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    Thread: Going on a Road Trip | Chattanooga TN | Puebla MX

    1. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 03:04 PM #1
      As some of you know, I am going on a long road trip that will take me to our newest Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga TN, which is where the 2012 Passat is built. From there, I will continue down to Puebla MX to see the factory there, which is where the Golf Wagon, Jetta, and Beetle are manufactured. I will be driving my 2007 GTI while recording the progress on a few different mediums.

      I will be leaving in the early hours of the morning on Thursday August 9th, 2012 from Toronto, Canada.

      If you'd like to follow my adventures, here are the outlets in order of most commonly updated:

      Primary
      YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/ianNeumeyer
      I will be recording videos en route. Don’t forget to subscribe for updates!
      The first video is up, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71VKroAUn4k

      Secondary
      Twitter - http://twitter.com/i_neu
      Still pictures and short comments will be posted here (some via Instagram).
      @i_neu

      Overview Trip Information
      Wordpress - http://ineumeyer.wordpress.com/
      If a more lengthy description of a part of the trip is required, it will be posted here.

      Please feel free to forward this information to family and friends.

      Thanks for watching!

      Sincerely,

      Ian.
      ------
      Check out my Volkswagen Road Trip! (www.YouTube.com/user/ianNeumeyer)
      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    2. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 03:34 PM #2
      This sounds like it could be fun but I would be VERY careful in Nuevo Leon. There have been literally thousands of kidnappings and murders by the narcos in the last couple years. It's really not a place you want to go. If there is some other way you can get to Puebla, I would STRONGLY recommend doing that instead.

      http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_5665.html
      http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pa....asp?id=184000


      Also I hope you called ahead to the plant in Mexico. They don't give tours unless you have an in with someone.
      Last edited by classicjetta; 08-07-2012 at 03:36 PM.

    3. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 03:42 PM #3
      Good luck and have fun, but I would never be caught dead (literally) driving my own car - as a foreigner - to Puebla, MX. For your own safety, I seriously hope you have done a great deal of research and given this a whole lot of thought. Since you work for a VW dealer, I assume you have arrangements with someone at the Puebla plant?

      http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_5665.html

      The rising number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. In addition, local police have been implicated in some of these incidents. We strongly advise you to lower your profile and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention.

      Carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in many parts of the border region and U.S. citizens have been murdered in such incidents. Most victims who complied with carjackers at these checkpoints have reported that they were not physically harmed. Incidents have occurred during the day and at night, and carjackers have used a variety of techniques, including bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are some indications that criminals have particularly targeted newer and larger vehicles, especially dark-colored SUVs. However, victims driving a variety of vehicles, from late model SUVs to old sedans have also been targeted. While violent incidents have occurred at all hours of the day and night on both modern toll ("cuotas") highways and on secondary roads, they have occurred most frequently at night and on isolated roads. To reduce risk, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads whenever possible. The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat the TCOs. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways may encounter government checkpoints, which are often staffed by military personnel or law enforcement personnel. TCOs have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, and killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.
      Last edited by mhjett; 08-07-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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    4. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 03:50 PM #4
      I don't have any detailed information, but there is an on again off again ferry service running from various points on the US Gulf Coast to the Port of Veracruz. If you could find one of those, traveling inland to Puebla from there is safe and a much shorter distance anyway.

    5. Member EUROBORA8V's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 04:26 PM #5
      Interesting. Subscribed.

    6. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 04:26 PM #6
      Thanks for your info.

      Yes, I have pre-arranged tours at Chattanooga and Puebla.

      I'm crossing at Laredo/Nuevo Laredo on the advice of a local who is a close friend of mine. He does that drive a couple of times a year.

      I am aware of the unrest in those areas and am definitely cautious and weary of the trip.

      Nothing ventured, nothing gained! But I will be very careful.

      Thank you!


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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

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      08-07-2012 04:48 PM #7
      I've been to the Puebla corporate office a couple years ago and it's really not that bad. There's a fairly nice downtown area as well as all the historical sites nearby. The shadiest parts are the towns near the border, which I would be more careful of. Also, remember that the traffic rules that apply to the U.S./Canada do not apply in Mexico. Just because it's a green light doesn't mean it's safe to proceed.

