A Travellerspoint blog

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Dead dogs, Bats and fun peopleXilitla

Xilitla

Xilitla is a an easy five or six hour drive from Tampico if you are used to deep foot deep potholes, random dirt roads and 20 percent grades that bottom out your car. Since I am now teaching ESL on Friday evenings, Peter (our friend from VT), David, Shannon (an ATS friend) and I met Chip, Aliesha, Zachery, Johanna and their two girls at hotel that sported warm sulfur springs, a cave with bats, giant bugs and a fresh, but ripe, dead dog in it, It was a huge resort with few guests.
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After poking about there, we continued on to Xilitla. Xilitla is a town nestled in in the mountains west and a little south of here. It is like a magic kingdom, surrounded by lush jungle with a few cow farms chiseled out of it. Xilitla_sink.jpgXilitla_room.jpgXilitla_co..l_buildings.jpg

The highlight of this place is the jungle garden that Edward James built in the forties through the eighties. This garden sports gigantic concrete (of course) sculptures in the jungle called it Los Pozashttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_James . It was fascinating as I hope you can see from the pictures. In the hotel where we stayed they displayed the wooden forms used to create the sculptures.

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The next day we spent in and out of the town. In town we wandered about, acquainting ourselves with the friendly neighborhood dogs, the lovely people, and the dancers in the church square. The pictures tell it all, and those of you who know me well know that I was in my element in the mountains with the wood nymphs, cows, friends, and mud.

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The ride home was an adventure of buying a giant bag of oranges, meeting Angel and his friend, and driving in the dark. People told me it was dangerous to drive at night in Mexico, and they were right. We caught some serious air on speed bumps, which do not show up very well in the dark especially since the 2004 Mazda 4 made lights that have a span of about two inches in front of the car. We made it home just in time to miss one of the play off football games.

Posted by Tampicoandlisa 07:17 Archived in Mexico Comments (3)

Stranded in a mall in DC

Stranded in the Houston airport for NINE hours for the grand finale

snow

When my principal asked me to volunteer to take the 8th graders to DC in March, I think I was homesick. So that is why I am outside of Planet Fitness in Shopper's World, watching the snow accumulate. Not my first choice, but parents were complaining that we had to cancel the trip to the Pentagon City Mall (somehow they were not to concerned about the trip to the Supreme Court). I have been in DC since Sunday. When I asked a student what the favorite part of his trip was, he said the mall. I had to remind him that we had not been yet. I sound like an old lady thinking that our youth haS gone down the tubes, but those of you who know me, know that going to the mall is not my forte.

The highlight of this trip has been taking the students ice skating. By the end of the hour or two, they had it down. The giant snowball fight on the Mount Vernon lawn was up there to, until someone called security. These students are fun to be with.

Since Christmas, I have been in Tampico with David, said good bye to my dear friend Valerie, been to Veracruz and Chachalacas with Kate and Chelien, played tennis, taught a new ESL class to adults and kept on teaching at the middle school. In April I will say good bye to David and meet my father in Mexico City for spring break. My plan is to return to the U.S. Around the last week in June. I will drive and seek adventure as I go. I want to do a swimming tour of the U.S.

Teaching adults ESL is as much fun as teaching the little ones. Learning new language is one of the most playful things I have experienced as a teacher and a student. It is all about laughter and success. There is a lot less pressure teaching ESL because people have chosen to study it, and both the students and I find value in everything that we do. Presently, I am thinking of starting a language school in Mexico, not Tampico. I am not sure how much more city I can take, especially as the hot air begins to roll in. I also still have my dream of buying a patch of land, building a tiny house off of the grid, and livin' of the fatta the land. I just need the guts to do it because I will never have the money.

Notes on Vera Cruz. David and I set off for this 6 hour trip on a Saturday morning. Six hours was Google 's estimate. Google has obviously never been to Mexico before. Potholes, narrow roads and speed bumps are a serious consideration when traveling. For example, we finally got on a potholeless highway, and were driving a a nice 60 mile per hour clip, when suddenly, the road just stopped with a giant pile of concrete and a two foot drop to the dirt road below. Luckily, it was not dark yet, so we had time to stop and weave our way through the dirt ruts, and back onto the pothole highway.
Vc bananas

Vc bananas


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We met Kate and Chelien and enjoyed the carnival marking the beginning of Lent. There was a lot of wild parting and a terrific parade the next day. That afternoon we went north to Chachalacas, a beautiful off the beaten path beach town with nice people great food and beautiful sand dunes. We spent one day beaching it, another day at the dunes and the last day in the mountains checking out ancient ruins, wallowing in hot tubs and getting 20 dollar body massages.

