it was soooo good to be driving Poki again. How you must wish you had experienced driving a 110 TD5 Defender. I can hear you gnashing your teeth and flailing your backs with birch bough’s, in frustration…:)
Back to reality…:).
Yesterdays drive from just outside Coatzacoalcos was largely uneventful. However, on a stretch of road where water had pooled, a brand new Nissan Utility must have driven into one of the puddles which dragged the vehicle into the concrete barrier, tearing off parts of the bumper and guard as it went, and bent the front wheel in under the vehicle.
As Jen mentioned, our camp site was at the back of a truck stop. Trucks seemed to be arriving and departing all night. It poured much of the night too. Water was running through the Caranex by morning. Jen didn’t want me to put it up but it gives us both privacy and allows us to swing the back door open to get some air through the sleeping compartment.
Passing the city of Coatzacoalcos in the morning gave us a view of the scale of the vast petrochemical industry. PEMEX the government owned oil refinery is one of the plants.
Arriving in Veracruz
Driving through torrential rain along the way we arrived at Veracruz to a warm sunny day. Our hotel booking was for a room with kitchen facilities. There wasn’t even a jug for making tea! We had booked till the 14th but decided to stay for two nights as the room is adequate. Also, there is secure parking for Poki. Poki became our dining room in a very empty car park. Jen has booked an apartment closer to the port with full facilities, from Wednesday. The hotel have kindly given us a full refund for the unused days.
My first task was to open up the Caranex and using a hose nearby, wash the mud away and dry it in the sunshine. The next challenge is to decide what to take back to the UK as luggage on the flight, and what to risk leaving in the vehicle, with the chance of having it stolen???
Jen has been probing the shipping agent to get a better idea of what steps we can take to reduce the chance of pilfering. Sure, most things can be replaced but costs add up. To my great relief we were told that once customs have completed their check we can refit the locks and take the keys with us. That will give us some comfort. We are going to have to take a chance that our bedding will not be stolen as there is no space for it in our bags to fly to the UK with.
Wednesday 3rd June.
Our meeting with the shipping agent has gone well. They seem reasonably competent. Their ability to communicate in English is a huge plus. They say we can keep Poki till Monday when the customs inspection will take place.
We are now in our new apartment. It’s spartan but cheerful and comfortable. Though comfortable will not describe the bed! There’s a TV from which the only english stations, BBC, CNN and Fox are obsessed with unrest in the US. Should the situation surprise us?
Veracruz is an interesting city. The site where the conquistador Hernan Cortez landed just over 500 years ago in 1519. There are some interesting fortifications built by the Spanish in the following years. The population here is approx 430,000.
The latest weather reports from Guatemala suggest that our departure was in the nick of time. There has been flooding, mudslides and home evacuations. Mind you it’s not calm here in Veracruz either, though we are only on the fringe of the storm.