Thursday 11 April 2024

A Little Trouble Makes Life Interesting

WHERE ARE WE? Larado, Texas, USA

We got up in good time and I got the Stinky Stowed and ready for travel.  The mast I built seems to be working just fine.  It is sure easy to put up and store.  We got on the road by about 8:30.

We have a little over 600 kms to go today.  About half way through today we both said that we will break our trips up into smaller legs from now on if we can.  Here is a map of our trip today.

Our trip today was full of slow downs and major truck traffic with a fair share of accidents.  We were about and hour at one spot and a couple others were 15 to 25 minute delays.   This road is 99 percent truck traffic and they are sometimes almost bumper to bumper going 100 kms or more.  The amount of freight that goes up and down this road in a day is unbelievable.  I often wonder how many of those trucks are carrying drugs of some sort.  It would be tough to screen that many trucks at the border without quite a few slipping through.

One of the accidents had a lot of police and army guys passing on the shoulder and in the ditch.  Most of the highways have a dirt road that runs in the ditch alongside so it is handy for emergency vehicles to get by the traffic.

We saw quite a few multi axle trailers with big vessels on them today.  They must be transporting them south somewhere.

We are always amazed at all the industry in the cities of Saltillo and Monterey.  Monterey is the second largest city in Mexico with Mexico City being the largest.  Guadalajara is number 3!!!

Miles and miles of row housing I guess for the workers in the factories and in the cement industry.   Every house is exactly the same for as far as the eye can see.

And for our daughter Kaitlyn who works in the traffic control world, these delineators were piled in the ditch for a long way.  I would say thousands of them.  There is a big project coming up I guess.  Maybe ATS should bid some jobs in Mexico?

About 150 kms before the border we had a couple guys honk and point at the jeep.  I found a place to stop and found out that one of the jeep brake drums was getting hot.  It was bad enough that it was smoking a bit.  I figured the brake pad must have fell down and was dragging.  I gave it a good go over with the hammer and dug out some brake pad and we continued on for another 30 km or so.  It didn't seem as hot this time and was not smoking.  I hate stopping close to Larado because it is just a bad area to be in supposedly.  I have never had a problem but I pushed on.  I checked one more time, and yes it was hot but still not crazy hot.  We finally made it to the border, and yes it was really hot by now.  We were about 15 minutes turning in our TIPs on the Mexican side, and and another 5 minutes at US  customs and we were off again.  

We were heading to the Welcome Center in Larado which was another 30 kms or so.  It was dark by the time we got a few KMs up the road.  At the border, I notice that the seal on the wheel must have failed from the heat because there was oil on the tire.  By the time we got to the Welcome Center it was really really hot.  I hope we have not caused too much damage.

 The Welcome Center is a really nice spot to check out and a good overnight spot.  We will forget about our trouble till morning and have a good sleep.

We will have the reefer melody tonight for sure.

A little bit of supper, some Survivor and off to bed.  Lots to do tomorrow.  Good Nite!!

Wednesday 10 April 2024

We Made it to Matehuala on Day 2

WHERE ARE WE? Las Palmas Hotel, Matehuala San Luis Potosi Mexico

We enjoyed our brief stay at Villa Corona last night and I was up at the crack of dawn to experience swimming in the Thermal pool just after they filled it up.  I was up before the roosters this morning!!  Now remember we had a time change so my body thought it was 6:07!!

They were still filling the big pool when I arrived for my morning soak.  The water is thermal water from the ground and they don't add anything to it.  They drain their pools each night and sanitize them.  This time of year they only fill one pool each day.

We decided to move on this morning and so about 8:30 we went back to the pools to say goodbye to JR and Clo.  They are staying for a few days.  We will definitely put this park on our radar for another years travels.  It looks like Sue was telling a fish story to them.  LOL

 When we walked back through the picnic area, we came across the remnants of last nights party.  The culture here is to eat drink and have fun and don't worry about the mess.  