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So who knows, what my return will bring. Peace with my seventh graders, fluency in Spanish, crocodiles. I suppose I have to get there first.

Posted by Tampicoandlisa 18:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A little too much USA

My trip to McAllen, TX

Being in McAllen, Texas, was like bleeding into America from Mexico. There was a degree of order and a faint smell of spring, but I was sick, which left me physically speechless. Trapped in bilingual world, being smart and dumb together. Voiceless irony. The seven hour drive was a welcome mind number. All I needed to do was read, be comfortable and watch the scrubby landscape tumble by.
The first time I crossed Mexico in the seventies, was by bus, without a passport. That time the pre-midnight crossing back to the states was on foot. This year, I have drifted across the Mexican border first by plane, second by plane; third, in my rusted out car; fourth, by plane, and plane again, and this time I was crossing in a taxi.
It was too easy – drifting across the border in the pre-midnight mist. The only hitch was the rather serious and random luggage search by the Federalis. They wanted me to take them seriously as they checked and rechecked the World Strides tag I had forgotten to tear off my backpack after DC. It had only been a matter of a few days. Far too much America.
McAllen is a giant strip mall of mostly fast food, claiming to be siempre natural. What does that mean exactly? I could not help imagining what it was before – a John Wayne movie façade, Main Street, with lazy horses on three feet drowsing in the sun. The swinging doors of the local saloon, the dust, and the drunk sheriff peering out of the jailhouse door. It reminded me of when I was little and I would pretend that puddles were giant lakes or even oceans for some small creatures. Here I was trying to imagine the pre-strip mall environment without much more than black and white success.
I love the United States, but most of all I love New England, which seems to be an oasis. I do not have to look too far beneath its façade to see what is there. I can walk out my back door and easily imagine the Native Americans, pilgrims, and colonists scraping away to make their land viable. I almost do not have to pretend, when I go out tromping in a snowstorm, that there was a before in those woods. Perhaps a tree that I see was once a sapling, perhaps the footprints in the snow are from those creatures whose ancestors tread before them. But in McAllen, where is the before? What happened? What allowed this to happen to McAllen? Still it was so much a part of the United States that I could smell spring in the summer air.
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I knew this visit would be discombobulated and somewhat beyond my control. And it was. No one made an appointment for us at the consulate, and the wrong paperwork was filled out. So what is another day in McAllen? When I found out that I had a day to kill, I walked for an hour to try and find something. When I realized that there was nothing to find, I found it back at the hotel by the pool. It is so rare that I allow myself to relax.
After making an appointment, filling out the right paperwork and passing about five hours in the embassy, we were holding our unofficial work visas. We needed a stamp, a 30 day tourist visa and a trip to immigration in Tampico.
So what did I learn? Always hand in your visa when you cross the border because if you don’t, it is a 25 dollar fine. Do not assume that someone in the home office knows what she is doing. Always do what you can yourself. When you are in an ugly, tar-covered, strip mall city, do not look so hard for the beauty -- you can find it by the pool when you look up into the sky and see the palm trees rustling in the wind.
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Posted by Tampicoandlisa 14:32 Comments (0)

Spring Break

How many one-legged men did you see yesterday?

At the end of our 6 hour drive from Tampico to the Tobago Resort in Vera Cruz, on Costa Esmerelda, I told David that we had seen four one-legged men. But I take that back. There was one on crutches at the first toll booth after we saw the half dead cat in the middle of the road, and before I didn't see the half foot tope until I caught some air over it. There was another one on crutches buying something right before we passed the ripe dead dog in the middle of the road. Then there was the one who sat in the middle of the road painting the white lines with one hand and waving his begging cap in the other. That one created our second half hour traffic jam. I am not sure that the last three counted because we had seen them on our last trip to Vera Cruz. They wait at the topes to collect. We do wonder at this phenomenon, and on the way home we will check to see if the missing leg is always the one on the right.

Driving is always an experience in Mexico, but if you do it enough, you know that it is best to take the long way around Tuxpan to avoid traffic and getting lost. You know that even though the third lane is not literally there, it can be there if you want it to be. You know which towns sport the bigger topes, which ones sport the skinny ones and which ones qualify as tourist topes or smooth vanilla like humps. Topes are the speed bumps that the Mexicans use to keep the speeders humble. Police are few and far between in this neck of the world.

