As of today, we’re about 2/3 of the way through the “mean season”…I always figure if we can make it to October 1st without a major hassle, we’re home free. Although every once in a while we get a “bad” storm after October 1st (Wilma on October 26, 2005 rolled us at Cat 3).
There are currently 3 hurricanes out there….the fierce and “classic” looking Igor, which is spinning harmlessly in the middle of nowhere, but headed, possibly, toward Bermuda. I hope it misses. And Hurricane Julia, a storm which will apparently never bother a living soul.
And, unfortunately, between the Yucatan and Mexico proper, is Hurricane Karl, which looks like it will impact the Mexican mainland sometime Saturday. It’s forecast to come ashore somewhere between Pozo Rico and Veracruz….an area which we travelled both on the outbound and homeward bound legs of our trip.
If you look at Weather Underground’s “WunderMap” (not sure how long this link will be good), and zoom in, you can see the map of the area.
On our trip down, we drove from Tampico with the idea of staying in Pozo Rico….alas, there were no rooms in town as it was a festival weekend…so we drove on down the coast. And ended up along the “Emerald Coast”…as this stretch is known (in a tiny family hotel called, oddly enough, the “Hotel California”).
Currently, it appears that the entire Emerald Coast is in the cone. Bummer.
It is a beautiful stretch of coast, where the road is within sight of the beach for many miles. The lots along the beach are very large, and there are many old vacation homes and small, family hotels, mixed in with agricultural pursuits. It’s a vacation spot for the locals, not a big resort area like Cancun. In fact, it really reminded me of the Atlantic coast of Florida years ago, before we were overrun by a zillion snowbirds.
Flat land, smelly (and full of cool marine life) little mangrove brackish water estuaries, a couple of big rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, a multitude of towering palm trees (Jamaican Talls, which all died off in Florida years ago from lethal yellowing)….and really cool shack-like beach restaurants. Beautiful turquoise water. Numerous roadside stands…we jumped off the road at one point to buy coconut cookies from one of the roadside vendors. (These didn’t make it past Houston….where we were summarily relieved of said cookie/candy confections by a certain greedy young lady).
As you can see from the pictures, the land is very flat for a few miles right along the coast, then the mountains rise up to the west. It is an absolutely beautiful place (although that particular road was one of the worst in Mexico….but it was being repaired and was much better on the return trip). As I recall, on the trip down it was citrus harvest, we saw hundreds of trucks full of fruit, and a zillion stands selling jugo de naranjo (orange juice), as well as many trucks full of harvested sugar cane.
I am pained by the thought of this beautiful place being directly in the path of a hurricane…it’s almost as if it’s headed right for me. Let us hope that it’s a minor hurricane, and that the residents are well prepared and stay safe.
I hate hurricane season.
~ Blonde Gator