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On our descent towards Abbotsford Airport near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Crescent Beach (Vancouver), British Columbia, Canada.

Where are they going next? Bellingham, Washington.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan.... Saltillo to Zacatecas

It's a busy job looking after the group members, especially for the first couple of days as everyone is getting used to the routine.

It's so busy, that sometimes I forget to take pictures that I should. For example, we had an 8:00am start this morning for our approximately six hour drive to Zacatecas. So, we were up at 6:30am, slightly before the sun. And I still had to run to a bank machine down the road to get some pesos. Wolf down a quick bowl of cereal, had a hot drink, and before you know it, the Green Angels are showing up to escort us out of the city of Saltillo at 8:00am.

I forgot to take a photo of where we had been parked at the Imperial Hotel.

Speaking of which, the Imperial Hotel in Saltillo has been offering RV parking for many years. It's probably about 300 pesos ($15.75 USD, $19.75 CAD) per night. Anyhow, the hotel itself isn't busy at all, and so I didn't set up the group in the RV area... I simply parked them around the hotel area because it would make for an easier exit in the morning.

I even went in and asked the desk girl if this was okay. "Sure, why not?" She said.

About 15 minutes before we were leaving for dinner, a guy comes over and says that we have to move.

Um, no.

"Well, the owner is here and she's not happy. She wants you to move."

So, I went over and talked to the owner. Not a very friendly lady. How does someone like this get in the hotel business? I don't get it. Anyhow, I discussed the situation with her, (all in Spanish) and she finally tells me that it's okay, but we have to be out by 8am. The place might have had two paying hotel customers. And our group. Very strange.

Then, after dinner, I get a knock on the door. It's the night manager, telling me that we all have to move. I almost broke out laughing. Needless to say, we didn't move.

We were all set to go at 8:00am this morning though!

The Green Angels were there to guide us out of the city. It's pretty impressive for our group when the municipal police block the traffic on the busy street outside so that all 12 of us can exit in a reasonable amount of time, with the Green Angels out in front.

It wasn't long before we were on the road heading south towards Zacatecas.

Looking back at our group getting on the highway.

Clear sailing!

The scenery for about 150 miles. 

Mexicans utilize all the space on a two lane road!

It's a very efficient system. You drive on the far right shoulder, and so do the people on the other side. That way, anybody who wants to pass, just zips down the middle, keeping an eye out for anybody doing the same thing heading in the opposite direction!

Scenery along the way.

This is a tire repair place.

Welcome to the state of Zacatecas.

Joshua trees for miles.

Now that's a straight road!

Mechanic shop. "We change oil and do mufflers".

Stopped and everybody filled up with fuel, Sherman included. We kind of overwhelmed the two pump attendants when 12 rigs pulled in for fuel. 

We drove for another hour and pulled into another station for a lunch break.

Lunch break with the group.

Another view.

Heading further south, we finally got into an agricultural area.

This guy just might be a little overloaded.

About 45 minutes before Zacatecas, I noticed that our fuel gauge seemed to be dropping quicker than normal. And, I thought I caught a whiff of gasoline, but I wasn't sure. Either way, I didn't want to stop the whole group when we were that close, so we kept on going. 

When we stopped at the RV entrance to the Baruk Hotel, I got out to get the guy to open the gate, and sure enough Sherman was leaking gasoline!

We got everybody parked up, and the Green Angels came over to have a look at Sherman's leak. They had him fixed up in about 20 minutes, but I figure we lost about 1/8 of a tank of fuel along the road!

The Green Angels are free, but we gave the guy a 200 peso ($10.75 USD, $13.25 CAD) tip. He was quite pleased with that!

Tonight's activities!

Group get together for a few drinks.

Melanie, the birthday girl, with her husband Richard!

We are here in Zacatecas for three nights. It's a great city to visit, and there's a lot of interesting things to see. Stay tuned for our Zacatecas City tour tomorrow!

Monday's drive, 378 kms (235 miles).


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32 comments:

  1. Looks like you are well organized and getting off to a good start. How awesome to have the Green Angels along to help if needed. I'm glad you tipped the guy. He deserved it :) Today must be a popular day for birthdays...it's my grandson's and good friend's birthday, as well as Elvis!

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    1. Well we certainly like to think we are well organized but there sometimes things crop up that we forgot to mention but nothing major.

      Yes, it is quite helpful having the Green Angels tagging along with our group on travel days, especially when something may happen with any one of the vehicles, like Sherman's gas line.

      We had a fun birthday celebration!

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  2. Every Mexican town, no matter how small, has at least two llanterias!

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    1. Yep, you are pretty much right with that comment! ;-)

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  3. Sucks about the fuel loss. Fuel lines rust out apparently. Better than a brake line though. The lack of communication at that hotel is a bit of head scratcher, good thing you have an adequate command of Spanish, or other hilarity would sure ensue.