Although “with the approaching Semana Santa holiday season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico want to alert U.S citizens of the possibility of highway robberies and car jackings on popular transit routes into the interior of Mexico, including on toll roads (“cuotas”),” the traffic is so heavy that we feel quite safe. These instances take place and night, which is when we refuse to travel, not because I only have one headlight, and it is impossible to see, but because the topes and potholes take us by surprise.

Our long drive landed us in one of my most favorite places in Mexico, Taboga Resort on Costa Esmerelda[[http://www.taboga.com.mx/en/. It has been a lovely beginning to my spring break. On Thursday, I will send David back to Putney, Vermont, and meet my father in Mexico City for the remainder of my break. Then it is smooth sailing to the end of the year when I will drive my car (sin rust -- I am having some cheap body work done) back to New England for a two month stay before I return to Tampico for chapter two of my life here.

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Posted by Tampicoandlisa 16:45 Comments (2)

Teaching and Learning

old post that I forgot to post

I was starting to get a little bored. So I signed up to teach 8,9 and 10 year-olds English on Saturdays. I am also tutoring Andrea, an elementary school student at ATS on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I take Spanish classes after I tutor Andrea.

I love teaching ESL to the little ones. What an easy way to find and get a lot of loving, especially from the boys. When they came in, one boy was on the verge of tears; one girl's eyes were popping out of her head; another paced about; one fell in love with me at first sight. I started out with a map that I had found from the City Express, where I spent my first night in Tampico, to get an idea of where they lived. I spoke to them Spanish, so that they could realize that even a teacher can struggle while learning a new language. They relaxed after that. They learned from me, and I learned from them. We laughed, we danced to our friendship song, we had a lot of fun. When they were leaving, two boys wrapped their arms around my waist: I love you Mis.

After that I went to the SALC (Student ? Learning Center) to practice my Spanish in the conversation corner. I am progressing nicely. I keep thinking of how children acquire language, it is a fascinating process. I also know that sometimes I am learning the language without even knowing it: travelling on the bus with Mexican music blasting me as I hang out the greasy window trying not to arrive at school saturated with sweat, listening to my students chatter in the hall, getting lunch, asking directions, playing tennis, and listening to the sounds of Tampico.

My classroom is known for its low temperatures. I wallow there in my sleeveless dress. One day the students poured in while I was preparing for class and without thinking about it, I said, I know I am trying to fix it. One of my students said, MIS LISA!! You know Spanish! I did not realize that even though I had responded in English, I had responded to Spanish.

Posted by Tampicoandlisa 17:16 Comments (1)

Angels falling from the sky

the flat version

sunny 90 °F
View Mexico City on Tampicoandlisa's travel map.

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The Talking Heads have a song --- Once in a Lifetime -- with the line, well, how did I get here?. I ask myself that question a lot in Mexico. How did any of these places get here? I know that the history books will tell me, but the people who put these places on the map intrigue me. San Miguel, Hildago, Allende... all revolutionaries who stuck up for their county and won. Perhaps they are just some of the Angels who fell from the sky and contributed to this world.
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I have spent exactly one week with my 90 year-old father, starting in Mexico City, taking a bus to San Miguel, and today we return to Tampico. I can only imagine what the combined heat and humidity are. This has been the longest time that I have spent with my father since I was a child. We talked about the strangeness of our relationship now that I am 56 and he is 90. It took a few days to redefine that. It is so easy to let the inner child wake up when you spend a considerable amount of time with an older parent. It took me a few days to put her to rest, and I am grateful to be taking in these places at a slow and deliberate pace.
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I have been a full-fledged tourist on this leg of my journey. Dad bought a blue folding hat on the tourist bus that defines this role. I have my camera slung across my shoulder. The big difference is that I can speak to people with more fluency than ever before. Acquiring a new language is a lot like early childhood development. You learn one aspect of the language and lose another part until eventually they start to weave together make sense. Workbook study puts the language into perspective, and I do it every day, but what cinches it is the conversations with the taxi driver, the waiter, my tennis buddies, people I work with, and women at bus stops or in cafes . I am by no means bilingual, but if I continue this for another year, which is the plan, I hope to be fluent. Anyway, it is fun to think that I understand what people are saying to me.

The first thing Dad and I did in Mexico was hop on the tourist bus. We looped around all of the historic areas. Then we walked back to the hotel gaping at the art exhibit hanging on the gates to the park. Dad's endurance was touch and go in the beginning because of the altitude change. I think I wiped him out because he spent the next day in bed. So we ambled along for five minutes, rested for five and started again. A true lesson in mindfulness on my part.

