After months of planning
and preparation, our group of adventurers gathered
together for the big send off at Land
Rover Houston. Both Dustin and Nathan were running
on "Hindman Time" and arrived at the dealership
about 20 minutes late. Dustin was late because he
needed to go to AAA to get Mexican and Central American
Evidently, the company he had been
working with for the past week (Sanborne's of Brownsville)
had been dragging their feet on the paperwork. When
Friday, the day before departure, came around, Dustin
called only to be informed that the woman taking
care of his paperwork had just quit and they couldn't
get him insurance in time... the adventure begins.
After a short driver's meeting/orientation
and a photo opportunity in front of the dealership,
it was time to head for Mexico, 11 vehicles in all.
Once the convoy was out of the concrete
jungle of Houston, the drive was very uneventful,
but hot The outside temperature was pretty typical
for a July afternoon in Texas - 112 degrees by midday
and very humid.
("Belize Bound" written on the window,
closely followed by Dustin Hindman, head south
on the Texas highway towards the Mexican border.
The convoy stopped for lunch at PJ's
Seafood in Victoria, TX. This great little "hole-in-the-wall"
restaurant came highly recommended by Dustin's co-pilot,
Carey. For the seafood fans in the group, this place
did not disappoint. Leaving Victoria after lunch,
some of the group accidentally made a wrong turn
when the highway split. The error was caught after
only four of the Land Rovers made the turn. Upon
looking at the map, it appeared that both routes
would meet back up in Brownsville, so we decided
to split up and reunite at the evening rendevous
(Big Bird) and Nathan's (Camel) Discoveries
stop to fill up with petrol in southern Texas.
After almost 350 miles and a long
day on the road, we pulled in to the Days Inn at
the border town of Brownsville, Texas. Ironically,
the group that made the wrong turn leaving Victoria
arrived at the hotel almost half an hour before
the rest of the group.
Pulling into Brownsville, Dustin's
XD, Big Bird, was running poorly. At the hotel,
we lifted up the hood and took a look at it. After
about an hour of troubleshooting, it was traced
to bad fuel, another irony, since we had yet to
cross the border into Mexico, where the fuel has
a reputation of being of a substandard quality.
However, we put some water
absorbant in the tank and it ran great again.
After settling into our rooms, everyone
split off to finish up some last minute things and
get ourr last bit of American "culture"
or the next 2 weeks. we ran to the local WalMart
to get some cables and locks as well as ratchet
straps for the roof rack on the Camel Discovery.
We then went back to the hotel for an all-too-short
night's sleep. The next morning was expected to
be a long one, since we had to do our US/Mexico
border crossing, as well as drive all the way to
the city of Tampico.
(Left to Right,
Camel, Luis and Stuart Nance (Disco Stu) pull
into the Days Inn in Brownsville, TX