Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Road To Matehuala

We got up at 6 a.m. and I started the coffee. Today was the day, finally it had come. Turned off the water and gas, set up the food and water for the cats, unplugged the coffee maker and off we went.

It was a bit hard driving through Monterrey as the road to the north heading to Saltillo is closed off because of the hurricane damage. We saw some dismal sights along the way out of town. Bridges with their mid-sections standing and the sides that were once anchored to land washed away. Water in the Rio Santa Catarina is still flowing pretty hard. A 9 year fell in day before yesterday. He had been playing ball nearby and wanted to wash his hands off. He slipped off the edge and the rushing water took him down stream almost eight kms. Sad story, his mother died of a heart attack just months ago now leaving the father with one son. The brother was in shock, cute kid, just wondering what he was going to do now after losing his mother and now his brother. I saw the news reports several times and each time it just ripped my heart out.

Anyway, we got to the autopista to Saltillo. Not wide open. Some parts were under repair and down to one lane heading north. The water came down the mountainside and washed it all away.

We passed just one checkpoint by the federal police under an overpass as you exit the autopista to the libre then again right before the toll booth as you entered Hwy 57 heading south. Finally, the open road. Lots of highway and beautiful mountains. As you leave Saltillo you start that winding climb over the mountains and you hit those pine trees. I knew then we were really on the road.

We stopped at the San Pedro parador to go to the bathroom and get a cup of coffee. I dislike paying to use a toilet especially when you are purchasing something. I use to argue the point but hey, I can always pull off the road and let it dangle. Of course if we had an rv we would stop and nap, make a quick coffee, pee and hit the road. We didn't buy any gas. We are driving the VW and it didn't need any air in the gas tank. It sucks up all the air it wants and never seems to move the tank fill needle very much. We started out with less than a full tank and arrived here at the hotel with a half a tank.

We stopped here in Matehuala and are staying at the famous rv stop Las Palmas Midway Hotel. We have a nice room with two twin beds, cable, internet and we brought our rv stuff; coffee maker, mugs, coffee filters, cocktail glasses and vodka. We paid 763 pesos tax included. We are going to the pool in a bit and then a peek at the rv park to see if by chance there is an rv tucked in back there. Drinks in hand we will walk the labyrinth that they have in the back, it covers several acres, is walled in and a very mysterious if not spooky walk at best.

After checking in we headed downtown. Wow, we have never gone into town except to cross the street to go to Walmart. Matehuala is on the move and growing. A new Soriana, lots of bridges and highway work going on. Very nice. We walked around a bit and the old appetite kicked in. We found a nice comida corrida for 50 pesos. A great chicken soup for starters, rice, beans and puerco asado served with a delicious salsa. Went back to the hotel and took a wonderful nap and here I am now.

Tomorrow we head out for San Miguel de Allende. I read some of the forum about hoteling and rving. Hotels are hotels. A different culture. Rving on the other hand, is "the" culture. BTW, if anyone is wondering, the highways are open and busy. Lots and I mean lots of Americans coming down to visit family for the summer vacations. Pickups loaded to the gills with things for family members. I wonder if I could get my brothers and sisters to do that for me. Hmmmm!


  1. Ah, a road trip! That is a great drive with some beautiful scenery! Is this just a short trip? You will be back in Delores Hidalgo in September.

  2. Good choice, vacation!