Day 5 - Matamoros Mexico to Veracruz (almost)
Day 5: Matamoros to Tampico/Veracruz
At the border there are banks to exchange money or draw some pesos from an ATM machine.
It's possible to make Veracruz in one day if you get to Matamoros early in the morning...ie: 8am. Leaving Matamoros as early as possible is wise. The roads between Tampico and Veracruz are poor.
When finished with customs and immigration keep heading south towards Victoria. Notice the signs below that say "Estados Unidos (United States) and CD Victoria (city of Victoria).
I ran into a pothole in the road near Veracruz that caused a bulge in the tire. I didn't notice the dangerous bulge until Encarcega. If you do hit a pothole, check your tires.
Watch very carefully for the signs to Victoria. It can be a bit difficult finding the right streets to get out of Matamoros. The culture shock of just crossing the border is amazing. Don't judge all of Mexico from what you see in Matamoros. Great beauty and good roads are just ahead.
Towards Tampico and Veracruz
The highway south of Matamoros is in excellent shape. As I said, it is being constructed into I-69 so there are some
stretches where bridges are being built and some minor detours (well marked). US 59 becomes US 77 at Victoria. You will take US 77 right to the border of Brownsville and Matamoros.
It's very dry south of Matamoros with almost desert like conditions.
Signs that don't make sense
Mexico is just amazing. This spaghetti like sign (above) gets funnier the longer you look at it. All roads are marked Hwy 180. Notice my GPS satellite gizmo on the dash... it came in handy sometimes to know where I was going.
When getting closer to Tampico you enter hilly country (below).