On the hunt down Mexico way
FREMANTLE, WA WE told everyone we were headed to Mexico. We got tips about places to go, where to avoid, sights to see, food to seek out. The plan was to land in Los Angeles, check out a few places in the US, then hurry down south of the border. Things didn’t quite go to plan. Memphis, Tennessee, with its magnificent Peabody Hotel, Elvis’s Graceland and the ribs at the Rendezvous, kept us much longer than expected.
The Grand Old Opry in Nashville with Tom T. Hall, Porter Wagoner and Ricky Skaggs was too tempting. And of course we needed to point our rented Lincoln in the direction of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in the dry county of Lynchville.
Then down to San Antonio. Well, what a town. We didn’t want to leave. Mexico was suddenly looking a long way away. In our room at the Menger Hotel, overlooking the Alamo, was a brochure for a train trip into Mexico and accommodation for two nights. I booked.
First stop was a hotel in Laredo, then a bus across the Rio Grande to Nuevo Laredo. My memories of the train trip are hazy but I recall cacti and plastic bags.
The friendly American owner of our accommodation picked us up at a tiny station. Heseemed surprised by our lack of luggage but shrugged and offered us each a beer for the ride.
The place was great — circular with a huge open living area in the middle; our guestroom was on the first floor. We’d hardly settled in when six margaritas arrived. Minutes later the waiter reappeared. The drinks had been delivered to the wrong room. He seemed surprised at how much we’d already consumed.
That night we played pool with some American guests. They were puzzled why we’d chosen a hunting lodge when we clearly had no intention of hunting. Hunting lodge?
In the cool of early morning I joined one of the Americans by the pool. He was on to his second bloody mary and wasn’t happy. ‘‘These sons-of-bitches promised good huntin’,’’ he said. ‘‘Well we got nothin’.’’
As we left the next day we saw lots of dead things lined up outside the lodge. My new American friend was there and I have to say he did look rather pleased with himself. Send your 400-word contribution to Follow the Reader: travel@ theaustralian.com.au. Columnists receive an Aubecq frypan ($99.99) from the Evergreen Classic range of ceramic-based ecocookware with nonstick coating. More: (02) 9662 3450; morganware.com.au; petersofkensington. com.au.