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Mexico road trip
Old 06-01-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
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Mexico road trip

I'm soon to set off on a big road trip: I will be leaving FL to go to Kansas City, meet some relatives, and then we are basically driving direct to Mexico City. After some business there, we ("she" to be honest!) want to go even further south, it sounds like we will be driving around Yucatan, to see, at minimum, Merida, and then work our way up the gulf coast, back to Texas. Although I've seen some of the stuff there before, never by car, and I look forward to jaunting around. We'll have about 4 weeks total. So, this thread may turn into a travelogue, but until then, any suggestions for what to see? I'll want to see some of the stuff around Mexico City, the "colonial cities", and who knows what else?
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:17 AM   #2
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something tells me aaa is gonna take more than an hour if you get a flat tire.

what are facilities like along the way, gas stations en route, etc? i have no idea but somehow don't imagine the ride quite the same as i would from say, florida to jersey. do they have any stuckey's? what are gas prices there? gasbuddy.com only shows usa & canada.

also would you be taking risk to go in a nice car or would you want something a bit beat up? how safe is such a roadtrip? what do you do when you are stopped by desert road pirates?
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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Have fun. We did a similar jaunt through MX a decade ago. Six weeks. By bus though.

Check out Puebla and Cuernavaca. Both are within a few hrs of Mexico City (call it de efe if you want to sound like a local). Mexico City and the surrounds could honestly take all 4 weeks if you wanted. I like Monterrey (near the TX border, S a few hours I think from laredo). Watch out in the border towns - many have become dangerous.

Also, Veracruz was neat, as was Jalapa.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:17 AM   #4
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also would you be taking risk to go in a nice car or would you want something a bit beat up? how safe is such a roadtrip? what do you do when you are stopped by desert road pirates?
I have to admit, this would concern me. I would love a trip like that, but I would be one of the unlucky ones found in a ditch some where. This might not happen much, but funny we have all heard about it.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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You might want to read some of these travel warnings concerning Mexico.
travel to mexico warning - Google Search
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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You might want to read some of these travel warnings concerning Mexico.
travel to mexico warning - Google Search
Definitely. We crossed into Mexico on foot and found Nuevo Laredo very sketchy 10 years ago. From what I hear it is much worse today. Strongly consider crossing and keep going for a couple hours until you get away from the border area.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:43 AM   #7
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we ("she" to be honest!) want to go even further south, it sounds like we will be driving around Yucatan, to see, at minimum, Merida,
In the Yucatan, we took the Xcaret-owned bus from Cancun to Xcaret (Sort of a cultural amusement park.) We had a fun-filled day in Xcaret -- floating down the underground river (very fun), swimming, seeing the giant tortoises, etc. They had several nice evening shows including a horseback demonstration, native dancing, etc.

On the way back to Cancun about 10 or 11 at night, I was shocked surprised to see the driver literally padlock the door of the bus (from the inside) and then place a HUGE revolver on the dashboard. He said that was for our safety in case we encountered any pirates in the jungle on the way home.

It certainly would make me think twice about traveling in the jungle areas alone at night.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:34 PM   #8
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pedorrero, if you're not familiar with it, check out The Adventures of Tioga and George. He's in Israel right now, but he spent the fall and winter driving down through Mexico to the Yucatan. He visited some great Yucatan sites.

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Old 06-07-2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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Thanx so far...I will check out the blog. Safety: I will be traveling in a (I hope) well maintained older Saturn worth perhaps $4K, so qualifies as a cheaper car. Safety: I can do little about random violence. Quite frankly, I am (usually) more paranoid here in the wonderful USA. I'm more worried about the infrastructure (roads, that is). Anyway, I'll report in no doubt while on the road. Happy summer all.

Let's see, I can try to translate my tagline into spanish:

"Es mio, entiendes? Todo mio. Mio! Mio! Mio! Vaya! Vaya! Vaya! Soy un codo rico y feliz." Not sure about "miser" w/o a diccionario.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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I'm writing you from the Lake Chapala area, where we just moved (from Colorado) to try living in Mexico for a year. We drove down here from Colorado a few years ago, and have done a lot of other driving around Mexico.

My first recommendation is to get a copy of the "People's Guide to Mexico" (the 13th edition was just printed last fall). Invaluable practical guide, and the web site that goes with it (Peoples Guide to Mexico) is also a good resource. You'll want a good road atlas as well, but you can buy that after crossing the border (Guia Roja).

You want to stick to the cuotas (toll highways) as much as possible. They're not cheap, but are far more pleasant and efficient than even the best U.S. highways. Mexico is a BIG country. As for Mexico City, it is a bear; read and head the advice about driving around there (or not) in People's Guide.

Aside from Mexico City, which is flat-out dangerous, your chances of being a crime victim - especially of violent crime - decrease dramatically as soon as you leave the U.S.

