Sherman, tucked away in his spot at Guadalupe River State Park, Texas.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Guadalupe River State Park, Texas.

Where are they going next? Not sure!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Sherman needs some minor repair

A few days ago, Sherman began acting up. Nothing serious, and I recognized the symptoms right away. The idle seemed high and erratic. And, the "Service Engine Soon" light had come on.

I checked the error code, and sure enough it was exactly what I figured. Sherman needed a new idle control module.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sherman's 10 year old batteries are still doing fine

This last few days of dry camping have been a test of Sherman's now 10 year old Trojan batteries. It was in March of 2010 that we bought our new T-105 6 volt batteries. I knew they had a good reputation, but never expected them to last ten years.

I'm sure there has been some deterioration, but they are still doing fine!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Rain rain, go away...

Rain is in the forecast on and off for the next several days but we still get out for some daily exercise. We set out with Bob and Denise just before 10am to do another few miles of trails.

Although it spit with rain a few times, we were actually pretty lucky.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Could be a bread baking day tomorrow!

Some states have taken the drastic measures of totally closing all of their state parks.

Here in Texas, they have taken a more logical approach. Each state park has their own rules as to how they limit the number of people coming into the park. We are at Hill Country State Natural Area where they have very few campsites to begin with, and they are really well spaced apart. Campers with reservations are allowed into the park, and then they limit the number of day users and when that limit is reached that's it.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Finding places to overnight

We stayed our first night in Texas at the rest area on the I-35. The tourist office there was closed, but they gave a 1-800 number if you needed any info. And the bathroom building was open because truckers stop in as well and use the facilities. And they left the WiFi on.

On Tuesday, we filled up with gas at $1.70 USD per gallon ($0.64 CAD per liter). Sherman is happily full of cheap fuel!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March Expenses

Not a bad month, mostly because we sat at the Las Palmas Midway Inn for the last ten days of the month. That kept our entertainment expenses low, and because of the coronavirus we didn't eat out very much.

But, we did do some stocking up for the trip north. Mostly because we wanted to spend as little time as possible doing any grocery shopping, so Ruth had made a bunch of meals and froze them... in fact, the freezer is totally full. We also stocked up the liquor cabinet because most things are quite a bit cheaper in Mexico.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Adios, Mexico

I don't enjoy long driving days, but sometimes it makes sense. In this situation, none of the attractions we wanted to see along the way were open, and so we enjoyed one last day at the Las Palmas Midway Inn in Matehuala. Hard to believe we were there for 10 nights!

We hit the road at just after 7:00am. First thing we did was to fill up with some very cheap fuel.

Monday, March 30, 2020

The things that went wrong...

Eight motorhomes and 14 people touring Mexico together for four months and doing 7,000 kms (4,500 miles) worth of sometimes rough Mexican roads.

What could go wrong?

Well, as we explained to the group at the beginning of the trip, a lot can go wrong. It's not a matter of if there will be a problem... only when.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Highlights of a fantastic four months touring Mexico... part 2

Okay... if you missed part 1, you really want to go back and check that out first.

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/03/highlights-of-fantastic-four-months.html

Many people think of Mexico as "beaches". But there is so much more to Mexico, and we think the vast majority of the good stuff is actually in the interior.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Highlights of a fantastic four months touring Mexico... part 1

Not much going on here at the Las Palmas Hotel and RV Park where we have been holed up for the past week. No point in just writing about the same things day after day, so I thought we might review what has been a fantastic four months touring Mexico.

We crossed into Mexico at Presidio, Texas and into the state of Chihuahua.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

We don't seem to have any problem keeping busy

Yesterday, I cleaned Sherman's awning. It was way overdue... probably because it's a pain in the butt to clean! When I worked at the RV dealership parts department back ten years or so ago, they had a thick liquid product that you spray on both sides of the awning, roll it up, leave it for a few hours, and then rinse it off.

But of course I don't have any of that... so I used Spray 9 and a scrub broom!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Margaritas by the pool

Well, we continue to wait things out at the Las Palmas Midway Inn here in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Yesterday, I got up on Sherman's roof and gave it a bath. Some regular readers will remember when I re-coated the roof back in September 2015. Considering that was almost five years ago, it was a good thing to do and it has held up well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Nothing better than fresh air

We are of the opinion that the best place to be right now is outside and away from people who are not part of our group. Some readers even think that we shouldn't be associating with members of our group... but we think there is no logic there. Our group have been together every day for the last four months. If one of us were sick, we would all be sick.

