7/16/97, Somewhere outside Veracruz--

Woke up to the sound of a very large donkey after sleeping about six hours in the backyard of a restaurant that doubled as the farm of a family, complete with animals.
About 240 km from Villahermosa (our stopping point for the night), near the river town of Mazititlan, we pulled over to fix the roof rack which had somehow unfastened itself and hinged forward during the stop, landing on the front spare tire. Moments later, a blue Defender 90 pulled up and, not knowing that we were headed the same way, asked if we needed anything. We introduced ourselves, drooled for a few moments over D90 air conditioning, and waved goodbye as they drove off to our hotel destination. This brief meeting, which had been a milestone in our large plan, had actually occurred precisely with our schedule. I smiled, and we drove on. In the wise words of George Prepard (Hannibal Smith from the A-Team), "I love it when a plan comes together!"

We entered the city of Mazititlan and became seriously lost. One hour later, we somehow emerged back on the 180 in the right direction. This highway had only a couple toll areas, one of which I was worried about because we didn't have any Mexican pesos left.

About 10 miles before we approached the toll area, we were passed by four or five other Rovers, a couple of D90s, Discovery’s, and a Defender 110. We learned that they were communicating on CB channel 12, so we exchanged hellos. They were very excited that we made the trip. 

We learned that there was only one other Series vehicle on the trip, A 1974 Series III. Not as old as ours however! The owner and his poor family were actually working on it as they went.

The entire group approached the toll booth, and I radioed ahead to Hercules, asking Dave Hughes to please pay for our vehicle as we were out of cash. One of the guys in the blue Land Rover Discovery was named Dave too. He intercepted the transmission and thought we were asking him to pay our toll. He proceeded to pay tolls for the entire squadron of Land Rovers, and our entire group sailed on through. It was pretty funny and made for an interesting introduction. 


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