BLOG Update- Thursday, 10/31/13 Arriving Mexico City, Mexico

Dinner in Mexico City Thursday night with my new friends!

Dinner in Mexico City Thursday night with my new friends!

I arrived in Mexico City on Thursday evening, taking three days since crossing the border in Neuvo Laredo on Tuesday morning.

The border crossing went well with no lines or any issues at the border. In fact I did not even realize I went through it as I was waved ahead without any questions and thought I was headed to the next immigration check point. It did take two hours though as I stopped to register me (personal visa) and Torch (car registration). There was an issue with Torch as she appeared as “unclassified” in their computer system, likely because of her age.

I took a nice tollway to Monterrey deciding not to stop there as it wasn’t that far inside the border. I missed the turn to the tollway to go south towards Mexico City by way of San Luis Potosi. Instead I chose the scenic route down 85 to Ciudad Victoria. It was a beautiful ride with the flat plains turning to rolling hills turning to mountains. I pulled into an Applebees to use the internet and found the Viva Inn which turned out very nice. After traveling 2,763 miles in 17 days in the States I drove  only 327 miles on Day 1 of the International segment of JTOG!

With Mother Sophia and daughter Martha at the quaint Posada Santa Elana.

With Mother Sophia and daughter Martha at the quaint Posada Santa Elana.

On Wednesday I again chose the scenic route heading to Tampico on the Gulf Coast and towards Tuxpam to approach Mexico City from the east. I planned ahead to stay at the Posada Santa Elena in Minerals Del Monte near Pachuca, about 100 miles outside of Mexico City. The roads were rough, travel slow and darkness came while I was traveling through the mountains. This was a new low point of the journey, lower than the Oklahoma speeding ticket and wrong way on a highway in the opposite direction for 30 miles. I did end up finding my bed but just barely as I almost gave up and went to Plan B (get another hotel where I was) but persevered through and I am happy I did.

After a good nights rest I woke up to a beautiful sunlit peaceful village with only a 100 miles or so to my hotel in the south part of Mexico City. It was a beautiful drive down from Minerals Del Monte, which the  Garmin had at 9,277 feet above sea level, down through Parchuca into Mexico City. The drive through the city was okay as my Long Island, New York City, Chicago, L.A. driving experience came in handy.

With Visitors Guide Adriana at the National University who gave me a great interview.

With Visitors Guide Adriana at the National University who gave me a great interview.

As fate and luck would have it I was listening to the Garmin but not looking at the display map and took a wrong exit. Low and behold it took me to the Olympic Stadium at the National University. I stopped to take a few pictures but ended up on a mini-odyssey interviewing a tour guide, a Visitors Center guide, a school newspaper reporter and best of all getting a tour of the Olympic Stadium! It was a festive college campus scene as they were celebrating Dia de Muertos, our Halloween and All Saints Day. I felt like I was back at UB and welcomed a sense of the 1968 Olympics and the young people at the University.

I learned more about the tragedy just before the Olympics were staged here where hundreds of students were killed. Like The Spirit International, whose debut in 2001 was only weeks after September 11th, there is a sense of international tragedy and joy occurring simultaneously. Sort of like a wedding celebration in the midst and aftermath of a tragic death in the family. Both over time need to be given there due and respect and in time both factor into our life that goes forward.

In Olympic Stadium which hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

In Olympic Stadium which hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

So I am safe and sound, yes I am of sound mind, on a “Journey to Olympic Golf.” Only three weeks into it I would say it is going well! Of course, there is golf along with the Olympics here in Mexico City as I am visiting the Golf Club of Mexico later this afternoon and playing the oldest course in the country, the Country Club of Mexico City on Sunday.

More on that low point in the next update. Planning to leave here on Monday and head towards Nicaragua bypassing Belize to minimize the mileage and wear and tear on my beloved Torch. Keep her in your thoughts, we are a team on this journey!

 

 

 

 

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