We continue on our way as today we need to reach Veracruz by nightfall. It will be a long, long day. We pass through Tampico and travel along the coast a bit before turning more inland. There are too many smaller villages to count, all with people, animals and what have you all over the place. Young children riding bikes or walking alone pay no heed to traffic passing by them. Horses, goats and pigs are tied to sagging fence lines, left out to graze for the day. Wash is hung out to dry on propped up long poles or sticks. Chickens pick and scratch at the ground in dirt yards, looking for a food source. As the day progresses we are getting into more winding roads which slow us down considerable. These are 2 lane roads and if we get behind a cargo truck it will be unsafe to pass even though the locals do it without fear. Such daring drivers!
By noon we have reached Posa Rica, a bustling much larger city. We spot a colorful open air dining spot to pull into for lunch. There is but one patron sitting at a small table so we hope this will be a quick meal. The tiniest little bird of a woman behind the open counter is beaming and welcomes us to her establishment with gestures of her hands and pointing to her sign and then to her chest. Ahhh, we understand, she is the proprietor of this little gem. She knows we don’t speak a lick of Spanish other than si and gracious which we use a lot of but a smile is universal anywhere. She indicates she will make us her house specialty. I’m guessing it will have something to do with eggs as I see through a side window, chickens in the tienda’s side yard. The music is loud despite minimal patrons. She brings us both a slightly warm Coke in glass bottles. Coca-Cola has a different flavor in Mexico, perhaps it’s the sugar cane they us. Within a few minutes she brings us plates of rice and beans accompanied with warm soft hand made tortilla’s with fluffy cooked eggs folded inside. We are famished and embarrassingly eat quickly between swigs of Coke. When finished she offers us the scribbled cost of our comfort meal on a napkin … it is a whopping $4.50 in our accustomed currency. As we prepare to leave after paying our charges we offer her a generous tip. Her eyes well up with tears and she hugs me tightly with a soft voice saying, “gracious, gracious” over and over.
We push onto Veracruz which is still 180 miles long. This can easily feel longer with the traffic and poor quality of road surface. We travel a distance along the coast admiring the gentle surf and beautiful homes here and there. We are just yards away from the sand in some areas and it’s tempting to stop and put our feet into the Gulf of Mexico and just b-r-e-a-t-h. We are scooting our way South, slowly but surely.