Welcome to Mexico! (Highway 97, Tamaulipas, Mexico)

Wow!

Seriously – nothing more needs be said.  Wow!  What a day!

GJ had told me Claudio was amazing.  “Claudio is an incredible man,” GJ said.  “He pulled off our world record attempt in 2006 flawlessly – 2861 motorcycles crossed the border in one hour, 4600 altogether.  Claudio can make anything happen.”

And GJ was right.  Claudio made it happen.  I mean – he MADE IT HAPPEN!

“The mayor is waiting,” Claudio told us t his morning.  “Let’s go!”

The four of us – our little ragtag bunch – pulled out of Claudio’s garage and made our way to the mayor’s office – escorted by six motorcycles.  We zoomed through intersections (well – actually we lumbered through like overladen turtles) without having to consider traffic, knowing our escorts had stopped the cars.

And then – oh my!  We turned a corner and found enough cameras to document Obama’s inauguration – and they were all pointed at us!  TV, radio, newspapers, magazines…  every media outlet in Reynosa was there!

The mayor’s representative officially welcomed us to Mexico, to Tamaulipas, and to Reynosa, I spoke on camera in Spanish (YIKES!), then we rode through the flags of the city – onward and upward! (or southward, as the case may be)

Our next stop was the premier school in all of Reynosa where all the kids were gathered in the gym awaiting our arrival.  We rode around the gym, then the principal officially welcomed us to their school, to Reynosa, to Tamaulipas, and to Mexico – with the cameras rolling, of course.

A few blocks later we pulled up to the Reynosa Historical Museum where we were all fascinated by a bunch of old artifacts – including an old manual telephone switchboard.  The cameras still rolled.

By then, the boys were famished, so Claudio directed us all to a restaurant with a breakfast buffet.  The mayor’s representative met us there to present us with good-guy certificates and thank us again for making Reynosa a part of our journey.  Yes – it was all caught on tape.

So finally we headed out of town – with two police motorcycle escorts, one police car, and four members of the motorcycle club.

“Don’t stop, Nancy!” Claudio shouted.  “We’ll take care of the cars – you just go!”

After thousands of miles of watching traffic and being ultra-careful, it was hard to disregard all those cars threatening to cross in front of me, but I knew Claudio and his entourage had it all under control.  I just pedaled.

90 minutes later we arrived at the city limits where the police had to turn around.  Claudio and his group were going to escort us farther, but we figured we were good – the road was nice and wide, and there was very little traffic.  We said our goodbyes and thank-yous…and we were on our own.  Honestly, I don’t know how we would have made it through the madness of the city without Claudio’s help – but it felt great to be back to just the four of us on a quiet rural road.

All too soon, the sun began to make its descent and we needed a place to pitch our tent.  John found a beautiful little field off the side of the road, and I went to a house on the opposite side ask about the possibility of camping in it.

“I don’t know about over there,” the man said.  “But you can camp here if you want – anywhere around the house is fine.”

So we are now camped in the yard of his house, and are enjoying a quiet evening in the tent after a hectic day.

Welcome to Mexico!

Kilometers today:  40
Kilometers to date:  9779

 With Claudio and the mayor´s representative There were enough cameras and tape recorders to document Obama´s inauguration! Truly amazing... Since I´m the only one who speaks Spanish, I got the honors. At the schoolOutside the school Buffet breakfast with our entourageThe mayor´s respresentative met us at the restaurant to give us certificatesMaking our way through ReynosaDavy with his escortsMany, many thanks to Claudio!Our home for the night This man graciously allowed us to pitch our tent outside his home

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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