    8. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 04:51 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by masa8888 View Post
      I've been to the Puebla corporate office a couple years ago and it's really not that bad. There's a fairly nice downtown area as well as all the historical sites nearby. The shadiest parts are the towns near the border, which I would be more careful of. Also, remember that the traffic rules that apply to the U.S./Canada do not apply in Mexico. Just because it's a green light doesn't mean it's safe to proceed.
      That sounds like good advice. What do you mean by the green light statement?

      Thank you,

      Ian.


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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    9. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 04:57 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by kornjd View Post
      I'm crossing at Laredo/Nuevo Laredo on the advice of a local who is a close friend of mine. He does that drive a couple of times a year.
      Nuevo Laredo is extremely dangerous; I'd get the hell on past there as fast as possible. You're a braver man than I.

      Here's a little leisure reading on recent massacres there:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Nu...redo_massacres (photo probably NSFW)

      That said, can't wait to see photos, especially the Mexican part of the adventure, and live vicariously through you.
      Last edited by mhjett; 08-07-2012 at 05:07 PM.
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    10. Moderator rich!'s Avatar
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      08-07-2012 05:03 PM #10
      watch out for them hurricanes down there too...

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      08-07-2012 05:21 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by kornjd View Post
      That sounds like good advice. What do you mean by the green light statement?
      I noticed people regularly running red lights in intersections. You have to have a lot of awareness and rely on common sense as well as good instincts to make it unscathed driving in many parts of Mexico. At the same time you have to be cautiously aggressive (oxymoron), or else you might be get eaten alive. Same is true for most Central and South America countries.

    12. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:08 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      Nuevo Laredo is extremely dangerous; I'd get the hell on past there as fast as possible. You're a braver man than I.

      Here's a little leisure reading on recent massacres there:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Nu...redo_massacres (photo probably NSFW)

      That said, can't wait to see photos, especially the Mexican part of the adventure, and live vicariously through you.
      That's definitely scary stuff. Hopefully I don't see anything interesting there.


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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    13. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:08 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by rich! View Post
      watch out for them hurricanes down there too...

      I have awesome wiper blades.


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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    14. 08-07-2012 06:08 PM #14
      hey ian! I'm sure you will be fine.
      crap

    15. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:09 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by masa8888 View Post
      I noticed people regularly running red lights in intersections. You have to have a lot of awareness and rely on common sense as well as good instincts to make it unscathed driving in many parts of Mexico. At the same time you have to be cautiously aggressive (oxymoron), or else you might be get eaten alive. Same is true for most Central and South America countries.
      Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it.


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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    16. Member pho's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:09 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by masa8888 View Post
      I've been to the Puebla corporate office a couple years ago and it's really not that bad. There's a fairly nice downtown area as well as all the historical sites nearby. The shadiest parts are the towns near the border, which I would be more careful of. Also, remember that the traffic rules that apply to the U.S./Canada do not apply in Mexico. Just because it's a green light doesn't mean it's safe to proceed.


      Omg, I have made the same trip several times, over.
      Only difference is that I drove from Pensacola to Puebla, MEX, then New Orleans, to Puebla, then in January 12, from Seattle to Puebla, MEX.


      Starting in Nuevo Laredo.
      Nuevo Laredo: Crossing the border is NOT safe, try crossing at first daylight.
      Monterrey: Generally safe in the daytime. Do not drive at night.
      Saltillo: Once you pass Saltillo, its smooth sailing.
      Matehuala: Nothing to see. Keep on going. Relax.
      SLP-San Luis Potosi: Nice, safe, calm, now you can relax.
      Queretaro: Nice, lots to see, people are really cool, safe.
      QRO-San Juan del Rio: Eat, sleep, bathroom, last safe stop before DF MEX.
      DF MEX: Nice, if you have friends in DF, try NOT to drive in DF.
      Texmelucan: Dont stop, almost there. Safe.
      Puebla: Dont take Avenida Cerdan, continue all the way until the Stadium, get off highway, then head towards downtown, El Zocalo. Really safe.
      Relax: You are finally in Puebla, Puebla.

