I Moved To Oaxaca

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Hola from Thomasandcharlie!

That's not really how you spell it, but that's about how you say it according to our copy of Sanborn's, and that's all I can remember at this point.

Our trip south so far? We liked San Antonio so much we decided to do it again -- back to the Menger. We didn't leave SA until about noon, but when we did, when we sat down in Little Jumbo and got ready to leave, sweat was actually pouring off our faces and bodies in rivulets and streams. We finally turned on the AC. And stopped by a Chicken Express for two gigantic teas. We should've gotten the gallon of iced tea, but I thought (incorrectly) that that was a little extreme. So yeah, it was hot and I was sad to go, but I love being on the road so it was okay. We didn't get any gizzards, and why hasn't McDonalds customized their menus for Texas by adding McGizzards to their menus?

We got to the border in good time, and got our car insurance renewed and picked up two more Sanborn guides for the trip. We then asked about what we needed to get over the border and were told the standard line, tourist visas and car permit. But, we said, we have working visas and we already have a car permit. Well, we don't know; you'd better just go in and ask them. Yeah, right -- I want to wait in those interminable border lines sweating like a pig and watching the clock. So I said to G, you know we have everything we need, let's just drive across and not stop. Which we did.

Now, when one of the many military checkpoints along the highways actually signalled for us to pull over, and they asked for our paperwork, well then I started to sweat. And I really started to sweat when one of the eight or so cops surrounding our car started messing with Greg about the validity of his FM-3, but then they handed back all our papers (and they checked everything: passport, visa, registration, insurance) and waved us away. Oh, my, we needed the air on for a while after that.

Our first night back in Mexico we stayed in a little hotel just south of Monterrey. Not bad. We went into town and cruised the zocalo looking for a spot for dinner. As tempting as Los Japones was, they were blaring music so we picked Melvins because of their frog mascot and took a plastic seat. The basic menu was carne asada, arrachera (?), and moleta -- yes, gizzards! -- in tacos, piratas, and tostadas. I'm still not sure what a pirata is, even though I ate three of them; tasted like fried wheat tortilla taco with cheese and meat and yummy grilled onions to me. Greg had the same. Then we grabbed some beers from the convenience store across the street and headed back to our hotel to veg.

We actually got an early start this morning, and hit the road after breakfast, just before 9am. A pretty drive. In the afternoon Greg, reading the Sanborn, said Hey wanna see some surrealistic jungle house just off the road? And just then the turnoff came up, so off we went to Los Pozas, or Edward James' house, a genuine Mexican roadside attraction. So in the 60s this English guy moves to the jungle and has some local contractors build forms and pour concrete according to his drawings. Until I get the pictures up, the best I can do is, combine the Swiss Family Robinson with Mad Mark's Castle on the Albany bulb and you'll have a good idea. And as fun as it was to roam around the remains of this guy's house, he built the whole thing on the mountainside along a waterfall, which has been built up into a series of pools for wading and cooling off in the jungle heat. We didn't realize from the book just how much fun this place would be, so we ended up just wading around and dunking our heads in the water -- ahh! -- before vowing to come back and spend the day swimming and snacking and swimming again.

We were probably at Los Pozas for about an hour and a half or two hours, easy. So with it inching on toward 6:30p, we decided to stop for the day in Thomasandcharlie. We checked in to the hotel and set off in search of food and internet. We found internet first. And maybe after we're done here I'll grab a raspado and we can stroll around the zocalo, see the church, and get us a roast chicken or some tacos. Just hold the moleta.


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