So we travelled just a little under 600 kms today.  Tolls were not too bad.  I will give a grand total tomorrow night.  This was our route today.

Normal traffic today with a bit of construction was all the excitement we had.  I still marvel at how traffic moves even on a 2 lane road.  Everyone puts one wheel on the shoulder which opens up a passing lane down the middle.  All you have to watch for is someone passing from the other direction.  Works real well.

Like the past 2 years, we passed through the Monarch Butterfly fly way but didn't see a single butterfly.  But we saw the signs.

We arrived in Matahuala at the Las Palmas Hotel at 5:50 pm.  It was a long day of driving with a lot of it at 80 kms per hour.  All of the 2 lane highway have an 80 km speed limit and I try to stay close to it.

If you are an RV, you have to drive down this little dirt trail and wait at the gate for someone to come let you in.  Very much Mexican and I love it.

We noticed a brand new Walmart across the street so went and picked up a few things to eat.  It is very much like any American Walmart but it does cater to Mexican items.  We never thought to ask if they let RV's park there LOL.  We have another big day tomorrow so its bed time now.  Good Nite!!

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Day One on the Road

WHERE ARE WE? Chimulco RV Park, Villas Corona, Jalisco, Mexico

Well our time in La Penita has come to a close for this season.  We have enjoyed spending time with Kenia and her family as well as old and new friends.  We got all loaded up and then it was time for goodbye's.  

Of course goodbyes sometimes go on forever and that was the case today.  Kenia and Oscar would love to be coming with us but that is not possible.  If Kenia gets busy and gets a visa, she may be able to come visit this summer.

So Oscar rode with me until we stopped to hook up the Jeep in La Colonia.  Then after saying goodbye again, we left them behind and headed out.

I managed to get around to turning my hitch on the motorhome upside down so the Jeep pulls a little more level.  That will work just great.

The new toll road now connects us to the 15D cuota that takes us to Guadalajara.  For the last 3 trips we have had to head up the long narrow winding 200 highway to Compostela before turning on the the Cuota.  It is about an hour driving with white knuckles which tends to wear you out before the trip begins.  This year there is none of that, however, you trade the ease of driving and about a 45 minute time saving, for some hefty tolls.  We got on the toll road at Las Varas and took it all the way to Guadalajara and it cost us about 1800 pesos, or about $145 Cnd.  The white knuckle part from Las Varas to Compostela was 600 pesos or $48.

Today we are going to stop at Villas Corona and meet up with JR and Clo there.  They left a little after us, but they passed us on the road.  Their little rig is a lot faster than us.  The name of the park we are going to is Chimulco and it is noted for its thermal pools.  

As I was driving around the park to find my spot we saw a couple in a little trailer.  Sue commented on the nice yard and when we got to our spot the lady from the trailer came around the corner.  Yup it was Angie!  Her and her husband Stephan were in the Little Rig RV park 2 years ago for a while.  Wow it is a small world.  They have been doing lots of touring in Mexico and are loving it here.

Anyway we got parked up and got things kinda set up for the night.  Not sure about tomorrow and whether we will stick around or make a run for it.  Tune in tomorrow for that decision.

I went over to check out the pools.  They were already being drained for the night. The water was only about ankle to knee deep.  These pools are fed warm to hot thermal water and it comes in large quantities so it doesn't take long to fill these massive pools.  There are about 4 big ones and as many smaller ones.  Every day they are drained and cleaned and because right now is low season for use, they will probably only fill one tomorrow morning.  I am looking forward to my morning swim around 7:30 am.  

The grounds here are quite pretty and the trees are beginning to blossom.  There is one tree here that has beautiful purple flowers that I love.  I got to chatting to JR and Clo and completely forgot a sunset tonight.  Oh well. 

Here is a map of our travels today.  Although we call it our northward trek, today we will travel mostly east and a little south. We are at Chimulco RV Park, Villas Corona, Jalisco, Mexico.  Good Nite!!!