      Mexican mapquest: http://aplicaciones4.sct.gob.mx/sibu...eligeIdioma=si

      Tips:
      Temp Vehicle Import permit can take (3-4) hours at the border.
      You can avoid the hassle/heartache by visiting your nearest Mexican embassy, and getting your vehicles 180 day import permit there.

      Do not travel in Mexico alone!
      US plates + American + $$$ + Traveling alone is NEVER recommended.


      Nuevo Laredo: DO NOT travel in Nuevo Laredo or Monterrey at night.
      Sleep in Laredo, Texas, and cross the border at Puente Colombia, at first light. Laredo/Monterrey, many Pemex gas stations are CLOSED, so no gasoline, amigo. Please DO NOT carry ANY US Currency in Mexico.

      DO NOT stop to rest before San Luis Potosi, SLP.
      San Luis Potosi or SLP is a fantastic place to chill for a night.
      Make sure you get pay for a hotel that has a secure garage.
      Great nightlife, really safe, good weather, fantastic food.

      Queretaro, ask ahead about ARCO NORTE, it is a tollroad that bypasses DF MEX, and saves you from alot of traffic, frustration, and heartache.

      DF MEX: Definitely DO NOT drive into or around DF MEX at night, traffic is horrible, signage is usually missing, road closures and long detours are the norm. Traffic is horrendous. ONLY travel through DF MEX between 10pm and 4am. If not, take Arco Norte toll road that bypasses DF MEX.

      Texmelucan is actually Tlaxcala, there is nothing in Tlaxcala that you cannot find in Puebla.

      Puebla: Safe, hopefully you have family/friends waiting for you.
      The streets in Puebla are sometimes one direction/one way, getting lost is really easy. Food is great, weather is good, lots of things to see, and to do.
      One interesting tip, the Governor of Puebla (Moreno Valle) grew up in New York, and his administration is really really US friendly.

      Puebla VW Plant:
      Tours are by invitation ONLY, you have to email the PR Dept ahead of time, inorder to secure a tour. Public tours are ONLY given in the month of December. Also, NO cameras or phones on the VW tour. Tour is 45 minutes accompanied at all times by a Corporate VW person that speaks several languages fluently. The ONLY other way to get a tour is if one of your family members has a connect, or a contact that has the muscle to get you on the visitors list. One last thought, you can talk your way into a VW factory tour if you speak German.

      I will resurrect the Puebla VW tour thread, so you can scan over the misc info there. Enjoy your trip.

      VW Puebla factory tour: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-Factory-Tours

    17. Member dwagner88's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:19 PM #17
      Be sure to head out into the mountains and try out some of our famous roads while you are in the neighborhood. Not so sure about driving an expensive looking car with US plates across the border. Doesn't sound very safe. I recommend eating at Urban Stack, the terminal brew house, and going to the honest pint for a drink while in Chattanooga.
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    18. Member VW...vw...wv...WV's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:50 PM #18
      lot of useful info in here, hope you have a nice trip, and please, if you need some assistance, dont hesitate to call or reach me, if i can help, i will gladly do.
      i am in monterrey, nuevo leon, and can give you info on routes and places. i lived in queretaro, my brother lived in san luis potosi...i have traveled most of your trip thru mexico, a lot of times.
      have some mexican peso around you for brives...if thats the case...100 peso will get you out of troubles, shouldnt be more than that .
      even if i dont condone brives, that could save you a lot of trouble.
      in your entrance to monterrey, coming from nuevo laredo, youll encounter san nicolas de los garza, ugly as hell....next you know you are in downtown monterrey, nothing to see here, and you should get to constitucion ave. that you should take to your right...that will get you to santa catarina (nothing to see here) and then on your way to saltillo, coahuila.
      from laredo, tx to san nicolas, theres about 2.5 hours or regular highway...then think of 1 hour to get from san nicolas to santa catarina, so plan ahead and dont drive thru the city at night, especially this route.
      theres a way around the city..coming from laredo and taking a very lonely viaducto that goes near villa de garcia, on the way to saltillo, but being used by truckers only, very bad maintenance, and thru garcia (dirty,ugly, garcia´s cops tried to kill garcia´s mayor....)...i would drive thru the city as a safer bet.
      in monterrey, theres cabrito, theres carne asada, and thats it...in garcia theres a cave in the mountain with great views and that stalactites thing, but i wouldnt take the risk...

