Out for a hike in Colombia, South America. Photo taken November 25, 2015.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Friday, January 18, 2013

In the middle of nowhere with no gasoline!

Yesterday, we decided to take the little blue car out for a tour. We wanted to go to the town of Donato Guerra, about 23 kms (15 miles) away. Well what started out as a tour, soon became a mystery tour!

Now, I admit that when we got in the little blue car I did notice that the gasoline was a little low. A hair below the 1/4 mark on the gauge. But hey, the little blue car and I have a long history together and I'm pretty confident about how far we can go on a certain amount of fuel in the tank. Also, the gas station near us is one of the busiest I've ever seen and so better to avoid it and just fill up somewhere along the way. After all, Donato Guerra is well over 1,000 people, so they'll have a gas station...right?

Beautiful views coming down into the valley where Donato Guerra is located.

Here's the town we're headed for. Sure looks big enough to have a gas station to me.

So we get into town and find a parking spot near the central plaza. The church looks interesting, so we headed over that way. Lots of police around, and then we notice some military as well. Kind of strange for a small town, so something must have happened. The police looked happy though and some of them laughing and joking, so who knows. We wandered around for half an hour and that was it. 

The church in Donato Guerra.

The central plaza in Donato Guerra.

There was no gas station on the way into town, so there must be one one the way out of the other side of the town, right? 


Now, keep in mind that these little roads are very up, down, and curvy. Lucky to ever get the little blue car out of second or third gear, so not the best conditions for optimum fuel mileage! That's okay, we figured we would do a circular route to Colorines, and we knew for a fact that there was a gas station there. Besides, the route would also take us through Ixtapan del Oro and it's got to be big enough to have a gas station, right?

A little bit of road repairs along the way.

We had left Donato Guerra around 11:00am and by 11:45 we still hadn't made it to Ixtapan del Oro. 

Hmmm. At least the low fuel light hadn't come on yet!

Finally made it to Ixtapan del Oro.

Ixtapan del Oro seems like a nice little town. Turns out there's a municipal balneario (swimming pool and thermal baths) and a big waterfall. No gas station though. We noticed a pick up truck in the next village selling gasoline out of the back of his truck. He was probably headed for Ixtapan del Oro!

As we were leaving town, we stopped and asked a girl if we were on the right road to Colorines. She said yes, but that it was an hour away. Huh? Are there any gas stations along the way? Nope, not until you get to Colorines.

We hadn't brought the GPS with us, only our map book. It didn't look that far! No choice, so we set off.

It didn't take long to realize why it was an hour away. I've never been on such a twisty windy road in my life. No guard rails, and one wrong move would put you over the side. Not to mention the animals on the road. It was pretty slow going, but on the other hand it was fantastic scenery. At least it was paved, and in relatively good condition.

Watch out for the burros on the road.

And the goats!


Bet this village doesn't get many visitors!

The little blue car enjoying the drive.

Here's part of the road we were just on.

Is that our road? Fortunately not. It was gated off.

But this is our road!

By the time we made it to Colorines, and the gas station, the low fuel light was just coming on. So we still would have been able to go for a few more miles. Still, don't like getting that low on gas! Ultimately, we would have probably been able to buy a can of fuel from some farmer along the way and I'm sure things would have worked out. (Note to self: bring GPS next time, and put some gas in the car!)

Our circular route...only 90 kms (55 miles), but pretty slow going. Fantastic scenery though!

Closer view of the section between Ixtapan del Oro and Colorines. Never been on such a curvy road!

Relaxed for the afternoon, and then as Ruth was getting supper ready, Chago came by to say that it was daughter Mariel's birthday yesterday and did we want to come to the house for some cake. Sure, when? Oh, about ten minutes. Okay! So we put the fixings for supper aside until we got back.

Well by the time we had pozole soup and tostados and cake and watermelon...we didn't have room for supper anymore! We had had enough supper! Oh well, put everything in the fridge and we'll have it tonight.

The birthday girl, Mariel, arriving home from school. Following the path of flowers on the floor towards her cake!

Carmen, Chago, and Mariel.

Happy 11th birthday Mariel!

Proud papa Chago with new daughter Fatima.


  1. Bonnie Emond , Nova ScotiaJanuary 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    That sounds like something that would happen to us. a great story !!

  2. Super header photo.

    My goodness but you two get yourself into some nerve-wracking situations. Glad you didn't hit any of the wildlife.

    1. The nerve racking was driving along that curvy road with nothing between you and the edge, not the running out of fuel! No problem with hitting the wildlife we weren't going fast enough.

  3. When we were in Puerto Rico we adopted a rule that 1/2 tank means empty - because gas stations may be out of gas. We try to stick to that rule to this day. We try never to go below 1/4 - even in the US. Because we are travelers and wanderers we often find ourselves in places where there is no fuel. Back in the old days in Mexico the rule was if you see a Pemex you fill up because you may not see another for awhile. Today there are many more Pemex stations than their used to be. But not always. In these out of the way places there is sometimes a chance someone will be selling gas or diesel in 5 gallon jugs and high prices - but sometimes you need them.

    1. We weren't too worried, Kevin knows the little blue car's limits really well. Several times in Canada we came close to running out. When the red fuel light comes on we know we are good for another 80km (50mi) so we were pretty confident we would have enough fuel.

  4. Replies
    1. We like to live on the edge, but not too close to the edge of that road!

  5. Makes for an interesting drive and sure put you on a mission too. Glad you did find gas.

  6. You had me on the edge of my seat reading this. Now I understand even here in Miwaukie, Oregon My Joe insists I never let the gas gauge get below 1/2. Whew. Glad you made it back safely and didnt have to walk. The little burros and goats were soo cute. Looks like a fun birthday party too.

    1. Normally we don't go much below 1/4 tank before fueling up but as Kevin said early on in the post he knows the little blue car's limits.

  7. Worst case is you would have run out of gas. Park, start walking or ask for a ride. Mexicans are very accomodating and would be more than glad to help. Never an issue.

    Great views and pics!

    1. Yep, we knew we wouldn't be totally stranded. The views were stunning!

  8. I bet you would have enjoyed all the beautiful scenery a little more with a full tank of gas!

  9. This happens easily in Mexico. We get used to seeing Pemex stations everywhere and get to expect them everywhere! We once left Mazatlan towards Tepic on the Cuota in the motorhome with just under 3/4 of a tank of gas. Always lots of Pemex on the Cuotas, right? Not! We rolled into Tepic with the "fuel" light on for the last 30 miles or so! Now we follow the "half tank rule".

    Karen and Al are right, it is much easier to enjoy the scenery when you do not have one eye on the gas gauge and the other looking for a gas station.

    1. Yep, we had that happen to us with Sherman on the toll road between Toluca and Acapulco any station there is few and far between. We know that we can do 80km (50mi) once the fuel light comes on, so we were fairly confident we would make it as the fuel light only flickered once but never actually came on.


We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...