Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 a new year with more blank pages

Our entry into 2017 was one that allowed for only forward movement and better things to come. Our attempt leave the country before Dec 31 was all for naught. We needed a car registration and ours was nowhere to be found. Thus we saw the New Year in from a hotel inSan Antonio, the seat of the regional DMV office, waiting for it to open on Monday. We stayed in - saw the fireworks  from afar but even better on the TV and then watched the happenings in NYC. A champagne toast and then to bed. As we watched tv I continued to practice my new form of knitting - continental style - on the Christmas 2017 sweater.

Jan 2nd found us in the DMV office and 10 minutes later, we had the registration paper and 3 hours later we were back in Laredo and after a couple of stops and errands, we arrived at the border. 2 hours later, much longer than originally anticipated, we were across the border and on the road towards Monterrey. I was not a happy camper when I calculated our arrival time in Monterrey when I discovered that we would arrive after dark. But arrive we did, in one piece and checked in to our first hotel - the Fairfield Inn.
 Despite the name, it was a very old hotel with European sized "small" rooms where there was just enough room to walk around the bed.

Jan 3rd and we were back on the road again with a destination of Real de Catorce. Easy driving as we stuck to the toll road as much as possible. And thus comes our next fun adventure. Our trusty gps took us down the road as it should. We turned where we should. We again turned where we were told. And herein lies our next adventure. We continued on down the road which took us through a couple of progressively smaller towns. Nothing said anything that could be taken as an indication of tourists and Real de Catorce is a tourist destination. Eventually the road turned to gravel, leading into the mountains - no problem,  a little dusty yes, but nothing we couldn't handle. As we had to go through a tunnel to get to the other side, we weren't worried. With a maximum of 5-10 mph I was a little worried that we would hit dark before arriving. Then we turned a corner and saw a group of cowboys on a mule and a horse, leading saddled horses.      hmmmmm what is wrong with this picture. The back rider, the older one, stops and says "No no no", wagging his finger. Pointing at our front tires, "cuatro por cuatro solo" and continuing to wag his finger. The light bulb goes on - if no 4x4 vehicle, you can't make the the trip. He then proceeds to give us directions to the proper road. Yup, go back the way we came, 30 km, stay on the main road and then turn off towards the mountains. The cowboys continue on towards town, chuckling to themselves I am sure, "gringos locos".

But for us, we now have to turn around to get back and this is no more than a track. Backing up until we came to a wide enough spot, we Austin Powers it, and get ourselves turned around. Back to the main road, through the same two villages, turn onto the highway and go another 8 km. A sign, "turn  to Real de Catorce" - all the while the gps keeps trying to tell us to go back the other way. My goodness, a cobblestone road and only 30 minutes until sunset and in the mountains. NOT, we head on into town and to our hotel for the night. Tomorrow we will return and make the trip.

We stayed in what felt like an old tourist court from Route 66 - Las Palmas. It was very clean and comfortable although had an old smell to it - not musty, just old. There was also a good restaurant associated with the hotel. In the back there were RV spots, with all of 15amp service. Yup guess we won't be staying here in the RV without solar panels.

And so we are well into our next journey ... follow us as we explore Mexico in the car for a month.