from the gulf to villahermosa.After Merida our drive dips us momentarily along the gulf coast of mexico. We talk about how much closer it seems to us to simply continue around the gulf and pull into new orleans (where we'll be in a few months for french quarter fest) than it does to continue crossing and drive home. Tempting...but we stop for the night, have a coctel de mariscos, and continue on across country in the morning.
We've had almost no internet, but somehow jen manages to stay a day ahead of us...finding the most decent hotel in towns roughly as far as we think we can make it in a day (assuming all goes well) that also allows dogs and has a place to park the bus. That usually means only one hotel in town, and after a long days drive it's a great feeling to pull into town with some idea of where we will lay our heads.
In villahermosa that only hotel turns out to be the Hilton. Ouch. Not really our typical price point, but we think to ourselves that a nice hotel and some strong wifi will be a welcome rest stop. The place is indeed amazing compared to the places we've been staying, but as you might guess also lacks the culture we appreciate from these towns.
It would have been worth it just for the amazing tiered pool system (with two infinity pools), but the day we pulled in it was far too cold to get in any one of them. Jen made up for it the following day when the sun came out and at least we got our moneys worth out of the place before moving on.
The last few days are a gentle sloping incline as we head into higher elevation. E is handling most great, but we sound less and less strong the higher we go. I'm assuming it's a timing issue given our elevation change, so I attempt to adjust our timing before leaving the hotel and thought we'd never get E started again.
I'm not sure if it's better to adjust the timing when the engine is warm... but even though i'm using my new light and setting the engine the appropriate way- we simply cant get the engine to start. Should've left well enough alone apparently. An hour later I go back to where i started, we manage to get E fired up and i adjust to ear the old fashioned way. At least we're on the road.
We make layovers in champoton and acayucan, typically crashing on the bed sipping tequila to rest as soon as we pull in. Then as darkness falls, we head out onto the streets looking for a bit of food. After long days on the highway- food seems to be our focus...and it's getting better.
We can simply feel ourselves moving into the parts of mexico where food is the passion rather than a need. People gather around it, obsess about it and are really talented at making it. On the road we keep our eyes peeled for anyone serving comida. An excuse to pull over and the only chance on the highway to spend a little time soaking it in.
These roadside comedors are never much to look at. Usually no signage until you're right upon them, meaning we stop and back up in the highway or in the dirt along side it...but whatever they are serving is always delicious, and it tends to feel like we just wandered into someones kitchen (and often is). The family that runs each stop is always full of smiles and welcomes us with open arms...and the children seem to think we're a circus attraction.
It's no wonder we make such horrible time driving.