Capt. Jim and I finished up an 18 hour bus ride down from Matamoros to Veracruz, Mexico on the chicken bus. OK it wasn’t a chicken bus and the seats were had about the same legroom as a first class in an airline but it was definitely a bumpy night. There doesn’t seem to be a modern highway until you are right outside of Veracruz. Every little town you go through has axle-killing-filling-loosening speed bumps called the sleeping policeman or Topes.
Veracruz was where Cortez shipped back his (possession being 10/10ths of the law then) gold to Spain. There’s an old Spanish fort in the harbor surrounded by a seedy industrial waterfront. The town has a kind of dilapidated colonial charm.