Veracruz, Mexico (No. IV)

Yesterday we were a little bit shopping and Domi bought himself a new hat. We asked for the biggest size but the one we got was still too small until the seller reshaped it. In the following you can get more impressions of the metropolis on the Gulf of Mexico.

Veracruz, Mexico (No. III)

More images from Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico as we’re staying here until February 8 while Herbie’s getting shipped to another part of Latin America: Cartagena, Colombia.

Shipping Delay No. 2

Herbie’s ship, the “Global Leader”, got another delay. This is quite frustrating!

Every day of traveling is like meeting a new challenge. You have to go through it, because there is no other way out. Therefore we are still in Veracruz waiting for the vessel’s departure. But we’ll go by plane to Cartagena, Columbia, on February 8, in order to pick up “Ocho” three days later. Hopefully there will be no further delay.

Veracruz, Mexico (No. II)

Herbie is still “sitting on the dock of the bay”, waiting for his ship going to Colombia.
Domi took another walk through town and got some more shots of Veracruz for you.

Veracruz, Mexico (No. I)

As we’ll be in Veracruz until February 8, we have the perfect possibility to explore this city. Therefore we want to share with you our impressions. This is just the first part of it.

Goodbye, Herbie!

Today we had to say “good-bye” to Herbie. Even though not all bureaucratic requirements are conformed yet, we already brought our beloved Volkswagen to the port. We are sorry that we can’t post any last pictures of “Ocho” before he is going to be on his way to South America. Domi wanted to take at least one shot so badly. He literally begged for the allowance to get some photos but it was strictly prohibited by the port executives.

It was an exhausting day for both of us. We didn’t expect that we’ll have to deliver the vehicle today, so we were not prepared at all. We had two hours to get the car ready to go. Later on, when we arrived at the harbor, they told us that one of us has to leave before entering the area. Only one person is supposed to drive the car into the port. Finding a taxi outside the city is not an easy task but we were lucky. After about ten minutes we got one and Zainab was on her way back to the hotel.

After passing several check points Herbie and Domi finally reached their destination. Our Number 53 ended up parking just besides three other air-cooled classic cars (Fiat 500, Fiat 600 and Citroën 2CV) and a Mini Cooper as well as hundreds of brand new Japanese vehicles which are all supposed to be shipped overseas.

Place of Twenty Waters

We visited another archeological site of a Mesoamerican city just outside of Veracruz. It is called Cempoala which would stand for the “place of twenty waters”.

It perhaps got its name because the city, which was founded in AD 1,200, had many aqueducts and irrigation channels.

In the past it was one of the biggest cities on the Gulf of Mexico with about 30,000 inhabitants and was the capital of the Kingdom of Totonacapan.

When the Spanish came in 1519 reaching the mainland of America, the Totonacs got the first ally with the well-known conqueror and colonizer Hernán Cortés.

The truth is, that the people of Totonacapan were heavily taxed by the Spanish. They were even forced to send hundreds of people as a tribute for sacrifices and as slaves.

However the leader of the Totonacs named “Quauhtlaebana” tried to cement the so-called alliance in giving one of his daughters as a kind of gift to Cortés.

It is hard to think about that Europeans “invaded” these countries in a very brutal way in order to expand the Empire and missionize native American people.

Shipping Delay

Unfortunately our ship, named “Global Leader”, is delayed. It was supposed to arrive in Veracruz on January 29 in order to leave the port on the following day. They changed the schedules and the vessel will now depart on February 2. It will reach Cartagena, Colombia, eight days later, on February 10.

Jalisco, Mexico (2010)

While Herbie will be on a cruise across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean we’ll fly down to Colombia. After we picked up “Ocho” again, we’re planning to follow the Pan-American Highway through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica (2010)

We already made a long stretch of the so-called “Panamericana” with Herbie and the camper in tow crossing Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and all the way back to the USA in 2010 and 2011.

In front of a volcano in El Salvador (2010)

The Place of the Rain

Quiahuiztlan, also known as “the place of the rain”, is a spot where people of the Totonac affiliation used to live. Later on a Spanish settlement was established here.

As a defensive strategy the city was built on a hill where they used terraces to avoid the soil to slide down. Additionally they introduced big walls as another defensive tool.

Nevertheless this strategy was not really successful. Between AD 800 and 900 the Toltecs invaded Quiahuiztlan and subjugated its inhabitants.

In the beginning of the 13th century the Aztecs also conquered the city. It is also famous due the fact that the Spanish conquerors lived just nearby in the lowlands.

This place was also called “Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz” and it is considered as the first settlement of the Spanish. Even an alliance with the Europeans was set.

On these pictures you can see mausoleum style tombs. Those tombs have the shape of miniature temples and they were unique in ancient Mexico.

Herbie and we are staying in the old center of Veracruz which is also very close to the port and where “Ocho” has to be shipped to Colombia in South America.

The Gulf of Mexico

Today we finally reached our destination: Veracruz.

On our way down along the coast we took some photos with Herbie.

The Gulf of Mexico provides many breathtaking spots.

Coco palm trees and banana plants wherever you go.

Yesterday we stayed at a very nice hotel at a beach of Costa Esmeralda.

We made 2,500 miles (or 4,000 kilometers) of driving through the US and Mexico.

The Love Bug was doing very, very well. A perfect gas mileage and just one quart (one liter) of motor oil (fully synthetic 15W-50) for the entire trip through Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. Herbie and his 34 horses are continuing their tour all around the earth.