Day 4 of our road trip from Austin TX to Puerto Morelos Mexico. Today was from Puebla to Villahermosa.

Total time was about 9 hours, and that included 3 stops for gas and bathroom breaks. Driving distance was just over 400 miles.

Not a lot to report today. In the morning, the roads were good, then we came down out of the mountains in Puebla towards Orizaba. That road was a bit crazy. Super steep, lots of curves, roads that had big metal guardrails, as the road was hanging on the mountain side. No way would I want to be driving one of the many big rigs we saw on that road, especially the ones with tandem trailers!

In the afternoon, the roads turned to shit. Lots of potholes and rough asphalt. We all took a major pounding, as did the Jeep. I know I’ll need an alignment once I reach Q. Roo. Hopefully that’s all she needs.

The American Dream?

At one of our stops for gas at a Pemex station, a pickup rolled up and an American asked me – You lost?

Heh. No, we’re not lost. He said he’s always unsure of why gringos are in this part of Mexico. I told him our story of how we’re moving. He said – sounds like you’re living the American Dream! We exchanged pleasantries and were on our way.

Later I got to thinking – the American Dream? Is leaving the US to live elsewhere the American Dream? Perhaps it was more the fact of going to leave in a beach town somewhere. Although with the current political climate in the US at the moment, who’s to say?

I just know we’re following what feels right to us.

Bonus Car Wash

At a different Pemex station today, we stopped for gas. I was chatting with the attendant, who was interested in our dogs. He then started washing the windshield while the tank was filling. I asked him if he could also wash the windows on the doors as well. Si, senor. 

But then he just kept going, washing all the windows, the grill and headlights, then the hood, then the doors, then the wheels. He even got into the wheel slots to get rid of all the brake dust. He basically gave the Jeep a full car wash! No way would that ever happen in the States.

I said Mucho Gracias (in my best broken Spanglish), and asked what I owed him. Nada, senor, he said with a smile. I smiled back, threw 50 pesos his way, we shook hands, and we were back on the road. There’s so much to love about Mexico, especially the people.

Hilton Villahermosa

Tonight we’re staying at the Hilton in Villahermosa. It’s nice, but not at the level of the Intercontinental that we stayed at last night.

They have tons of parking, and it’s all inside a gated area with an attendant. So parking the Jeep and trailer was no problem at all, and it feels completely safe.

They do have pet friendly rooms, and we were able to eat dinner on the outside patio of one of the lounges with the dogs, which was nice. But we didn’t get the full pet amenity package (dog beds, bowls, food, etc.) like we got at the Intercontinental.

Also, on the plus side, I was able to use some of my Hilton points, so the room was free. Another travel hacking success!

Next stop – Puerto Morelos!

Tomorrow will be a longer day, probably 10 hours of driving, but if all goes as planned, we’ll end up in Puerto Morelos!