Friday, January 18, 2019

Mexico Travel Map

I have visited 14 of the 31 Mexican states as well as the capital, Mexico City. 
Updated September 20, 2019.

My first visit to Mexico was as a young boy, age 5 or 6. We visited Southern California and included a stop in Tijuana (Baja California) where I recall wanting to buy a ceramic gorilla piggy bank. I didn't have enough money and when I told the man how much I had, he said he would take that for it. I replied, "I don't want to cheat you" and left it at that. I obviously had a lot to learn. I recall my older brother, David, buying a statue of Venus De Milo.

Years later when we moved to San Diego where I went to law school, we made quite a few trips down to Ensenada where we would go to the fish market and buy shrimp and crab. We also found a wonderful restaurant, El Rey Sol, which we ate at quite a few times. 

When we moved to Redlands we discovered Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Southern Arizona which I have visited quite a few times over the years. On many of those visits we have crossed the border and driven through Sonoyta (Sonora) and down to Puerto Penasco on the Gulf of California where we have had some wonderful seafood meals. On one trip, when the kids were young, we went back to California on Hwy 2 through the extreme desert of northern Sonora, and exited Mexico through Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, to Calexico and up through the Imperial Valley. On two trips, one with Judy and one alone, I drove through El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve. 

In July 1989 we visited Southern Arizona and crossed over into Mexico at Agua Prieta (Sonora) through Douglas and Nogales through Nogales. 

Years later, with business colleagues, both financial advisors, I drove through Nuevo Casas Grandes and Colonia Juarez to Mata Ortiz (Chihuaha), to see the beautiful clay pots made by the artists of Mata Ortiz. We entered Mexico through Agua Prieta and followed Hwy 2 below New Mexico and then down Hwy 10. 

In March 2018 I had my first real trip into the heart of Mexico (Judy lived in Mexico while a college student and did quite a bit of traveling while there). We flew into the Federal District of Mexico City, the capital (the Washington D.C.) of Mexico, and did quite a few activities there, including the National Palace, Chapultepec Park, Coyoacan, Xochimilco and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We went into the State of Mexico, the Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan being my favorite spot there. We also visited Tlalmanalco and Amecameca as part of our visit up to the Saddle of Cortez between the volcanoes Popo and Izta. We took a day trip into Cuernavaca, the capital of the State of Morelos, then continued on to the white city of Taxco in the State of Guerrero. Another day we visited the State of Puebla and visited Huejotzingo, Cholula and the capital of Puebla. We also took a side trip, a flight from Mexico City to Villahermosa, the capital of the State of Tabasco, to visit some friends that are living there. Aside from time in Villahermosa, we drove to the Mayan ruins in Comalcalco, and traveled in to the State of Chiapas to visit the Mayan ruins and city of Palenque. It was on this trip that I really fell in love with Mexico and made a goal to visit each of the Mexican states. 

In a trip to Western Texas in December 2018, we went into Big Bend National Park and planned to cross over the Rio Grande River there to visit Boquillas, in the State of Coahuila. The U.S. government shutdown prevented that visit. I was right at the edge of the Rio Grande, in Boquillas Canyon, a stone's throw from Coahuila, and met a Mexican man from Boquillas who'd crossed the Rio Grande on his horse to sell trinkets. A considered offering him some money to take me over to the other side of the Rio Grande and back, but decided I didn't want to chance getting on the wrong side of the U.S. Border Patrol if they happened to be watching.

At the end of August, 2019, I went on a four day whirlwind tour through five Mexican states and southern Texas with my nephew, John. John has dual citizenship in Mexico and the U.S. and speaks Spanish. In addition, he has done a lot of traveling in Mexico, and knows much of the food, tradition and history, and is not afraid to do long stints of driving, a perfect companion for this sort of trip. We drove to San Diego and walked across the border to the Tijuana Airport. We flew Volaris to Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, rented a car, and drove north about 35 miles to Garcia where we had breakfast, then drove to Garcia Caves where we took a tram up into the mountains and toured the main cave. We drove 25 miles back to Monterrey and visited the governor's palace, walked by the cathedral, then ate a fantastic lunch at El Rey Del Cabrito, consisting of roasted goat. We then drove 53 miles to Saltillo, the capital of Coahuilla, where we visited both the governor's palace and the Cathedral of Santiago de Saltillo, which was across the street. We spent the night in Saltillo.

The next morning we left by 6:00 a.m. to drive 234 miles to Zacatecas City, the capital of Zacatecas state. We happened to be there the weekend of La Morisma, where the triumph of the Christians over the Muslims in Spain is commemorated. They parade through the streets in the morning (which we saw), then enact two battle sequences later in the day. It takes place in the historic center of the city which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visited the Rafael Coronel Museum which is housed in an old monastery of the Santo Domingo church and has thousands of masks made of wood, leather and clay. We also visited the governor's palace and the Cathedral Basilica of Zacatecas which is next to it. After lunch at Tortas Malpaso, we drove 120 miles to the City of San Luis Potosi, capital of the State of San Luis Potosi. There was a protest in front of the governor's palace, but we were let in briefly, just to look around the main hall of the building. Then we spent a few minutes in the Cathedral, across the square and the original viceroy's home, before having a buffet dinner at a restaurant just off the main square.  We spent the night in San Luis Potosi.

Sunday morning we left by 6:45 a.m. to attend church in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the State of Tamaulipas. It was a 208 mile drive. The times were incorrect for the church we were going to attend, so we crossed the city and caught part of a meeting at a different church. We also found only a buffet at the place we were going to eat, so John found a seafood restaurant near downtown. Then we walked from there to the governor's palace which was closed, and took a quick look inside the Cathedral which was across the street. From there we drove 201 miles to Matamoros, on the border of the U.S. near Brownsville. We stopped at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Refuge, where a mass was going on, then had a very nice dinner at La Cancilleria. From there we headed into Brownsville and ultimately to Port Isabel Texas.

The next afternoon we crossed the border into Mexico again near Reynosa and drive 134 miles to the Monterrey Airport where we'd started.

1 comment:

  1. It's about time I got you converted to Mexico. Great food, great people, amazing history, relatively inexpensive--lots to love!