Thursday, April 24, 2008

Summer 2007 Car Trip - 4

We arrived in bustling Tuxtepic in late afternoon. Tuxtepec is a spit of land that juts out into the river that flows through there. It is a dirty city with trash everywhere. We were immediately not impressed.

The area around Tuxtepec is famous for one thing. It is to this area that the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Timothy O’Leary, reportedly, Walt Disney, flocked in the 1960’s. They came here to partake of the local hallucinogenic mushrooms, under the guidance of Maria Sabina, the high priestess of all things mushroomy.

The road from Acayucan to Tuxtepic quickly detiorated and became a two lane mess. The road was clogged with local trucks transporting raw sugar cane and signage was few and far between.

We stopped and checked out a few hotels but finally ended up getting a room at La Bruja. (6). It was a tiny room with two double beds squashed up against each other and just off the tiny pool area. And this was the better of the three hotels we looked at. Although the pool looks inviting in the picture, believe me, it wasn’t. It had all kinds of debris floating in it and some that had been there so long it had sunk to the bottom. Our room was just to the right of where this picture was taken.
We went looking for a restaurant that was recommended by The Lonely Planet but could not find it. I must admit, we did not look very hard though. This city was just so filthy, full of bad drivers and rude people that we just wanted to spend as little time as possible here. We did find a rather nice place on the main street. Tiny but clean. It was called Arracherra Grudo. You ordered your meal by weight. Arracherra is a both a cut of beef and a way to cook it. We ordered half a kilo and it was served with beans and tortillas. Not a gourmet meal but certainly tasty and typically Mexican.

After dinner we decided to walk across the street and check out the local Italian Coffee Company. These shops are all over Mexico and part of a chain. As such, the menu in each of them never varies. The quality and service do, but not the menu. We each had a coffee and returned to our tiny room early. We wanted to be up early to head out for our next stop. We retired to our beds and fell blissfully asleep. For awhile. Around 11 PM, all hell broke loose outside our door.

A large group of noisy teenagers, who had evidently been drinking, decided to invade the pool and have a private party. They brought along their boom box and even louder voices to match. Lots of merrymaking going on and lots of shouting. It was impossible to sleep. This was going on about 15 feet away from our door. Around midnight, L opened the door and yelled at them. Shortly thereafter the party broke up. This was to be our first experience with hotels where the management could care less what the guests do. They got their money but certainly did not guarantee that you would get any sleep. You were simply paying for a bed for the night.

The next morning we could not find a place for breakfast and had to settle for a quick cup of instant Nescafe at the local PeMex gas station on the way out of town. And glad to be going too! It was just on the outskirts of Tuxtepec that I saw my first set of smoke stacks. This was to become a familiar sight, stacks shooting clouds of black or white smoke into the air. I doubt that they adhere to any type of pollution standards.

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