Monday, July 24, 2006

Lencero to Puebla

Yesterday before leaving Jalapa we paid a visit to Lencero, which Ballantine refers to as Encerro. The situation is indeed "admirable" although the view was a bit clouded when we were there. At least the rain stopped, so we could walk around the duck pond at will.

The museum is organized along the principle that a guide will explain everything. We did not have one, so the complete absence of explanatory information meant that we saw a lot of lovely furniture. No idea who may have sat in it, although we were pretty sure that Santa Anna did so at one time. Looking at the house one could imagine why he left Cerro Gordo early.

The drive to Puebla passed some beautiful terrain. There are some mountains that come up as you pass from the state of Veracruz. If Veracruz is "Texas with rain" (cows, horses, even lots of cowboy hats) then Puebla looked at first like "New Mexico with rain". The mountains are a bit similar to what you might see between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, although they seemed more square, as if they were younger, or made of harder material. Anyone with actual geology is welcome to comment.

There was one spot on the road that Ballentine came alive. The road passes through a narrow pass, and I remembered his commenting on the slow march, with numerous delays to let scouts check the road ahead.

The last bit of driving, in the rain, in the dark, was a more modern experience. The roads here are not highways, you will often see roadside establishments next to them. At one point last night I saw three people standing at the side of the highway. They were so shrouded by the rain that I almost took them for ghosts.

Another highlight was passing the five car pileup in the left lane. Fortunately the Jetta we rented handles quite well, and I did not make it into a six car one. The officer with a flashlight and the cones helped too ...

It is now lunchtime.


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