We stayed in a hotel the night prior to crossing the border into Nicaragua. We did this so that we wouldn’t have a bunch of life maintenance to deal with in the morning and could get to the border nice and early. Best laid plans… We hadn’t counted on finding a channel on the television that had movies in English. We were faced with the choice of arriving at the border early in the morning, beating the afternoon heat or watching Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Since one bad choice usually leads to another, we opted to stick around for The Terminator as well. As the Terminator was doing his damnedest to wipe out the human race, I was becoming more and more caffeinated and anxious about our border crossing. I finally asked Scott to just tell me how it ended so we could get on the road. Continue reading “Nicaragua”
Before we cross any border, I read up on what it is going to take to get ourselves and our truck across with as little hassle as possible. Was it G.I. Joe who always touted, “Knowledge is Power?” Or was it, “Knowing is half the battle?” I don’t remember. It’s not important. What is important is that the other half of the battle is actually using that knowledge. Continue reading “Honduras”
I may have mentioned before that Semana Santa (the week leading up to Easter) is a really big deal in Guatemala. Many businesses are closed and the majority of the population head to the beach or some other recreation area. Many choose to eschew vacation and go to church. For us, the choice was either to hide out from the chaotic revelry or to embrace it. Continue reading “More Guatemala”
We almost snuck into Guatemala through a backroad. I had dropped a pin on my Google Maps app on the Guatemalan side of the border and tapped the button for directions without looking at the route. We were about five miles into a smugglers route across the border before Scott smelled something fishy. It didn’t seem right to him that the road to a major border crossing would be a torn-up dirt affair with almost no traffic. That guy is a thinker. I double checked our route and we promptly turned around and headed back towards the paved highway leading to Guatemala.
Full disclosure, we did not give Belize the attention it deserved. There were a couple of factors at play here. I have visited Belize. And it is really expensive. Last time I visited, I was fairly thorough in my discovery so if Scott wasn’t super jazzed to do something we just skipped it. Mostly due to the expense involved. I have linked my self-worth with our ability to stay on budget and most things in Belize cost more than they did in Mexico so it was a difficult time for me. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to get to Belize before we can discuss Belize!
Well, we made it. The final leg of our Mexican adventure. I have wanted to go to the Yucatán Peninsula ever since I found out that most of my favorite parts of the movie Romancing the Stone were filmed there. I imagined mountains with monkeys and handsome expats of questionable character around every corner.
Mexico keeps getting better. With every new destination and experience, we fall more deeply in love with this country. When we first crossed the border in Baja, we figured we would spend a couple of months getting to the bottom of Mexico. Now it is looking like we will be lucky to make it out before our six-month tourist permit runs out! Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, is full of beautiful sights and we could probably have spent our whole six months in this one state if we wanted to visit each one. Instead, we just had a really spectacular two weeks.
The beach was calling our names. We could hear it loud and clear. We just had to get there. I may have mentioned that we are not the best at getting an early start on our big driving days. This was no different. Lucky for us there are plenty of nice places to stay along the road between the city of Oaxaca and the coast.
Scott and I had been bouncing around Mexico like a pinball for a while. We were enjoying ourselves but looking forward to when the pinball that is us bounces off the beach again. We hit that beach in a tiny town called Las Casitas. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico just a smidge north of the city of Veracruz.
As we continued our exploration of Mexico our next desire was to visit the ruins of Teotihuacán outside of Mexico City. We were trying to escape the weekend crowds at the Grutas Tolentango, where we had been camped out for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the crowds were unavoidable. On Sundays, the site is free to Mexican citizens. This means that Sundays are incredibly busy. If we had driven down to visit the ruins we would have arrived just in time for the busiest day of the week. Mondays are no good either. They are closed on Mondays. That left us with no choice but to kill some time before heading down to the ruins.