Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

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

Monday, March 28, 2016

No Mexico for us next year!

Woke up yesterday morning, and moved the motorhome to a nearby Safeway grocery store parking lot. We had been parked in a church lot, but of course Easter Sunday means that most churches would be busy.

Then, we went in to do some grocery shopping. Yikes!

Now, we know that Safeway is one of the more expensive stores to begin with. But they had "hothouse" cucumbers (from Mexico) for $2.50 ($3.25 CAD)...yes, for a single cucumber. They weren't even labeled as "organic". We picked up a regular cucumber for 75 cents.

And, a few items that were on sale, and a few veggies. The fruit was simply too expensive.

Veggies. Cost was $9.05 ($11.76 CAD). Not bad, but we're not in Mexico anymore.

We knew from last year that Food City stores are much more reasonable, so I looked one up that was along the way and we stopped in Tucson for a few more items. Much better pricing, and we'll head there directly in the future. I'll look it up, but hopefully they have them in southern California.

Next stop was a gas station. While food is now more expensive, gas is quite a bit cheaper than either Mexico or Canada. I looked up the best deal along our route from www.gasbuddy.com and we stopped and filled it to the brim with gas at $1.69 a gallon ($0.58 per litre CAD). Even though we won't need to, we'll fill up again just before crossing into California where we hope to not have to buy gas at all. It is much more expensive there.

And then we hit the road for Casa Grande.

Not very exciting scenery along the way.

We don't enjoy driving on the Interstate highways, but along this route there is no other logical choice. So Sherman just stays in the far right lane, with the cruise control on at 55 mph (90 km/h) and let's everybody pass him. The limit is 75 mph, (120 km/h) and a lot of cars are doing that. Sherman didn't pass a single vehicle the whole drive. he just sat there and relaxed in the slow lane.

The only reason we were going to Casa Grande was to visit Renate. 

Renate a single lady RV'er who we met in Mexico at Hacienda Contreras a few years ago. And she's a loyal long time reader of this blog. So we were looking forward to spending the afternoon with her and her dog Rocky.

Ruth, Renate, and Rocky.

Ruth and Rocky.

Ruth, Kevin, Rocky, and Renate.

It's always fun visiting with Renate. She's a 73 year old woman who travels by herself in her small Class A unit, and has done a fair bit of touring (again, by herself) in Mexico. Considering how many people aren't comfortable RV'ing in Mexico at all, we sure think it's impressive that an older single lady can do it by herself. Having said that, she is looking for another RV'er to travel with her on her next trip.

Renate made us a delicious Thai dinner. It was funny, because we didn't know that she had this planned for us, and Ruth had planned to invite Renate to come have dinner with us. Even funnier, they were each planning a Thai Red Curry dish!

Thanks for looking after us all day Renate!

We said goodbye to Renate yesterday evening because we're headed out fairly early this morning with a goal of getting to (or just past) the California border about 200 miles (321 kms) away. Again, it's pretty much all on the I-10 (boring!) but there's no other decent route.

Oh...I wanted to tell you again about our plans for next winter. I had actually mentioned it here on the blog a few months ago but it wasn't all confirmed then. Now, the plan has come together and we're doing it!

Through a mutual friend, we have organized a motorhome exchange with a British couple who live in Spain. They have a small European motorhome over there and they wanted to come and see some of Canada. So, they are going to be coming over to Canada in May and doing an Alaska cruise. Then in June, they will be flying to Saskatchewan where we will pick them up and they will have the use of Sherman for about two months.

In exchange, we will be flying to Spain after Christmas this year and using their motorhome to explore southern Spain and possibly France for January and February of 2017. Then for part of March and April we plan to backpack in Morocco and Algeria in northern Africa, and possibly another part of Europe.

Sound like fun?? We're excited!

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If you need a new television, today is the day...what a great price!


And in Canada, a great one day sale on books for your e-Reader...




36 comments:

  1. Good for Renate! Inspiring seeing what single people do in their 70's!

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    1. We totally agree with you Randy, she and others like her are definitely inspiring.

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  2. When in so cal try Vallarta Markets.

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    1. Thank you Chris, we will keep our eyes open for them.

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  3. You might try WINCO - an employee owned company in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Oregon. We find their quality to be better than other chains.

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    1. WINCO is in AZ now also. Becki

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    2. Thank you Don. We went into a WINCO on our way down thru the States last fall but the one we were in didn't have a proper food section in it. We will keep our eyes out for this one as well.

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  4. Nice to visit with blog followers and enjoy a good meal.

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    1. We have now seen her twice since we met her in Mexico and it is always a pleasure to spend time with her.

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  5. Will be interested to see how the swap goes - I've always wondered about repairs. What if something major goes (engine/trans) - who pays? Just curious - you know me - I'm a "what if?" Kind of person.

