with the kids: "Find something interesting to the family" and you get 1 point if 3 out of 4 family members agree with you. My most interesting sight was a man plowing with 2 mules and an old fashioned hand plow. Wow. We did see many tractors but to see someone still plowing manually was incredible.

We did learn some things about driving in a large Mexican city while in Monterrey:
- Signage will not tell you how to transfer from one highway to another
- Do not veer off on any side streets
- Study all available maps even though it will not tell you what to do exactly
- Make sure you know what the next major cities are on your path - the signs will probably list those cities and you can use to navigate
- Be ready to make a move at any time - signs are infrequent and often right when you need to turn, change lanes, etc.

And the good news is we got through Guadalajara without making any wrong turns!!! It was still tense but at least we did not get lost.

Bad, Bad, Bad
So while we did a good job navigating, we did a terrible job with timing. We thought we had 3 hours left to our destination on the Pacific Coast and we only had 1 1/2 hours of day light left. Our problem was there were no hotels close by (and we did not want to go into Guadalajara) and none on the way. We decided to continue forward even though we both know not to travel at night in Mexico.

We started on an expressway that allowed quick travel. Total toll way costs ended up being $50. I did start a text conversation with Best Friend so someone on this earth would know where we were if we disappeared! I diligently kept her updated on our whereabouts.

It got dark. Ugh.

Now we are on 2 lane highway with mostly Truckers who can only go 25 MPH uphill. Although, we did get behind a farm truck loaded full of chickens too. Going was slow. We were back to winding, hilly roads. Agonizing. Really. Signs sparse so hard to gage where we are since it is taking way longer than 3 hours.

The plan is to stay in Other American Family's Mexico home till we can meet to get keys to our place the next morning. We finally arrive 4 1/2 hours after Guadalajara (which is 3 hours after sundown.)

Cerveza. Yes I definitely have one and Husband has one with a shot of Tequila in it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am glad you all are there and safe. Keep us informed as you get acquainted. I have had a very busy time at work so I did not get to call and check in. Tell the others I said hi and enjoy the weekend!