Tuesday, August 19, 2008

62. Veracruz

I wasn't going to write today. In fact, I should be showering and packing up our stuff while the Mr is out for a walk on the smelly beach, but I'm procrastinating.

Yesterday, about two hours into the bus ride, we were stopped by the Mexican Army. I think maybe I was sleeping before the stop because it seemed like all of a sudden, a guy in uniform was walking down the aisle, explaining that this was a military check point and that they were going to do something with the equipaje (luggage). We've been boarded before and nothing happened, but this time passengers were getting off the bus, so we did too. We had to locate our bags and stand by while the army went through them. They were very polite and aside from the massive assault rifles strapped to their backs, it was all very civilized. I did get a little nervous when he found our bag of coffee, but he wasn't bothered since they were the whole beans.

I'm always fascinated by the other passengers on the bus. This trip, it was all locals except us and an Italian man traveling alone. I love the Italians. So colorful. If they're not jonesing for a cigarette, pushing other passengers out of the way to get off the bus, they're chatting loudly or completely knocked out. This guy read his Lonely Planet Messico guide book for about 10 minutes, then stretched out and slept the rest of the way. He was super tall, had the wing span of a condor and looked even more uncomfortable than I was. He was wearing red jeans pants, a neon green t-shirt, a navy blue long sleeve t-shirt and yellow shoes. Truly a fiesta for the eyes.

Veracruz is exactly as expected - not a place you would want to stay for very long. Our hotel is fine - typical sterile high-rise hotel - the bed is comfortable and the AC works well. Too well. We had to leave a 200 peso deposit for the tv remote. There is a pool, but it's murky and makes you wonder what kind of chemicals they use. Or what happened in the pool just before we arrived. We didn't stay in very long. Dinner last night was not so great. Lonely Planet was totally off. We slept well and are just waiting around for the next bus. We'll arrive in Matamores early tomorrow morning, will take a taxi to the border, walk across and get picked up by Capt Jim. Of course, he's not so great with the details and our meeting spot is a little loose. I asked about meeting at a restaurant on the state side. We'll be looking for you is what he said...So we'll see how that works out.

No photos today. Veracruz just isn't worth it.


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