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Out for a walk at Crescent Beach 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, March 19, 2018

We are back on schedule!

Went for a nice breakfast yesterday morning with Heinz and Uli, Becky and Jerry, Doug and Cathy, and Nancy at La Cocinita restaurant in Valle de Juarez. Nice of everybody to join us. Our favorite breakfast place in Mexico! The fresh orange juice was the best I've ever had. And with a delicious mushroom, onion, and chorizo omelette. Total price with tip included, 85 pesos ($6.00 CAD, $4.55 USD) each.

With full stomachs, we made another attempt to go see Whiskey's Tree at Hacienda Contreras RV Park.

For new readers, Whiskey was our dog. She was 15 1/2 years old when she passed away while we were in Mexico at the end of September 2011. We planted a bottle brush tree sapling at the spot she was buried.

You can read about Whiskey here... http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/p/whiskey.html

The gas station next door now operates the RV Park, and they couldn't find the key to the gate to let us in the other day. And they still couldn't find the key. So we went to the back of the gas station, and climbed down to the stone wall to get into the RV Park!

Ruth, with Whiskey's Tree in March of 2012.

And yesterday!

Lots of flowers. I think in another couple of weeks it would be in full bloom.

Heinz, Uli, and Ruth.

We wandered around the park and reminisced. Lots of good times spent there!

But, we had to get going. Back over to Becky and Jerry's place where Sherman was parked, and said goodbye to everybody. A quick visit, but better than no visit at all!

Becky and Jerry are having a house built.

We got on the road about 11:15am.

The outskirts of Mazamitla.

Love this area.

Beautiful.

The road from Valle de Juarez down to Tuxpan, a distance of about 85 kms is slow going and not in great condition. Lots of sugar cane trucks and topes through the towns. We've done it several times though, and at least the scenery is nice.

 Scenery along the way.

Sugar cane truck.

More scenery.

The Colima Volcano.

The Colima Volcano.

By this time, we were on the toll highway to and around the city of Colima. In good condition, and we made good time. In fact, even the highway south of Colima heading down to the coast was in good shape.

Then, when we made it to the coast there is another short and fairly expensive toll highway. When we made it to the pay booths there was some kind of peaceful protest going on. Lots of federal police around, but everybody happy and waving Mexico flags. The group had taken over the toll booths and were letting everybody through without paying.

Works for us! 

Grass fire along the highway.

We made it around the port city of Manzanillo and north towards Melaque.

Lots of banana trees.

How many people can you fit in the box of a pickup truck?

We pulled into Laguna del Tule RV Park at about 4:20pm, so about a five hour drive which was about what we expected.

Happy to see everyone, and lots of hugs and handshakes going around! We're glad to be back with the group!

Sherman, parked up at Laguna del Tule in Melaque.

Happy hour with the group!

And so, we are back on schedule!

It's been a bit of a long two and a half weeks since Sherman first broke down! But, hopefully we're back on track and there won't be any more incidences.

Yesterday's drive, 289 kms (179 miles).

Just a relax day today, although we have to get in some exercise. Lacking in that department the last little while. Then tomorrow, we drive again, through the big city of Puerto Vallarta and on to Lo de Marcos where we can really enjoy a four night stay at the only real full service RV Resort in Mexico.

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And in Canada...






49 comments:

  1. Al is well that ends well. Happy that you are back with the group. Whiskey's tree looks awesome!

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    1. We are happy to be back with the group as well!

      Whiskey's is doing so well, we loved our quick visit with her, we figure she really must love it there.

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  2. So happy to hear you are back with the group. Whiskey's tree is beautiful and so big. Now, no more problems.

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    1. Whiskey's tree is doing so well and we were so happy to have a quick visit with her.

      That is our hope too, no more problems! Our fingers are crossed for our drive today.

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  3. Glad you made it. Are the other couple who's rig broke down all fixed up too?

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    1. They had to do a forced "regeneration" on the diesel engine. That cleared the codes, and he was able to make his way to Melaque. I've heard they aren't out of thew woods yet, but I haven't got an update from them yet.

