Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bustamante to Hidalgo (Potrero Chico) Day 10

A bit sad already. The time is flying by, but I guess so is life. Take as much as you can when you have the opportunity. We are just movin' on down the road. I know I haven't posted a map yet, but we have never been more than two hours away from the house and I feel like I am thousands of miles away in nowhere. There is so much to see in such a short span of time. No wonder Tioga and George never travel more than 50 miles a day. Smart man.

We packed up yesterday after spending two nights in Bustamante. We stopped into town for a few minutes to update the blog and say goodbye to our friends Felipe and Lorena and to return the CD Felipe lent me that had the great pictures of the Grutas de Bustamante. I downloaded the CD for future reference. I can't wait for the caves to reopen so we can take the tour. We headed for four different municipios on the route; Salinas Victoria, El Carmen, Abasolo and then Hidalgo.

Two things I have learned on this trip. One, never talk bad about anyone. If you think I am joking try it sometime. Move from town to town only to find out that everyone is a primo (cousin) of somebody. Family trees are so closely related in small towns you get a real sense of history as well as how humankind spreads. More on family trees tomorrow. Second, I always thought that Salinas Victoria was a dumpy town and that people were medio-gruñon (grouchy bastards). I based that on people I had met over the years in Monterrey who had come from this dusty god-forsaken place. What I found out was that not everyone is the same. We went to the municipio and met a lovely young woman who was excited to tell us about her little place in the world.
She gave us several different brochures in both Spanish and English and gave us the run down on where to go. One place we passed on the way is a place that has fascinated me for years, Mamolique. Mamolique is a mountain pass on the road to Laredo and I have gone over it for years wondering how to get there. Now I know the route. They offer camping and a small lake there via a paved road.

The road today was more rural than most passing a lot of farms and fields. I felt like I was passing through rural Texas or Missouri. It was a relaxing drive and I set the cruise control on 50. With a destination in mind, Potrero Chico, we stopped briefly in El Carmen and went on to Abasolo. On the road to El Carmen we passed this everlasting symbol. Now you know why we are buying our own substation from the CFE. I advise anyone living here to do the same, a worthwhile investment.
El Carmen was very quiet. We found a woman in the plaza selling snacks. She said these days not many people come around except on the weekends when they return from Monterrey. Great, I don't want to be on the road in a small town on weekends. Imagine all the kids with nothing to do. I am a very quiet person.

When we arrived to Abasolo, it was a bit depressing. Abandoned for the most part, there was a bus in the plaza with a group of braceros, men who had worked in the U.S. under a guest worker program in the 40s, 50s and 60s who never received their pension that was promised to them from the U.S. and gather together and take trips to the border to try and resolve their issues. You know I am a real Mexico supporter, but this place was dirty and dumpy. I couldn't wait to leave.

We finally got to another jewel of this great state, Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon which is home to Potrero Chico. This is a famous moutain climbing destination for climbers from all over the world. We decided to stay with our friend Luis at the Posada Potrero Chico. You can see by the sign it is a tourist friendly destination.
They are considering the possibility of opening an rv section to their hotel and campground. He showed us the area where they will do the rv park, and we talked about all the opportunities. He had the gardener cut the grass in this area so we could park for two nights. The cost is 55 pesos per person in the camping area.
Today the weather is cool and a nice breeze. We went for a walk, talked to the police about boondocking in the park which they agreed to. They said they would radio "central" and let them know if we decided to stay. There is a big palapa, big enough to put a trailer in with a concrete pad. But, when we got there, some guys had taken it over and were drinking and listening to music. The park closes at 7 p.m. but we didn't want to wait it out, nap time was calling.

Our site, a night shot with the moon, a full one is coming Friday night, and my morning coffee this morning. Finally thoughts, I'm getting old.


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