Monthly Archives: January 2009

Retorno de Mexico

We had a early direct flight back to Cancun on Sunday. We used the public transportation low cost way to go to and from the airport to our campground, MecoLoco, in Puerto Juarez. International flights arrive at terminal 3, so we took a free, every 20 min, shuttle bus to terminal 2 from where the airport buses leave. There are First Class ADO buses to Playa del Carmen and Cancun City. They leave every 30 min to Cancun and cost 40 pesos. You then just walk across the street to catch a Collectivo van to Punta Sam which passes by about every 10 minutes, it costs only 4-1/2 pesos. We were back in camp by 11:15 AM, everything was fine in our RV. The refrigerator was still running fine. We were disconnected from the power while we were gone but our solar panels keep the batteries fully charged.

Monday, we went back into town to stock up on fresh food at a big Soriano in a nearby mall. We took a beach walk and just read our books. On Tuesday we decided to get an early start and took a bike ride to the end of the road on Isla Blanca. It was warm but breezy and Peggy pooped out coming back from our 19 mile ride. I reminded her that “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. She informed me that her new found strength will be used today for sitting in the shade on the beach reading a book.

The campground has 100 sites that probably only will comfortably fit 50 RV campers, but we seldom have more than 15, most of which choose to spend the entire winter here. We are camping across from two friends that we met first at Catemaco. Rudy from Switzerland and his wife Regina from Paraguay decided to buy new bicycles and take some of the rides that we took. They eventually plan to tour USA, Alaska, Canada, Central and South America. This is just a shakedown cruise for the used RV they purchased in Texas.

John & Elsie from Wisconsin have been wintering in Mexico for over 20 years and even though they are both are over 80 years old they are quite active with John riding his bike every day and Elsie walking all around the city of Cancun.

 

And I Feel Like I Gotta Travel On

 We rode our bikes a lot since there is a nice 4 mile section of paved highway with little or no traffic heading past Punta Sam down Isla Blanca. The only thing we ever see on the road, except for the beautiful scenery of flowers and a world class golf course, are other bikers and a driving school taking new drivers down the road. The little used road starts about two miles from the campground and makes a nice early morning ride, since temperatures get up into the high 80’s every day. The rest of the time we are either getting in a lot of book reading or sitting in the shade on the beach. I also found that I could ride 2 1/2 miles in the other direction using gravel roads with no cars and a short stretch down a city street to a Bodega Aurrera grocery store which is owned by Wal-Mart.

 

But we think it’s time to move along. We are tired of listen to the barking dogs here each night. We plan to go South back though Cancun and shop at Sam’s club then either boondock at Punta Beta just North of Playa Del Carmen or go back to Acamaya Reef Campground which was right on a really nice beach. Then who knows, it depends on when we get bored again, but we do have Merida in our itinerary. It’s been 23 years since we were there and I think it has grown into a large city.

“We played around and stayed around this old town too long” the words of an old song, so now it’s time for “On the Road Again”. We have been back at MecoLoco Trailer Park for a whole week. The time flew by and we really didn’t do all that much.

South along the Mayan Riviera

We did some serious stocking up at the new Sam’s Club in Cancun. We then went to take a look at a beach camping spot just North of Playa Del Carmen at a location called Punta Beta. There was supposed to be camping at Los Pinos restaurant on the beach. As we drove in next to the big Coca Cola distributer we saw that the road was in much better shape then we had read. We then saw about a hundred new condos as we neared the ocean. We spotted a sign for the Los Pinos at the entrance to the condo parking lot, the guards said yes there was a restaurant but the road was down their wide sidewalk and it wasn’t good for our RV but a new construction road could get us there but was presently blocked by a big dump truck. I decided to walk down to Los Pinos and take a look. It is jammed between the new construction and the beach and they really had no room for even a small RV. The nice wide beach there looked great however, but this is what has been happening all over Mexico. You find a great spot and someone builds a new hotel or condo and eliminates the camping.

