Our first day in Mexico was spent travelling from Mission, Texas to Ciudad Victoria. We were surprised at all of the beautifully seeded fields that stretched to the horizon. I thought that the Mexicans must have ‘auto-steer’ on their tractors, as the rows were as straight as can be. One of our caravan leaders informed me though that the locals are just well-practiced farmers. Our first day also was one where we learned how a caravan works, relaying messages up and down the group of 18 rigs with our CBs, to inform each other of road conditions, traffic hazards, and travelling directions.
Our second day was a shorter day of travel, and I remember mentioning that I could picture Zorro riding through the short trees and hilly terrain. It was somewhat dry in that area, and hot weather. We camped behind a hotel near the city of Tampico, and had use of their beautiful pool and garden facilities.
Our third day was one of very long travel. We discovered in a big way that you can’t make fast time on Mexican roads. We dodged pot-holes that entire day, and also had a good working over with ‘topes’, the speed bumps that are located in every town. (One town had 13 topes!) The scenery was beautiful, as we travelled through lush orange orchards that climbed high onto the hills around. To me it was reminiscent of vineyards in Italy. Mexico’s beauty began to really take hold of us that day. And in the evening, we were installed into an RV Park along the Emerald Coast on the Gulf of Mexico. The waves of the ocean were rather violent there, so we enjoyed the pool facilities instead, especially the water slides. J We stayed at
this location for three nights of fun.
On a day-trip from the Emerald Coast, we visited the exquisite ruins of El Tajin. This site included 6 or 7 pyramids and several other buildings and facilities, such as 17 ball courts. Some of the structures of this location were only discovered within the last 20 years, and the jungle had to be removed carefully from on top of them. Our guide explained the ritual ball games that were central to this culture; these included the bi-annual human sacrifice of the winner, which was considered to be a great honor. The ‘jewel’ of El Tajin was the pyramid called the ‘Temple of the Niches’ which included niches or alcoves numbering the days of the Mexican calendar. I was very impressed.
Right beside the El Tajin ruins we were thrilled to see the Papantla Flyers. This is a team of men who climb up a 90-foot pole and then swing round and round the pole on ropes as they descend to the ground. The descent took about 10 minutes, and how these men remained conscious in an upside down position for that long is a mystery to me. It was quite interesting to see.