After an incredible couple of days in the mountains, it’s time to head east toward the coast. That means riding into Mexico State and several other states in eastern Mexico.
That also means riding down from over 10,000 feet to sea level and across plains and plateaus, down through lush green valleys, past a series of volcanoes to the Gulf of Mexico.
We see some beautiful scenery on the way – tall pines, a small village where a family is plowing a field with an oxen, children playing next to their homes, lovely mountain towns and the mines that spurred their settlement, and then later in the day open plains and more mountains in the distance. The mining towns remind me very much of
Lead and Deadwood back home in South Dakota with the steep hillsides, pine trees, smell of smoke from wood heating small homes on narrow streets and the hard-working people going about their day.
After passing on to plains to the east we stop for the night in a small town, Tepeapulco, and happen upon a spring festival. I enjoy the folk dancers and lively music and Brian and I try some local street food.
We hit the road the next morning headed for Verzcruz. Across green valleys, farmland country, up a couple of hills and mountains to a fog-filled pass. I can see a couple of volcanoes in the distance.
Mexico keeps it interesting as far as spelling, etc. We have two maps, and a GPS, and nearly every town name is either spelled differently or the towns go by different names. Jalapa is also Xalapa and the road signs switch back and forth between the two for 100 miles, Puebla also goes by Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza which makes looking it up alphabetically a little challenging….do you look under “P” or “H”? and why didn’t it occur to me to look under “H”?
After a few hours we finally drop down the other side of a pass into a windy, gusty, hazy valley below. And another hour ahead is Veracruz.
I’ve finally made it across Mexico to the Gulf…not that I’m in any hurry. I’ve enjoyed Mexico so much.
We go for a stroll along the beach and check out some local sites, the old El Faro (lighthouse), and the downtown/Centro.
We take a cab out to see the Castillo San Juan de Ulua, the old fort at the port. But sadly it’s closed on Mondays so we can only take a photo from the gates.
We stop for lunch at the original Gran Café de la Parroquia near Centro. It’s a lovely day in Veracruz.