As I covered in a previous post, we cannot drive through Mexico City. Our bypass route took us through the town of Toluca. The Church’s guide to Mexican Camping warns about the Police in that town and with us being fresh from our experience in Morelia, we planned out our route around town carefully. The Church’s tell us to be very sure to take the “Laterals”, bumpy, slow roads that parallel the highway, as driving a dual wheeled vehicle on the highway through town will get you a ticket. We carefully watched for the lateral and as soon as we saw one, turned onto it. No problem. It was much slower but it followed right alongside the highway, separated by a curb.
After several blocks, however, the lateral turned right while the highway turned left! Soon we found ourselves on narrow, busy city streets with no idea where we were. I did not want to temp a cop again so we pulled over and, with the help of a friendly shopkeeper, flagged down a taxi. We showed him where we wanted to go and I emphasized, “No Polica!”. He laughed and indicated he could handle it. Norma climbed in with him and I followed, both of us with our emergency flashers going. It turned out that we were a long way out of our way (read “lost”) and it took him almost an hour of slow driving through heavy traffic, making sure I was still following, to get us on our way. We paid the bill and tipped him way too much but it was worth it.
We continued South but ran out of daylight before we found a good place to park for the night. We are in the tiny village of El Magote beside a tiny lake in front of a school that is closed tomorrow. We walked across the street to a tiny Taco Stand where I ordered a whole deep fried fish and Norma some chicken. We fired up the generator for coffee and are now being entertained by loud music and fireworks from across the small lake from people celebrating the Mexican Holiday, “The Virgin of Guadeloupe” Day. The Lady has great significance in Mexican history as she was the Saint taken by the rebel forces who ousted the Spanish Occupiers from Mexico. My hat is off to her. It was a necessary job well done.
*ON EDIT* The Lady evidently likes to party! After the procession from the Church there was a very loud, DJ lead party going on until 3:00 AM on the other side of the lake. The music just got louder and louder until it finally quit. It made for a very poor sleep. Thankfully we do not have far to go today.