Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

San Cristobal and the surrounding villages of Chamula and Zinacantan

Yesterday was the day trip to San Cristobal de las Casas. Ruth and I have been there twice before, 3 nights in February of 2009, and two nights at the end of February 2013. We like San Cristobal, but it sure has grown in the nine years since the first time we were there.

San Cristobal is located in the mountains at an altitude of around 7,000 ft. Where we are parked with the motorhomes is only 1,400 ft. And San Cristobal is only 50 kms (30 miles), away so it is up hill all the way.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

We've said it before... smaller is easier when exploring Mexico in an RV

We sure enjoyed our experience at the orphanage, but boy it sure wasn't very relaxing for Ruth and I. On the go again yesterday morning as we had to finish spending the money. First stop was a papeleria... a paper goods store. The small town Mexico version of Office Depot!

This was a little one man operation, and he had everything! Veronica had made a list again, and it took them almost two hours to get everything together. Just adding everything up was time consuming...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shopping for the orphanage

We had a long drive yesterday morning and we hit the road at 8:00am. Well, not that long as in distance, at only 333 kms (206 miles), but we know that you don't get anywhere fast in Mexico and so we planned on it taking five hours with minimal stops.

There was no easy way to get from Villahermosa to Ocozocoautla. The most direct route at 230 kms (143 miles) is a curvy mountain road that goes through small villages. If Ruth and I were on our own, we would have done it, but with 12 rigs it would have been a long slow journey.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Palenque to Villahermosa

We left Palenque on schedule right at 9:00am.

By 9:05am, we encountered a change in plans!

Entering the main road that runs beside the town, we saw some police cars, and then some detour signs. There was some kind of special bicycle race going on, and they had the main road closed off. The detour went through the town!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Wow. We are a little overwhelmed...

By the generosity of our readers.

Two days ago, we asked if anybody wanted to help us buy some things for a local orphanage we will be staying at with our Mexico RV Caravan group.

In two days, 20 readers have donated a total of $1,670 in combined U.S. and Canadian dollars. Either way, it works out to over 30,000 pesos!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The fabulous Mayan ruins at Palenque

Our guide Salvador showed up exactly on schedule at 9:00am with two minivans to take our group to the Palenque archaeological site.

Ruth and I visited the Palenque ruins at the end of January 2009, and it has been our favorite ruins site out of the probably 10 or 12 other Mexico ruins we have been to. It has the best architecture, and the best surroundings, in our opinion.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day.... and a request...

On Wednesday morning, we were on the road from Conhaus to Palenque at 9:00am. Very often, we have the Green Angels travelling with us, but not always. It depends on their availability and the route we are on. Anyhow, they were supposed to show up at 9:00am, and they are normally early. This time, we were pulling out and they had not yet arrived. We leave on time, Green Angels, or not.

Just as we were about to pull out onto the highway, there they were!

3 Outdoor Adventures in Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is a paradise for lovers of water activities and outdoor adventures. It's got water sports like surfing and paddleboarding along with scenic cruises along the waterways around the island. There are fishing spots along the piers and charter boats that go further out onto the ocean for deep water sportfishing. It's a small town full of seemingly endless outdoor adventures on the water. Following are three outdoor adventures that are not to be missed while on a trip to Wrightsville Beach.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The remote ruins of Calakmul, and the bat cave!

Well that was an interesting day!

We were on the road at 7:00am Tuesday morning! Sometimes the schedule isn't to everybody's liking, but if you want to see what is on the planned route, you need to take the good with the bad. In this case, it was going to be a very busy day... but we think that everybody enjoyed the final outcome!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Boat trip on beautiful Lake Bacalar, Mexico

As part of the Mexico RV Caravan Tour, we arranged a boat trip and lunch from Calderitas to Lake Bacalar, about 45 minutes away.

Lake Bacalar is really interesting because it is fed through the underground water system of the Yucatan Pensinsula, and it has the interesting turquoise colors of the tropical seas... and yet, it is a lake.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Puppies and ruins

The road out front of the Yax-Ha Trailer Park here in Calderitas has a nice bike friendly section that goes north of here. One bit branches off to go to the Oxtankah Mayan ruins. So we went for a nice bike ride with with Michel and Louise yesterday to go check them out. It was 6.2 kms (3.8 miles) each way.