So we stay outside, or inside the motorhome with all the windows open.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Will we stay, or will we go...?

Well, another day another decision.

As I said before, we are playing this thing one day at a time. Many of you have your own opinions of what we should or shouldn't be doing and one of the problems with putting our life out there the way we do is that people want to make their opinion known if they think they know what we should be doing. And while we appreciate the concern, Ruth said it best...

Sunday, March 22, 2020

One day at a time

Nice to have some down time here in Matehuala. The rest of the group are keeping busy puttering around their rigs, getting some laundry done, and generally relaxing.

We walked with Bob and Denise over to the Walmart. Bob was looking for some oil do do an oil change on his rig, but we thought that the Autozone would have a better selection so we left Ruth and Denise in the Walmart and the two of us walked another km down the road to the Autozone.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Change of plans

Woke up yesterday morning at the run down El Banito Restaurant Balneario RV Park just south of Ciudad Valles. We wanted to visit some waterfalls in the area, but didn't want to base ourselves out of that particular RV park. I didn't even take any photos there!

Anyhow, online I found what looked like a decent parking area at the Micos waterfalls and I had read that they have a swimming area as well. And it was hot... calling for a high of 33C (91F). Nice to be somewhere to cool off in the water.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The odd surrealist sculpture garden of Edward James

We have known about this place for quite a long time and have never made the effort to visit. It's one of the reasons we came to this area besides the fact that we simply had never been here before and there is a lot of other stuff to see as well.

It was only a 25 km (15 mile) drive from where we had stayed Wednesday night at Club Palma Solas. So we headed out at 9:00am to try and beat any buses to the parking lot I had read about.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The most beautiful drive in Mexico?

Monday night we had been parked overnight at the Pemex gas station just south of the town of Jacala. When we got up Tuesday morning, several of us went for a walk in the countryside before heading out.

Even with a 10:00am start to the driving day, we should still arrive at our destination of Matlapa by 2:00pm.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

And then there were five...

We started off this trip with 8 rigs. We had high hopes of finishing the trip with 8 rigs but then this Coronavirus (now apparently being called Covid-19?!) thing happened and people's plans change.

Larry and Martha decided their best option was to be back in the United States and they set off a week ago. Then a couple of days ago, Sue and Roy decided their best option was to be anywhere but the Unites States and they chose Valle de Juarez, Mexico (we were there at Christmas)... and Garth decided he didn't want to be in the Unites States either so he was going to visit his sister in Puerto Vallarta, but would go with Sue and Roy along the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Busy day with hot springs, caves, and waterfalls!

The tour buses began arriving at 7:00am. This is a popular spot, and especially so on holidays and long weekends. And they kept coming, all day long.

First thing we did was that I drove Sue and Roy's van down to the lower parking area before it got too busy down there. Roy would have had a tough time doing the climb up to the parking area where the rest of us are, and their vehicle can fit into a normal parking spot.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Yet another adventure for the group!

First off, let me address the craziness going on in the world. We do not talk about politics, our health, or the news unless it affects our travels. So far, what is happening in the world has not affected our travels. In fact, if it weren't for the internet we wouldn't even know about it.

And so that's all I have to say about it for now. If that changes, I will be the first to let you know! But for now, it is business as usual here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Friday, March 13, 2020

One of the prettiest campsites in Mexico

We were happy at the place we had stayed Wednesday night, and would have been prepared to stay another night. But Ruth and I had found a better spot just a couple of kms down the road. The sign at the entrance had said it was a community campground and it was 50 pesos per person to camp overnight. But there was nobody around and the gate was wide open. We had paid 200 pesos per rig where we were, so not only was the place down the road better... it was also cheaper.

We set off at 9:00am for what would be a very short driving day!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Yet another beautiful campsite in the mountains

We left the little ejido village of Tuliman right at 9:00am. Our host Josue insisted on leading us out of the area and up to the main road. Really nice people.

We were headed up to Mineral del Chico National Park.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

An adventurous hike with waterfalls!

