Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/31

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21
PRESENT FACILITIES FOR TRAVEL.

With a better government and increased rail-road facilities, the amount of travel in Mexico has of late years greatly increased. Before the opening of the "Mexican Central," in 1883, the majority of travelers entered the country at the port of Vera Cruz, and journeyed by railroad (opened in 1873) to the capital (two hundred and sixty-three miles), and returned without stopping en route in either case; or else made excursions of no great distance from points on our southern frontier into the northern tier of Mexican States—Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas—such journeys being usually made on horseback, with preparations for camping out, and also for fighting if it became necessary. Since the opening of the "Mexican Central," however, this route offers the greatest facilities for those who desire to reach the city of Mexico, the traveler journeying by a fast train, day and night, the whole route (twelve hundred and twenty-five miles) from El Paso, in the very best of Pullman cars, over a good road, with every accommodation save that of food, which, in spite of the efforts of the company, is and will continue to be bad, simply because the country furnishes few resources—milk selling at some points as high as twenty-five cents a quart and scarce at that, while butter as a product of the country is almost unknown. But enter Mexico by whatever route, the ordinary