The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A short distance...but a long drive!

When you're driving an RV in Mexico, you have to be patient. You have to realize that you won't get anywhere fast. Even on the toll highways, it makes sense to take your time. And when you're taking secondary roads, you have no choice but to take your time!

Yesterday, we did 95 kms (59 miles) and driving non-stop it took us almost two and a half hours.

Oh, but before we get to yesterday's drive, we have to back up to Friday.

My job for the morning was to dismantle and clean our Weber grill. The burner was becoming a little corroded and it wasn't working properly. So I took it all apart and cleaned each one of the hundred or so little holes that the flame comes out of. Much better than buying a new burner, and now it seems to work perfectly!

We had a note through facebook that long time readers Mark and Sheri from Idaho were going to be at the park next door to us and they wanted to say hello. So we got together with them for the afternoon. They've also traveled a lot of Mexico, so we had lots to talk about. We enjoyed our talk...happy travels guys!

Mark and Sheri and their VW Eurovan.

Mark is actually a very talented woodcarving artist. You can see some of his stuff here... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Dettmer-Fine-Art-Woodcarving/156598224376160

Okay, so we pulled out of La Parota yesterday (Saturday) at around 10:30 am. But there is a time zone change only a few minutes north of Lo de Marcos, so we gained an hour right away. We're now in Mountain standard time zone.

Sitting at the lights in La Penita. On this section of highway 200 you have to be in the far right lateral lanes in order to make a left turn. 

Municipal police in Las Varas.

The route takes you through several small towns. After you make your way through Zacualpan, the road is in really bad shape. I mean, we were crawling. Nothing that would damage anything, you just have to take your time. And then as you make your way closer to Aticama, there are a lot of low hanging branches, and growth on the side of the road that makes it difficult to stay in your own lane without it scratching up against the side of your rig. And we're only 11' 3". Again, the slower you go the better off you are!

We made it to Aticama and Matenchen Bay. There are 3 RV Parks in the area. One is called "El Chaco" and we stopped in there to see if we could dry camp for a night or two. The lady wanted 220 pesos ($18.00) per night, with no hookups. And she wouldn't negotiate. Sorry...too rich for us!

Carrying on towards San Blas, we saw a sign that said "RV Park Camping" and so we pulled over.


The young man who was apparently the caretaker said that it was 200 pesos ($16.40) for full hookups. Not bad. So I offered him 100 pesos for dry camping. He came back to me with 150. I said I would give him 200 for two nights, and he agreed. Good deal.

The only problem is that this entire stretch of beach from Aticama to San Blas is well known for the hordes of little biting noseeums and sand fleas. They are seriously bad. And they fly right through your screen if you have your windows open in your RV. In all seriousness, we will never come here again.

The alternative to this route is the inland road to Tepic. Many eople don't like that road, and they use the coastal route. But now that we've done both, we'll stick to the Tepic road, thanks! Not because of the road itself...it's the bugs here. No ambition to ever be here again.

GPS co-ordinates 21.52042 -105.22243

Yesterday's drive, 95 kms (59 miles).


18 comments:

  1. I was at "El Chaco" too for dry camping. They asked 2 years ago Pesos 200. I also went away.

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    1. Good for you Renate! I wish more people would do this and then maybe they would lower the price to a more reasonable rate.

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  2. Thanks for the warning. That will be a no for us, too, for sure!!!

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    1. It's a beautiful area but unfortunately the bugs take away from it BIG time!

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  3. I cleaned the burner on our Weber with a tiny drill bit, couple years ago, works better than ever now.

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    1. That sounds like a great way do do this task, unfortunately we don't carry around an electric drill with us.

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  4. We drove into San Blas two years and disliked it immensely!! We just could not figure out the attraction for people and got out of there right away. We certainly will never go back. It just looked like a town that was abandoned. Oh, and the bugs.....ugh!! We continued on up the highway to Mazatlan. Thanks for the trip down memory lane though!!

    We met Mark & Sheri at Hacienda Contreras in 2013. Do they still have their trailer with their motorcycle? Of course, we remember them!! They drive a VW Eurovan like us!!!!!!

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    1. We weren't right in San Blas so we can't say what it was like but we did think the area that we were at on Matenchen Bay was very pretty and I am sure that we could have found lots to do but the bugs were a huge turn off and because of them we sat inside the motorhome most of the time sith the windows and door shut. Definitely not our idea of a fun place to stay. However going out for a walk didn't seem to be an issue until you stopped! Nope definitely not going back to that area again.

      That's where we met Mark and Sheri too, we were all there together. Unfortunately we didn't see too much of them on that particular visit. Yes, they still have the trailer on the back of their Eurovan.

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  5. I always wondered why on earth Tioga George and the Weng family drove all that way, just to be eaten by the no-see-ums every day. No such critters in Yuma!

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    1. No I am afraid that we don't understand why they loved it here either. Looking forward to getting away from the coast and all the bugs. Guess we will be seeing you in about a month's time. :-)

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  6. I remember many a time driving in Puerto Rico and saying, "Whoa, wouldn't be able to come here with the motorhome!" Just seems to be the way of the sub-tropics. I also recall getting bitten a few times at the beach right around the end of the day. Lesson learned. But it was only at the end of the day. Too bad they attack you in the RV as well. That sucks.

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    1. It didn't make a difference here what time of the day it was, they were out in swarms. From what we hear the only time they are better is when there is a good strong breeze, apparently they can't handle the wind. Having said that I remember a few times in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where the mosquitoes were thick as can be and we didn't enjoy that either!

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  7. Wow, I had one of those VW rigs in the 70's, but back then it was just a camper:)

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    1. They are definitely a popular mode for camping down here. Seems they really hold their value too, maybe you should have kept yours! ;-)

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  8. Nothing worse than bugs to ruin a good camping spot! :c(

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  9. Great blog; have been reading it with interest. We took 4 months last year to travel the Baja and then Calif/Arizona. Had a fabulous time but the roads/towns were somewhat challenging with a 30' 5th wheel. With regard to your WEBER grill, what we did after you-tubing the problem was: clean the burner then turn the propane tank valve off. Leave it off for a couple of minutes then VERY VERY slowly turn the valve back on. It worked! We had tried a variety of other suggestions but it would only work for a short time. Just a hint for future reference if you have any further issues.

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    1. Thank you Susan!

      We traveled the Baja on our first trip down to Mexico and really enjoyed ourselves, having said that we love mainland Mexico even better. Yes, the roads and towns can be very challenging but if you know ahead what to expect and where to go and just take things slow and easy you can navigate through or around most of them without too much difficulty.

      Thanks for your suggestion regarding the WEBER grill, we might just give that a try.

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