Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Long drive to Rancho San Lorenzo

(Photos have now been added to this post.)

We planned for a 9:00am start on Tuesday to wait for the traffic to die down a bit, but the security guard came over to say that if we wanted to stay until 9:00am we would need permission from the office. And the office didn't open until 9:00am. He said he would prefer if we left at 8:30am. Strange, but we didn't argue with him and it was fine with everyone to leave at 8:30am.

And it turned out that traffic wasn't too bad. Still, it's difficult getting 8 rigs through a city without getting separated by traffic lights. A bit of excitement as one rig made a wrong turn, but they were only on their own for a couple of kilometers and quickly got back in place with the rest of us.

We made a fuel stop at a big truck stop on the outskirts of the city. Paid 18.99 pesos per liter ($1.30 CAD per liter, $3.70 USD per gallon) for regular unleaded. We have two diesel rigs with us, and they paid slightly more. We all paid with credit card, no problem. It was a busy station and it was probably took us a half an hour from start to finish.

Some of the group following along behind.

A statue along the way.

Heading west from Chihuahua, there is a 55 km (34 mile) cuota (toll highway) between Santa Isabel and Cuauhtemoc. We normally try to stick to the free roads, but it was going to be a long enough driving day and taking the toll road would save us about a half an hour of driving. We paid 171 pesos ($11.70 CAD, 8.85 USD) per rig, except for Sue and Roy. They have a small class B van and so they get to pay the car price.

We stopped for a 20 minute break at the toll booth and then carried on using the northern bypass around the small city of Cuauhtemoc. We stopped again at around noon for a half hour lunch break before getting onto the curvy mountain roads leading to Basaseachi Falls. Good thing we did too, because there would have been no easy place for a group of 8 rigs to stop after that.

Scenery along the way.

Taken in Ruth's side mirror!

As we are driving, we use GMRS radio communication. I installed a new 40 watt unit in our rig, and five of the other units have the 15 watt version, while two more have the 5 watt version. Under normal driving circumstances, we can all hear each other fine. But there can sometimes be a two to three mile separation between Sherman and rig number 8. I bought the new 40 watt unit so that even if I can't hear one of them, they can hear me. So far, the system is working great. Except... Ruth had moved the microphone at one point and accidentally hit the "channel down" button. So I'm giving my usual warnings about big vehicles coming our way, or watching out for potholes etcetera. We didn't realize until we arrived at Rancho San Lorenzo that there was a problem. The others did think that I was being awfully quiet! There is a way to lock the radio channel, so I will have to read the instructions so that it doesn't happen again.

The last 75 kms (46 miles) or so took about two hours. Slow going on twisty mountain roads!

Tuesday's drive, 290 kms (180 miles).

We arrived at Rancho San Lorenzo at 3:35pm. Ruth and I had been here in January 2015. It's not really meant for RV parking, and certainly not for a group of 8. But we knew it would work, and the owner Fernando said we could park wherever we want to!

Fernando made us feel totally welcome. He speaks quite good English. It was spitting with rain when we arrived, and he said we were welcome to sit in the restaurant building for happy hour, and it would be open all night for anybody who wanted to use the washrooms there. He even started a fire for us and joined us for some discussion. We'll tell you more about the place another day.

Our indoor happy hour spot.

The helper Alonso even put a fire on for us.

And, we had our first birthday party. 
Happy Birthday Mona!
Caught her with her eyes closed.

It rained buckets overnight! But, it has pretty much stopped as I write this at 7:30am Wednesday morning. There is even the odd patch of blue sky starting to show through. We plan to walk up to the main viewing area at 10:00am, but that will depend on the weather. This afternoon will be relax time, although there are certainly a lot of walking trails around here! Tomorrow (Thurday) we will do the big hike to the base of the falls.

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  1. We only had small hand held radios on our caravan so relaying messages was the norm. And yes being on the right channel helps as well!!

    1. The handhelds would work but these GMRS radios are so much better, we really like them, espeically after using a CB radio the first year we did a caravan.

      We will definitely be much more aware of the channels from now on, especially if Kevin can figure out how to lock the channel. :-P

  2. So interested in this. This is what we want to do. We have a 35ft class A. Can you park with hookups? will follow your blog. Lokks like you are having a great time. Where did you cross? Whwn will you caravan again?

    1. We are glad that you are interested in traveling to Mexico. For our type of caravan you are too big, the biggest unit that we were going to take this winter was 30' and it actually works out that this winter we are the biggest unit at 28'. The majority of our stops this year are going to be dry camping without any hookups but we may have use of a public washroom at some of our stops and possibly a place to fill our water tanks. We crossed at Presidio, Texas/Ojinaga, Chihuahua this year.

      Yes, we are all having a great time. We don't know when we will caravan again, maybe next year and maybe not. If you are still interested in joining a caravan that would accept your size of rig let us know and we can send you the details for a company that has much more organized tours of varying lengths of time.


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