After an unexpected delay in Texas, we finally crossed Rio Grande and into Mexico on day #6 towards our destination of Guatemala.
The warnings from people about corrupted cops and drug cartels in Mexico linger at the back of our minds as we drove through five Mexican states of Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Chiapas.
With eleven stops throughout the trip, we made new friends, ran into (and almost over) cops, slept by the ocean, camped at the foot of a canyon, found cheap tacos, and ate authentic Mexican cuisine.
My impression of Mexico is now filled with fond memories and here are some highlights…
Strangers Turned Friends
With the items Sister Juana Maria (or Tía Juana) entrusted us to bring to her family in San Luis Potosi, we headed south with a one-night stop at Saltillo, Coahuila. When we showed up at the home of Tía Juana’s niece, we were ready to just hand over the items to Gabriella and go on our way.
Instead, Gabriella made us lunch and got her sons to show us around the city center while she arranged for us to stay at her in-law’s vacant home. They also invited us to a private concert by a local band who was filming a music video.
We know we were filmed as part of the audience but we have yet to see the final cut. We were even invited back for Tía Juana’s retirement party in August! Memories of their hospitality and extension of friendship continue to warm my heart.
Cascadas de Tamasopo, San Luis Potosi
After we parted ways with Gabriella and her family, we headed east towards Cascadas de Tamasopo; an area known for its waterfalls. We found a campsite within walking distance north of the park, which has very clean shower & toilet facilities, a pool, and BBQ pits. Just don’t count on their free wifi. This campsite is right on Adolfo Lopez Mateos, the same road that will lead you to the entrance of the waterfall park.
Beachfront Accommodation, Veracruz
Since we were closer to the Gulf of Mexico, we decided to find a campsite near to the ocean in the state of Veracruz. We ended up at El Corsario and since it was off-season, it took us a few minutes to locate the owner who lives two houses away from the campsite. It was quite a treat to fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing onto the beach and wake up for a nice dip in the ocean. Beware of feisty crabs at night!
Somewhere on 145 in Oaxaca
Our search for a campsite near Bethania, Oaxaca was fruitless (despite vague directions from locals) and we decided to continue driving through the winding mountain roads into the night against our better judgment.
Reece was driving when I first saw some blinking red & blue lights. Shortly after I told him that, our headlights illuminated a cop car after a turn. Within seconds of that, we had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting a couple of cops on the road.
I could only decipher from the tone of the conversation between Reece and the cops and fear the worst. What was about 20 minutes of interrogation felt like an eternity but we actually drove away from this harrowing encounter with only a firm warning and a USD40 fine!
We were quite shaken up as we continued on 145 in awe of the favor we have been shown. After finding a roadside eatery, we calmed our nerves with some beer and empanadas before spending the night of day #10 in the car.
Click here for the continuation of our journey across Mexico.