We left Ciudad del Carmen a bit behind schedule. Just enough to throw me off kilter all day. I knew we had a long way to go, some of it through the mountains and I worried that we would not make it to our night's destination, Tuxtla Guieterrez, before nightfall. And we almost didn't.
Having made this portion of the drive several times before, I knew we had the dreaded bridge at Frontera to cross. Here we are approaching it.
At the top. Looking down on one of the estuary rivers that flows into the Gulf.
And finally, thankfully, going back down. I hate this bridge.
By the time we crossed over the bridge, we were well into the state of Tabasco. I swear, Tabasco is one of the hottest states in Mexico. And one of the smokiest. I swear there is always something burning somewhere in Tabasco. Little grass fires, smoldering forest fires, who know all what is on fire. But the smoke is everywhere. On the horizon, next to the road and always smelly.
Our plan was to skirt the exterior of Villahermosa and head south towards TG. No way did I want to go through Villahermosa. Again with the warnings to B to memorize that #^$% route! I had even written down for him the names of towns that we would be heading to after Villahermosa so he could look for those in case the route was numbered. Fat lot of good it did me. We have been lost in the bowels of V before and not with a friendly ending. When we passed under the overpass where we usually turn to head towards Cordoba, Veracruz, I knew we had missed our turn somewhere far behind us. To say I was mad is an understatement. I will not go into detail regarding the ensuing conversation...if you can call it a conversation. I refused to travel in circles looking for a way out of town. I pulled over and stated that we were going to sit there, in the hot car, sweating beyond belief until he figured out where we were and how to get us back on track. Never happened. He did threaten to figure out where the bus station was and walk to it and go home though. I almost let him.
Finally calmer heads pervailed (and looked at all the maps we had with us to figure out how to get back on track) and we pulled out. With only two more false turns, we found our way to the correct route and were heading south. Another delay to already pushed schedule for the day.
Along the way further south, we passed a lot of these:
Banana plantations were the rule of the day. No, they are not blue bananas. They are bags they cover with them. Not sure if it is to help ripening or to keep off bugs.
Chiapas is a beautiful state. A place of breathtaking scenery and abject poverty. And garbage. Lots of garbage everywhere. I did not photograph any of it. Better to think that Mexico is a land of unspoiled vistas.
But driving through the mountains of Chiapas, besides being exhausting, is fraught with dangers. Like this:
We rounded a corner, thankfully only in third gear, to discover a washout on a very steep hill. They had set up a temporary pass over the washout. While I was taking these pictures, I watched trucks, big trucks, and buses full of passengers gingerly pick their way across these slippery metal pipes. I was glad to be over it.
Some of the beauty of the hills of Chiapas.
Chipas has its' own share of wildfires. It appears that nobody worries about these things but me. Of course, it may not be a wildfire. It may have been purposely set by the military to force mountain people from their homes and valuable land. Another story there.
I'm always pleased to see something like this in Mexico. Wind power.
So, after only 9 hours of twisting, grueling mountain driving, we pulled into Tuxtla Guitterez. We had a horrible time finding a hotel that included parking. It is never a good idea to leave your car on the street overnight while travelling.
Mission finally accomplished, although not in our first choice hotel, or our second, or even our third. When the seventh hotel we tried in over an hour had a room, we grabbed it.
And I was ready for a beer and bed!