Posts From Mexico


Nina's Birthday and our entry into Mexico. We learned about Topes (Alamo, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 22nd Jun, 2009 (day 100, miles 18038)

At one level today was a lot of miles, that started very early and drove without many stops for 450 miles. But on the other hand it was a day of sudden and complete emersion.

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Tajin Ruins and a tour of the Tecolutla River (Tecolutla, Mexico)

Journal entry for Tuesday 23rd Jun, 2009 (day 101, miles 18188)

I forgot to mention in yesterdays journal that mid afternoon we crossed the Tropic of Cancer at latitude 33°N. The only marker or monument was a forlorn yellow ball, a photo of which is included in yesterdays entry. This event got Nina and I thinking and we were a little amazed to realize that from the Arctic Circle to the yellow ball we have travelled across 33° of latitude, and we have a like distance to go before we get to the Equator at Quito Ecuador, the same distance again to the tropic of Capricorn in Chile and yet more distance before we turn north again from Patagonia. I think this is the first time we have really appreciated how far we have planned to travel.

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Todays highlight, driving around Vera Cruz (PEMEX Station, Mexico)

Journal entry for Wednesday 24th Jun, 2009 (day 103, miles 18493)

We were underway by 6:00 am this morning, todays leg is long.

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To Mexico!!! (Esquintla, Mexico)

Journal entry for Friday 10th Sep, 2010 (day 546, miles 53134)

This morning, on the road west (CA-2) towards the Mexican border, we got some great views of the volcanoes for which Guatemala is famous. The sky was clear and the mountains mostly free of mist.

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Across the Isthmus (Catemaco, Mexico)

Journal entry for Saturday 11th Sep, 2010 (day 547, miles 53488)

We had a long drive today, along highway 200 on good 4 lane road to La Ventosa, and then on highway 185 a generally bad pot-holed road with lots of topes, to Acayucan and finally to Catmaco through a heavy rain storm.

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Along the Emerald Coast (Uzuluama, Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 12th Sep, 2010 (day 548, miles 53838)

It rained heavily over night adding to the rain that this area has already experienced. We traveled coastal highway 180 this morning to the Vera Cruz bypass. For some of its length this road runs along a narrow sliver of land between the gulf on one side and lakes and wetlands on the other. Signs of recent flooding were everywhere with debris on the road surface, in places water from the lakes still lapping over the road and many houses still partly under water. Initially we were not sure that the road was open so we kept track of a number of Vera Crus bound buses and when they did not take the turnoff that bypassed the suspect section of road we knew we were ok.

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Across the border (Baja Seasons, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 24th Dec, 2012 (day 173, miles 17367)

We were both pretty relaxed as we headed south east towards the border town of Tecate for our long planned entry into Mexico. What a contrast to the nerves we experienced back in June 2009 when with Norm (our guide) we entered via McAllen, TX for the first time.

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Merry Christmas from Nina and Rob (Estero Beach, Mexico)

Journal entry for Tuesday 25th Dec, 2012 (day 174, miles 17400)

We had agreed many months ago that Santa would not be leaving any stockings for us this year (as we had already spent many years christmas allowances on our yellow vehicle) so there were none of the usual Christmas rituals this morning. Instead we spent the morning strolling on the deserted beach, exploring and photographing the Baja Seasons establishment and catching up on chores.

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Beaches, birds and narrow roads (Fidel's El Pabellon Palapas Alvinos, Mexico)

Journal entry for Wednesday 26th Dec, 2012 (day 175, miles 17533)

We made the most of our morning at the Estero Beach Resort, taking a walk, photographing the birds in the estuary, topping up the water tanks and dumping. Thereafter was a short stop at Costco, Walmart, and Starbucks for a touch of Americana and a few provisions. Then onto Mex 1 headed for San Quintin about 200km away.

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Bolder fields, Boojum trees and Onyx (Rancho Sanata Inez, Mexico)

Journal entry for Thursday 27th Dec, 2012 (day 176, miles 17659)

Our route today took us away from the Pacific coast and into the desert (and deserted) mountains that comprise the spine of the peninsular to the small town of Catavina; sparce traffic, few towns, and narrow roads were the order of the day. The scenery was not unlike the Sonora desert of southern Arizona except for the appearance of a form of plant we had not seen before - it was the Cirios or Boojum tree - a notceably tapering column structure all covered in spines with a flower on top.

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The Sea of Cortez (Bahia De Los Angeles, Mexico)

Journal entry for Friday 28th Dec, 2012 (day 177, miles 17773)

Some how I lost the text I had typed for this days entry. I have included the photos and will rewrite the entry in the near future.

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What a road (San Francisquito (almost), Mexico)

Journal entry for Saturday 29th Dec, 2012 (day 178, miles 17838)

We initially expected todays journey to be a gentle side excursion from Bahia De Los Angeles (south 80 miles to San Francisquito, thence 45 miles west to El Arco and then 26 miles back to Mex 1) for at least the first leg to San Francisquito was described in our guide book as "suitable for small RVs and even pickups with small boat trailers". We modified our expectation somewhat when we heard yesterday from some of the other tourists that the recent Baja 200 (or Baja 1000 depending on which particular tourist) had recently run through that road and it may be a little chopped up. The reality was, however, altogether different to any expectation. In over 8 hours of driving we had traveled only 65 miles, not even reaching San Francisquito before the day started to fade. Not only had we shaken the truck unmercifully for those 8 hours but we had also climbed our way over and around numerous wash aways in the road that in some cases reduced the road width to less than our truck and in the process gave Nina a bad case of the shakes. At the end of the day we could confidently tell any other travelers that asked that; The Baja race had indeed chopped up the road. But so had many years without maintenance. And this road certainly was not suitable for small RVs.

