Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cerralvo, Nuevo Leon - Day 4 ¡Que Desastre!

Wow, what a day Wednesday was. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. We did our best to get to Cerralvo but obstacles were in the way. We left China after I posted the blog, and went to Congregación Cantú, a very sleepy hamlet with not a person in sight.
But they have the nicest plaza I have ever seen. It looks pretty new, all the streets are paved. We thought we were in Dr. Coss when a teacher arrived to the school in front of the plaza. She said we hadn’t gone far enough.

After a short walk, we drove on a few kms and found Dr. Coss. Entering the presidencia municipal, we started to ask about the history of the town. Out comes a friendly woman who I thought was a secretary, dressed in white peddle pushers and a summer blouse, who turned out to be the town historian. She didn’t want to let us go, made some copies from a book about the town and its beginnings. This whole day we saw very little activity in the towns.

One interesting note, you see a lot of big houses with some tint of Americana, concrete block houses with pitched roofs and asphalt shingles. These homes are owned by Mexicans who have worked in the states and many come back to retire. We even saw a fifth wheel in the boonies, set up on a piece of land with a nice rv pad, and all the works of an rv site.

From Dr. Coss you run into Los Aldama. In Los Aldama, the woman mayor was out to lunch and the rains were heading our way.
I saw a big storm coming and as we headed down the road. We stopped and asked an older gentleman how to get to Los Herrera and he pointed us down the street and across the railroad tracks.

Beginning of the End

This was our big mistake. The rains clouds were bursting at their seams, the wind was picking up, and there we were heading down the road that would lead us on to the three curses of the day. As you can see by the pictures, the road was the worst “paved” road I have ever encountered in my life. It was literally being washed away with the rains as the days passed this week. Slowly I took each pot hole hoping we wouldn’t drop a bar from the weight distribution hitch.
Turning back was out of the question. It is obvious that the road is under construction as they have bulldozed the sides of the road to widen it but that only left us with yellow mud and small lakes of water. We came on to an abandoned town, La Palmita, forgotten, decaying and left for better times. A few folks were hanging out on the town store porch and waved as we went by. You wonder what they think when they see a travel trailer coming down this god forbidden road and the rains are coming down in sheets. We soon discovered why. Construction is underway to build the new road but the rains have taken their toll. The road was washed out, trucks were stuck in the mud and we were being encouraged to go through. No way, Junior. I backed up, found a rocky spot to turn around and we headed back.
I got to the point where it was 3:15 and I was ready for a break. Found this great little abandoned Pemex, just right for the Funfinder. The concrete pad was level and it was quiet. Made a quick lunch of chicken fajita and two tortillas with salsa. Off to sleep for an hour and then drove all the way back to General Bravo and the autopista Hwy 40 that goes to Reynosa and to Saltillo. Got on the autopista and exited at Los Herrera. Nightmare number two. The toll booth chap told us nothing about what was ahead. 300 meters around the curve from the toll booth exit, there was road construction. 8 kms, no road and big trucks were sinking in water as much as 3 feet. Fortunately, we were able to turn around and head back to the toll booth. I let that sh—have it. I told him it was obvious we were tourists towing a trailer and why he didn’t warn us of the impending doom. Remember what I said yesterday about “SourPuss City”, he said, “I’m not from here either, I’m from China how would I know”. He is from SourPuss City, I should have known.

Back on the autopista, we exited again at Los Ramones, the booth guy assured us it was a good road. NOT! But we made it to Cerralvo. Their state park is only for day use. We headed to the main plaza and spoke to the police. We could stay wherever we wanted but it would be noisy at night with the teenagers. They recommended a GoodYear Tire store on the edge of town where the owner told us we could stay anywhere on the lot. It looked okay but too close to the main highway. We thanked him and said we would be back. We found this hotel around the corner. The owners wouldn’t let us pay to stay on the back lot but we did enjoy a very tasty dinner of arrechera, beans, salchicha and a well-deserved Modelo Especial.

Today we explore Cerralvo, which by the way is the original site of the state capitol. How about that! A little history lesson and a look at the fair that is going on. See ya soon!


  1. hi i am from la palmita nuevo leon and i am starting a web page "dedicated" to the small town just wanted to ask if you have any pics you would consider send over to me. i would surely appreciate it. if you want to see the website go to and if you do have pics and want to share send over to thanking you in advanced

  2. Hey im from dr. coss nuevo leon and the road is being fixed by our new mayor Miguel Angel Salinas Gonzalez. Now we have a smooth payment.