500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Two down, four to go!

Our second travel day with the RV caravan group was yesterday. Four more to go!

Everything went smoothly, but boy, things happen slowly when you're moving with nine other RV's. We only had to do 90 kms (56 miles) but it took three hours from start to finish!

Once again, everybody was right on time. What a great group!

Lined up and ready to go at exactly 9:00am.

It took a full forty minutes to get everybody down the hill and through the little town of San Juan Benito Juarez. Narrow streets, clearing vehicles out of the way, and lifting telephone wires takes time!

Especially when the circus is in town!

Yep, that's one of the narrow streets we have to use to get through town.

But after that, it was smooth sailing.

Until we got to the city of Morelia. Actually, that was smooth sailing as well other than getting separated a couple of times by the stop lights. The northern ring road around the city is busy with three lanes of traffic in each direction, but it's easy to follow the route. 

Oh by the way, the CB radio is working much better. I fiddled with some of the buttons and it turns out that one marked "local" was turned on, and I turned it off and the reception greatly improved.

We made one fuel stop at a larger Pemex station on the outskirts of Morelia. When five or six big rigs need to stop for gas, that takes time too! So we sat for about a half an hour while that took place.

Exiting near Patzcuaro.

It was close to noon when we pulled in to Rancho La Mesa. Ruth and I have been to Patzcuaro before, but never to this particular RV park. There is another park in town, but it's not suitable for this many rigs. 

Rancho la Mesa RV park has good electricity with 30 amp plugs, and most sites have a beautiful view of the city of Patzcuaro. Also, there is a really nice restaurant on the property. The wifi was working yesterday, but not very well and this morning we can't connect at all. Good thing we have our back up cellular system.

GPS 19.50214, -101.59369

Sherman has a beautiful view of Patzcuaro.

Rancho la Mesa RV Park.

The rest of the day was a free day. We all just hung around and enjoyed the down time. 

Today we do a group tour to some copper factories, a ruins site, and the town of Patzcuaro itself. We're here a total of four nights, and then we head to the Villa Corona water park for a one week stay.

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21 comments:

  1. I think you or Ruth answered this before but I can't find it: what is your backup cellular system (provider, phone, amount of data, cost...if you don't mind saying)? Love your posts. Taking notes. Plan to cross the border on the 3rd and mosey on down your way.

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  2. Being Sunday we hope you are in the main plaza in Patzcuaro around 2pm to see the Viejitos . . . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danza_de_los_Viejitos . . . .

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    1. We had seen them before but we did see them again yesterday!

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    1. Had to delete my first attempt my typing was real bad.

      Try it with 18 rigs. Have any idea how long it can take to go through a red light? Before this caravan, my max was 10 rigs and with 18 we normally would have split into 2 groups, bust circumstances dictated otherwise. Regardless you are going to have a challenge with 10 on the next segment. It's a long one. Here are some tips that may help out. First have somebody with a truck go check out the route onto the hwy up the east side of the lake, they were were working on an interchange in Nov, and I am not sure if it is done yet. I suspect it is. You may have a bit of an issue with Georges rig in the town of Quiroga, there is a pretty sharp left half way through. You may want to have ruth hop out, play traffic cop, and have her make sure cars waiting at the intersection to your left, sit further back, letting anyone parked parked there through first. I had to do that last year when we had one long Class A. Apart from that after you rejoin the Cuota past Corneo, it may look like you will not get large rigs under the overpass. It's deceiving, it's higher than it looks as you approach it, but use caution regardless. If you have never been through Corneo, that bypass to your left really does look like a dead end, but it's not. Corneo itself is not fun to drive through if you miss it. Your alternative is to backtrack to the Morelia bypass, but the route up the lake (in the log) is nice & scenic for them. In Fall I just made up some time on the Cuota which is currently in excellent shape for the section you use. The road westfrom the Guadalajara-Chapala hwy, over to Hwy 80 had some rough sections in Fall. That shortcut described in the log off to the right, cuts a lot of it out. you may want to have people space out a bit when they have to make the retourno to get westbound on Hwy 80. It's not far down the road and can take a short time to make because of oncoming traffic and long rigs have to swing wide. If they all come out onto 80 at once, you can plug up the eastbound section.

      I am glad everybody is having fun, had a couple of positive reports about your skills from them already. I am actually missing them. It seems rather dull without them. I may even come up to Mazamitla in just my truck for a day or 2 and be your tailgunner to Melaque. I'd love to see Barb & Sal. I have not seen them in 3 years



      There are a couple of other things to check on that CB, both the transmit & receive levls are adjustable. I suggest reading the manual. It took me a good week to realize that the manual actually had useful info. Being a guy of course, that is the last thing I do. Almost as bad as asking for directions, LOL.

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    2. Thanks for the advice Paul. We know exactly which corner you are talking about, we have been through that one ourselves although we were going in the other direction.

      I am sure that everyone would love to see you in Mazamitla.

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  4. That many tigs does take time for everyone the het together , but taking you time is the trick.

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    1. That group is always on time. They are amazing.

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    2. Everyone is doing well at relaying the messages back to each other so even if the last one is a bit behind they know where to turn. They really work well together. It's been a good first experience for us.

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    1. It is a beautiful spot, especially being able to look down on the lake and the town.

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  6. I can vouch for the idea that more is not better when it comes to travel days:) We had 17 rigs on our Canadian caravan. While it mostly goes without big problems is does take a long time:(

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    1. Totally agree! We were saying to ourselves that we would not want to lead a caravan with more than 10 units, it would just be to many in our opinion. We commend Paul doing 18 rigs at the beginning of the trip and on top of that they were all newbies.

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  7. I think your wonderful photos could be used for promotional purposes for these tours :) It sounds like a wonderful time despite some of the driving challenges/dilemmas.

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    1. Thank you Lori!

      Actually the driving has been fine, just slow and that is to be expected when you have so many rigs together but everything so far has been going according to plan. :-)

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    1. The ruins of the pre-historic city of Tzintzuntzan in the little town of Tzintzuntzan just north of Patzcuaro. Actually the town of Tzintzuntzan was the original state capital of Michoacan.

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    1. On a free day or sometimes on a travel day if we are passing by a big grocery store that we all can get into and out of. If we are in town and a market is going on, then they can buy stuff at the market. Also the other day we had our van driver stopped at a Walmart for about a half hour or so, so that anyone who needed anything could run in and buy something. On top of that it seems that with meals out, nobody seems to be doing much cooking anyways!

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  10. Beautiful pictures and article. I can clearly see that you guys have enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. Thank you Amber, and yes, we have been enjoying the experience.

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