We left Matehuala around 8 in the morning. We traveled across some of the worst, and some of the best roads in Mexico. At least three Military Check Points, but we were waved through them without any inspections. We kept smelling some strange smell. It turned out to be sulphur gas coming from our batteries. We checked, and they were both low on water and “cooking”. Filled them up, and the smell went away, but in a day or two, they would not hold their charge any more…. but I am getting ahead of the story. Also, one of the straps holding the waste water holding tank broke, and Steve had to crawl under the motorhome with a ratchet strap to hold it back up. Of course, Mighty Max, the Wonder Dog, loved all of the extra stops, because he got to run around and smell all sorts of new territory. We had planned to cross the border at “Colombia-Solidarity” Bridge. We had crossed there many times before. But we got very close, but could not find it. The GPS could not find it either. The Internet said that it was closed??? Doubt that. But since we could not find it, we let GPS girl guide us back down through downtown Nuevo Laredo to another bridge, which we have often used before, but knew first hand that it would not be “motorhome friendly”. What a nightmare. Small compact cars would have trouble in that area. We waited in line to turn in our “Temporary Importation Permit” for the motorhome for at least thirty minutes, the engine temperature constantly rising. Then, we did not have a normal VIN, and that really caused lots of problems. All is well, that ends well, but I am sure that there were many unhappy campers in the line behind us. Then on to the bridge, where we spent about another hour, waiting in line, starting to overheat. When we finally got to the USA Border Control Guy, he was nice and friendly, but also sort of wanted a tour of the motorhome, again angering the folks behind us, I am sure, but you got to do, what you got to do, to get through the border.
The first day of the trip, estimated by Google to be 4 hours and 20 minutes turned out to be more like 10 and a half hours. We knew it would be longer than the estimate, but did not think that it would be that much longer!
We spent the first night in Matehuala, in the state of San Luis Potosi. It is in the high Mexican desert, traveling all day in the 6500 feet above sea level range, but just gentle rolling hills. There were lots of mountains getting up to that level, but once there it was just “high plains”.
Las Palmas was like an oasis. Beautiful, nice restaurant, good food, and RV parking out behind the motel for about $20/night. We had both dinner and breakfast in the restaurant, before heading out the next morning for Laredo, TX.
We are off on an epic adventure in our 41 year motorhome to visit friends and family in the USA.
The motorhome has been painted, and the mechanic (Filipe Morales) has gone over it with a fine tooth comb, and we hope that all is well. More posts will follow as we make or break our way through the journey.
After 41 years, and especially after much time on the Pacific Coast in the Heat, Salt Air, and Ocean Spray, the Travco was starting to lose some of its luster.
We decided to repaint and re-chrome to bring it back to almost new appearance. Here are some photos of the process and the finished product. We are very happy with the job that they did, and the “new look”!
We headed for the Pacific Coast for one of our traditional Travco Thanksgivings, passing the Colima Volcano along the way. In the past, we have had these Travco Thanksgivings at Petit Jean State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, and Lake Chicot State Park, all in Arkansas.
Those have always been nice and cool Thanksgiving weather. This year at Coconutz RV Park, we had temperatures approaching 90 degrees. It was cloudy, overcast, and breezy thanks to Hurricane Sandra a good distance off the coast as it passed by. High tides and stunning pounding surf were the only effects that we noticed. Along with a very slight rainfall every now and then.
I will let the pictures tell the story, suffice it to say that Steve, who is a big fan of Thanksgiving Dinner, leaves nothing out of the meal, just because we are camping out in the Travco. All the favorite dishes were there for us to enjoy.
Hurricane Patricia came close by Coconutz, and many beachfront restaurants were destroyed, sadly.
Since we had to build up the RV Park a few feet for the sewer lines to drain properly, we came out without much damage. There was much beach erosion, and trash blown ashore. Lots of plastic!
All of our palm trees remained standing, we lost quite a few of the fronds to the high winds. The perimeter fence also survived the high winds.
