Day Trips Around the Lake Region
Potholes from Hell
Just when you thought that life couldn’t get any
more exciting, you find a new thrill.
It used to be the rides at Disneyland or a local fair that raised your
adrenaline level and made you pray for solid land.
Now it’s just a car ride in Mexico. I recently got the thrill of two ‘E’
rides at Disney and I didn’t have to buy a
A couple of friends and I decided that a trip to
Tapalpa was just the thing to chase away the rainy blues.
So, on the first nice day after the early January rains we set off for
this alpine-like town. One of the
friends wanted to take the free road, so that she’d save the toll fees and be
able to stop off in Amacueca to buy some local coffee beans.
We went along with her idea and set off in the second car for a lovely
ride through the valleys and fields.
Well, it seemed that sink holes had sprung up overnight.
I’ll never complain about topes again. We dodged so many potholes that I
feared we’d be stopped for driving drunk.
It got to the point that we had to make a decision as to which pothole to
hit. There were big, but not to
deep ones… small, but bottomless ones … five in a row lined up like a shooting
gallery … ones hiding in the shadows.
We dodged and bounced and prayed throughout the ride.
Of course, there was road work going on, so we had a lengthy wait at one
spot. A big truck was pulled over
to the side of the road next to us; the driver provided us with surprising
entertainment during the wait. He
first took his truck’s floor mats out.
Then he climbed out with rags in his hands.
Next, he took a large plastic container out from a storage area on the
outside of his truck. We first
thought this was gasoline until he poured in on the rags.
We wondered if he was going to set the rags on fire as a poor man’s
flare. But, it turned out that the
container held water. He proceeded
to wash his floor mats and windows.
As he completed the job, the traffic began to move.
Quickly he jumped back in his truck and, of course, managed to sneak
ahead of most of us who had waited in the traffic
With dented and dangled mufflers, we pulled into
the town of Amacueca. What did we
notice first? How nice the road
and sidewalks were. Those of us
who stumble on cobblestones do notice things like that!
It turns out that the next picking time for coffee beans wasn’t for two
weeks, so there were no beans to buy.
But, as most of us say, it was an interesting adventure,
The visit to Tapalpa was delightful.
Great lunch … splendid shopping.
But throughout the time spent there, I was thinking about the trip back
to Jocotopec. Was another ‘E’ ride
was in store for me? We had to go
down the mountain road with its twists and turns and pot holes.
With the exception of one near collision with a truck, we made it down
and onto the toll road. Since they
were building new toll booths on Route 54, we made it back to Joco only having
to pay one fee. Needless to say,
the ride was without pothole hell and a great end of that
A few days later, I sent off on a short trip to San
Cristobal. I wanted something
easy and without heart stopping moments.
Too bad I live in Mexico!
The main road into the town was closed due to a procession that would be
held later. So, a kind man guided
us to another entrance point. We
should have been wise when he stopped and signaled us to continue down the dirt
road without him. It was a twenty
minute trip on a mechanical bucking bronco. There were even times when the driver
got out to see if her car was going to fit between the trees or make it over the
rocks. All we could do was laugh,
appreciate the sunshine in January, and chalk this up to another