      leaving santa catarina, on your way to saltillo, theres "la carbonera". kinda loop to pass on the outskirts of saltillo, then theres another loop to pass matehuala, and then, theres no stop till queretaro.
      from carbonera to queretaro....roads straight as an arrow, you could easily do 160 kph without anyone noticing...straight boring roads as far as your eyes can see...
      carbonera has some nice (100 kph) uphill curves, but with a lot of truckers going slowly...kinda risky..
      if you want some tortas around matehuala, theres a great sideway stop where they sell "sevillanas" tortas, kinda tasty.
      theres another restaurant called "san Pedro"...dont stop there unless you have urge to pee or want overpriced handrafted thingies from queretaro. food is ugly, but is a safe stop, plenty of people.
      queretaro has something to offer, as well as san juan del rio, on your way to mexico, theres a tree on a convent that grows thorns on a rood shape, theres an ice shop that sells like 1000 home made, natural flavors like avocado, and things like that...
      in general, take common sense on anything...watch your credit card for cloning, dont drive at night on unfamiliar roads, (unsafe roads).....

    19. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 06:55 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by pho View Post
      Omg, I have made the same trip several times, over.
      Only difference is that I drove from Pensacola to Puebla, MEX, then New Orleans, to Puebla, then in January 12, from Seattle to Puebla, MEX.

      I will resurrect the Puebla VW tour thread, so you can scan over the misc info there. Enjoy your trip.

      VW Puebla factory tour: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-Factory-Tours
      Wow! Thank you so much for that level of detail. I am going to modify my itinerary a bit based on some of your recommendations.

      I have already acquired a vehicle permit to import the car. I have the sticker in-hand. The only thing I don't have is the FMM, which I will acquire at the border.

      Thanks again. I really appreciate it!



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    20. Member pho's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 07:40 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by kornjd View Post
      Wow! Thank you so much for that level of detail. I am going to modify my itinerary a bit based on some of your recommendations.

      I have already acquired a vehicle permit to import the car. I have the sticker in-hand. The only thing I don't have is the FMM, which I will acquire at the border.

      Thanks again. I really appreciate it!

      No worries, you can also get your FMM/FMT at your nearest Mexican embassy/consular office.
      http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/repr...en-el-exterior
      Ian, check your email, and enjoy your travels.

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      08-07-2012 08:11 PM #21
      You need to add one stop to your itinerary: Westmoreland, PA

    22. Member pho's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 08:32 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by pcm84 View Post
      You need to add one stop to your itinerary.
      Also, keep in mind that Mexican Consular offices follow both US & Mexican holidays.
      So, make sure they are open the day you plan to go get your Mexican Visa.

      Here is the contact info of the Mexican Consular Office in Laredo, Texas:
      http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/laredo/i.../1-contactenos

    23. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:49 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by pho View Post
      No worries, you can also get your FMM/FMT at your nearest Mexican embassy/consular office.
      http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/repr...en-el-exterior
      Ian, check your email, and enjoy your travels.
      Thank you for the info, Pho!

      All the best,

      Ian.


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      Last edited by kornjd; 08-08-2012 at 03:14 AM.
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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    24. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:49 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by pcm84 View Post
      You need to add one stop to your itinerary: Westmoreland, PA
      I'm about 25 years too late, I think.


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    25. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:50 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by classicjetta View Post
      I don't have any detailed information, but there is an on again off again ferry service running from various points on the US Gulf Coast to the Port of Veracruz. If you could find one of those, traveling inland to Puebla from there is safe and a much shorter distance anyway.
      Not a bad idea, but I think I'd rather drive.


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    26. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:52 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by dwagner88 View Post
      Be sure to head out into the mountains and try out some of our famous roads while you are in the neighborhood. Not so sure about driving an expensive looking car with US plates across the border. Doesn't sound very safe. I recommend eating at Urban Stack, the terminal brew house, and going to the honest pint for a drink while in Chattanooga.
      Noted, thanks!


