We drove into Mexico early on Saturday morning. No problems, the border patrol US dude just waved us through, though he did ask where we were going. When Carlos mentioned Merida, his response was that he heard it was cheap to live there. On the Mexican side we were not even stopped. Customs just waved us through as well. The 800.00 dollars I spent on the three cats getting their international health certificates were not even used. I figure if I hadn't gotten them, it would be the first thing customs would want to see..Carlos had ordered our auto temporary import permit via the Internet and we placed them on the windshield the night before, so that didn't even have to be done. But like many, we travelled down the road about 25 km to find out that we had neglected to get our visa stamped at the border, so back we went. The customs official was actually pretty funny. He told us that we could go on instead of returning to Nuevo Laredo and take care of the problem when we arrived in Merida...however he said, you'll have to come back here to take care of the problem...your choice!
When we had accomplished this we were off down the roads in Mexico....our first night we planned to stop and stay in Mantenhuala, which is south of Monterrey. There we checked into our first auto hotel, named Hotel Real.. We really lucked out, it was the first one coming into town and it was clean and comfortable. The cats enjoyed it as well.
After loading up the car the next morning we were off. The cats only cried for the first hour than settled in for the rest of the day. The scenery was beautiful.
A full day of driving found us searching for a place just outside of Puebla for the night. Many of the auto hotels there did not have a garage door, just a heavy curtain. We finally found one with a garage door, but the room was above so all we needed for the night had to be carried up a steep flight of stairs. Another problem was that the rooms were not really soundproof and did not have the buffer of a garage between them. This place was pretty busy. They must have thought we were into something pretty kinky as Gus choose this night to start complaining with his Yowls at about 3 am! We ended up keeping the TV on all night.
The next morning I loaded up the car pretty quick and we were off. Cats settled in quick and most of the day was uneventful.The mountains coming down out of the mountains were breathtaking..the roads were good, but all that huge truck traffic was pretty scary. There were many tunnels as well as mucho of down and more down. Spectacular!
Arriving into Villahermosa we were ready to call it a day. We found a great little auto hotel, ordered a meal delivered to the dumb waiter into our room and just kicked back. This was the nicest auto hotel yet.
In the middle of the night it started to pour and did so all night and into the next day. There must have had at least 5-6 inches of rain. Streets were flooded and we had to do several detours the next day just leavening Villahermosa.
Next comes the final.......