Road Trip – Part 2: Mexico – Tampico to Veracruz

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Mexicans aren’t early risers. I was up  again about 4 am and got my mapping done and then spent some time reorganizing things in the car.  After a quick, cold shower, I headed out about 8 am.   My first stop was the local McDonalds to do some internet work and then I headed out to try to find a Nissan dealership that I had spotted while driving around the previous afternoon. My car’s check engine light had come on a couple of times and I didn’t want to add car trouble to my already long list of mishaps. I found the dealership but they were swamped. It would be the end of the day before they could even look at the car.  But, they advised me, there was an Autozone store a couple of miles away that could pull the codes from the car’s computer and determine what caused the warning light. I headed over and found the Autozone and was thrilled to learn that they would pull a readout from the computer at no charge.  It turned out to be an evaporator system warning which they assured me wasn’t serious so I pulled out and headed on my way.

Day four was good.  I was following highway 180 all the way from Tampico to Veracruz and most of the day this put me just a  couple of hundred feet from the beach.  The vegetation was getting richer and highway 180 was clean and well-paved.  It’s surprising to me that Mexico’s  resort and vacation development hasn’t become more widespread.

Bob LaGarde - Road trip through Central America - Beautiful Tree-Hwy to Veracruz
Beautiful tree along the beachfront highway between Tampico and Veracruz

There were miles and miles of untouched beachfront, interrupted only by an occasional beachfront shack.  In one stretch of beachfront there was a series of hotels but most appeared to be failed ventures, dilapidated half finished buildings, overgrown with vegetation.

Bob LaGarde - Road trip through Central America - Abandoned Hotel Ocean Road to Veracruz
Abandoned Hotel Ocean Road to Veracruz


Bob LaGarde - Road trip through Central America - Abandoned Hotel -2 Ocean Road to Veracruz
Another abandoned Hotel -Ocean Road to Veracruz

The only trouble on day four was that I now had a cold. I knew it was coming on the previous evening and on Monday it was full blown. I coughed every 10 or 15 seconds and my eyes were swelling and constantly watering.


Bob LaGarde - Road trip through Central America - Arrived Veracruz
Arrived Veracruz

The trip to Veracruz was longer than I had hoped so by the time I arrived, about 7:30 pm, I was beat.  I had given up  on the plan for camping so I made my way into the heart of the city and took the first hotel that I could find.  It was $50 but offered internet access.  I was too sick and exhausted to look any further so here I am.

Bob LaGarde - Road trip through Central America - Hotel Banus Veracruz

Hotel Banus near the Mexican Naval Academy about 4 blocks from the waterfront in Veracruz

Next up:  Road Trip Part 2 Mexico: Veracruz to San Cristobal

By: Bob LaGarde

Originally published December 28th, 2010 at

Updated: April 24th, 2016