View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Expenses

We spent a total of $1,343 in the month of March. Not bad, but a little higher than we planned partly because we pre-paid for Sherman's storage fees for the summer months. Also spent a little more for gasoline and toll roads. In fact, we were a little higher than we wanted to be in just about every category!

Whiskey's Tree

Our regular readers will remember the sad day at the end of September when our faithful traveling companion Whiskey passed away. We buried Whiskey here at Hacienda Contreras RV Park and to mark her grave with a memorial at the time, we planted a tree.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sherman goes for a drive!

And, we've made some blog changes. Most of you won't notice, but we've removed the ability for someone to comment as "anonymous". We were getting a lot of advertising comments, and while the spam filter blocked most of them, they were still a pain in the butt! So, anybody who really wants to comment will have to take the five minutes to register for a google account.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Great visit to the dentist (part two)!

You'll remember last week when I went for a cleaning and inspection at our local dentist here in Valle de Juarez. She had mentioned that I had a tiny cavity beside an old filling and so we had made an appointment to have that repaired. On Wednesday, I went and had the repair completed!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We really miss traveling

In the motorhome!

I know, we've done lots of traveling over the last year. But poor Sherman was a little jealous of the little blue car's adventures over the past couple of months while he just sat here. Sherman has been sitting here for over a year now!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lunch out with the crew

Sal's cousin Chema owns a restaurant here in Valle de Juarez, and Chema's son owns one closer to the campground. A lot of the campers over the winter frequent the restaurants (as well as Chema's Saturday carnita stand) and so he wanted to thank the campers for their business!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 Things You May Not Know About Mexico

The majority of people don't know very much about Mexico. When asked about Mexico, they think of beaches or resorts. After all, that's the only reason you would come here, right? Or, they think of murders and drug kingpins because that's all you hear about on the news. Well there is much more to Mexico...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Mexico

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the official start to Semana Santa  (Easter Holy Week) celebrations that go on all week. The little town of Valle de Juarez (population 4,006) goes all out with processions and parades to celebrate this holiday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Next stop, Aguascalientes!

You may have noticed that we placed an answer to our "Where are Kevin and Ruth going next?" question above. The answer is the city of Aguascalientes!

A Fancy Mexican Wedding.

Saturday morning was market day here in Valle de Juarez, so we took Tioga George and Renate into town with us. They both have motorhomes with them and we also have the little blue car so we know how much it's appreciated when someone offers a ride!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The rigs keep coming!

Boy, it's getting busy here at Hacienda Contreras! Another six rigs showed up yesterday. I think I counted nineteen RV's here now! Barb says their record was twenty two at one time so it's getting close. We've never been here when it's been this busy though.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Meeting Tioga George!

What a great day we had yesterday. We went in to town for a parade in the morning, and then we had a good hike with beautiful views in the afternoon.

And, popular internet personalities Ms. Tioga and George showed up at Hacienda Contreras RV Park!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ciudad Juarez

"The most dangerous place in the world outside of a declared war zone." So said a city newspaper back in 2009.

Our route north in early April is going to take us to a Ciudad Juarez border crossing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beautiful start to spring!

Looks like not too many people in Canada can say that! Our old home town of Ottawa is cold at -9C, while the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are stuck in a deep freeze. Looks like about -23C (-9F) in the city of Price Albert, Saskatchewan. It had better warm up a little over the next month!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A great visit to the dentist!

What? Who says that??!! Can a visit to the dentist ever be "great"?

Okay, it may not have been great, but it was as good as a dentist visit can be. Pain free, and inexpensive. That's what I look for in a visit to the dentist!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A hike and a new gas station!

There are new Pemex gas stations being built all over Mexico. And they're building one right next door to Hacienda Contreras! We went for a hike yesterday morning to get a bird's eye view of the situation...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Market day!

We love Saturdays here at Hacienda Contreras. That's because it's market day in the nearby town of Valle de Juarez, so we try and do a weeks worth of grocery shopping all at once. That means stopping at a few different places, including our favorite fruit and veggie guy Martin!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

These boots are made for walking.