There is nothing to say about being a tourist. We saw what we saw, and we did what we did. Quite frankly , tourism is a bore. It is not until I settle down, find a place to write, read, play, move or do something that means something to me that a place takes on meaning.

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Yes I did street zumba

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San Miguel Allende

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Posted by Tampicoandlisa 15:26 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

It is so easy to find beauty

in Mexico, friends, potholes, waterfalls, topes, 6 tacos, Chip's cafe, fireflies, steep ladders, impassable roads, catching a kid who decides to jump, the north wind

81 °F

My first blog mentions finding beauty in Mexico. That's what being here means. Leaving home does that to you. Living in Mexico does that too. Do I have hot water when I come home? Is my car scraped and beaten by rocks, topes, dirt, perhaps a few holes? Was I too scared to climb through the cave to jump through the waterfall? Did I confirm that beer tastes horrible, especially when people tell you to drink it with ice, salt and lime? Did I find another dead cat along the side of the road???? https://www.google.com.mx/maps/place/Tamasopo,+S.L.P./@21.9240928,-99.3921452,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x85d5c329bf85bdbd:0xc8cafcba72a0b04b

==Puente de Dios==

When I jumped into a waterfall-fed river pool, and floated through a cave lit up with the sun's reflecting rays this Saturday, I was sure that I had found the eighth wonder of the world (along with the thousands of other tourists who floated along beside me). There were more people there than I could begin to count, but that only added to the beauty. To be in a place like that in solitude would have been a miracle in itself, but to be in it with thousands of other people bobbing along in florescent orange life vests made it twice as spectacular.
The current was so strong that most people had to hang onto the ropes that intersected in the middle of the pool. There was no way to get in other than jumping off of a cliff (provided by the gods I am sure). Once I took the plunge and wallowed in a waterfall shower, I hailed my good friends, and we floated with the current through a small hole of a limestone cave. The water was Caribbean Sea blue, lit up from the sun's rays that reflected from underneath. I floated through the cave to the other side, swam back up stream and came back through again, because you should always look at miracles twice to make sure that they are real. Getting back through the cave's opening was a challenge not because of the current, or its small size. It was the steady flow of bobbing tourists seeking the same rush that I had just experienced that made it almost impossible to pass. Driving in Mexico has taught me to pass when you have the chance, so we clung to the rope, found an opening and forged back to our starting point.

I always tell my students that their essays need a hook. Some of the best hooks are the ones that make the reader wonder forever. That is what Puente de Dios did to me. It started with a hook that made me dive in; it squeezed me through the the thesis statement,and opened up into this inexplicable light that I thought I could never experience again, and then spat me out into a flowing river that would eventually spill into the sea to meet up with all of the other wonders of this world.

The second half of the day was spent at an old mill powered by the waterfalls. We could barely find a patch of ground to sit on, but we had fun jumping from high places and watching Chip and his water feats.

If you look closely you can see Chip in the waterfall preparing to jump.

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==Cascadas de Tamul, San Luis Potosí, MX==

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The plan for Saturday was to rent a giant canoe and paddle to the waterfalls. Since it is Labor Day weekend, everyone else in Mexico had the exact same idea. As we sputtered through the mountains in my low riding 2004 Mazda 3, (Chip, Aliesha, and Esmerelda only had to get out for three topes)dodging potholes, playing chicken, and looking for donkeys, we could see a line of tour buses in the distance. By line, I mean at least thirty, and that does not include private cars and trucks. Although I mentioned the beauty of sharing wonder, enough is enough. So we turned around and decided to approach the Cascadas de Micos, in a way that only Lisa Goodhue (and those like her) would approach something that she wants and will get. For those of you who know the tale about "Goin' on a Lion Hunt," that serves as an appropriate metaphor here, and in most instances, when one takes an adventure. So back we went, up over the mountain, stopping for the five peso bano, the down hill ruts in the road that we missed coming down, hopping out of the Mazda to lighten the load for impassable topes, until we came to the Mexican version of the road less traveled. We were assured that it was only three kilometers -- five minutes tops. If those of you who live in New England think you know about boonin', you don't. Boonin' in Mexico in a low riding 2004 Mazda takes finesse. We managed to weave our way through the maze, without bottoming out once. After paying the farmer to open the gate, we traveled a total of forty minutes to find our destination.

