December 13, 2015: Continuing our sprint to the Caribbean, we spent most of December 13th really, really high. Seriously, we were at altitudes between 5000-7000 feet for most of the day, and exceeded 8,000 a couple of times, as we drove through the central plateau, the altiplano. We enjoyed cool and dry weather for this portion of the trip.
Leaving Matehuala, we had nice morning light and were bookended by mountain ranges on either side of the highway.
We sped past San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Queretaro, places we plan to spend time in on the way back. We then made a wide arc around Mexico City on the Arco Norte. Even if we had wanted to visit Mexico City on this trip, it would have required alternate travel arrangements. Vehicles with foreign plates are prohibited from driving in the city for pretty much all of December.
After passing Puebla we entered a spectacular section of road that took us on a descent of about 6500 feet in 44 miles, traveling from Esperanza in the state of Puebla to Cordoba in Veracruz.
On the whole trip, our house is averaging gas mileage around 13 mpg. On the tank that involved this descent we got nearly 20. It was downhill all the way. The downside to this good gas mileage was that we got to the bottom with overheated brakes and transmission. When we pulled into our hotel we had a spongy brake pedal and a little smoke coming out of the hood (from spilled transmission fluid).
It was too late to do anything about the car and the 2-bedroom villa that we rented for $55 came with a blender so we took our minibar (finishing the last of the piñata loot) out of our house into our hotel room and Michael made some delicious frozen drinks.
As they say in Mexico, we’ll take care of the car mañana.