Home is Where we Hook-up

January 23, 2008

The problem with relying on a guidebook…

Filed under: Travel,Travel in Mexico — Heligypsy @ 7:22 am

…is that things change.

From Matamoros we headed straight to Tampico. Now, the Church’s do this drive in two days, but we felt the need to get a move on after spending so much time in Texas, so we altered the route. Plus, it’s obvious they are a different sort of traveler than we are and usually start their day a few hours later than Keith and I do, 350 miles in a day is not unreasonable. It was a wonderful day of driving on excellent two and four-lane free roads, both of which would be conditions we would not see again for most of the trip onward.

When there were road signs we followed them, verifying as much information as possible with the guidebook. We also had the atlas, but never managed to find a real, good, road map. There were times I was frustrated by that, but it turned out not to really matter. Our destination was the Campestre Altamira Holiday Resort, and it was looking good that we would arrive in the late afternoon, perfect for a first days experience driving in Mexico. We followed the guidebooks instructions on how to bypass the city of Tampico, thereby avoiding a toll, and much publicized hassles to RV’ers by cops. The problem? We passed the 2 km mark as stated in the book and watched as we passed the Campestre Residential on our right.

Hmmmm. That did not look good. Keith flipped around, this time we pulled into the gated driveway of the new residential development. The guard approached and I held up the book, pointing to a drawing of a camping spot at this very location and asked “Campestre Altamira???” Noooo, no, Campestre Residential. “Ahhh, si….” I responded, with a gigantic smile. Rolling up the window I said between my teeth “we’re screwed”.

The very last line on page 267 of the camping guide said, in bold:


I hadn’t even seen that before, but then, I was anticipating overnighting in a resort of sorts -so who needed any extra info. Page 268 of the book continues, “Many people spend the night in the Tampico Airport Parking lot…..the Airport is not hard to find” Sold! For $160 pesos ($16) we parked overnight in the military and police patrolled parking. I reheated leftover fish dinner on the stove and we sat in the cab of the squeakster people watching until dark.

Ok, so it wasn’t the perfect camping solution, heck, it was better than the night at Texas Springs, in Death Valley – at least here we could run the generator! Our adventure had definitely begun.



  1. “It is a bad plan that admits of no modification”.

    Publilius Syrus

    1st Century BC , Roman writer and poet.

    Comment by Keith — January 24, 2008 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  2. we had the same problem – campestre altamira looked great on paper, but appears not to exist. we spent the night on the front lawn of the hotel bonitto.

    Comment by j logan — November 26, 2008 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

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