So Coconutz RV Park is open and ready for your visit. There have been hundreds of volunteers cleaning up the beach. All should be back to normal soon. Maybe even a little “New and Improved” !
We have new managers at Coconutz RV Park. Charly (Carlos) and Myriam.
Between them they speak Spanish, French & English. English being a second language for both of them.
They really went to work getting the park grounds in tip top shape this past week. The coconut palms really needed a good cleaning up, the winds from Hurricanes Blanca and Carlos had caused some damage.
While cleaning one of the palms, there were two ripe coconuts, and Charly whacked off their tops with his machete and served us fresh coconut water from our own coconuts. A first for us. Coconut water is supposed to be very healthy and chock full of electrolytes, and other good things.
It was very hot at this time of the year at the beach, but every day we had a nice breeze in the afternoon. Quite brisk one day, which made sitting outside in the shade a really pleasant experience. The rains have not started there yet this year, even with two close hurricanes, and daily we watched the approaching dark clouds hoping for rain, but alas, even with thunder and lightning we got no rain.
The folks from Bumfuzzle fame are traveling around Mexico in their 1966 Dodge/Travco Motorhome.
They stopped by Coconutz RV Park for a few days, and we had a Travco Mini Rally. We all toured both coaches, compared some notes about Travcos and travel in Mexico.
We had a good time meeting them and their children. When we downloaded our pictures from both of our cameras, we discovered that the kids had a good time taking pictures of each other with our cameras while they were in our Travco. Kids will be kids.
Cuyutlán is a pretty quiet, laid back place, especially at this time of year. I hope that it was not just too laid back for them. Coconutz RV Park might be just a little more adult oriented, but the kids seemed to have a good time despite the quiet atmosphere. They especially had a good time when they met some other kids, Canadian kids, who were, with their parents, living in Cuyutlán for the winter. That is one thing they seem to be missing on their world adventure, being able to play with other children.
Anyway, I am a little late getting this post up, so it is not really “news” to many.
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the week before and the week after Easter Sunday. School is out and many Mexicans have a family tradition of heading to the beach for the week.
And head to the beach they did. They came by bus, car, commercial truck, back packing, just any way that they could get there. They packed the beach so tightly with their camp sites that is was very difficult to walk through, or find the way back home.
It was quite a sight to behold. Nothing that I would really want to do myself. We did have much more space to move around in the campground. We tried to limit the number of people, because we designed the park for a maximum of 8 motorhomes in the future, only five campsites at this time.
The people camping in tents were supposed to be limited to four people per tent, but they all fudged a little, or brought more family members in during the following days. Everyone was very well mannered, even though there were often long lines for the bathroom/showers, which were not designed to handle that many campers.
They all thanked us very graciously for their stay and all say that they will be back again next year. We may have to add a few outside showers before next year comes around.
Hopefully the pictures will tell the rest of the story.
I just wanted to get out a new update on recent progress at Coconutz RV Park.
We have brought in some fine gravel to help solidify the sandy areas where vehicle travel was a little on the “iffy” side. This is a product that packs down well, and should help eliminate any problems driving into and around the park.
There are new concrete steps from the park onto the beach.
We built a gate out of locally cut palm wood pickets, which were cut to order right in Cuyutlán. At the advice of the lumber yard, we then treated the palm wood with motor oil for a finish. The color is a rich reddish brown. I suspect that it will grey with age, and sun exposure. We will see.
We also put the new gravel on the walkway to the beach gate. This helps define where the path to the beach is.
In an effort to discourage foot traffic through the park and out to the beach, we have constructed a simple rail fence along the boundary lines We have planted many new plants, including cannas and oleanders.
And while we have gotten rave reviews on the bathrooms and showers, we were not really happy with the hot water pressure, so we installed an “on demand” electric water pump on the hot water intake pipe to the water heater. Now there is much better pressure, for an even more enjoyable hot shower in each of the bathrooms.