Ruth and I had been there nine years ago, so it was interesting to see what has changed.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's an oil change... how tough can it be?

Another perfect day here in Chetumal. What a beautiful campground this is, despite the lack of RV services.

One of the problems with traveling in this part of Mexico is that many of the campgrounds don't have the type of hookups that many RV'ers would be used to in Canada or the United States. For boondockers like us, it's simply not an issue. We don't even think about needing to be hooked up.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Paamul to Chetumal

This is the second blog post for today... in case you missed it, you can visit the first one here...

Our visit to Xcaret

We had arrived back at Paamul RV Park at about 10:00pm Thursday night, and we had an 8:00am Friday morning start for our scheduled travel day to Chetumal. So there simply wasn't time to sort through the days photos and write a long blog post.

Visit to Xcaret theme park near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

On Thursday, we arranged a couple of vans to take us to the Xcaret theme park just south of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Going to an amusement park is not something we would normally do in Mexico, but since it was one of the included tours with the RV caravan we are leading, we figured we might as well go and enjoy the experience. And ultimately, we did enjoy it.

Xcaret is a little different than your typical Disney style experience. There are no "rides" as such. Well, except for a small boat tour on a short narrow river. And everything is themed Mayan, or Mexican.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We decided we needed some exercise

Just a bit of a relax day yesterday, although we did mange to get out and about a little bit.

Most of the Mexico RV caravan group has learned that Ruth used to be a hair stylist, so it's been convenient for them, and some pocket money for us. She had two haircuts scheduled for this morning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The most expensive RV Park in Mexico

Other than a bike ride to get to an ATM, we stayed here at the "gated" expat community of Paamul yesterday.

We knew what we were getting in to, because we've stayed at two similar RV parks before... one in Cabo San Lucas way back in 2008, and a couple of times at the Diamonte Trailer Park south of Acapulco because it is conveniently close to Acapulco airport.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

While some people love the area, it's not our style

We were on the road at 9:00am yesterday morning, but it turned out that we would have felt a lot less rushed if we would have started at 8:00am. We only had 204 kms (126 miles) to drive, but we wanted to stop at another cenote for a swim, and we had to do a fuel stop, a grocery stop, and make our way through the now very busy community of Playa del Carmen.

Oh, and to top it all off, we lost an hour due to time change!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The ruins at Chichen Itza, and cenote swim

A bunch of taxis arrived just before 8:00am yesterday to take the group of us to the Chichen Itza archaeological site located less than two kilometers away.

Ruth and I were here in December of 2008, but at the time I stayed in the motorhome with our dog and Ruth went in to see the ruins with our friends Glen and Steve. We had seen a lot of ruins by this point, and Chichen Itza is one of the more developed sites, and with lots and lots of Cancun tourists.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day... Merida to Chichen Itza

Ready to depart from the Rainbow Maya RV Park in Merida right on schedule at 9:00am. Never a problem getting this group organized on time. Onto the Merida periferico (ring road), and headed east towards Cancun.

We don't actually go to Cancun. There are no RV Parks up that way that are suitable for a caravan.  Along the way though, is the tourist infested ruins of Chichen Itza.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

At the Rainbow Maya RV Park

Ruth and I decided we needed a relax day yesterday. Some of the group took off to Celestun to see the flamingos. Others went to Progresso to mingle with the cruise ship passengers. Well, I'm sure that's not why they went there, but when there's a cruise ship in port I expect that's what you would be doing.

One of the guys said he stopped in a restaurant/bar to have a beer, and they wanted 50 pesos. Yikes. Normal price for a beer in bar in Mexico is between 20 and 30 pesos. So far, the Yucatan area is a bit pricier than the rest of Mexico. We'll reserve judgement for another couple of weeks, but I think when we design our own RV caravan tour route for the winter of 2019-2020, it's not going to include the Yucatan Peninsula at all.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Everybody loves a parade! The beginning of Carnaval in Merida...

