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.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Have they ever even been here?

We are currently in the Mexican state of Michoacan. The RV Park we are at is located about a half an hour from the big city of Morelia (pop 800,000).

On February 11th, the Canadian government issued an updated "travel advisory" for the country of Mexico, telling people to "Exercise a high degree of caution". Of course this is the same thing that they have been telling us each year since we began our RV travels of Mexico in 2007.

Then, they also give a regional advisory...

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the western states of Michoacán (excluding the city of Morelia) due to the high levels of violence and organized crime. For the same reason, avoid non-essential travel to the areas of Jalisco that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas. 

So, I guess we're okay in the city of Morelia, but the rest of the state (inluding the RV Park that we're at) is off limits. These things drive me crazy because many people actually pay attention to them. And my guess is that the people telling you not to go here have never been here themselves!

Our group visiting the state government palace, one of the "younger" buildings in the city of Morelia, built between 1760 and 1770.

Fancy staircase and murals.

Our guide Miguel, describing the history of Morelia.

Yes, there is some violence associated with cartel activity happening in the state. Very random incidences where one cartel kills off a few members of another cartel. I suppose there is a very, very low chance of you being in an area when when of these incidences erupts. The same chance of you being in a movie theater or shopping center when some whacko goes off in the U.S. or Canada.

If you read this news report from last month, you will see that the victims are all related to cartel activity...


Ruth, in the city of Morelia, Michoacan.



We were meeting for lunch, and right at our meeting spot there was a huge teacher's protest going on and they had closed some of the roads.

We spoke to our tour guide about these travel warning advisories. He was very angry when he heard about what the Government of Canada is telling it's people.

Because while Canada is telling you to avoid Michoacan, the state itself is telling people to go out and explore. In fact, we visited an exposition put on by the state that advertises the eight Pueblo Magicos that exist in the state...towns that have something special to offer because of cultural or other significance.

We stopped for Gazpachos, local specialty with mixed fruit, juice, cheese, and spices. Yummy!

After lunch, we went to the Pueblo Magico exposition...

Ruth, with some of the large costumes used in parades.

Each town in the expo had a display for culture, arts, and cuisine. Even free samples!

Some of the local dance costumes.

Our guy Bob, saying hello to the director of tourism from one of the towns.

I would not hesitate to visit any of these "Magic Towns" in the outlying areas in the state of Michoacan. In fact, I would go anywhere in the state without hesitation. Our personal opinion is that the Government of Canada is not a very good place to go for travel advice. After all, have the people giving the advice ever even been here??

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And in Canada, a great deal for movie buffs...





22 comments:

  1. The people of Mexico are proud and beautiful. We are greeted with smiling faces and everyone is very helpful. A simple "buenos días" in the morning gets rewarded with a huge smile and an enthusiastic reply. We too would travel anywhere in this country.

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    1. Totally agree with you Peter! We always hear about the bad things in Mexico but never hear all about the good things that many Mexicans do for us and others. Until people travel here and find out for themselves, they will keep on believing the media and the warnings. Oh well, that is their loss.

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  2. Now you have me going. I run into this all the time at seminars I give on RVing in Mexico and everytime anyone sees the company logo on my truck in US RV parks. This fall, I drove through both Oregon & California which experienced random mass shootings. I guess I did not read the Canadian government warnings. I must of missed them somehow. Fact: There is, on average, one mass shooting per day in the United States (3 or more people). In fact the US is more dangerous, people shoot at random there. In Mexico if somebody shoots you, they usually have a good reason. Random shootings are rare. I wonder why the Canadian government does not issue warnings about travel in the US. (Heck you dont piss off your largest trading partner) There have been cases of Canadian RVers shot there, in Florida at least. Speaking for myself, I did not work 30 years to spend my retirement traveling via the NatGeo channel on TV. Did you know that more Cnadians are murdered in Australia based on a per night stay than in Mexico. It is only marginally higher, bit it is higher. That was according to a study done by the CBC. Seen any government tourist warnings about Australia lately?

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    1. So, so true Paul! We love it here and will keep on traveling here and hopefully convince others to do so as well. So much culture, history and beauty here that it would be a shame not too!

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  3. Anywhere you go, if you travel at night in areas known to traffic drugs or engage openly in other illegal activities, you are asking for trouble. We get the same warnings here in the US. There are many areas here I would never venture out to RV after a certain hour. I never feel unsafe in most areas, I just use common sense.

    There is always the perception that in Mexico,all the drug cartels own the police. Even if that was true, I don't think the Government and LE agencies in Mexico would put up with hasseling or attacking tourists.

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    1. Common sense has to be used anywhere you travel and as you mentioned if you don't drive at night and stay away from illegal activities you shouldn't have any issues. Like anywhere though, nothing is guaranteed, you just need to be smart about things.

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  4. Ignorance is bliss. They never give travel advisories about the downtown east side of Vancouver, do they?!? Mexico is a fabulous place and in the 15+ times I have been there I have never felt the slightest bit threatened. I have been to way scarier places in the USA by accident.

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    1. That is the same with us, as long as you are aware of your surroundings and don't do stupid stuff you shouldn't have a problem. We live in Saskatchewan and both Regina and Saskatoon have been billed as the top two most dangerous cities in Canada and everyone there still goes about their lives as normal and it is no different here.

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  5. The giant puppet like characters with Ruth in one photo are call "Mojigangas" . . . https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojiganga . . . I think they originate in Spain. They can be seen from time to time in various places in Mexico - we see them in San Miguel de Allende sometimes. Lots of fun......B

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    1. Than for the explaination on the "Mojigangas". We have seen them before in several different towns/cities but didn't now their names.

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  6. There's something about today's header pic that makes me want to ignore all those warnings about visiting Michoacán ;)

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    1. I am hoping that of our pictures and pots will entice you and others to ignore these warnings and visit this beautiful country and state. There is so much to see in the state of Michoacan. We have visited quite a bit of this state over our years in Mexico and have love it and never had a problem, we know that doesn't mean that everyone will have the same experience bit most likely they would as long as they aren't involved in the drug industry.

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  7. I leave the house armed every day with nothing more than my intellect and my wit. But for some people that could prove to be disastrous.

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    1. So very true and maybe it is those people that need to stay home! ;-)

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  8. The media hype is just that hype.
    We always feel safer in Mexico than in any cities in the US or Canada.

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    1. Most of what the media writes is one sided so you never get the whole story on anything! Research and talking to people that have been there is the best way to get your info.

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  9. I personally believe it's all about liability.

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    1. We disagree, we think it is mostly fear that keeps people away. Fear of the travel warnings and fear of the unknown.

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  10. Love all the arts today! Beautiful!

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    1. Mexico is full of all kinds and descriptions of arts, another reason we love it here.

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  11. So interesting to read your comments here as due to the travel warnings I've not been able to convince me husband to travel in Mexico. Thanks for this as more proof as being as safe as in US and I guess here in Australia if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time

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    1. Get your husband to read our blog and other blogs of people that have visited Mexico and I am sure he will soon change his mind. :-)

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