Sunday, January 8, 2012

Isla Aguada

We got off to a fairly early start yesterday, partly due to some strange activity in the Pemex parking lot. A large truck of the type used to transport produce pulled in about three AM. By about four there were three or four stake sided pickups encircling it and about five guys climbed into the back of the large truck and started to throw whatever was in there into the pickups. I thought it was corn or cabbage from the sound of it landing but Norma was convinced it was drugs and if they knew we were watching, they would shoot us... or something. This went on until about six when everyone left, leaving us unshot. I walked over to see if any of whatever it was got left behind but there was nothing. Who knows?

We were wide awake anyway so we decided to head out. We gassed up and decided to head for the Gulf of Mexico instead of spending a night or two in Villahermosa. There is a periferico road around Villahermosa that trucks are supposed to take. We have ignored this rule in the past but the route of this road looked interesting on the map so we took it. It was fine, busy but recently paved and it soon got us onto Mex 180 heading north. We have been on this road a couple of times coming in the opposite direction. After it begins to parallel the Gulf, it gets very narrow and dotted with topes (speed bumps). We positioned ourselves behind a large truck from a grocery chain who was driving nice and slow and stayed with him. This worked out fine because the speed demons behind me could hardly blame me for the slow pace and they kept their horn blowing and daredevil passing tactics to a minimum.

As the road got close to the water a few seafood restaurants started to appear. We stopped at one and went in. The menu was verbal as opposed to written. I hate this because my Spanish reading skills far surpass my listening comprehension level. Anyway, one of the things we did catch was "Ensalada Camerones" or shrimp salad! Sounds good so we both ordered it. They were delicious and the portions huge! One order would have easily sufficed for the two of us and the bill was only $200 pesos including two bottles of water. We walked out with a large container of leftovers!

We arrived in the city of Cuidad del Carmen just as the 4:00 rush hour started. This is always a bad idea but the GPS got us through except for one small problem where I went against a traffic cop's instructions. He was standing in the middle of the intersection directing traffic. His back was to me and he was frantically waving oncoming traffic through the intersection. The cross traffic was stopped and I assumed it would be alright for me to proceed. I was wrong! He turned, blew his whistle at me and motioned for me to stop. I leaned out and said. "Sorry, stupid Canadian"! He laughed, told me to take it easy and waved us on.

We got to Isla Aguada and Freedom Shores, the beautiful waterfront motel, restaurant and RV park at about five. We went into the office and Thelma, the Mexican wife of Bill (the owner) recognized us immediately. As we were checking in she told us of Bill's recent passing. He was a paraplegic as a result of a training accident in the US Marines. He had been in a wheelchair for fifty years but still ran the RV park after retiring as a school teacher in the USA. He spent so much time in his chair that he developed terrible bed sores that required skin grafts to treat. While this was going on they discovered he had major blocked arteries to his heart that required open heart surgery. As if this was not enough, they then discovered advanced pancreatic cancer. Bill made the decision to refuse chemo treatment and died shortly after. He was a young, energetic seventy years. Thelma is keeping the place going and has many plans for the property. It has a reputation as a destination all inclusive resort for handicapped travelers. Everything is wheelchair accessible, including the local guided fishing boats. Some of the hotel rooms even have a hoist over the bed. Personal Care assistants are available for an additional very small charge. It is beautiful and peaceful here and the restaurant is fantastic and reasonable. Today was Sunday and the beach was crowded with local families enjoying picnic lunches in the hot sunshine.

Bill had a fully wheelchair adapted, hand controlled diesel pusher motorhome that Thelma would like to sell. It is located and registered in Texas. I told her to send me the details and we would do what we could to help her sell it. Our friend Paul in Florida still has his hand in the RV sales game and will be helping her out as well. I will post the information when I get it.

No photos because although my Banda Ancha works here, it is on the old, slow "Edge" system. We will be here another two nights. The front of the motorhome is twenty feet from the ocean!


  1. what a super day you had....glad the cop was good to nice of you all to help Thelma...enjoy your stay..when you walked over to see what got left behind what would you have done if there was a big bale of the bad stuff there croft ?? lol Like Norma I would have thought the same...

  2. Seems to me that you are parked in heaven!!!

    As to the semi and small pick up trucks, we have been parked next to the same activity twice but have no idea what was transpiring in the middle of the night and were happy to just stay put.