Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Car Trip 14

We were jolted awake from a sound sleep at 4 in the morning by sounds coming from the street below. It sounded like a fight or at least a good argument. We peered out the window and quickly identified the problem. It appeared that the street our hotel was located on, only three blocks from the center of town, was prostitute alley! Oh, we had chosen so well! There were three of them down there, yelling at each other at the top of their lungs. L understands and speaks Spanish quite well and was able to determine that it was some kind of turf dispute. There was also something going on about stealing a John. None of that mattered though. What mattered was the noise they were making! It didn’t take long for more and more people to gather and join in. If it hadn’t been quite so early in the morning, it would have been amusing. We watched this bit of sideshow for about an hour and then they all just drifted away. Back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.

I had planned our schedule for the day quite carefully. B and I had located all the departure points for the tours we wanted to take the day before so we could appear to be organized. L is a professional tour guide and arranging and organizing groups and tours is his life. But this was my day to be in charge and I merrily took control of our activities. The first thing I did was lead our little group to a small restaurant close by the hotel. It had looked great the day before but that was probably because it was Sunday. Plus they had outdoor seating, which is always a plus. As soon as we ordered we knew it was not going to be good. Just to give you an idea, the waitress eventually found a coffee pot and walked across the little plaza to another restaurant and bought coffee from them to serve to us! The food was not much better. This was easily the worst breakfast on the trip so far! Strike one for Wayne.

I had planned that we would take a tour of the city in one of the double decker buses, sitting up top of course. After that, we were going to head to the harbor and take a boat tour. Then maybe take in a museum or two. All in all, a perfectly planned, fun and somewhat educational day. I led our group to where the buses were parked. I was not surprised to see so many of them lined up, since we were out and about very early. I was surprised, however, to discover that they do not run at all, no tours at all, on Mondays! Bummer. Strike two for Wayne.

So off to the harbor. I was a little apprehensive as I saw the boats all lined up with not a soul on them, not even a driver! (what does one call somebody who is in control of the boat?) We walked along the long row of deserted boats until we found a sign in front of the very last one, or the one furthest out on the seawall. Again, no tours on Mondays! Strike three for Wayne.

I was greatly disappointed that all my planning had been for nothing. None of the guidebooks I had consulted mentioned a thing about these tours being closed on Monday. And I felt that I had let B and L down. They, of course, were very kind about it and did not tease me too much about my great tour leader capabilities!

We wondered around the harbor area for awhile and took some pictures. It was really cloudy that day, no sun at all. We discussed going to the museum (which was probably closed anyway!) and decided to give it a miss. None of us were particularly impressed with Veracruz. I especially was disappointed after having looked forward to coming back and really seeing the city for months. So after very little discussion at all, we decided to go get our stuff from the hotel and head out to Xalapa, our next destination, a day early. We were all looking forward to seeing this city.

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