We hired Josue to take us for a hike into the canyon. He brought along Carlos, one of the local boys to bring up the rear so nobody got left behind.

Ten of us set off at 9:00am. We first went to the ridge of the canyon, and then walked the road down to the park entrance.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

This is why we come to Mexico

9:30am start for the group yesterday after a great week in the Cholula/Puebla city area. But, it's time to get back into the countryside.

As I mentioned yesterday, the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. Not many RV'ers to Mexico visit the region through which we are headed. As such, there aren't many official RV camping areas and we kind of have to wing it.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Not every day you see something like this. Especially here in Mexico!

Sundays are a great day to explore downtown Puebla... there is so much going on!

So yesterday morning at 10:30am, we ordered some Uber taxis and took the group downtown to central Puebla.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Bike ride in Puebla, and new dinette cushions for Sherman

(I posted February's expenses last night... you can read about it here... February Expenses.)

Eight of us set off at 9:00am yesterday for a bike ride into Puebla.

Puebla is a modern city of about 3 million people. It is located at an elevation of 7,000'. It's also one of the cleanest cities in Mexico... very little graffiti, and lots of green space. We purposely didn't go into the historical area itself since we are taking the group in there today. Plus, the "cyclopista" doesn't go into the central area.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

February Expenses

Not a bad month, pretty much exactly as expected at $1,900 CAD ($1,415 USD).

We started the month in Cuernavaca and drove all the way to Ocozocoautla and back to Oaxaca so we actually did a fair bit of driving in February. So of course gasoline took up a fair chunk of our February expenses!

Steak for dinner!

It just occurred to me that I never published out February expense report... and I don't have time to do it now. We are headed out to do some cycling around Puebla this morning and we are leaving in 40 minutes... so this will be a quick post.

I'll get to the expenses later today.

Friday, March 6, 2020

We had to go to plan B

We had a van coming to pick us up at 9:00am to take us on a planned hike in the national park located between the two volcanoes.

The town of Cholula where the campground is located is at 7,000' altitude. The park where we were going is around 12,000' altitude, so it's a bit of climb by vehicle just to get to the trails.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

This town doesn't get many tourists!

Great day for a hike.

But, it was a great day for other things as well because some of the group chose to go bike riding, and some took the Cholula trolley tour.

We set off with Bob and Denise at around 9:30am.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A great first day in Cholula

We really like this area. There is so much to see and do, and the weather is absolutely perfect in our opinion.

First thing we did was to walk the 2.5 kms or so to the Great Pyramid of Cholula. This is the largest pyramid in the world, built over a period of more than 1,000 years between 300 BC to 900 AD. When the Spanish came, they built a church on top of it, and they may not have even known it was a pyramid.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Oaxaca to Cholula

Long driving day yesterday as we made our way from Oaxaca city to the Puebla suburb of Cholula.

It's a distance of 369 kms (229 miles), and we had thought about taking the free road and breaking it into a two day drive, but due to a variety of reasons we chose to take the toll road and do it all in one shot.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Market day in Tlacalula

The Tlacalula market just east of Oaxaca city is a huge Sunday market that has been operating since before the Spanish arrived. Many of the indigenous people from the surrounding hills come here on Sundays to sell their goods and socialize.

A group of us hopped on the local bus at 9:00am to do the drive out to the town of Tlacalula.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Alebrijes and Cactus... more touring around Oaxaca City

Yesterday was another great day out touring for the group. We once again booked a van for the excursion and driver Omar showed up right on time for our 9:00am departure.

We headed directly to the alebrijes studio of Jacobo y María Ángeles located south of the city of Oaxaca in the town of San Martín Tilcajete.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Into the city of Oaxaca

There is so much to see and do around the city of Oaxaca that we haven't spent much time in the city itself. Ruth and I were here at the beginning of March 2013 when we spent a week or so in the city, but otherwise it has only been the surrounding area.

Friday, we went with some of the group into the city.

Hierve el Agua and Mitla Ruins

There is a lot to see and do around the Oaxaca city area, but a prime attraction is Hierve el Agua... that's why we keep returning there to show it off to some of the new people in the group. Also, Ruth and I have been there 4 times now and we never get tired of it... the scenery is simply beautiful.