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    27. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:53 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by VW...vw...wv...WV View Post
      lot of useful info in here, hope you have a nice trip, and please, if you need some assistance, dont hesitate to call or reach me, if i can help, i will gladly do.
      i am in monterrey, nuevo leon, and can give you info on routes and places. i lived in queretaro, my brother lived in san luis potosi...i have traveled most of your trip thru mexico, a lot of times.
      have some mexican peso around you for brives...if thats the case...100 peso will get you out of troubles, shouldnt be more than that .
      even if i dont condone brives, that could save you a lot of trouble.
      in your entrance to monterrey, coming from nuevo laredo, youll encounter san nicolas de los garza, ugly as hell....next you know you are in downtown monterrey, nothing to see here, and you should get to constitucion ave. that you should take to your right...that will get you to santa catarina (nothing to see here) and then on your way to saltillo, coahuila.
      from laredo, tx to san nicolas, theres about 2.5 hours or regular highway...then think of 1 hour to get from san nicolas to santa catarina, so plan ahead and dont drive thru the city at night, especially this route.
      theres a way around the city..coming from laredo and taking a very lonely viaducto that goes near villa de garcia, on the way to saltillo, but being used by truckers only, very bad maintenance, and thru garcia (dirty,ugly, garcia´s cops tried to kill garcia´s mayor....)...i would drive thru the city as a safer bet.
      in monterrey, theres cabrito, theres carne asada, and thats it...in garcia theres a cave in the mountain with great views and that stalactites thing, but i wouldnt take the risk...

      leaving santa catarina, on your way to saltillo, theres "la carbonera". kinda loop to pass on the outskirts of saltillo, then theres another loop to pass matehuala, and then, theres no stop till queretaro.
      from carbonera to queretaro....roads straight as an arrow, you could easily do 160 kph without anyone noticing...straight boring roads as far as your eyes can see...
      carbonera has some nice (100 kph) uphill curves, but with a lot of truckers going slowly...kinda risky..
      if you want some tortas around matehuala, theres a great sideway stop where they sell "sevillanas" tortas, kinda tasty.
      theres another restaurant called "san Pedro"...dont stop there unless you have urge to pee or want overpriced handrafted thingies from queretaro. food is ugly, but is a safe stop, plenty of people.
      queretaro has something to offer, as well as san juan del rio, on your way to mexico, theres a tree on a convent that grows thorns on a rood shape, theres an ice shop that sells like 1000 home made, natural flavors like avocado, and things like that...
      in general, take common sense on anything...watch your credit card for cloning, dont drive at night on unfamiliar roads, (unsafe roads).....
      I will review your post and take heed where necessary. I appreciate the advice! Thank you!!


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    28. Member pho's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 10:13 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by kornjd View Post
      I will review your post and take heed where necessary. I appreciate the advice! Thank you!
      When traveling through Monterrey, just take Libremiento Monterrey towards Saltillo. That is the most direct route.

      Two quick comments I would like to add are the following:
      1. When driving in Northern Mexico, fill up on gasoline whenever the tank is around 1/2, and stop at the first Pemex that looks busy, and safe.
      2. Think about taking someone for the trip, two is always safer than one, it would be great for you, and the lucky sob thst gets to tag along.

    29. 08-07-2012 10:29 PM #29
      Do not travel at night. Don't forget your Mexican Auto Insurance.

    30. Member dmorrow's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 10:33 PM #30
      Maybe I missed it above but I used to live in Chattanooga and my wifes family is there so we go there a decent amount. How did you get a tour arranged?

      Also, you have Mexican car insurance? If so how do you arrange it before going? I drove my company car across the border and it seemed like a pretty big issue since I believe most insurance companies don't cover you down there.

    31. Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 10:51 PM #31
      Living in Phoenix practically my entire life I've grown up with Mexico having gone from that cool party country south of us to that crazy decapitation capital of the world south of us. It's actually quite sad things have gone as they have. I'm interested to hear the OPs experience, especially given that he's from Canada. I especially liked the "I don't get it, what do you mean green lights don't mean go?" comment. That made me laugh.... Canadians.