And that's just what they'll do. Well, our boots have done quite a bit of walking and I need some new ones!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Our regular readers will remember the excitement, exhaustion, spectacular scenery and great photographs that we experienced during the two Quetzaltrekkers  hiking trips that we did in Guatemala in February. We wanted to tell you a little about the organization itself and the worthwhile cause that they support.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I knew I shoulda took that left turn at Albuquerque!

We arrived back at Hacienda Contreras RV Park on Sunday, and here it is Thursday morning and we haven't left the gates of the park! I guess we really needed the break. Usually we're antsy to get out and explore and do some hiking. But we have been keeping busy, and with some important stuff!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time flies when you're having fun!

Yesterday, we got the little blue car unpacked and Sherman sorted out for our three week stay here. I rinsed the roof off and cleaned the solar panels. We went to a one hour Spanish lesson that Barb gives to any of the campers who want to attend. Ruth made a nice roast chicken dinner. And the day just disappeared.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy to be back at Hacienda Contreras RV Park!

We were up early yesterday morning with intentions on leaving Puebla at 7:30am. But it was 8:30am when we eventually hit the road and headed out of town for our long drive. We figured that traffic would be light on a Sunday morning, and we were right.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Exploring the City of Puebla

Seems to us that Puebla isn't on the radar of many people who visit Mexico, or many expats who make Mexico their home. After this short visit, we can't figure out why not. It has near perfect weather, it's a very clean and modern city, and from what we saw it doesn't even have any traffic problems. I even drove downtown!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Oaxaca City to Puebla

We were up early yesterday morning to try and get out of Oaxaca City before there was too much traffic, but we still didn't actually hit the road until about 8:10am. It was no problem though and we were soon on a beautiful four lane toll highway heading towards Puebla.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Petrified waterfalls!

What a totally fantastic day we had yesterday! First, we went and visited the widest tree in the world. You can read about that in last night's post here...

But then, our day got even better as we visited Hierve el Agua (The Water Boils). This amazing attraction is where spring water with an extremely high mineral content has taken thousands of years to make natural rock formations that look like waterfalls!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The widest tree in the world!

Not the tallest...not the oldest...but the widest tree in the world is the Tule Tree in the town of Santa Maria del Tule, only 10 kms east of Oaxaca City.

What a tree!

Walking tour of Oaxaca, and more protests!

Ruth planned out a nice walking tour for us yesterday and we ended up doing almost 8 kms (5 miles). The route took us on the north side of town which is a little newer and seems a little more well to do than the central area or the south side of Oaxaca.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Monte Alban Ruins and Oaxaca Protests

Yesterday we took the little blue car for a drive. The Monte Alban ruins are only about 10 kms (6 miles) from the center of Oaxaca City, but they're not that easy to get to using alternate transportation. There are city buses that go in the direction of the ruins, but it still leaves you with an hour walk to get there, or you can pay 100 pesos ($8.30) each for a shuttle bus ride, or you can pay even more to go with one of the many tour companies catering to the tourists. It was easier and cheaper to take the little blue car!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Overlooking Oaxaca City and surrounded by gold!

It's been a few days since we've had a decent hike, although we were due for a bit of a rest after our Guatemala trip. However, our host Susana here at the apartment offered to go with us up the Cerro del Fortin mountain that sits in the center of Oaxaca City, so we eagerly accepted her offer.

Monday, March 4, 2013

First impressions

We've only been in Oaxaca City for two days, but so far we're on the fence. Seems to me that everybody raves about Oaxaca City, so we were trying not to get our hopes up. Looking at the map, we saw a river running near the central part of town and figured there must be some kind of walking path along the river.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Eating fried grasshoppers

A cold front passed through yesterday and it was mostly overcast as well. The high only went up to 17C (63F), but it's supposed to be nicer today and then getting back over 27C (80F) by Monday. So far today, the sun is shining. Yesterday was supposed to be a day of rest, but we still managed to get out exploring and it turns out we were gone for over four hours!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Yesterday was a LONG day. It was going to be a long day anyhow, and then we had a detour that added another hour and a half of driving. Not fun, but we have safely arrived in Oaxaca City. Here's how it all went down...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sidetracked by a cave and a waterfall

We had been planning on visiting a giant sinkhole where thousands of green parrots live. But we got sidetracked by a fantastic cave and underground river system, so the sinkhole will have to wait for another visit.