Tuesday, December 02, 2008

running on battery

I am sitting in the dining room at Las Palmas in Cuidad Jiminez, a seedy Mexican hotel we love. This year we got cuarto No. 9 that overlooks the filthy pool. This is a very happening spot in the summer however, and right now there is a lot of scraping and painting and repairing going on. To say nothing of the Christmas lights and blowe-up Santa decorations. They have WiFi here in the dining room, and here alone, so I am using the battery on the LapMac, and have no idea how long it will last. I'll get caught up as much as I can.

Left El Paso at 6:30, made it to the 30-mile check in 45 minutes. It took no more than 30 minutes to get the visas and car permit. There was no immigration check here, just military. We of course thought we'd aced it but, alas, 10 miles on further was the aduana station. And we hit the red light. We pulled over as directed and an agent approached the car, pulling on his rubber gloves. I had visions of our having to unpack the entire car . . . and then repack it. He asked us to open the trunk and peered inside. He looked at one box which had the word PILLOWS on it. "Pillows?" he asked. "Yes." "OK, gracias." That was it. I guess the idea of going through all that stuff was just too daunting at that early hour. So we were off the hook and off and running.

This is a very beautiful drive down the middle spine of Mexico, between the Sierra Madres Occidente and Orientale. Almost no traffic, roads getting better all the time ~ there is a statewide effort in Chihuahua called Ruta 2010 that is a massive public works project to resurface all the major roads. It makes for some slow-downs, but where it is finished it's a real pleasure to drive.

We got to the hotel at 2:30, unpacked, had a bite to eat and downed the first of a season's-worth of Mexican beer, and are now in deep relax mode. We have an early start tomorrow to make it to Zacatecas by mid-afternoon. That's a stretch that has many miles of 2-lane road and lots of trucks. Not fun.

It's good to be back in the land of Pemex gas stations that have full service and really nice bathrooms.

48 days until 1/20/2009: End of an Error


At 8:13 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Great photo and I love the pillow talk.


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