Sunday, June 5, 2011
5/10/11: Alvarado - Tampico, MX. 345 miles, 10 hours.
Trying to catch up on this blog after a couple of weeks has left the details a little hazy but I'll do my best. Wake up sweating in my tiny little $10 motel room and its super hot. I was hoping to make it to Monterrey today but if the mileage of the past several days are any indication, it is pretty obvious that I will probably only make it halfway there, to around the city of Tampico (which I know sucks from a couple of previous pass-throughs. I get suited up, load up the bike and head out already sweating like a pig. I head north following the Gulf Coast to Veracruz. I've ridden this highway several times before and I recognize even the small things, a lake here, a view of the sea there, etc. I pass through Veracruz which takes around 45 minutes, its huge, overdeveloped, and I have no desire to linger, although the view of the water from the road running parallel for most of the time is pretty nice. I pass through more familiar towns and cities. Papantla. Poza Rica. I remember past adventures around these parts, visiting ruins, spending the night, riding through a pretty serious protest in the streets. The land is pretty much sea level, temperature rising all the time. Veracruz is an extremely hot and humid place. Night falls and I enter the city of Tampico, another hot coastal port city with really corrupt cops, so I slow down and try not to give them a reason to stop me. I ride around for a while, through a red light district and check a few hotel prices before settling on a crap room in a crap neignorhood near the center of town for a cheap price. I head out and manage to find a second floor internet cafe, Im led through a door and am hit with a wave of AC. I stay until closing time at 11:30. A crappy sandwich at a cheap restaurant in the middle of the central park, a quick look at the semi-impressive cathedral, and back to my room where I take a cold shower in a typically sketchy bathroom, before lying down under a slow creaky ceiling fan trying not to move, and dreaming of getting back to the U.S.