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    1. Good question, Geoff. Sounds like something that should be agreed on up front.

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    2. We have worked out all of this already been between the two parties and of course the circumstances behind the breakdown. I am sure that at some point Kevin will write a post about what is involved etc, once we get back to Saskatchewan and things are a little quieter.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you Jack, we think so too! :-)

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  7. Johnny made Algeria look pretty nice, didn't he? Great idea on the motorhome exchange.

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    1. Yes he did and so did many of the people who responded to him from Algeria. Again it looks like an amazing country to visit with beautiful scenery and friendly people and is off the radar for most travellers.

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  8. Hats off to Renate for continuing to travel solo. We hope to be traveling into our 70's as well. Your winter 2017 plans sound very exciting. Hope Sherman likes the couple and will show them a good time. I'll have to look back and see how you found this swap. I probably read it at the time but my memory is like a puddle in sandy soil.

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    1. Yes, definitely hats off to her!

      I am sure he will enjoy himself much more out there travelling rather than sitting parked up by the work shop for the summer.

      I think we mentioned about the swap some time last summer but it hasn't been until recently that we have firmed things up with this couple. British friends of ours that we met on our first and second RVing trip to Mexico are mutual friends of both us and the other couple and it was them that got us together for this swap. Because we trust their judgement we felt confident to do the trade with this other couple, as I am sure they feel the same way about us.

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  9. The RV exchange sounds ideal and your travel plans sound even better! Cheers - Ellen

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    1. We think it is a great idea as well and are really looking forward to these future travel plans. We always think that RV travelling is a good way to go and by doing this swap it makes it even better and cheaper. :-)

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  10. I think Food City is owned by Basha's . . . http://bashas.com/ . . . and is strictly an Arizona company at this time. Food City caters mostly to the Mexican-American population with a great many Mexican food items you do not find in other stores. We go to Food City whenever we can as we can find many of our Mexican favorite items there.

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    1. Yes, it is definitely caters to the Mexican population here in Arizona and we love that. We can't figure out how they can charge so much less for their fruits and vegetables compared to the other stores and still have a good variety and be very fresh but we love it! Can't understand why more people don't shop there.

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  11. My hat's off to Renate! You go girl! I'm sure Sherman will be on his best behavior for this couple. He always is! What an exciting trip you have planned! Safe travels!

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    1. Yep, we have said the same to her! I hope she keeps at it for a long time to come.

      We are sure that he will, and he will be so proud to do it too! Much better for him to do this than to sit in the sand and dust for the entire summer.

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  12. WOW. Just wow. (Your travel plans!)

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    1. We are excited but it is still such a long way off!

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  13. ...and...very impressed by Renate's lifestyle and resolve. And is it ok to say she looks fantastic!?

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    1. Of course...she does look fantastic!

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    2. I'm 10 years younger and don't look as good! Maybe when we finally get some full-time motorhome living under our belts, the effects of aging will roll off with the stress! You and Ruth are certainly good examples as well!

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    3. She definitely looks after herself, and to look at her you would never guess her age! Makes me almost want to start colouring my hair again, almost! ;-)

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  14. Other reasonably priced food stores to try (if you happen across one) are Aldi and Grocery Outlet. We've lived in Mexico too so are shocked by some of the US food prices!

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    1. Thank you Emily, I have written these names down as well so that we can check on any of these and the others mentioned above when we are out looking for cheaper food prices. We knew food prices were going to be more once we crossed the border but it was still a shock and will be even more so when we cross back into Canada.

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  15. How nice to spend some time with Renate. I admire her traveling solo. I hope she finds a great travel companion for her future travels. She looks terrific! Enjoy your CA adventure!

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    1. We had a wonderful time with her. She still remembers the time when you and Barb went out looking for a drug store to get some medicine for her that time when she got sick and still thanks you for it! :-)

      We think that she and Danielle from the caravan would work out well. They both want to travel with someone but not be tied to each other and they both want to go to the Yucatan. We are going to put them in touch with one and other, so who knows.

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  16. Wow, what a deal you have with the British couple. Your plans sound wonderful.

    Our gas prices here in NorCal have jumped up to 2.40+/gal again, boo-hoo, so buy gas at Pilot or Flying J in AZ or NV. I don't shop at Safeway (lousy selection,too expensive). Grocery Outlet is kinda funky and fun; otherwise, I shop at SaveMart.

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    1. We think motorhome swap is going to workout very well for both parties and now we can't wait for next year, even though we still have so much to look forward to this year. :-)

      Yes, we know the gas prices are more in California so we filled up the motorhome just before leaving Arizona and hopefully won't have to put any in until after we leave the state. We will have to put gas in the rental car though but that won't be much and having said that the price of gas here is still cheaper than back in Canada even with the exchange rate.

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