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  4. so what happened with the other rig that broke down?

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    1. They had to do a forced "regeneration" on the diesel engine. That cleared the codes, and he was able to make his way to Melaque. I've heard they aren't out of thew woods yet, but I haven't got an update from them yet.

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  5. Another beautiful drive. Love Heinz and Uli's house. I once had a bottle brush tree but it died years ago. Whiskey's tree makes me want to plant another one in the back yard. Can't wait for the rest of the caravan tour!

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    1. Just a correction, that is Becky and Jerry's house.

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  6. So happy that you got to see Whiskey's tree. Such a special memorial.

    I am curious as to what the difference is between a full service RV Resort and a full service RV Park?

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    1. In my opinion, a full service RV Park has water, power, and sewer dump at all the sites. There are lots of those in Mexico.

      A "resort" RV park would have much more. Have a look at Tlaquepaque...

      http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2014/12/tlaquepaque-bungalows-and-rv-resort.html

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    2. Kevin: You are correct. I have been in this business for over 25 years and that is the standard - FHU. Not sure what Kevin means by "real."

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    3. Happy Travels
      Love every bit of your trip.

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    4. Oaxaca, Mexico Spartan... I was suggesting that there might be other RV parks that use the "resort" term. Tlaquepaque really is one.

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    5. One of our first winters in Mexico was at Tlaquepaque when it first opened. We didn't like it then and we still don't having seen it a few months ago. Other than the park politics and serious issues the beach is what is a deal breaker for me. There is little beach area to walk and it is very seldom level. Not worth the big bucks for grass that only attracts insects.

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    6. We don't mind Tlaquepaque but do still have a hard time with the price per night but it is a lovely park. As for the grass, we personally don't know what the bug factor is like here but we do know that the bugs were bad at Tres Amigos when we were there. Guess we will see over the next four nights here. Yes, the beach is a little hard/steeper for walking on than at Tres Amigos but it is still a nice beach, they also have two beautiful pools and lots of flowers and greenery and shade and so far everyone here has been very friendly.

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  7. I'm not disagreeing with you over Talquepaque but I prefer Paraiso Del Pescador in Guayabitos. Since you have 4 days in Lo de I suggest your group take a walk thru Guayabitos and take a look at Pecador. also they should do the market in La Pentenia.
    Different Stokes for Different Folks.

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    1. From what I could see on Paraiso Del Pescador's website, their park wouldn't be big enough for us all and there didn't see to be very much shade. We loved Guayabitos when we visited back in the fall of 2011 but we also liked Lo de Marcos, besides it isn't up to us where they book the campgrounds on this trip.

      La Penita is ok but we like Lo de Marcos much better. We will suggest to the group to go into La Penita on Thursday for the market if there isn't already something lined up for that day.

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    2. Pescador would have no room for you for certain and it is an extremely tight park to get into and out of. However it is a great place to sit and watch the beach activities if you like that sort of thing. I find the Guayabitos beach very busy but it is fun to do it at least once.

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    3. We loved Rincon de Guayabitos, just to see the Mexican families having such a wonderful time on the beach.

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  8. Whiskey’s tree is beautiful!! Back on schedule - yes! Nice photos!!

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    1. Her tree is doing so well, we figure that she really loves it there for it to be doing so well. :-)

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  9. That box truck overload is crazy! K~

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    1. That is a fairly typical site in some of the more rural areas of Mexico.

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  10. We are at La Penita RV Park Resort!!! Check out this park as this park is full service and more!! We are a great community .. have been here for over 10 years and love that we are so close to a great town of La Penita and the ocean... also the market is every Thursday in La Penita. Safe travels....

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    1. Hi Bob and Shirley. I know that many people love La Penita. We've been there to check it out, although not with our RV. I maintain that Tlaquepaque is the only full service RV Resort in Mexico. I guess an example of one of the differences is that Tlaquepaque has 30 amp electric for the use of it's RV guests and La Penita has 15 amp. There's also a lot more green space and I thought the sites at La Penita were awfully close together. But, as has already been stated, each to their own.

