Mexico - Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Saltillo, Nuevo Laredo

Tuesday August 14
We both woke up on the wrong side of the bed and were very grumpy. Grumpy from cognitive overload or cognitive burden - unfamiliarity with language, food difficulties, everywhere we go something different, poor driving conditions, etc. We were exhausted but too into our holiday to take time to rest. We continued driving north towards the USA and I slept as we by-passed Monterrey. Approaching Monterrey we saw condos or row houses, Mexican style. They looked much smaller and more stark than our condos in Canada.

Trying to leave Mexico we had noticed we were running out of gas. We went to our final Pemex, the government operated gas stations. There were several Mexican guys there all gathered around commenting on Ken's request for premium gas. They thought that was very funny, we think. Anyway, we got gas of some description but Pepe started hesitating fairly soon afterwards. Ken thinks we might have been given some type of bad gas. We arrived at the Mexico/USA border, quite happy to enter the US, but sad to leave Mexico. From what I have read it is usually fairly easy to cross over the Mexican border, it is at the US border where there might be difficulties. You have to be sure to declare everything you bought in Mexico. The US border guard we had was very friendly and appeared to appreciate our honesty.

We crossed over at Laredo, TX and Nuevo Laredo, MX, over the Rio Grande River, obviously over a bridge. Ken forgot to turn in our Mexican vehicle permit at the border. The little building that was to house the officials taking the vehicle permits had a cleaning crew in it when we passed by. Guess we will have to snail mail the permit back to Mexico. We drove passed San Antonio, TX as dusk was approaching. I would have liked to have taken sometime in San Antonio but another large city was just too much to ask at this time. We continued on and drove until we again needed gas. It was dark and was still very hot outside. I found a friendly, young cat to pick up and hold. Ken went and talked to an older gentleman in the service station. Ken started discussing the weather with him and discussed whether or not it was going to rain or not. He said, "Yeah, on Thursday it'll rain when the hurricane hits." That was a good indicator to get the heck out of Texas fast as we could (Later we heard it was a category 5 hurricane. That would blow the chrome off your bumper).

Monday August 13
Continuing our drive through a yucca tree forest Ken spotted a donkey tied up outside a bar. We stopped to take pictures. The donkey's owner came out of the cantina and appeared to be pleased that we were amused by "El Burro". We took his picture and that of El Burro. This Mexican farmer was very friendly and we both shook his hard working, rough, farmer hands. We arrived in the city of Saltillo, Coahuila. I bought some dried, red poblano peppers and Ken actually found la funda for his leatherman that his brother-in-law, Mike, gave him for Christmas. I found out about the peppers from the Franz book.

We shopped for a while and felt we should have some refreshment. After going into a cafe we realized it was close to supper time and went to walk out. A Mexican man came up to us speaking in English. He wondered why we were leaving. He sponsored tours of the city and gave us a handmade tour book. He had taught himself English. He recommended an area of fine artisans. We purchased our hand blown glasses there and some sunglass cases. We were in a shop that had a young man weaving sarapes on a loom. Our lengthy shopping day ended here and we stayed at a camping spot that we shared with no one. This particular place had a hotel in the front which had WiFi and a Talavera garden in the back. By this time in our trip we were pretty exhausted and just wanted to get going out of Mexico and up to Saskatchewan.

Sunday August 12
Woke up in the northern outskirts of Juriquilla, Queretaro, MX. We drove through the desert with lots of yucca trees, the hills were peppered with them. Some of these trees when growing close together and looked like they were dancing with each other. Along the highway were houses made out of cindercrete blocks and/or adobe homes. Our aim was San Luis Potosi. When we arrived we walked around the centro historico. We got lost several times this day and never did find the artist market we were looking for. I was exhausted. Another interesting fact is that Mexican farmers tie up their livestock by the side of the highway. We think they do this because that is where there actually is grass growing for them to eat. This is where I got to take pictures of donkeys or burros.

Saturday August ll
We left Pepe's again and aimed towards Queretaro, QTO, Mexico. We went from highway MX 57 to MX 120 to the resort town of San Juan del Rio for lunch. We ate in the car as we are real sick of restaurant food. On the way we saw literally miles of people biking, obviously together as they had team T-shirts. Some members had glass boxes with shrines or crosses enclosed in them on their backs. We could not read the city they came from. We looked for jewellery in San Juan del Rio as it is a precious and semi-precious stones hot bed. I did buy some jewellery from a street vendor. We drove to the Juarez Market and bought a few veggies for supper. Ken bought sangria glasses to drink with tequila. We continued on to Tequisquiapam to walk their bougainvillea lined streets It was sort of a nice, tourist trap type town - but mostly for rich people from Mexico City. The camping facilities we were aiming towards at Queretaro had changed hands and was now only a hotel remainded. That is where we stayed.

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