Thursday, March 6, 2008
We Arrived In Veracruz!
We got into Veracruz about noon today after a full day and a half of driving. Some of the roads were fast and smooth, some were slow and rough and many miles were spent at about 10 MPH behind very slow moving trucks going down a 6 or 7% downgrade! The only consistent thing was the numerous toll booths.
The scenery and vegitation changed rapidly as we decended from the 6200 foot altitude that we had become used to in San Miguel de Allende to the sea level of Veracruz. The other thing that changed was the humidity! We had finally dried out our sinuses in San Miguel and here we are in Veracruz in what is probably the highest humidity I have ever experienced. It is a beautiful city but man, is it ever hot and humid!
We wandered around a bit soaking my shirt on the Malecon, saw the old Fort and made plans for a Harbour Tour tomorrow. We finished off the day with one of the most expensive (and best) dinners yet in Mexico. We took a $70 Peso (each way) taxi ride to one of the restaurants recomended in the Lonely Planet Guide and did not like the menu. We walked across the street and found a realy great little Seafood place and Vincente, an English speaking waiter who had worked four years in Los Angeles. We were just about the only customers in the place and had a great time chatting with Vincente about Politics and Labour issues in his Country while we ate Pescado Veracruz for me and a steak for Norma. Vincente then talked us into a baked bananna desert that was well worth the price. After Vincente told us that nobody tips more than 10% in Mexico, we just had to show him how it was done in Canada and left $1000 Pesos ($95 USA) for a $790 Peso ($74 USA)cheque! He also told us that the going wage for a waiter in Veracruz was $7 USA for an eight or nine hour shift. Vincente looked very proud as he walked over to his fellow workers and showed them his tip (which they all share).
We are staying in a nice OLD hotel in the Centro, the Meson Del Mar (http://www.mesondelmar.com.mx/), which used to be a mansion that is converted to a hotel. Our room ($55 USA per night) has a loft and remote controled Air Conditioning! It is very close to all the sights and action in the Historic Centro which we will see more of tomorrow.
I am posting from a shared terminal in the hallway so I cannot add photos. I will post them when I can get back to a WIFI connection to the laptop. In the meantime, in Veracruz, Mexico, Life Is Good. Adios for now.