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    2. If amps are your thing then you will be happy with the 50amp service here at Tres Amigos RV Park on Isla de la Piedra. Being directly on a flat 12 mile long beach there is not much greenery. However if you want greenery there are the very large botanical gardens immediately behind the RV Park.

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    3. Amps aren't a thing for us personally for but for some of those on this tour it is! Shade is definitely a major factor though! It is nice to get the shade in the botanical garden but that does nothing for their rigs sitting in the direct sunshine at the park itself!

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  11. You should offer a nice discount to cost conscious caravan members. They can drive ahead and do peaceful protests at each toll booth. Just long enough to get the caravan through ;)

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    1. Lol, love this idea! We may just have to look into this. ;-)

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  12. Glad you are back with the group. Looked like a lovely drive. Stay safe.

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    1. It was a beautiful drive, this is one of the reasons that Kevin and I love the area all around Valle de Juarez. There are a lot of places to visit and lots of hiking opportunities.

      We are glad to be back with the group as well. It will be nice to be back in the lead on today's drive. :-)

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  13. So happy to hear you made it back to the group. I KNOW they are happy to have you back.

    Loved the story of your dog and the memory tree. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We are so happy to be back with them and we think they are happy to have us back to! ;-)

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  14. How does the RV park that the gas station bought make any money if they can't find the key to open the park? Or are they trying to kill the park. Looks as if they are keeping it well mowed. Curious....

    Glad you are caught up..

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    1. They don't make money! In actual fact very few people make the trip to Valle de Juarez, for most people this is off the beaten path. When Barb and Sal owned it, it was busy only because of them, they are a fantastic couple and loved the park and took people on outings. It is not the same now but the people and the area are and that is why we keep coming back and others that had been here before. They did have the key earlier this season because we know people that had stayed there, it seems it was just the gas station attendant that didn't know where it was.

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  15. Puzzling why the gas station owner is keeping the rv park nicely mowed but there seems to be no one there? Also, why keep the gate closed and not make a spare key? It shouldn’t have been too difficult to make another key I suppose, if you were to have parked there for the night?

    Whiskey’s tree is gorgeous! Never seen a bottle brush tree until now....I see where it gets its name. Hahah. The park in Melaque looks peaceful...is the beach swimmable?

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    1. This is a very off the beaten path kind of place so they really don't see many Rver's coming through other than the ones that have been here before. Not sure what the owner's plans are for the future but he bought the park to appease the original owners who were very upset with the building of the gas station and how there park was not not going to be as pretty or as quiet as it had once been. If they can't find the key they will have to cut the lock and put on a new one, Personally we think it is the gas station attendant that had misplaced it.

      Whiskey's is gorgeous! When we see it doing so well, we like to think that she is very happy there. :-)

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  16. Whiskey's Tree is beautiful. Yea! So happy y'all are all together again. Try to kick back and relax a bit.

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    1. Her tree is beautiful, we were so happy to see it. :-)

      Not much time to kick back and relax as today is another driving day but at our next stop we should be able to relax a little.

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  17. Glad you made it. That tree in memory of Whiskey is absolutely beautiful. A nice tribute.

    I liked seeing the countryside you traveled through. Mexico is a pretty country. Can't wait to see
    Puerto Vallarta.

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    1. We are glad we made it too!

      Loved being able to get over to Valle de Juarez and check out her tree, especially because we weren't scheduled to go there on this trip.

      Mexico is beautiful and we really love the area around Valle de Juarez, it is gorgeous.

      You won't get a chance to see much of Puerto Vallarta as we won't we stopping there. You may get a few shots of it during our drive though.

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  18. Love Whiskey's tree and how it has grown! I am sure you were happy to see it. We buried one of our dogs on property we used to own in NC and hate that we can't easily get back to see it since it is now owned by someone else.

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    1. We can't believe how much it has grown over the last 6 1/2 years, it is totally amazing! It just tells us that she sure is happy there. :-)

      That is sad that you can't get excess to the your dog's burial site. :-(

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  19. Ohmygosh, look at the size of that bottlebrush in only six-and-a-half years. Whiskey loves it there~

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