Compilation of mostly Northern Mexico trips

Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 08:50 PM
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Compilation of mostly Northern Mexico trips

Tula, Tamaulipas
As is our custom, many of our trips start off in San Luis Potosi. Always looking for new routes to/from the border, thus this brief trip report. Didnít know anything about Tula, until I zoomed in on Google Maps looking for a hotel, as it seemed about the halfway point to Monterrey. I was surprised to see it was a Pueblo Magico, so we opted to stop there for a night. To get there, I took the turnoff off of 57 through Guadalcazar instead of the Matehuala/Tula cuota. Iíve been past the turnoff many times and the name of the town/municipio was intriguing. Seems thereís quite a bit of history there. It was founded as a mining center in the 1600ís and a couple of churches date from that era. Caving is a popular activity there these days, though we just did a drive by. On to Tula: Itís a pleasant town, super clean & quiet. We stayed at the Hotel Casa De Los Rombos, a newly remodeled hotel with a decent restaurant. Arrachera for $100 mxn. Rooms were big and fairly priced at about $40 US. Probably the nicest hotel in town. Right behind the hotel is a good coffee shop for those that prefer an espresso over Nescafe before they hit the road. It appears that some Pueblo Magico funds may have been put to good use as the town has its own little Ďriver walkí, built to divert/control excessive rain runoff from flooding the town. The touristy aspect of the walk may be a bit ambitious as nearly all of the locales remain vacant. Maybe theyíll rent out over time. One thing I noted that I donít recall ever seeing in Mexico was a fire hydrant. Just never recall seeing one anywhere. Maybe because Iím not looking, but it stood out as odd. Iíd for sure spend a night there again.
We then drove on towards Monterrey. There was a noticeable police and military presence on the highway between Tula and Cd. Victoria. How long that will continue I think is up in the air, as I read where Tamaulipas hadnít been paying the military. We were stopped twice at the military checkpoints, but they didnít ask for any documents. Scenery was impressive.



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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 07:03 PM
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Iturbide & Linares, Nuevo Leon.
This was a trip from Monterrey back towards San Miguel. The scenery on MEX 85 along the eastern side of the Sierra Madre Oriental is impressive. Lush, green, lots of orange groves and cattle ranches. And the mountains seem to leap from 0 to 100 almost immediately from the coastal plain. From Monterrey we passed through Linares, a Pueblo MŠgico. It was a charming enough town, though maybe a bit less than Magical. Now, on this particular trip we didnít stay there, but on a later one we did. On that later trip, stayed at the Zapata Plaza Hotel, an 1800ís Casona converted to a hotel. Quiet and roomy with secure parking, and about $40 US. Dinner was at La Bodega 220, and it was really good, much better than I expected for a town this size. A few Mexican beers on tap (rare for smaller towns), salads, burgers, steaks, and a large seafood selection. On a prior trip through Linares we simply got some broasted chicken & Cokes from Bodega Aurerra and ate in a park. We then headed for our hotel in Iturbide, Nuevo Leon. More stunning scenery in the canyon. The only traffic we encountered was a forest service truck. Iturbide is an exceptionally clean town, as was our hotel, Posada El Carmen (also had secure parking), and at 1500 meters it was a refreshing change from the heat of Linares & Monterrey. Iturbide it seems serves as a base for outdoorsy type activities such as canyoning, rappelling, hiking etc., and other than that thereís not much going on. Its other and rather macabre claim to fame is itís near where Banda singer Jenni Riveraís plane crashed back in í12. The town for whatever reason decided to commemorate the crash with a bust of her in the plaza. There were few restaurants, save for a couple taquerias and a pizza place that was closed. The place we ate let us bring our own beer as they didnít have a license, I guess. The locals didnít seem terribly friendly, maybe because few if any gringos pass through and no one knew what to make of us. We walked around for about an hour before heading back to our hotel. Slept with our window wide open, and there was nary a bug, bell, bus, or firecracker. I didnít notice any public transportation on the highway as there was so little traffic anyway. But no doubt buses of some sort pass by there. This drive towards Monterrey is our favorite as you go from the dry Altiplano PotosŪna to the lush Gulf coastal plains in just an hour or so, and itís not terribly far out of the way from taking the 57/40 cuota.

Quiet night in Iturbide

Our modest hotel in Iturbide

Iturbide's plaza

Brief glimpse of the drive between Linares & Iturbide
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 11:04 PM
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I had a look on google maps to see just where Iturbide is and in the photos that came up with the map only one was of a hotel, yours baldone. Is it the only one? The hotel website has photos that show a hotel & town about as tidy as it gets. And a sprinkling of snow.
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Old Sep 11th, 2020, 05:03 PM
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You know, I couldn't recall if there was another hotel until I also went to Google Maps. Turns out that right next door to Posda El Carmen is the Hotel Iturbide. It's the orangey/yellow building next to our hotel in my pic. I suppose if I was more sophisticated I'd have described the color as 'ochre'.
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Old Sep 11th, 2020, 09:12 PM
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No, definitely more orangey/yellow. And color is my specialty. Did you notice that both hotels are in a building that appears to be one that's been divided? And I'd guess used to be 1 hotel. I'll bet there's a story there.
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Old Sep 12th, 2020, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, I noticed that too. When we checked in I at first was confused as to which entrance I wanted. Their website simply says it was a house back when the town was called Hacienda San Pedro instead of Iturbide. I saw a YouTube clip where a drone flew over the plaza and the hotel building and you can clearly see it was one structure at one time.
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