Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 3 follow up

Day 3 started wonderful. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before and enjoyed a VERY nice king-size bed with high-end linens, a nice continental breakfast and some great service. And even better, it was chilly - around 5 degrees - but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we could feel the warmth in the sun even before we began. WooHoo!!

With firm directions in hand on how to leave the city we hit the road around 7:30 and by 8:00 or so we were on a good road heading south. We stayed on a secondary road through the mountains for an hour or so and then we picked up the Autopista and really made some great time.

And here’s where I have to put in a plug for Mexico in general and Mexican’s in particular; at no time have we felt threatened or put out because of the language barrier or the fact we’re tourists - sometimes the only tourists these parts have seen for a very long time, if ever. Instead we’ve only met warm welcoming smiles and anytime we’ve stopped to look at the map or to get out bearings someone ALWAYS materialized to ask how we’re doing of if he or she could help in some way.

Anyway, all day we made great time and saw a lot of northern Mexico. An area by the way, that would put northern Manitoba to shame for remoteness and desolation. We saw miles and miles of miles and miles - and not much else.

We eventually ended up at the outskirts of a city called Gomez Palacio around 2:30 and here’s where me made our mistake. It was really 3:30 because we’d crossed in to Mountain time without realizing it. It’s no big deal because we’re not on any schedule but it meant we had an hour less of daylight than we thought. We looked at the map and decided 2:30 was too soon to stop so we’d push on. We could see that the next city was still >200klm away but there were lots of small towns on the map so there must be a hotel. Right. Wrong! Once we started on the next stretch there was nothing! By then we’d changed our clocks ahead and realized an hour or so later that we were quickly running out of options. We were now on a secondary road again and as the day wore on we noticed a real increase in heavy truck traffic. They must run at night. Anyway, long story short, we eventually stopped at a truck stop and got directions to this place about 5 klm off the highway. It’s a very quaint, typical small colonial town with a main square, large cathedral and an older hotel right on the square. VERY small but the kind of place we love.

We’re now firmly ensconced for the evening in a small room with 20 foot ceilings and just enough flavour to make it unique, that is if 150 year old buildings with electricity and plumbing retrofitted in the fifties turns you on :-)

My bike is now put away in the lobby and I’m just finishing up a few notes before we head out to a lovely Valentines dinner in the lobby/restaurant cooked by the owner/manager/chef. Afterwards we’re going to join all the families in the main square and just hang out and soak up the vibe.


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