Our tour guide and bus arrived to pick everybody up from the Rainbow Trailer Park in Merida. The bus was partly open air... so it definitely makes it better for trying to take pictures, although it's always tough to get decent pictures from a moving bus.

Merida is a big city... population of about 1 million people now. And it's a hot city... the average daytime high is around 31C (88F) in the winter, and 35C (95F) during the summer. We like warm, but  on an every day basis that's too hot for us!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

We made it to the hot and busy city of Merida.

On the road right on schedule for our 9:00am departure for the drive from the Uxmal archaeological site to the northern limits of the city of Merida. Only an 89 km (55 mile) drive, and we planned on stopping half way at the Yaxcopoil Hacienda.

The hacienda dates back to the 17th century, and it is privately owned. Seems to be a bit of a work in progress as there is some discrepancy between what the website advertises and what is actually there.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mayan ruins and chocolate!

Everybody was ready to go for our 8:00am tour of the Uxmal ruins.

Ruth and I were here in December of 2008. At that time, it cost 48 pesos which with the exchange rate then, it was ($4.50 CAN $3.65 US).

Now, you have to buy two tickets. As I understood it, one is for the state, and one is federal. The total entrance fees are now 234 pesos ($15.90 CAD, $12.75 USD).

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Made it to Yucatan!

Our group crossed the border from the state of Campeche to the state of Yucatan yesterday. This caravan tour was billed as the "Yucatan RV Caravan Tour" because we spend a fair bit of time on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, however that peninsula is actually made up of three Mexican states... Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.

We had a 9:00am departure from the Kin-Ha Balneario in Campeche. Only a planned 160 km (100 mile) driving day, so with one fuel stop we would easily make it there by noon.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Wandering around the streets of Campeche

Yesterday was a day off. The group spirits have definitely improved along with the weather, and the hectic pace of the first two weeks is forgotten. There are still a couple of people who are not feeling 100%, but I suppose when you have 24 people together there is bound to be always 1 or 2 who are a little under the weather.

Most people used the off day to return to the Campeche city center and do some more exploring.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mexico RV caravan travel day and fun tour of Campeche

Up and on the road at 8:30am yesterday morning. The blue skies and sunshine continue!

Nice easy drive from Isla Aguada to the city of Campeche. Only 171 kms (106 miles) on pretty good roads for a nice change. We made one gasoline stop in the town of Champoton at about 10:15am , and arrived at the Kin-Ha Balneario at about 11:30am.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A relaxing day off watching the pelicans

The day started off cloudy, but by noon there was nothing but blue sky and sunshine.

We decided we needed some exercise, and the bay that we are in has very few waves. Seemed like a good time to get out our Intex Challenger K2 Kayak for a little paddle.

And exercise it was!

Friday, February 2, 2018

I don't give up so easily

I mentioned yesterday that we had another surprise for the group.

Our original schedule had us spending three nights here at Isla Aguada and then today moving on to the city of Campeche for three nights. We have a city tour of Campeche booked for 3pm on Saturday.

But the RV parking in Campeche is at a balneario (swimming resort) in an open field with minimal services. The weather here at Isla Aguada has been great and people are just enjoying relaxing. So I asked Gabriel, the owner of Caravans de Mexico if we could make an adjustment to do four nights here and then two nights in Campeche. If we left here at a decent hour on Saturday morning, we would still arrive in Campeche with lots of time to do the city tour starting at 3pm.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Expenses

Well, it was yet another higher than expected month. Although when I think about it, we really didn't know what to expect because we've never traveled this way in Mexico.

Because we make a contract income for leading the group, as part of the deal we are still responsible for paying our own fuel and toll fees. But some of those fuel and toll fees are expenses that we wouldn't have if we weren't leading the group because we don't travel the same way.

We have another surprise for the group today!

We woke up yesterday morning cautiously optimistic that we were going to have a nice day with the weather. Ruth checked back, and we had endured nine days of overcast and rain, with (literally) only a few minutes of sun here and there.

In fact, since we left Canada on November 16th we could probably count on one hand the days that included the magical combination of blue sky, warmth, and sunshine!

There were a few clouds when we woke up, but the skies cleared nicely and it was a perfect day...