So we turned around and headed about 10 miles North to Puerto Morelos to Acamaya Reef where we stayed last month. There were three RV’s there and all the construction noise from the new hotel was still going on. I negotiated a little lower camping price of $25 instead of $30. I found out that the guy next to me was paying $35 but had a big fifth wheel camper. I guess they charge by camper size. We paid for two nights to see if we could take the noise and had a nice beach walk. Just as we returned it started to rain and it really came down, raining all night long and all the next day, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun.

The French speaking campground owner and his wife invited the other three campers who also happened to speak French to an early pot-luck dinner. Since we had made friends with two of the couples, they invited us to join them. Peggy quickly whipped up a nice cake in our microwave convection oven. We had a nice time, the other campers brought some vegetable and cheese  appetizers and the owners furnished the main course of pot roast and potatoes along with beverages. We had a good time but the rain dampened our spirits and we decided that we had enough of this campground.

We puzzled over where to go next,; head to the big city of Merida or stay on the coast. We decided we didn’t want to leave the beautiful turquoise water of the Caribbean yet. So we left early Wed morning to go back to Xpu-Ha another place that we stayed last month. It was full when we left but we held out hope that maybe we could find a way to fit back in. We got there early all and the other campers greeted us and showed us that the same place we had camped was available since someone had just left a few days ago. The big surprise was that they had totally rewired the electric power, installing 2 nice 30 amp grounded receptacles for each camp site. Of course the power was not working so we just plugged into our neighbors extra outlet. Maybe we can find out why they don’t work, they sure look good. I hung up my hammock and signed up for their slow Wi-Fi.
Map & Plans

Big Change in Plans

Our Mexican trip has come to a close. We just found out that Peggy’s sister in Atlanta is in the hospital with a serious illness and Peggy needs to get back there to help out. We had a great time. We especially loved the beach at Xpu-Ha and all the campers who made us feel very welcome. We had a cocktail hour every afternoon and enjoyed trading travel stories.

The trip was very relaxing and we enjoyed all the new campgrounds we went to this year. We have never taken the RV to the Yucatan before although we have been here a couple of times on trips where we flew in.

We hope the trip back though Mexico goes well, I’ll report on places we camped or problems we ran into.

Back at Trailer Park De Alba

We left at 7 AM from Xpu-Ha before any of our neighbors were up. After a 10 hr drive we got to Chiapas at the Pemex at the intersection of the road that goes to Palenque. We parked in the corner and it was not too noisy from the trucks going in and out.
We Left at 6 AM and found the the Cuota (Toll road) had worse pavement than the roads we traveled on Sunday. So it was a little slower going and we stopped a few times. I didn’t realize how expensive the tolls were and almost ran out of peasos.

Just before Vera Cruz we missed the cuota turn to Cardel and went around in circles until we got back on track. Found a bank machine in Cardel to get more pesos and got to Trailer park de Alba around 4:30 PM.

They haven’t improved the electric yet but Mike said they were working on it.

Hit the road this morning at 8 AM.

Almost to Atlanta

On Tuesday we left Trailer Park De Alba around 8 AM and made it through Tampico without taking the bypass. We went up MX-180 and stopped at a Pemex in Soto La Marina. For anyone heading to the border this road was widened and paved from Soto all the way to MX-101. This is the easiest and fastest way to get to the US border from Tampico rather than going through Ciudad Victoria.

Our Wednesday morning drive took another 4 hours from Soto to the border at Los Indios. We found a long line at US customs, in the past the most we saw was 1 or 2 cars, It took us 45 minutes which included a search of the RV for meat, fruit, eggs, and onions & potatoes. Of course they found none.

After a short shopping stop in Harlingen we drove all the way to my cousin Rich’s home in Houston. We found out that Tracey has one more week to go and they will have a new baby boy named Finn. We just stayed overnight and cleaned up to continue our journey to Atlanta. We relaxed Thursday morning and waited until the Houston traffic had died down. We left at 10:45 AM. We stopped for the night at a Wal-Mart in Picayune, MS at 5:15 PM.

On Friday we have about 450 mi left to go which should take another 8 hours. Making the entire drive about 53 hours and 2600 mi.