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Needless-to-say, this was not a place where tour buses ventured. This was the other side of the waterfall, and we looked over to the other side we saw a canoe-jam of tourists who, if they could have seen us, were probably wondering why they could not be where we were. We had an option of rappelling down the falls, but since Chip did not consider it, I did not suggest giving it a try. But we had to go down to see the waterfalls from the bottom.

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And there we found wonder. A place that made me imagine how it got there, how the mist from the waterfall eroded the other side of the canyon, how it would look during the rainy season when the water was ten feet higher, how it the green growth on the other side must feel like velvet , or what would happen if we dove in? We could with the current until we reached the log jam and crawl up the other side of the canyon feeling the spray at or backs as we climbed to the other side of the falls. Isn't that what wonder is? A big what if. What if I dove into this miracle or climbed through it?

When our day was done, we hiked back along the trail, waterlogged and full. We approached a rich, deep, blue pool, and we couldn't resist. Chip and I jumped first. Ella (age 7) was standing on the sidelines, and I invited her to jump. I knew that I would have jumped when I was her age, but I am an exception. I looked her in the eye; she looked at me, and before I knew it she jumped. And the wonder on her face, that expression, captured the entire day. There was no photo; there were no words, but those of us who were there, those of us who saw her face as she plunged off the lip of the river's edge, we knew we had shared the wonder the wonder of the world that day.

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Posted by Tampicoandlisa 08:05 Archived in Mexico Tagged waterfalls mountains mexico road beauty less micro cascadas travelled Comments (0)

