Mexico Travels: Isla Aguada and Palenque

Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

By LYNN FRIZZELL

Isla Aguada is a small village across the bay from Isla Del Carmen, about thirteen hundred miles down the Mexican Gulf Coast a good way past Vera Cruz. I had read an article many years before about an adventurer describing the area, and the variety of seafood available at Alvarado, a small town across a big river from the city of Vera Cruz. The article made it sound like a great adventure, but I wouldn’t think about it seriously for maybe twenty years later.

I was interested in tarpon fishing and had heard that tarpon fishing at Isla Aguada was a good bet and maybe my dream of adventure there would finally come true. I was experienced in Mexico travels and no fear about a trip that far. It would require that we drive nonstop to make it work. I was driving a Chevrolet Suburban and in that we could have one guy sleeping and two upfront changing off driving. Tom Muir, one of my friends involved, had an aluminum boat, trailer and motor. We planned to leave after work on a Friday and would meet Eric Schaudies, who had to work later than Tom and me at Garcia’s Lounge in Matamoros, and Tom and I would have time to arrange our visas and car papers at the bridge.

When Eric arrived, we drove to Las Portales restaurant on the southern outskirts of Matamoros for an early supper. We left Matamoros about 6:00 PM. There are several small towns along the way and I have forgotten the names, but about midnight we were stopped by police. They wanted to know why we were driving that late at night and where we were going. After we convinced them that all was on the

level, they laughed with us and bad us “Buen Viaje!”

We drove through Tampico about daylight. It was one of the trashiest towns of that size I had ever seen. The Panuco river was just outside town and a ferry was taken to cross. Soon the terrain changed into rolling hills with much greenery and vast acres planted to citrus trees.

This provided us with a delightful sight which was different than what I seen up to now, in Mexico.

A lot of the trip was driving at night, at least the first 12 hours and the last 12 hours, so we had limited scenery. What there was a delight to see — orange groves, banana plantations and sugar cane.

We crossed many ferries, some being late at night and most of them had a palm fond shelter with all kinds of fruit and other stuff to sale. We had a meal or two with the plate containing banana like fried plantains. These were very tasty. At one ferry landing we each bought a coconut with the husk still on, but a whole cut in the top with a machete. We then squeezed some lime juice and poured some rum into it and voila, a Yucatan Cocktail