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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Highway 180 hugs the east coast of Mexico and has long been the route of people living in the Yucatan back to the USA. Once a neighbor told me they took their motor home up the center or spine of Mexico instead of 180 and they said, "Never again." I'll bet now they would change their mind. I learned long ago to avoid the traffic of downtown Tuxpam, Poza Rica and Papantla by heading toward Tuxpam then going through Alamo, the road is like glass there then you turn east just before Tuxpam through Alamo.

A lot has changed in the past few years, once you start approaching Coasta Esmeralda you just think there are potholes but potholes aren't the word, these are craters 8 to 10 inches deep that an blow tires and damage suspension if you it them at any speed. But this is like a toll road compared to north of Alamo. For miles highway 180 can no longer be called a highway, in fact in places it can't really be considered a road. Miles of huge craters making you slow down to 5 - 15 MPH as the holes are so frequent you cannot pass the 18 wheelers pulling double trailers.

Then after the holes there is just broken pavement, this gives way to just gravel. The new highway to the west has begun but is 5 to 10 years from completion, if you need to take this route, leave yourself about 4 hours extra and bring along a lot of patience and some aspirin.

If you stop for a break in Alamo you will see why, the semi trucks power brake to slow down in all of the smaller villages and there are no weigh stations here that I have ever seen, this literally tears the pavement loose. Years of neglect have now led to a terrible highway.
 

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That's very important info my friend. What is the route from Laredo - CDMX then CDMX-Merids?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's very important info my friend. What is the route from Laredo - CDMX then CDMX-Merids?

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I have never left Laredo, I'm sure someone here can help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Highway 180 is still navigable, it is just terrible in places. We saw two spectacular wrecks of semi trucks, one hauling a huge concrete bridge span and another rolled over on it's side. In both cases we just got passed and saw the crane approaching the wrecks. These huge rigs and loads need an actual crane to set up and lift the load and then a huge wrecker rolls the cab over to haul it.

Once they set up, no one can pass until it is done and we dodged the bullet both times. Then in Texas we passed a 26 vehicle pileup with 6 semis and 20 cars, they too were stuck for hours.
 

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I did the Xpuhil Escarcega Villahermosa road a couple of days ago and the road is very good.. that is the way I would go..
Trucks go too fast on any road and turnover on a regular basis I saw several accidents with large trucks last week and the Palenque San Cristobal road was full of trucks that did not stay on their side of the road and that was really scary to see them cut the curves ...
 

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I once saw the most horrific sight in my life, it was on my birthday. I was driving from Tlayacapan Morelos to Mexico City. A truck had just run over a whole heard of sheep, there were mutilated dead and live sheep. The stench of feces from the guts that were ruptured was still present for many years. The radio was talking about John Lennon being shot, and I was on my way to the ABC hospital to see my friend Carlos who had just taken about five 00 of buckshot the nigth before, he never walked again. You grow up fast on the roads of Mexico...

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The truck was on it's side, down the slope and smoke was coming out. Not heavy smoke, a little wisp of smoke. The only sound was that of sheep crying, and the radio talking about Lennon...

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Trucks go too fast on any road and turnover on a regular basis ..... trucks that did not stay on their side of the road and that was really scary to see them cut the curves ...
They drive a la 'viva mexico" part of the "Alli se va" or the "no pasa nada" culture. And if you die, it was your turn, (ya te tocaba).

Very Mexican song, every Mexican knows it, from Jose Alfredo Jimenez...
Life is worthless, it starts out crying and that's how it ends, that's why in Leon Gto. - la vida no vale nada, comienza siempre llorando, y así llorando se acaba.


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I was just listening to it yesterday as I was driving, some vendor sold me a cd by some mariachi band and this is one of the songs..
 

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That's very important info my friend. What is the route from Laredo - CDMX then CDMX-Merids?

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Google Maps is your friend.....

Generally speaking: Laredo to Monterrey to Saltillo to below Queretaro; then take cuota Arco Norte M40D skirting CMDX to the north around to roughly Puebla.
Continue on east towards Villahermosa on 150D, 145D and 180D. From there pick your poison as to how to drive up to Merida.
 

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There is no need to go to CDMX to go to Merida any longer. The Arco Norte changed all that.
We used to have to cross CDMX to go to CHiapas and it is a pain, first you have to have the right plates and the police in Mexico State and in CDMX is pretty bad.. now you can zoom along from Queretaro to San Juan del Rio and through Puebla without any problem. Except for the pretty descent into Orizaba the road is extremely straight and boring all the way to Merida.
By the way I always heard Escarcega was hell and agreed with that statement but there is a decent hotel there called Primavera Real which seems new clean and pleasant..
Speaking with a hotel owner in Xpuhil I was told the police in Escarcega is really crooked.. the town is the pits but it seems that you have to go through one way or the other. I like the Champoton way to Merida but you can also go via Bacalar ...
 

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Thanks Citlali (isnt that butterfly in Nauhuatl? - just guessing) .
My mother, two brothers and college friends an old girlfriend, and a buddy that will ride with me to Merida are in CDMX.
I might circumvent via Puebla and meet relatives in Morelos and then hit CDMX on the way back North.

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As far as I know Citlali is the Nahuatl word for star,,, that is the name of one of my xoloitzcuintli...

Since the roads or part of the roads go bad and get fixed with every season it is a good idea to mention when the road was bad as well. I go back and forth to Chiapas a lot and the state of the road changes with every trip I take...there is usually at least one bad stop in the trip but not always at the same place.
 

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As far as I know Citlali is the Nahuatl word for star,,, that is the name of one of my xoloitzcuintli...
I was just guessing. You have those dogs? I hope you don't use them as a heater then eat them. Just kidding, AFAIK the Aztecs used to eat them.

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Google Maps is your friend.....

Generally speaking: Laredo to Monterrey to Saltillo to below Queretaro; then take cuota Arco Norte M40D skirting CMDX to the north around to roughly Puebla.
Continue on east towards Villahermosa on 150D, 145D and 180D. From there pick your poison as to how to drive up to Merida.
Thanks !
Sometimes maps show all roads as solid lines. They all look nice and safe.
It's good to ask in case somebody know something about the road.

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If I ever drive it (big if), I'd be going to/from Cancun, so the key decision for me is whether to go via Merida or take the 186 across to Bacalar and then north. But it's all in the future and quite tentative, so where the potholes are today doesn't matter if they're just going to move them.
 
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