La Ruta Maya
La Ruta Maya 2001 was a 14-day overland adventure from Houston, Texas to Belize and Tikal, Guatemala. The trip consisted of a group of Land Rover enthusiasts from across the United States.
Day 1 – Houston, TX to Brownsville, TX
Everyone gathered together for the big send off at Land Rover Houston. Both Dustin and Nathan were running on “Hindman Time” and arrived about 20 minutes late. Dustin was late because he needed to go to AAA to get Mexican and Central American Insurance.
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 make a run for the border, 11 vehicles in all.
The outside temperature is 112 degrees, and very humid.
Lunchtime involved a meal at PJ’s Seafood in Victoria, Texas. A great “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant. After lunch some of the group accidentally made a wrong turn. The error was caught after only 4 vehicles made the turn. Looking at the map, it appeared that both routes would meet back up on Brownsville. We decided to split up into two groups and continue on.
After almost 350 miles and a long day on the road, we pulled into our stop for the night, the Day’s Inn at the border town of Brownsville. Ironically, the group which made the “wrong turn” leaving Victoria arrived at the hotel about 30 minutes ahead of the other group.
Big Bird, Dustin’s 97 Disco XD, was running poorly coming into Brownsville so we lifted up the hood and took a look at it. After about an hour of troubleshooting it was traced to bad gas, ironic since we had yet to cross into Mexico where the fuel was reported to be of a substandard quality. We put some WaterSorb in the tank and it ran great.
After settling into our rooms, everyone split off to finish up some last minute things and get our last bit of American “culture” for the next 2 weeks. We ran to the local Kmart to get some cables and lock downs as well as ratchet straps for the roof rack on the Camel. We then went back to the hotel for an all-too-short nights sleep. The next morning was expected to be a long one, since we had to do our US/Mexico border crossing.