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Escape from rough roads (Ojo De Liebre, Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 30th Dec, 2012 (day 179, miles 17973)

Anxiety got us going early this morning. There was still a little doubt in our minds as to whether there was a road from San Francisquito to El Arco and even if there was we figured we might need the entire day to cover the distance what we estimated to be another 80 miles back to Mex 1. About an hour on, our anxiety was somewhat reduced as we found an intersection and some signs. Left to San Francisquito and right to El Arco. At this point also the nature of the roads changed (or more accurately the nature of the roughness changed). Yesterday the road did not really have washboards, but rather large "whoops" (like washboards but about 3 feet between high points - we assumed caused by high speed vehicles). At this intersection the washboards arrived and they arrived in force.

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Gringos on a beach (Playa Escondida, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 31st Dec, 2012 (day 180, miles 18170)

Nearly 200 miles today, by our standards that's almost a long day. The yellow beast combined with the narrow (though today in all other ways good) roads limit us to a top speed of 50mph. Thus with stops for lunch etc 200 miles represents a 6 hour day. Much of today was more flat desert scenery. The towns of San Ignacio and Mulege gave a surprise break from the desert with big stands of palm trees forming the center of the towns; real desert oases. Another visual respite from the flat desert was the town of Santa Rosalia, an old copper mining town (the mine is now closed) perched right on the shores of the Sea of Cortez at the bottom of some spectacular hills and an equally spectacular descent.

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The Sierra Gigante (Ciudad Constitucion,, Mexico)

Journal entry for Tuesday 1st Jan, 2013 (day 181, miles 18332)

A happy new year to you all from Nina and Rob. We were excited this morning to think that this is the year we plan to travel across the Eurasian continent. We have been saying 'next year' for so long that it has become a reflex. Right on the heels of that thought was the realization that based on our tentative plan we will actually ship the truck out of US west coast in 11 weeks. Yiks; thats not far off; and boy do we have a lot to do between now and then. Nina immediately started making a list. These thoughts have irretrievably turned our mind towards preparation for Russia and the things we have to do after Mexico.

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A travel day - nothing to report (La Paz, Mexico)

Journal entry for Wednesday 2nd Jan, 2013 (day 182, miles 18465)

Sorry - I added this entry simply to have the camping and location details.

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Other overlanders and a car wash (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)

Journal entry for Thursday 3rd Jan, 2013 (day 183, miles 18577)

This morning we spent some time talking to a group (of two vehicles each with two people) from Swiztland. We had a pleasant hour or so comparing notes about vehicles, talking about our respective past travels. It was interesting to Nina and I that one of the couples had recently completed a crossing of Russia and Mongolia.

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Cabo, cousins and some time at the beach (Los Barriles, Mexico)

Journal entry for Friday 4th Jan, 2013 (day 184, miles 18656)

We had arranged to meet a cousin of Nina's this afternoon so we had time for a relaxed morning. We started the day with a drive through downtown Cabo which required some careful maneuvering through narrow streets and under low hanging trees, before heading west towards San Jose del Cabo. Along the way we stopped at Chileno beach for an hour or so to catch some sun. The beach was well looked after, the area was clean and tidy and well maintained restrooms were provided. There was a policeman in the parking lot presumably to ensure that things stayed orderly.

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Boomers in paradise (La Ventana, Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 6th Jan, 2013 (day 186, miles 18697)

A short drive up the coast from Los Barriles brought us to the wind surfing and kite boarding mecca of La Ventana, a modest and dispersed settlement on the shores of the Sea of Cortez. As we approached the place mostly white buildings could be seen scattered along the shore and hundreds of big kites could be seen pulling boarders across the surface of the blue sea. It was quite a spectacular sight, and also a bit of a surprise. Our guide books description had led us to expect that the place would be undeveloped, with no facilities and with a small population of hardy wind surfer types.

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Air trouble (Ciudad Constitucion, Mexico)

Journal entry for Monday 7th Jan, 2013 (day 187, miles 18868)

From La Ventana is was only 35 miles to the city of La Paz up over a modest mountain range. In La Paz we resupplied in the very extensive Walmart store, and a Pemex gas station before undertaking the relatively uninteresting drive to Ciudad Constitucion. Throughout the day the wind strengthened and blowing dust became more wide spread so that by the time we got to Constitucion we selected a campground that we hoped would give us some shelter from the wind and dust.

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Sand, sun and other Aussies (El Requeson, Mexico)

Journal entry for Wednesday 9th Jan, 2013 (day 189, miles 19020)

We had a few hiccups and repairs before hitting the road this morning. In preparation for getting under way I checked the trucks tires for correct pressure. In the process one of the valves stuck open and released a good quantity of air before resealing itself. In addition all tires were a little low so I broke out the air hose. When I inserted the hose-end connector into the connector on the air tank the internals of the tank connector dislodged and released all the air in the tank. With the air tank empty and the connector stuck open the truck could not build any air pressure and hence we were not going anywhere until I could fix it. Thankfully after ratting around in my mess of spare parts I found a new connector. With that installed and the tires re-inflated we were on our way. Or at least on our way to the local Ley supermarket.

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