Archive | 7:00 pm

On the road again.

13 Nov


Today was an easy travel day.  We left early and got to check out most of Veracruz in the morning light.  It was already 25 degrees and warming fast by the time we hit the freeway at 9 am.  We drove through a part a Mexico I have never seen before; the swamp!  The country side flattened out and filled with water as far as we could see.  Cattle graze on the swamp vegetation while standing knee-deep in water creating ample opportunity for white herons and pelicans to pick fish from the cattle’s wake.  The mercury rose to 31 degrees and when we turned off the A/C the humidity in the swamp became overwhelming .  Kitty is so addicted to A/C that she will meow at the vents when we turn it off.  If she had it her way we would keep the car at meat locker temperatures while we shivered in our seats.  It was a blazing fast 500km ride on highways that are better than most I have seen in Canada and the USA (including rest stops with cleaner bathrooms than I have ever saw in Canada or the USA), arriving in Villahermosa around 1:30 pm.  We tried to check into our first hotel and that was a complete failure.  I entered the Hotel, walked up to the reception and said Hola.  I asked (in spanish) if they spoke English and like most people here they did not.  That was no problem and I went ahead and asked them (in Spanish and in English) if we could have a room for us and our two cats, what that would cost and if they had wi-fi, secured parking, yada yada…  After fighting through the Spanish conversation (its hard to understand people who talk really fast) we got to the point where I was to pay for the room.  I could not understand what she was saying and I told her so In Spanish.  Suddenly she then became fully fluent in English and we finished the conversation in English.  We went out to the car and a bell boy helped us take our bags and cats (in their cat carriers) to our room.  We tipped the guy 20 pesos and suddenly our room phone started to ring. The same receptionist that I was just talking to was now on the phone trying to explain to us that no animals are allowed.  Also she had suddenly forgot how to speak English.  We were not happy to say the least and just when we needed help with our stuff the bell boy had magically disappeared.  We got our cats and luggage to the main floor again and headed for the front desk.  The same receptionist(still not able to speak English anymore) was there and I  confronted her on the situation.  She could no longer form any words that could make sense, so long story short I demanded a refund.  30 mins later they had finally figured out how to refund me the money, and I asked (in Spanish) if they could recommend another hotel.  Suddenly no one knew how to speak at all, so I let them know how displeased I was and made sure they knew that a bad review was waiting for them on the internet. We were not going to let that spoil our day so we went to another hotel we had looked up earlier and they invited us in with open arms.  The guy running the show was from Idaho and had a sympathetic ear for our rocky start to the afternoon.  This place was twice as good as the last hotel and accepted pets no problems.  We checked in and had some cold drinks and good food in their restaurant/lounge.  The building is colonial style with an open design, it has tanks filled with tropical fish, spiral stair cases and vines wrapped around all the columns and interior spaces.  There is another 900 km to Cancun from here, so we will probably stop in Mérida tomorrow night then to Cozumel the next!  Yay, so close to paradise!  Well, that is if you don’t count the paradise we are already in.  We were going to go to Chetumal (Belize border) then to Cozumel but after hearing a not so favourable road report from that direction we decided to go the Cancun way (less construction and bigger road ways).  Hopefully that decision will pay off with a shorter travel time tomorrow so we can spend some time sight-seeing there as well.

Buenas Noches Amigos!!!

Welcome to the swamp.

Most major roadways are freshly paved or are in the process of being paved.

Kitty loves the cold air from the floor vent!

Kitty ponders why she can't drink out of the tap anymore.