After a long day on the bus from Oaxaca, I finally arrived at the Hostal Santo Domingo in Puebla, Mexico. It was chilly here, not only for the season, but also because of the high elevation. Traffic was heavy, and I did not enjoy the high level of air pollution, but the hostel was nice, the showers were hot, and they provided two warm blankets as well as clean sheets.
I walked around downtown Puebla a few hours looking for a white jacket or “ropa tipica” but had no luck. There were several shops selling interesting rustic furniture and antiques. I searched for several blocks, asking people along the way, for “un buen pozole” which I finally found. Pozole is a thick spicy soup with hominy corn, meat and cheese and lettuce. It was just what I needed.
The hostal provided free internet access, and I spent a long while investigating the different possible routes to get back to Texas. I had planned on stopping in one more city in Mexico to break up the trip, but either the buses did not arrive there from Puebla, or the expense was prohibitive. I finally decided to just take an economical 18 hour trip straight to Reynosa on the Texan border.
This is a shot of the river in Tuxpan, on the gulf coast of Mexico, which is where our bus was after travelling six hours from Puebla through Pachuca and Poza Rica. We went on to Tampico, where everyone had to get off the bus for twenty minutes while they cleaned up and refueled. When we took off I noticed the lady who had been sitting next to me was not there. Fifteen minutes later she got on at a traffic light–she had missed the bus and had to take a taxi to catch up with us.
By 6:30 AM we had reached Reynosa, and I had a weak club sandwich before boarding a $4 bus to McAllen, Texas. It took almost 45 minutes to cross the intrenational bridge and get through US immigration, but everything went smoothly. In McAllen I got straight on a bus to Victoria, with stops in Falfurrias and Corpus Christi along the way. The weather was balmy, and apparently the winter was mild enough to keep the papaya tree in my parent’s backyard alive.