Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3rd - Made it to Poza Rica

Well we left pretty early around 7 am from Cuidad Victoria and drove south and made it to Tampico fairly easily.,,,slow roads and traffic to be expected. Except for when we stopped for gas -we learned that you must make the attendant Zero out the pump before pumping. We learned this when we asked for 200 pesos of gas and the attendant said they could only pump 150 pesos. When we left the gas gauge showed we had gotten nothing. So we realized you must make sure the attendant zeroes out the pump while you are looking so they don't pretend to pump gas for you and then point to a pre-existing number on the pump. This is how they scam you into paying for gas you do not get.
They do this to unsuspecting gringoes. So after an expensive 1st lesson we make sure that one of us goes out to the pump and points at it to tell them it must be zeroed out before pumping. Many times you will see 50 to 100 pesos on the readout and they will start pumping with that amount on there...so you end up paying more for the gas then what you are actually getting.
So I tell them to zero out the pump and then I watch to make sure we are getting the number of pesos of gas that we asked for-usually I ask for 150 to 200 pesos at a time.
It's ashame it is like this but right now in the US people are stealing gas because it is so expensive. We calculated that we paid about $2.80 to $2.50 per gallon while traveling south from the border - it got cheaper the further south we went. I know that the US no longer has gas attendants and I don't recall this happening there but this is how Mexicans make a little extra green to supplement their meager incomes.
When I learn something new like this I say to myself - well I just paid for an education...something I have done in the past even in the US for many different things. And I also say to myself - well I guess I just paid a toll on that road to see the pretty mountains and valleys. After all we do pay for the privilege of living in the US and driving it's many roads - it is called Income Tax. You pay for the privilege of living, working and driving there. It is a privilege that you pay for most of your adult life.
I did get lost when leaving Tampico and ended up going west instead of south but did manage to get directions to find my way back to 127 to Poza Rica- although wasted 2 hours of driving doing so. But here we are in down town Poza Rica at the Victoria Hotel $90 US with in room internet access-quite a luxury.
Traffic noises since it is downtown but a very nice place and reasonable priced restaurant. Don't order the chicken - order the salmon. I did find out that wine is more than in the US but mixed drinks are cheaper. I order drinks without ice as I'm not sure I trust the ice even in nice restaurants yet. I only drink bottled water. I am very careful as I don't want to get sick while traveling.

No comments: