The Great Ocean Road Coast, Victoria, Australia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Drysdale, Victoria, Australia.

Where are they going next? Melbourne, Australia!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sometimes in Mexico you never quite know how something is going to happen...

Three years ago, Ruth and I had hopped on some local transportation and done a day trip to a waterfall. We suggested the trip to the group, and 10 of us decided to go. But it's tough to use local transport for a group of ten, so we contacted the same minibus company that had taken us to the butterflies, and they sent a van to pick us up at 10:00am.

But before we left, we had some laundry to do...

Sunday, December 30, 2018

What a great way to start off the new year!

From November through February there are near perfect daily conditions for paragliding here in Valle de Bravo. And with the fantastic views, this makes Valle de Bravo a world class paragliding location. Every single day at this time of year they are paragliding off the top of nearby Monte Alto.

 And every time we've been here we've thought about going paragliding.

Yesterday, we went to the central area and put down a deposit!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Into Valle de Bravo for lunch, and evening birthday cake!

Yesterday was a day off for the group. Ruth and I needed to go into town to buy a birthday present and do some research on another activity for the group. We made plans to go into town with Roy and Sue, and while we were standing out at the road waiting for a collectivo (shared taxi) Garth showed up and he came along with us.

Pretty tough to get all five of us into a single collectivo because they usually already have at least 1 person in them when they come along, so Ruth and Sue took off in one, and the three guys waited for another one with a plan to meet up downtown.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Our 5th visit to see the monarch butterflies wintering grounds

This is a bucket list item for many people, and we've now done it five times... and it never gets old.

We rented a 14 passenger van for the group. It cost 2,000 pesos ($103 USD, $140 CAD) for the van and driver for the day. So with 14 people, it was 150 pesos ($7.75 USD, $10.50 CAD) per person. Not a bad deal. When these people signed up to travel with Kevin and Ruth, they get to share our frugality!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Well that was a fun surprise!

We made a plan yesterday for the group to go to Velo de Novia (Bride's Veil) waterfalls in Avandaro on the opposite side of the lake.  I had been talking to our host Chago about arranging a minibus to get us there, when he made the suggestion to go by boat.

Ruth and I have been there a couple of times before, and we knew that you could access the trail from the lake shore to get to the falls... I thought the group would enjoy a boat ride over there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It was a wonderful Christmas Day!

It started off with a bit of cloud in the sky for a change, but the lake was still calm, so I got the kayak all set up and we went for a paddle on the lake.

As a Canadian, some might say it's not Christmas Day without snow and cold... but we do not miss that at all. We think going for a kayak ride on the lake is a beautiful way to spend Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas from Valle de Bravo, Mexico!

We love spending Christmas in Mexico. The traditions are a little different, and it's fun to experience the season from a different perspective. Here in Mexico, Christmas Eve is the big celebration and Christmas Day is pretty much just another day. The kids don't open presents on Christmas morning... that is saved for Three Kings Day on January 6th.

Another gorgeous day enjoying the sunshine, blue sky, and fantastic scenery.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Another great day in Mexico

Valle de Bravo is a popular weekend destination for people from nearby Mexico City and Toluca. It's surrounded by mountains and it's located on the shore of Lake Avandaro. A really beautiful spot and one that we love to return to.

We are staying at a marina on the other side of the lake, near the town of San Gaspar, 5 kms (3 miles) drive from central Valle de Bravo.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Great drive, until the very last kilometer...

We did a 198 km (123 mile) drive yesterday from the Balneario Pueste del Sol to Club Nautico Los Olas del Valle near Valle de Bravo.

Ruth and I have done most of this drive in the past, so we knew that we had a lot of twisty windy mountain roads to do and that it would take some time. We left at 9:00am, stopped for lunch for an hour and a half, and arrived at about 3:30pm... so it was about 5 hours of driving to do 198 kms (123 miles)!

And it went problem free until the very last kilometer!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Learning the features on our new camera

We were given permission to stay at Balneario Puesta del Sol for one more night, so we decided to take a relax day. Nothing wrong with having a few relax days along the way!

Besides, I still had a bunch of little projects to do on Sherman. His heater fan had been acting up, sometimes not coming on at all until you give it a whack with your hand. I had taken it apart in Texas, and thought I had it fixed, but had bought a new one at the time just in case.

Friday, December 21, 2018

In the end, everything came together...

Yesterday was a driving day, however shortly into the drive, we learned that we weren't sure exactly where we were going to end up for the night.

I had made arrangements to stay at a water park parking lot, and I contacted them before leaving. I asked if they could make sure the gate is open for us when we arrived around 1:00pm.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Not a very restful day off...

Yesterday was a day off. But there was no resting to be done.

It started off on a high note though... I checked my bank account first thing, and the missing $625 from the ATM rip off the other day had been credited back to my account. Not feeling so ripped off anymore!

A few of us were going to the big La Comer grocery store and Wendy had volunteered the use of her Class B campervan provided that I did the driving. But she needed propane as well, and one of the other rigs uses 20 lb tanks and one of them was empty. So I took Paul with me in Wendy's van and we got her van and the 20 lb tank filled as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

We love market day!

A tianguis is an open-air market that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America.

San Miguel de Allende has a huge tianguis market. It is held on Sundays and Tuesdays, however the Tuesday market is the larger event. So yesterday, our entire group headed to the market!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Nice day trip to Dolores Hidalgo, with a few glitches!

The city of Dolores Hidalgo (pop about 70,000) is where the Mexican Revolution began. The city was a small town known simply as Dolores when Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico in the early hours of September 16, 1810, in front of the parish church. After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor.

Today Dolores Hidalgo is known primarily for its ceramics industry, started by Father Hidalgo, which provides income to well over half the city's population. The inexpensive and mass-produced output of the town is marketed throughout the world.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Another great day in Mexico

Got the group together about 10:30am and called three more taxis to take us back to downtown San Miguel de Allende. If it were just Ruth and I, we would be taking the local bus. But, it's easier with the group to do taxis, and divided by four people in a cab it is relatively inexpensive.

One couple from our group is visiting a friend here, so Lynette and Paul haven't been around much. We'll probably see them again at happy hour today.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

San Miguel de Allende at night

A short driving day yesterday, so we planned for a 10:00am start. It's normally only 67 kms (42 miles) between the RV park we were staying at in Guanajuato, and the one we were going to in San Miguel de Allende.

However, we got to one turn that we needed to make and there were a bunch of signs saying the road was closed so we had to make a detour.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ripped off by an ATM

Yesterday morning, six of us headed back to central Guanajuato. Ruth and I just wanted to wander around and see if we could find anything new to see, as well as showing the other four some of the neat things we had seen before.

Oh, and we wanted to go have enchiladas mineras for lunch... a local specialty dish.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Touring beautiful Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is one of our favorite cities in Mexico. Built into a very hilly area, the colorful city is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways. And with a large (30,000 students) university population there are a lot of young people about. It's also considered to be one of the safest cities in Mexico.

And, there is a lot to see and a lot of history. So as a group, we decided to hire a van and a guide.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Long hike in the mountains near Guanajuato

It was a free day for the group... nothing organized and everybody was free to do their own thing. Four of the group decided to hop on the local bus and head into the city of Guanajuato, about 13 kms (8 miles) from here.  Cost for the bus was 10 pesos (50 cents USD, 65 cents CAD).

Others simply stayed back at the RV park and relaxed, or puttered around on their rigs. Ruth and I wanted to do a hike, and Bob and Denise wanted to join us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Another driving day in Mexico. San Luis to Guanajuato...

Planned on a 9:00am start, and the group was ready to head out at 8:55am! Gotta love this group, they are always on time. We said goodbye to our host Peter at El Faro de Peter RV Park and thanked him for looking after us so well. Despite the negatives of the place, we wouldn't hesitate to go back.

There is no easy way for us to get through the city of San Luis Potosi, so this is one of those situations where we know when it's best to take the toll highway (cuota) north around the city.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A day off with some great views

Yesterday was a rest day with no structured plans for the group.

It started off with an unfriendly dog lose on the property. It turns out that he belonged to the owner of the property. There are actually four dogs here and we hadn't seen any of them out of their cages until this fellow was lose. Not sure why or how he got out, but he was not very friendly! I went out with one of Ruth's walking sticks and made my way to the owner's house to wake him up.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Second day touring San Luis Potosi, Mexico

At 10:30am, we were back in our host Peter's Suburban SUV, ferrying the rest of our group into the city of San Luis Potosi.

When we arrived in the center, it seemed much quieter than it had been on Saturday. But, it's possible that everyone was still in church!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Exploring the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

While the property here at El Faro de Peter RV Park is not as well maintained as it could be, our host Peter makes up for it. He's a friendly, helpful guy. We asked about taking the bus into the city of San Luis Potosi (the locals simply call it San Luis) and he replied in Spanish, "no, let me take you... I am at your service".

He has a big 7 passenger Suburban SUV. I asked the cost, and he said it was his pleasure.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Driving day in Mexico to San Luis Potosi and El Faro de Peter RV Park

As with our RV travels in the U.S. and Canada, we try to keep our driving days in Mexico under 200 kms (120 miles). And, we try to stay off the busy four lane highways here as well.

Yesterday's route was new to us, but we checked it out on google maps and google streetview, and I spoke to a taxi driver in Matehuala to make sure the route was okay for a group of eight RVs. Some of these small towns in Mexico are not suitable for RVs, and you have to be aware of routes that have bypasses around the central areas of these towns.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A great day trip to Real de Catorce, Mexico

We are staying with the RVs here at Matehuala. This is a common stopover for people heading south to the beach. We spoke to one couple here who have been here four or five times... and they had never heard of Real de Catorce. They're in such a rush to get to the beach that they don't look around to see what there is to see along the way. They are destination people.

But we are explorers! Nine years ago, we visited Real de Catorce and we knew that our group would enjoy it as much as we did back then. And, it's a great place to give our new camera a workout... so be warned... lots of photos to follow...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Visit to central Matehuala and the doctor

A bit of a cold front going through this area for the next day or two. Overcast almost all day, and a high of about 17C (64F). But that didn't stop us from taking the group into the central area.

Matehuala isn't much of a tourist town... there's not really a lot to see. But they have an interesting cathedral and a typical market and for some of the group it is their first opportunity to see a small non tourist city.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Through the mountains and on to our next stop!

The group really enjoyed our stay with Chris and Juan at Campestre Monte Sur. But, it was time to move on! So yesterday we headed out right on time with our 9:00am departure towards Matehuala.

The day started off overcast, and looking towards the mountain range that we had to cross, we could not see the tops of the mountains which were up in the clouds.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A great first full day in Mexico!

We wanted to do a walk yesterday morning here at Campestre Monte Sur, but Chris wanted to go at 7:00am, and Denise and Bob wanted to go at 9:00am. So in true Kevin and Ruth fashion, we went on both walks!

We did the same route each time, because we wanted to show Denise and Bob the same things that Chris had pointed out to us the first time around. We had 14 kms (8.6 miles) done before 10:30am!

Monday, December 3, 2018

First driving day in Mexico

As planned, we left the RV park in Mission, Texas at just after 7:00am Sunday morning. It's a fifteen minute drive from there to the Anzalduas bridge that takes you to the west side of Reynosa, Mexico.

But of course, once you pay the $7.00 USD ($9.25 CAD, 140 pesos) toll fee to cross the bridge you still have to stop at immigration and customs to get your tourist visa and your motorhome permit.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

On our way to Mexico!

By the time most of you read this, we will already be on our way across the border and into our first driving day in Mexico.

We're getting up early and making our way to the border station well before the crowds... and doing so on a Sunday morning because we know that all of the bad guys will either be sleeping... or in church!