At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 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.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The caravan has arrived!

After Thursday's hiking marathon, we needed a day to rest. So other than doing a few buckets of laundry, we spent much of yesterday just relaxing. In fact, we never left the RV Park.

And then of course we were expecting visitors. Lots of visitors!

Around 2:30pm, they arrived. Ten RV's, traveling in a caravan. We were looking forward to meeting this group of people who have been together since January 9th.

And now, we get the pleasure of leading the group through a fantastic part of Mexico over the next four weeks.

They pulled in at around 2:30pm.

That's a big fifth wheel trailer!

And a few large motorhomes.

Didn't take long for everybody to get parked up.

Sherman is feeling a little intimidated! But we're proud of him, and he'll do fine in the lead.

As expected, it's a pretty varied group of RV's, although most of the rigs are quite large. They range in size from a 22' class B van to a 42' fifth wheel trailer. Most of them are larger motorhomes.

We enjoyed meeting everybody, but after that we had some work to do while the rest of them were having happy hour. This will be our first time leading a caravan group, and although we're confident of the routes and our ability to get them safely through Mexico, there were still quite a lot of procedures that we had to go over with Paul the guy who has been leading them  since they crossed the border at Nogales, Arizona on January 9th.

So we spent a couple of hours with Paul, and then had dinner on our own. Later in the evening, we enjoyed a propane campfire with the group. Lots of people with a sense of humour, so I think we'll get along fine!

Today, we accompany the group on a full day tour of the city of Guanajuato, including lunch out. Of course we've already seen some things, but some things will be new to us so we're looking forward to it. And, we get to see the reactions from the viewpoint of people who have never been here before, and we're especially looking forward to that!

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31 comments:

  1. Better not take them to Guanajuato the way y'all did the first time. You may lose half of them. Enjoy your new adventure.

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    1. No worries there, I am pretty sure even we don't want to take that route again! ;-)

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  2. Brian and I think we'll be there Monday if all goes well. We're hoping to get a chance to get caught up with you two before you leave. See you soon -
    Sue and Brian

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    1. Nice! We'll be doing a day trip in to San Miguel on Monday, so hopefully you'll be at the park by the time we get back late afternoon.

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  3. Best wishes you two for a terrific first time! Will take lots of time, listening, discretion and patience.....and hopefully no breakdowns! You'll do just great.
    BTW that Braun razor at half price is a great razor. The exact one I own and have loved it!

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    1. Luckily these guys are already broken in with Mexico driving as they have been traveling here for almost a month already. They are a great bunch and competent drivers, so we should be good to go. :-)

      Yes, hopefully no breakdowns!

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  4. You may know there is a road that follows the ridge above and around the city called the Panoromica (I think that is the spelling). It climbs and curves all around overlooking the entire city from many angles - slow going as there can be traffic and Mexican style parking. For a quick overview there is a cable car thing (I forget the name) that takes you up to a great viewpoint over the city. Up there is also a statue of Pipila who was one of the heroes of the revolution . . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_P%C3%ADpila . . . There is also a statue of him in San Miguel in the glorieta by the Mega store.

    Pipila tied a huge stone to his back to protect from being shot by the Spanish as he set fire to the door of the granary . . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alh%C3%B3ndiga_de_Granaditas . . . where today you can still see the hooks where the leaders of the revolution were hung.

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    1. We did all three levels of Guanajuato, the tunnels, the street level and the Panoromica along with a stop at Papila. The funicular wasn't running, so some of us took the stairs back down to El Centro and the rest took the bus back.

      We do not do any of the organizing for tours, this has all been arranged beforehand along with transportation for us all and a guide so really we don't have a say in where we go but I think they cover all the main attractions.

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  5. Man those are some large rigs, Sherman does look a little shy, but his experience will impress the big guys! Go Sherman! Have a good time.

    Cheers!

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    1. Sherman is the second smallest and the oldest but he has now fear! :-)

      We are sure he will be happy to lead the way and show the others how it is done.

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  6. Sure sounds like you have an interesting, challenging month ahead of you, enjoy the journey.

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    1. It will be interesting and fun but I don't think it will be too challenging. We know the roads pretty good and the people in the caravan have been doing a great job so far on their trip so we don't think there will be any issues.

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  7. You guys will do great, you have a great knowledge of Mexico and a great attitude to match. Sure am jealous! Wish Tara and I could join!!!

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    1. Thanks Karyn! We hope we can do them proud. :-)

      Wish you could join along as well.

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  8. I've been in Sherman's shoes many times. He is a champ and won't let you down. This kind of makes me want to write and illustrate a children's book, El Pequeño Motorcasa Que Podria. Maybe you can write it, and I'll edit and illustrate!

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    1. We are sure he will perform well and won't let the others down.

      Lol, no interest in writing a children's book though, but if you want to write one and use Sherman as the model, then go for it. By the way down here in Mexico a motor home is called a casa rodante (rolling home).

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  9. Wow, lucky travelers get to hang out with you guys for a month. Plus, you guys figured out a new way to travel and get paid!

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    1. Who knows, we might like it so much that we will want to come back and do it again another year. This is definitely a nice way to break into it gently.

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  10. "a good sense of humor" tells me you guys are off to a good start. Best of luck and most of all have fun!

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    1. Thanks Chris, we think that it is going to be a good next 4 weeks. I think the time is going to fly by.

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  11. We did our first caravan ever this summer in Canada for 47 days. They can be a lot of fun and you get to really know a lot of fellow travelers:)

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    1. Glad you had such a great time on your caravan, I am sure we will too! This caravan is together for a total of 82 days, so they really get to know their fellow travelers. We are only with them for 28 days though.

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  12. Looking forward to hearing more about the caravan. Thinking that a caravan is the way to go for a first RV experience in Mexico!

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    1. We have to agree with you, that going with someone else for your first trip into Mexico is the way to go and this caravan certainly gets you seeing lots of the "real" Mexico that isn't the touristy Mexico.

      Even we traveled with another rig for our first to visits to Mexico, after that we were on our own and felt much more competent.

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  13. We are looking forward to follow along with you guys in your caravan adventure. Enjoy

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    1. We are sure that you will love the next 4 weeks of travel with this caravan and the adventures that lie ahead. Hope we can entice you to do the same in real life some other year. :-)

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  14. You guys will do fine. As said, those are some mighty large rigs. Are any of them later model diesels that require ULSD? If so, have there been any issues running Mexico's higher sulfur diesel fuel in them?

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    1. Yes, we have some newer diesel rigs in the group, and no there haven't been any issues. There was a new 2014 chev on last years trip, no trouble. We have 2 on this year's trip. The trick is to only drive them under load, mainly on the hwy. I am seeing DEF in autozones down there. We have one guy on our trip this year who had all the stuff removed at BD Diesel in Abbotsford, B.C. prior to the trip. There is also a company in the Vancouver area selling a particle filter that can be removed & cleaned. Edge now has a chip & programmer that will force a regen cycle.

      More info here... http://www.mexicorvbuddies.com/diesel.php

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    2. Thanks Kevin. It's great to hear real world experiences regarding the ULSD vs LSD diesel fuel issue in later diesels.

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  15. Wow, them's some big ol' rigs! Hope everyone has a great time! I'll be following your adventures.

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    1. Yes, there certainly are some big rigs here, Sherman now looks quite small in comparison.

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