SMr Road Trip Mississippi to Nicaragua
Day 9 - October 11th - Monterrey, Mexico to San Juan Del Rio, Mexico
Dragging myself out of my comfortable slumber in Monterrey, I awoke to Amanda and Eli both rearing and ready to go. I stubbornly took my time finishing a large cup of coffee that I hoped would carry me all the way to Mexico City. I threw on some brown cut-off Levi's, and my favorite diesel stained tee - courtesy of my good friend Shakira's horrible breath. We had lost 2nd and 4th gear rolling into Monterrey the previous night, and I was worried we would lose the clutch all together. Eli inspected Shakira and made several mechanical adjustments and insisted she'd be ok. We decided to hit the road again, further evaluating her health as we drove. Shakira soared out of Monterrey and soon had us singing her praise again! She flew through all 5 gears like butter as we raced over the arid deserts of Nuevo León.
In Mexico there are "carreteras libre" and "carreteras cuotas." Free highways and toll highways. If you want a smooth, safe, and well maintained road it is recommended you take the "cuotas," because the cost would be worth it. We traveled the cuotas throughout the day, stopped at several quaint and enjoyable roadside destinations, and had no shadow of doubt that we'd make it to Mexico City by sunset.
Pleasantly cruising at 70mph, as the sun dropped below the horizon and the landscape changed to a cooler, higher elevation, Shakira stuck a shaft into the balloons of our high spirits as her engine unexpectedly died completely. We tried to keep as much velocity as we could, rolling as far as her shabby little wheels would take us. We noticed a tiny sign with an arrow pointing to an exit that said "Hotel." Eli jerked the wheel to the right landing us on a downhill exit. Finally, Shakira's wheels took their last turn as we lurched to a stop directly in front of the entry of Misión San Gil, a beautiful historic hotel.
We were all breathing heavily with the exhilarating roller coaster glide Shakira just took us on. Slowly tilting our heads up, we cringed as we viewed the beautiful hotel. We were certain it was going to be way over our budget, but since the car was broken down, we had no choice. We went inside to get the price and to our avail..1,000 pesos! About 80 bucks. We took it! Misión San Gil is over 200 years old and was origionally given by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés to his lover La Malinche, asking for her forgiveness after being caught cheating. It was later used as a military barracks before being transformed into a hotel! The hotel is outside of a town called San Juan Del Río, and was gorgeously complete with peacocks, historic art, cave like showers, and a small moonlit cantina.
Eli spent the evening troubleshooting the car and was able to switch a few fuses around to get her started. Despite the daily Shakira mishap, the drive today has been beautiful and we all feel we are being tested and rebuilt stronger through each trial. And as always,
ON WITH THE ADVENTURE!