As the sun broke over the beach in Verzcruz we started our engines. Another big driving day lay ahead - almost 300 miles. The trip log forecast that it would take about nine hours and unfortunately it was dead on. Middrive we lost our connection to satellite radio, so our sole remaining source of news is the internet. Much of today's drive was on autopista - tollway. We complain about the tolls back home, but we shelled out almost $70 today. Generally the road was four lane divided with a shoulder, but there were areas that were full of potholes, too. Even when we got up a head of steam it was always with the worry that potholes lay around the next curve and we would not see them in time. The first time we stopped for fuel, I went in our rig and noticed that the printer which was well bungied to the computer desk, had leaped up in the air and landed on the floor. By the time we stopped for the day a portion of our sewer hose had also escaped from its container and lay somewhere on the autopista behind us. At this rate by the time we come home, our rig will be practically empty.
The terrain changed today from banana trees to pineapple fields, and vendors selling pineapple juice set up stand beneath many of the overpasses. The traffic flowed so quickly on the autopista, I wondered how much business they really got. Our lunch stop was a picnic at a small park at the foot of a picturesque suspension bridge. The fields grew increasingly water logged and the grazing cattle had water up to their bellies.
So far we have been quite willing to follow our tour leaders around like ducklings. Today they encouraged us to take off without them and drive as fast as we wished, since there were only two major turns on the itinerary and they were well marked. Most rigs took advantage of this suggestion to pull ahead, but as Villahermosa neared, we pulled off at various fuel stops along the way, waiting for our leader to come by so we could queue up once again. We were supposed to be in a real campground with electricty and water hookups tonight, but this area has had a ton of rain and the group ahead of ours had massive problems getting stuck in the mud, so we find ourselves boondocked on pavement at the county fairgrounds. We still had enough water for showers and gas to power the generator, but are looking forward to a more usual camping situation.
Our leaders suggested we might want to join them for dinner at a Brazilian meat restaurant. Since Ken never gets enough meat to suit him when I am the cook, he leaped at the opportunity. He did such a great job driving under taxing conditions the last few days, what could I say? These all-you-can-eat restaurants are common and popular in metro areas back home and this one was similar, but half the price. After making selections from a forty foot salad bar, we sat at the table and let the servers bring us skewers of freshly grilled meats of all sorts. Ken is looking forward to the fact that we will be stopping in Villahermosa again on our way back north.