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    1. Yep, it is frustrating about the fuel loss, especially because fuel down here is the most expensive that we have ever paid in Mexico since we started coming here in 2007. Oh well, it certainly could have been worse and the Green Angels got it fixed up quickly, so we are happy campers again! :-)

      The owner of that hotel was a little be of a nut case in Kevin's opinion!

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  4. Glad you arrived safely with only a minor issue. I'm curious to know who sets the travel speed while driving, the Green Angel or you as the caravan leader?

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    1. I have the choice as to whether or not I want the Green Angel in the front of the group, or the rear. I have had him in the front, but if he is not consistent enough (I like to use my cruise control at 90 km/h (55 mph) whenever possible), I send him to the rear.

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  5. Nice to have those angels along for when those unexpected things happen. Sure glad you got things straightened out with the grumpy hotel owner, imagine if you had to move aall those rigs...ughhhh
    Enjoy your down tome and get some sleep Eh !

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, it definitely is a bonus having the Green Angels along with us on the travel days.

      Didn't really get things worked out with the grumpy lady, Kevin was just firm with her that we were NOT moving, period!

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  6. Strange rules at the hotel, everyone telling you different things when you're some of the only paying customers

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    1. Yes, it was a little frustrating but not really a big deal in the whole scheme of things. Next time we will make sure to park in the correct areas and then we won't have any problems with her.

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  7. Looks like a good start. Glad you caught the gas leak quickly!

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    1. Yes, definitely a good start to the caravan. :-)

      Not quick enough really for our liking, seeing that we lost between a 1/8 to a 1/4 tank of fuel. :-(

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  8. Too bad about the gas loss, but it was a quick fix and it could have been worse. The Green Angels are awesome!

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    1. Yes, it could have been worse so it wasn't too bad the Green Angels had us fixed up in no time. :-)

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  9. I wonder who pays expenses for Green Angels? Is it the same guy accompanying the group or do Green angels change after so many miles? Just wondering. So is the group impressed or are they ho-hum about the trip so far? Glad you got the gas leak fixed and hooray for the Green Angels!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When they are just normally out patrolling the main highways then they are paid by the government but when we having them traveling along with our group then they are paid for by the caravan company.

      So far they are all very pleased with the trip so far and are totally enjoying it.

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  10. Sounds like an interesting start to your travels. Stay safe.

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    1. Both days have pretty much been normal type of days driving. If we were by ourselves we would be doing it much slower as in not as much driving and staying a day or two in the Monterrey area and then another day or two in the Saltillo area but then we would also be doing this same trip over a 5 to 6 month period not a 3 month period.

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  11. Wow--I'm enjoying your first days of travel. Now I'm very curious and want to travel next year with you. Will there be another trip next year? Enjoy

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    1. If everything goes well and we have a good time and really enjoy leading a caravan then yes, we will do it again next. Despite that, this company will be leading a caravan down whether we are in the lead or not. I believe the trip in 2019 is full and there is already a waiting list and if they have enough participants the waiting list then they will conduct a second caravan down, providing they find a wagonmaster to lead it and it will leave about a week after the first one.

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  12. Wondering if the Pemex station had ultra low sulphur diesel available? We are planning to be part of one of the 2019 Yucatan trips

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    1. Yes, it was on the ULSD list. The Mexican government has said there will be a full rollout by December 2018, and I think that most stations are that way already.

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  13. Brian, the list has 3200 stations on it, only a gap is from Guadalajara to Mazatlan. The rig that required it in Fall had no issues. (late model sprinter). They read this blog so they may comment.

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  14. Looks like a good day and a fun birthday gathering! How did the cake for Melanie happen? Nearby panaderia? It looks delicious!

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    1. It was a good day overall, we are pleased how smoothly it went except for Sherman's little gas line problem of course.

      I have a list of the birthdays and we got the hotel to look after getting a cake for us. Not sure if it was made in house or if they got it from a bakery near by. Knowing the type of restaurant, I would assume that they have cakes on standby. We couldn't eat the cake but all those that did said it was delicious and one of the best that they have ever had. :-)

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  15. Loved seeing your pictures and hearing about the day. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You able to relive the whole tour all over again! :-) Glad you are enjoying it.

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  16. As a first time follower and prospective traveler with the Yucatan 2019 caravan, Paul and I really appreciate reading the blogs and comments....thanks for taking the time to post including the pictures. Safe travels and stay healthy.

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    1. We are so glad that you are enjoying our posts and following along on our journey. We are hoping that you will find some helpful information that will assist you for upcoming Yucatan 2019 caravan trip. Let us know if you have any questions and thank you for taking the time to comment.

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