Saturday, August 16, 2008

Monterrey to San Louis Potosi

I woke up at 7am today, showered and let Allan and the doggies sleep while I went down for a delicious breakfast in the lobby which consisted of beans, eggs with potatoes, granola, cafe con leche, and 2 cheese dishes which were great, but I couldn't tell you what was in them. I caught up on email since the wireless signal didn't reach my room despite assurances by the front desk otherwise. By the time I was done with email Allan was up and peering over my shoulder.

He had just covertly carried both dogs down from the room 1 at a time in a duffel bag and carefully tucked them back into the car. They were so happy last night not be to stuck in a humid car. How could we leave 2 little angels to pant and suffer in a parked car in an unfamiliar country overnight?

After breakfast we packed the car and departed by 10am for San Louis Potosi, about 300 miles south of Monterrey. The drive out of town was absolutely stunning. The mountains loomed in every direction; every glimpse was another photo - another chance to stop and take in the experience. Was I really doing this? What I really moving to this beautiful country? I wish my parents were here to experience this. I just can't believe how gorgeous it is.

We managed to stop at just about every rest stop as usual. Like clockwork our vehicle was approached by people wanting to wash our windows, sell us food or ask for money. At first I felt resistant to interact, but in the end I'm glad I did. I let one gentleman wash all the insects off our windows, and he did a fantastic job. At another stop we shared a few laughs with children who at first asked for money, but when we refused they just asked to play with Rickey and Mitzi. One little thief tried to pick my pocket, and just laughed it off and ran away when I caught him sneaking up behind me. They were all camera shy; I'm quite certain they've never owned a camera, and may have never had their picture taken.

I swear Rickey has learned to open the window by himself. Driving down the road I heard the wind rushing behind me and felt my neck getting warm. In the side view mirror I witnessed Rickey sticking his head out the window, checking out the landscape, taking in all the new scents, paws directly on the window control. Darn dog! Don't teach that to Mitzi.

After 3 or 4 hours of driving we landed about 2/3 of the way to San Louis Potosi in a hill town called Matehuala. It was 2:30pm, and we hadn't eaten a significant meal since breakfast considering all the roadside "restaurants" were either abandoned buildings or dilapidated shacks serving food which I knew would make us sick. We needed an alternative to chips and nuts.

Somehow in Matehuala, a town that greets you with rundown buildings and truck tires piled by the dozen in roadside shops, we managed to find an oasis called Las Palmas (The Palms). Las Palmas is both an inn and restaurant that looks like something out of Palm Beach. Waiters don blue suit jackets, matching the chairs and tablecloths, and serve food that is out of this world. We dined on incredible chicken with vegetable soup and amazing chicken fajitas. We can't remember the last time we ate so well. Outside our car was parked under Moorish looking stone arches, and was being washed by hand by a man who cleaned every inch of that vehicle including the running board and tires for less than I'd pay in a car wash, and by the time he was done that car was sparkling.

We loved it here so much we decided to stay the night. We purchased a room with its own private entrance, covered parking next to our door, a pool steps away and goats roaming behind a fence 100 feet from our front door. (Allan LOVES goats - don't ask me why.) We once again smuggled the mutts like illegal aliens into our "no pets allowed" cabana where we all settled down for a well deserved nap.

Since we arrived in the early afternoon we had ample time to relax, swim and do whatever we darn well pleased. What was the point of driving another 2 or 3 hours to San Louis Potosi when we can just do it "manana". Gosh, were turning Mexican already!

Today we hit the 3,000 mile mark on the trip tracker, and I'm ready for 3,000 more!

Playa del Carmen Condo and Villa Vacation Rentals

A Monterrey statue with mountains towering in the background.

Matt in Monterrey. Gosh those mountains are AMAZING.

A road side photo of yet more beauties.

Allan and his new friends, the team that washed our windows at a rest stop.

The boys at another rest stop who wanted money for "cokes". The one on the right tried to pick my pocket. Regardless we enjoyed our interaction very much.

Rickey regales in 75mph winds and scents coming in every direction.

Relaxing at Las Palamas. Our room is in the background, our car parked under the archway behind the trees.


Nancy said...

Thanks for letting me come along! You're quite the storyteller and I look forward to each installment!

Brenda said...

Sounds like you are having a great time.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

We second those thoughts from Nancy and Brenda. And we are still laughing about Rickey's window antics! I'm glad you are smuggling the little ones inside.