21 October 2007

2007: The Journey Has Begun

Bienvenidos a Mexico! It is very late and today we have traveled through 9 Mexican states: Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, and Puebla. Rene drove the entire way. I can handle a race car in Mexico but not sure if I am ready for a Ford Excursion with a behemouth trailer carrying our race car down the narrow streets of Mexico. It has been a great road trip so far and pretty laid back compared to the excitement and craziness we look forward to once the race begins.

My new friend, Julio, who I met in the Houston airport, on his way to visit family in Tampico

We started out with a leisurely morning in Guadalupe at my dad's house, packing the truck and driving to TBZ to pick up the trailer and the race car. Rene arrived in his stylin' 1951 Chevy and his buddy Bimbo and his nephew Fabian helped us hook up the trailer.

El Jefe in front of Tumba Burros de Zacatecas, ready to go go go, and Rene and his 1951 Chevy

Once settled in and on the road the high mountainous desert around Zacatecas soon gave way after San Luis Potosi to lush greenery. No more did we see Joshua trees, ocotillo, the earth’s floor of bare dirt. We crossed a few rivers and the countryside sprouted happy corn stalks and the greenest produce I’d ever seen – alfalfa fields? Trees morphed, became deciduous and multiplied.

By 7pm we'd driven through the states of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Queretaro and Mexico and we were still on the outskirts of Mexico City driving on the tollway in the rain.

Even though he grew up with a full blooded Norwegian mother who survived the Depression homesteading in South Dakota, my dad is not food focused. He can go two days without eating a thing, or do some serious damage to a buffet with his long and lean 175 lb frame. Last year during the race we were too busy to eat. I told Geezer and Rene that this year I wanted us to eat more so we'd have better energy, and also I wanted to eat some good Mexican food!

But having said that, here’s what I’ve eaten today:

· A Red Bull, a banana and a mini box of Corn Pops for breakfast
· A bag of chili corn chips, a handful of habas (dried and salted lima beans)
· A can of Yoli (like 7up but tastier)
· A hard boiled egg
· Gampechanitas (sort of a thin desert cookie, we called them elephant ears growing up)
· A small handful of Whoppers (which I brought for my Geezer from the states)
· Lots of agua

I asked if we would be eating tonight as I didn't know how long we’d be driving. Rene turned around from the driver seat and said, “No. Only drinking tonight, no food.” Then he smiled. I had panicked flashes of last year - running on pure adrenaline and a serious lack of human fuel.

Highlights of the day included hearing about how Geezer left the first batch of hard boiled eggs on the stove for over an hour and burnt them to a crisp, and our one hour state police escort through the fringes of Mexico City. Don't let the "fringes" lead you astray - this is the world's biggest city and even the outskirts of it are immeasurable. We were hopelessly lost in the dark and the rain and Geezer told Rene to pull over at the Oxxo to ask for directions. We were blessed to run directly into a policeman standing outside the convenience store talking to a woman. After a quick chat, Geezer and Rene got back into the car and told me that the woman was going to lead us across town!

It was Sunday evening but the traffic was as gnarly as I've ever seen in any traffic-infested US city. We were following the woman in her car but the cop came along too and had his flashing lights on so we had an official police escort! I had a blast people watching and filming since we were usually only going 5-10mph and the streets were absolutely alive. It took forever to crawl through this town called Texcoco and I just couldn't believe that they were still willing to lead us. After about an hour the woman parked her car and jumped in with the cop. Rene and Geezer made some comments in the front seat and chuckled and it seemed there was a story in the making. After what had to have been at least 90 minutes they pulled over and came to the window. After a few brief final directions they said we were on our way.

We thanked them profusely and got out of the car to take pictures of Yamileth, her young son, Dieguito and the kick ass policeman. We were so grateful and knew without a doubt that we would not have made it through the city without them. Yamileth gave me her email address and asked that I send her the photos. What wonderful people! We thank them with all of our hearts. !Muchas gracias, amigos!

Dieguito, the policeman, and Yamileth in Texcoco - THEY ROCKED!

And finally upon our arrival in Puebla we savored a long awaited traditional Mexican dinner at our hotel at 10pm. I think the first round of Coronas were gone after three gulps. More to come, stay tuned. We arrive at the race start in Oaxaca tomorrow and have until Thursday afternoon until official racing begins. Ole!

Rene after a long day of driving (but before beer and dinner)

Ah! Check out my dinner - I am now officially in heaven!!

PS: a special "hola" to my dear friends George and Tom of the #283 Volvo that we raced with last year - from Team TBZ, we all miss you! Check out their blog: http://doverbrothersracin.blogspot.com/


JohnnyB said...

Good luck you all! Don't drink too many beers!


George Sullivan said...

hey Hoser Hot Chick!!
Remember you can't drink Mexico dry they can make beer faster than you can drink it!!Say hello to Rene and give him my reguards also Geezer and Stewie. When you get back we will need you at deer camp so be ready. Be safe and have fun
Jorge Da Wild Child.
Back in 2008

Jack said...

Bueno suerte amigos!

CDR Jack Law
Joint Staff
The Pentagon