Day 36: Tampico, MX to Naranjos, MX

We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant, where the buffet included pancakes and other American-style options. We walked the few blocks towards the Sherwin-Williams store. Despite having found it yesterday, for some reason, we completely missed it today and ended up about twice as far down the street as necessary. A young man approached us and offered to help. He spoke English pretty well; he wore a shirt with the Best Western hotel logo on it; he said he was working there while working his way through university for an engineering degree. He helped us backtrack our way up the street to the Sherwin-Williams store, where the local staff there was waiting for us. We answered questions for two different newspaper reporters and took photographs.

We asked them about the best way to make our way out of the city on our bikes. They explained that normally, we would have to follow the main highway out of town, which would take us across a large bridge over the river. However, they said that another section of the river bank was just a few blocks away, and that we could take a boat across, which would save us about ten miles of riding and lots of time and traffic headaches. They said it was a sketchy part of town, though, and it might be hard for foreigners to charter a boat without getting ripped off. So, they offered to come along and help us make our way across.

One of the staff gave us a lift back to the hotel in her car. We retrieved our bikes from the basement parking garage, and rode the couple blocks back to the store, where about three of them were lined up waiting for us in their cars. We make a parade for a few blocks to the river bank, and they made the arrangements for the charter boat for us, and paid for it as well. We said our thanks and good-byes to most of them, as a couple of them joined us on the boat for the short ride across to the far shore.

As we crossed the river, we crossed from the state of Tamalipas into the state of Veracruz. The first town on that side of the river was known as Tampico Alta, or as we might say in Northeast Ohio, “Tampico Heights.” The terrain got somewhat more hilly today. We stopped for sanchwiches for lunch in a town called Ozuluama.

We checked into a reasonably-priced hotel in Naranjos, then headed into the downtown area to find dinner. Unfortunately, being a Sunday evening, not many options were open, and we wandered for a while until we finally found a small place open that had sandwiches available.

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