    32. Member pho's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 11:24 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by kornjd View Post
      I will review your post and take heed where necessary. I appreciate the advice!
      Make sure you don't wash your car this week.
      When traveling in Northern Mexico, you wanna blend in, and look like you belong.

      Heres a neat trick to keep people off your back, and make damm sure you are never followed. When traveling South, look on both sides of the highway for gasoline stations. When you wanna stop, drain the lizard, buy some soda pop, or top of the tank, look and stop on the opposite side of the highway.

      In Mexico, there are oftentimes twin gasoline stations across from eachother, this is done so travelers dont have to cross the highway to refuel.

      Lemme explain:
      What you wanna do is try to refuel on the opposite side of the highway.
      This accomplishes two goals. First, anybody that sees you refueling is gonna think that you are headed back North. Second, any Mexican cop that sees you, and wants to shake you down for 500 pesos isn't going to do it at the gas station. Damm cop is gonna assume you are heading North, and is gonna drive 2-3km North, and try to wait for you there. So, if you are headed South, cross the divided highway, and refuel on the opposite side.

      Chances are, you'll end up visiting the same gas station when drive back to Canada, so weeding out the good and the bad gas stations is a good idea.

      This little trick is one of the best counter-intelligence techniques you can use in Mexico. Take note, there are several other strategies you will need before roaming into no-mans-land. Prepare for some culture-shock, and the US-MX language barrier. People don't speak English down here.

    33. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 12:23 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by pho View Post
      Also, keep in mind that Mexican Consular offices follow both US & Mexican holidays.
      So, make sure they are open the day you plan to go get your Mexican Visa.

      Here is the contact info of the Mexican Consular Office in Laredo, Texas:
      http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/laredo/i.../1-contactenos
      I don't think that there are any holidays while I am there, but I will try and get my FMM before I get to the border. However, given the tight time constraint, that may not be possible.

      Thank you!


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    34. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 12:25 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by pho View Post
      When traveling through Monterrey, just take Libremiento Monterrey towards Saltillo. That is the most direct route.

      Two quick comments I would like to add are the following:
      1. When driving in Northern Mexico, fill up on gasoline whenever the tank is around 1/2, and stop at the first Pemex that looks busy, and safe.
      2. Think about taking someone for the trip, two is always safer than one, it would be great for you, and the lucky sob thst gets to tag along.
      Hopefully my Garmin will take me that way. Any experience with this?



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      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

    35. Member kornjd's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 12:26 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by pho View Post
      Make sure you don't wash your car this week.
      When traveling in Northern Mexico, you wanna blend in, and look like you belong.

      Heres a neat trick to keep people off your back, and make damm sure you are never followed. When traveling South, look on both sides of the highway for gasoline stations. When you wanna stop, drain the lizard, buy some soda pop, or top of the tank, look and stop on the opposite side of the highway.

      In Mexico, there are oftentimes twin gasoline stations across from eachother, this is done so travelers dont have to cross the highway to refuel.

      Lemme explain:
      What you wanna do is try to refuel on the opposite side of the highway.
      This accomplishes two goals. First, anybody that sees you refueling is gonna think that you are headed back North. Second, any Mexican cop that sees you, and wants to shake you down for 500 pesos isn't going to do it at the gas station. Damm cop is gonna assume you are heading North, and is gonna drive 2-3km North, and try to wait for you there. So, if you are headed South, cross the divided highway, and refuel on the opposite side.

      Chances are, you'll end up visiting the same gas station when drive back to Canada, so weeding out the good and the bad gas stations is a good idea.

      This little trick is one of the best counter-intelligence techniques you can use in Mexico. Take note, there are several other strategies you will need before roaming into no-mans-land. Prepare for some culture-shock, and the US-MX language barrier. People don't speak English down here.
      I will take that advice. Thank you!!


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      Check out my Volkswagen Road Trip! (www.YouTube.com/user/ianNeumeyer)
      From TTAC comments; --> jrosevear - "But how many brands can VW really manage?" qfrog - "I think VW has that number estimated at somewhere between most and all of them."

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