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Published: April 11th 2012
Jueves, (Thursday) 22 Marzo, We left Mazatlan for a boring ten hour (approximately 500 mile) drive to San Carlos. This was our longest day’s drive during the entire 85 day trip. We shelled out 1134 pesos (approximately $90.00) in tolls for the convenience of driving the cuota (toll road) vs the libra (free road) that day. Libras are always a lot more interesting as they pass thru the villages but they take much more time. We could not have made it to San Carlos in one day on the libra and would have had to overnight in one of the abysmal RV parks just south of the border. Thank God for Sirius radio.
I think I wrote in an earlier blog that we upgraded from XM to Sirius just prior to making this trip. Two years ago we traveled thru Central America with John and Johnette. They had a factory installed Sirius radio. We had an after market XM. John’s Sirius entertained them well into Costa Rica. Our XM pooped out in northern Mexico. Other RVers reported similar results. This year, we listened to Sirius us all the way to Zihuatanejo (our southernmost stop) and through the mountains of central
Stopping for fuel at a Pemex somewhere north of Mazatlan, we met up with Sandi and Sandy, a couple of Canadian gals in a one ton Ford carrying a good size Lance camper. Not used to seeing truck-campers, especially with women drivers, I waved. Sandi came over and explained that she and Sandy had been visiting their sister/friend Diane in La Manzanilla.
Diane and her husband and their dog Dixie from B.C. have wintered at La Manzanilla for years. When Diane’s husband came down with Alzheimer’s, Diane continued to drive their truck and tow their 38 foot fifth wheel down to Mexico for another eight years. Diane’s husband passed away this past year so she downsized to a truck camper and again headed back to Mexico with Dixie.
Sandi (the sister) and Sandy (the friend) had both came down to visit and enjoy the sun. Over the winter, Diane’s leg had gradually become so painful that she could no longer walk, let alone drive, so Sandi and Sandy loaded Diane, Dixie, and the rig and headed north. They put Diane on a plane in Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, 21 March and spent their first night on
Great Mexican food.
the road in a Pemex (gas station) parking lot. Neither had any experience driving in Mexico but they were doing great. We invited them to follow us to San Carlos’s Totonaka RV Park where they could rest up, shower and enjoy a good dinner at Charlie's Rock, my favorite San Carlos restaurant.
Now, these are a couple of pretty gutsy gals. Sandi has cooked for her son’s custom combining crew all over Canada driving her truck and pulling a huge fifth wheel so I guess driving Mexican roads was not a big deal for her.
Now remember, we told you Sandi and Sandy put Diane on a flight out of Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, 21 March, because of severe leg pain. Friday morning, 23 March, they called to check on her. Diane was already in surgery in British Colombia for a hip replacement surgery.
Why does the U.S. continue to perpetuate the idea that Canadian health care sucks?
Some conclusions: We drove just under 4000 miles in Mexico. We had absolutely no problems. In some states, (Michoacan & Guerrero) there was heavy military/police presence but not very much in others. We were waved thru almost
all check points without even being stopped. Occasionally, we were asked where we had come from and where we were going. We were thoroughly inspected in Sonora (Mexico’s northern most state) but sailed thru the U.S. border crossing at Nogales. (Last year, we had no out bound inspection but a thorough inspection upon entering the U.S.) Could the U.S. and Mexico be working together?
Our Dodge dually with 9.5 foot Host camper consumed 348 gallons of diesel @ an average cost of $3.00 per gallon. We spent $1044 on fuel.
We spent $358.00 on tolls.
Our camping costs totaled 27,640 pesos or an average of 337 pesos per day. This works out to $26.40. Please keep in mind that Ray and I prefer staying in cities vice more remote areas. The pricier city (400 peso/$31.50 per day) parks boosted our camping cost averages. Most parks charge much less.
I am a news addict. Before I left home, I subscribed to my hometown, San Jose Mercury News, on-line edition. Most mornings, I read the paper while drinking my black Chai Spice tea. If we had mornings to kill, we read on line versions of USA Today, and
Star & Stripes.
Now, two weeks later, we’re back home in San Jose. It’s cold. We’re wearing hoodies. Our tans are fading. We left Mexico too soon.
This weekend, we cleaned the camper top to bottom inside and out, washing the ceilings, walls, cabinet doors etc. Any idea how much dust can accumulate on top of a valance in six years? We brought the thing home from the factory six years ago next month and I’m ashamed to say I’ve never really cleaned its interior. This winter I began to notice the grunginess and made a commitment to thoroughly clean it. Coincidentally, the next time we will take the camper out will to be to a family reunion where we will have the opportunity to show it off to our new brother-in-law Ed, a fellow RVer.
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