Punching it

Turning 57

Yesterday I got in my car and learned that it does not go over 98. Sorry brother John, I could not punch it to 100 the way you did in the family Buick on route 35 about 50 years ago.
I almost did not leave yesterday afternoon. A few days before. I took my 2004 Mazda 3 to the taller. I went alone, because I am tired of asking people for favors, for translating this world to me. I knew where to go because Chip, my favor granter, had taken me there before to help me solve the kerklunking problem in the front end of my car. No problemo—it was just the muffler rusting off of its bracket. I got a friend to set up an appointment to fix me mufle. Aliesha and I ventured to the mufle place and one hour and 20 bucks later, I had a fixed muffler. The kerklunk, however, remained.
So two days before my crazy drive to San Padre, Texas, I decided to get this problem fixed. With Google translate in hand, I got el mechanico to drive around Tampico with me to listen. We got back to the shop and crawled under the car to see what the problem was. My mechanic language is worse than my Spanish, but it was obvious that lots of major struts and other things that hold cars together had rusted out. I decided to make the huge financial investment to get the car fixed. It was not as simple as it sounds.
I am at the stage in my language learning when I understand what people say, but there is a lag time. For example, when someone speaks, I am about two words behind. So when the men in the office tried to get my information for fixing the car, I managed to display a woman with the brain of one of the nuts or bolts they planned on using to fix my car. Como te nombre? Number? Shit, I have a new cell phone that I never use, and I have no idea what the number is. “No lo se. No lo se,” I replied holding my head. My lag time passed after they had plenty of time to start laughing with me. Nombre – name, not number. After I told them my name, they did ask me my number, I honestly did not know. (So they called my number and we figured it out.) You can only imagine the conversation I was having with el mechanico as we drove around listening to the thunk in my car.
I will skip the details of how I found out that my car was ready, how I drove around with el mechanico, and crawled under my car to check it out (in a snug fitting skirt, which I have taken to wearing cuz it makes me feel good).
Right then I decided. I am skipping town the minute I get out of work. Who cares if I will travel through the most dangerous part of Mexico, alone, in my tight skirt, with just one head light, and a dubious muffler repair? I needed to get the hell out of Dodge. And I got the hell out in a BIG way. I did the Google map thing. Why? Because it made me feel like I knew what I was doing, that I had a purpose, that I was responsible. Google maps got me out of Tampico. Then I saw a sign for Matamoros and followed it. I cranked Jason Mraz because that was all that I had loaded on my phone (arrogant son of a bitch he is, but enough to keep me moving). I cranked it because that is what I needed to do. Pedal to the medal.
As I drove the scenery became more and beautiful, which is not hard to do when leaving a city like Tampico. In Mexico this means that you know the ocean is somewhere to the right, that the fuzzy green mountains in the distance look like perfect triangles, and the only thing in between are some big bulls with humps on their backs running the show, and occasional village (?), dogs and scrap. There were no one legged men on this trip. In fact there were no men, women, or any other signs of human life after a while. The road was good, better than most. No topes, an occasional landslide, few pot holes. As the road became more barren, I had an I-don’t-think-I-should-be-here-feeling. But I knew I was headed north, and I would hit the border at some point as long as the road did not just stop in the middle of nowhere. And I still had enough daylight as long as I did not have to turn around.
I saw some of the biggest snakes I have ever seen sunbathing on the tarmac—what did they have to lose, nobody but me was crazy enough to drive this road. I thought that maybe no one was driving the road because it was so reportedly dangerous that no one dared drive it. I saw a huge bull (white with a hump and a scraggly beard), ambling along. He had found a hole in a fence somewhere, but what did it matter, there was no risk of getting hit by the one Mazda hitting 98 on that road. The birds were beautiful, the sky held the clouds in the west, and the sea air brushed my window.
I knew I should have turned around when I realized that I owned the road… when I wondered where everyone else went. Where could they have gone? There was no place to go. I drove under a modern bridge that held a modern road, but it was closed and the turn off to it was impassable anyway. The road, however, was smooth despite globs of manure, debris from farm carts, random rocks, the big turtles and the snakes. I kept seeing signs about REPARATION, but everything in Mexico is under repair, and I was on a mission. NORTH or bust. When the road turned to dirt, I considered turning around, but… I told myself I would drive to the next mountain to get a view.
I did finally turn around. I considered asking the first sign of civilization that I saw – a man on a donkey—where to go, but I probably would not have understood him anyway, and for those of you who have ever punched high speeds on a clean road in Mexico, with no one to get in your way, it is not as if anyone would want to stop for anything. When I came the first turn off, I took a hairpin right, slowed down, and felt good about my decision. I pulled along two guys working on a car and asked them the way to Matamoras. Derecho y izquierda. Easier than GOOGLE I thought as I chucked the directions into the back seat.
Eventually, I found a town and MX route 180. I made one Oxxo stop for a dinner of peanuts with lime, Reeces Peanut Butter Cups, and Orange soda. I finally made it to Matamoras, which was rough going with one headlight. It got dark an hour earlier than I anticipated. There should be an allowance for those who drive with one headlight at night. We have to use our high beams. Have a little mercy on those who cannot get it together to replace their 200 dollar head light. When I saw a sign for Puente International, I followed it. It didn’t feel right, but how could I possibly miss the border to the USA? I pulled up along one car and asked if I was on the right path to Brownsville and got the negative finger shake (there are two finger shakes in Mexico—yes, which is a wiggling, crooked index finger, and no, a straight wiggling index finger. I didn’t believe him, so I asked the next van I saw and they drove me to the border, because most, if not all, Mexicans would do that for you.
When the border is in sight—within 500 meters--- you are still in Mexico, no one speaks English, the topes are still there, and so is the constant, is-it-okay-that-my window-won’t-roll-up-feeling. I was so close, but I followed a truck. When I pulled up to the exit to the bridge that crosses to the states, my car was way below the window because I was supposed to be in a truck. The last Mexican person I saw before I got on that bridge, laughed with me as a looked up and realized my mistake. He got out and helped me drive the wrong way back to get into the car lane. Only one truck faced me head on during this maneuver.
If you have never lived in a third world country, it might be hard for you to understand the feeling of crossing the border to the US. It is emotional, and the feeling wraps itself around my heart until I speak to the first American, who is usually a young border crossing guard with a Texas accent. It is as if you want to weep, but that is not the emotion. It is a weep love emotion.

(A little aside: I have been sitting in the Grapevine Café in San Padre, Texas for the past four hours writing to wise women, making life changing decisions, blasting Spotify (including Carol King, I am not embarrassed to say.) I would love to see a time lapse, people coming and going, me laughing, crying, rockin’ out to anyone from Carol King to Crash Test Dummies. I am not sure if I would still be considered middle aged because I do not have grey hair yet (no dye, just no grey), but whatever age I am in must be a weird one to watch).
I am not sure when it started, but one day I stopped. And part of me died that day. I stopped being me. I am sure it did not happen on one particular day, but I have been mourning that part of me for a long time. Too long. The good news is that when I was punching 98 on the road, I let go of that part of me that died, and something else woke up. It has been an emotional day—one with the support of wise women, a cool café with spotty internet, four cups of real coffee.
I think, because I am just shy of knowing, that I will stay in Tampico for another year, so that I can save some money and organize my hike up the Pacific Coast Trail starting on June 20, 2016. This is a tentative plan because I have not started my research into what it takes to do such a thing. But it is a plan nonetheless and it makes me want to sing!

Posted by Tampicoandlisa 14:00 Archived in USA Comments (4)

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