Enjoy your travels!

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:44 AM   #11
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Aside from Mexico City, which is flat-out dangerous, your chances of being a crime victim - especially of violent crime - decrease dramatically as soon as you leave the U.S.
Uh huh...

Guess these are just examples of the media sensationalizing to improve circulation/ratings:

Toll mounts in Mexico's drug war - Los Angeles Times
Troops intervene in a nation fighting with itself
Mexicos war on drugs: Journey into a lawless land - The Independent
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:50 AM   #12
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"Soy un codo rico y feliz."
you are a rich and happy elbow.

as english and spanish languages take words from each other, perhaps simply "soy miser rico & feliz" with miser pronounced mizzehr?

or you can say "soy el pato rico y feliz que tiene cuidado con el dinero." only it loses mucho daffyness en la traduccion.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:56 AM   #13
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Yep, and you're adding to it. As an example:

Murders per 100,000 population:

Mexico (entire country) 14
Detroit: 47
New Orleans: 38
Orlando: 27
Kansas City: 25
Chicago: 16

Been reading any tourist advisories about Orlando lately?

Not to say that crime isn't a real issue in Mexico, but the U.S. is anything but a safe haven. Perhaps it's just as well that perception of greater danger elsewhere keeps many Americans "safe" at home.....
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #14
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Certainly there are pockets of high and low crime in areas of both the US and Mexico. But please don't try to use the Chamber of Commerce approach to sell us how much safer Mexico is than the US:

Crime in Mexico - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murder Rates per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004:

Mexico*- 14.93
USA - 5.62

*"Since many crimes [in Mexico] go unreported, the rates may be much higher than reported by the government."
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #15
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Yep, and you're adding to it. As an example:

Murders per 100,000 population:

Mexico (entire country) 14
Detroit: 47
New Orleans: 38
Orlando: 27
Kansas City: 25
Chicago: 16
I guess this is a pretty good example of a biased comparison created by a biased choice of data points.

Then there is the little problem that crime reporting in Mx. can be sketchy, as well as lack of comparability of population class.

Do you thank that a tall light skinned couple with a bumper sticker that includes the word rico are going to be part of the random Mexican population from which victims are drawn?

¡No lo creo!

Ha
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #16
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Do you thank that a tall light skinned couple with a bumper sticker that includes the word rico are going to be part of the random Mexican population from which victims are drawn?
¡No lo creo!
Ha
Agree. Having grown up in Mexico, residing in Mexico City (my father was a diplomat), Mexico has changed considerably in recent years. Many of my Mexican friends have moved to the states or Europe because of the violence and unpredictability. Travel is indeed dangerous now, not necessarily country-wide but in large pockets of the country. If it's not drug-war related, it is either economics or politics.

'Nuff said, simply start reading the San Antonio, El Paso, Laredo, Brownsville or McAllen newspapers. The Corpus Christi Caller Times sometimes is helpful.

I strongly suggest that you review these newspapers prior to commiting to any trip at this time. Things will more than likely get better in "the future" but now is NOT a good time; the drug violence in the Mexican - US border states is very bad now (the worst I've ever seen it) and some has spilled over from Nuevo Laredo to Laredo, Juarez to El Paso. Fair-skinned turistas are good fodder for kidnapping in the interior. Folks pay for their return.

Be careful out there. Not the same as it was despite the aura of a "south of the border trip".
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:41 PM   #17
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I flew a helicopter south to north all the way across Mexico. We made a fuel stop in Tapachula and refueled and overnighted in VeraCruz. Mexico is a beautiful country. My only other visits to Mexico have been several of the not so beautiful border towns. I do think travel can be dangerous in some areas and very safe in other areas of Mexico.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:12 PM   #18
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You might enjoy reading Tim Cahill's Road Fever about a record attempt to drive from the tip of Argentina to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Some of the places in South America make driving through Mexico look positively peaceful! Published in 1992.

I also have an old copy of "Driving the PanAmerican Hwy", which I love to thumb through, but it is probably hopelessly out of date. Still a dream trip, nonetheless.

Be careful, and don't ever drive at night, period. Know the dangers, but don't let the fear take this trip away from you. I would love to take the trip you have described.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:01 PM   #19
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T
Let's see, I can try to translate my tagline into spanish:

"Es mio, entiendes? Todo mio. Mio! Mio! Mio! Vaya! Vaya! Vaya! Soy un codo rico y feliz." Not sure about "miser" w/o a diccionario.
miser = avaro (Sp.) Spanish Word for miser
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #20
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to the translation, avaro looks more like avarice connoting greed in acquisition whereas miser is more stingy in distribution. though, knowing daffy, perhaps the original quote is better said utilizing avaro.
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