We headed out with the group at 9:00am Thursday morning.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

I wonder how many people are getting taken advantage of?

Just a few things to talk about today.

Yesterday was a day off... nothing planned for the group and everybody just did their own thing. Aron and Owenita got new rear shocks shipped to the campground so they were waiting for them when we arrived. And Mona and Roger got a new toilet! So they both had projects on the go yesterday.

The rest of us just puttered about. We took some laundry down with a few others. Ruth went for a long morning walk with Denise and Bob and Scarlett the dog.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Ojo de Agua to Oaxaca city

Up early and on the road for an 8:00am start. It was baking hot overnight. The temperature inside the motorhome was 26C (79F) when we got up in the morning at 6:30am. Too hot, and too many bugs.

Once again, we are reminded how much happier we are away from the coast.

5 Awesome Things to Do on a Countryside Getaway

 Sometimes we need a break from our busy lives, and a great way to do this is an action-packed, countryside getaway. Perhaps you live in the city and are dying to connect with nature, or maybe you spent lots of time in nature as a child and want to relive those memories.

Whatever the reason, a vacation in the countryside is a great way to destress and have fun. If you’re planning your getaway and need some ideas of what to do in the middle of nowhere, here are five awesome activities to keep you busy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Ocozocoautla to Ojo De Agua Balneario

Well, Monday began the final leg of our four and a half month Mexico RV trip. Don't get me wrong, there will still be lots of adventures over the next five weeks, but Monday turned a corner as we started our return trip towards the U.S. border.

We set out from the orphanage at 8:00am. We had to retrace our route back through the wind tunnel corridor of La Ventosa where we exited the toll road towards the balneario (water park).

Monday, February 24, 2020

Carnaval in Ocozocoautla, and thanks from the kids!

It's that time of year when carnaval is going on in many countries. Here in Ocozocoautla, they have been celebrating for over 500 years and the annual event has become quite famous in the area. It's one of the reasons that we hung around a few extra days!

We had been told that you want to get there early... so a bunch of us set out at 8:30am Sunday morning...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Shopping day 2 at the orphanage and lots of work going on!

Busy day for the group yesterday here at the orphanage! Those who wanted to, met up at the main hall to do some painting work at 8:30am. Ruth and I were headed out shopping again at 9:00am, while three of the men were tasked with helping with the pump installation and associated electrical wiring.

Oh, and right at 9:00am the new living room furniture set showed up for the older boys residence...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Shopping day for the orphanage

You might have missed last night's blog post... go there first!

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/02/sumidero-canyon-photos-and-fundraising.html

So, we had a total of 64,000 pesos (($4,482 CAD, $3,380 USD) to spend.

We sat down with Lily, the director and her husband Juan to discuss what their priorities were. The first thing they brought up was a new water pump. The old one is well... old! And it's not strong enough to begin with. And it keeps breaking down every couple of months and they need to send it out to be repaired and it costs 3,000 or 4,000 pesos every time, and then of course the residence buildings are without water during the downtime.

The proper replacement pump is almost 20,000 pesos.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sumidero Canyon photos and fundraising total

First things first... our caravan group and a few readers of this blog raised a total of 64,000 pesos ($4,482 CAD, $3,380 USD) for the Hogar Infantil orphanage.

To those of you who contributed, thank you sooo much!

Today (Friday) will be shopping day. Looking forward to showing you what we purchase for the kids.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The indigenous town of San Juan Chamula

First things first... fundraising update!

As of this morning, we are at $4,281... well surpassing our original goal. Can we make it to $5,000? Maybe, or maybe not.... I like to hope that perhaps some of you are waiting until the last minute to surprise us with a big donation!

Today is in fact the last day to donate through our channels... we have to provide a cut off date in order to know what we can buy with the proceeds because Friday is shopping day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Trip to San Cristobal and fundraising update

Lets get to the important stuff first!

We have broken through the $3,000 goal and are now headed for $4,000 with two days to go. As of this morning, our total for the orphanage stands at $3,541 CAD!

If you can afford twenty bucks (most of you wouldn't even miss it!) this is a great cause where your money goes directly to help the kids.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Some photos of the orphanage

When we arrived here, it was on Sunday. So there were quite a few visitors about, spending some time with the kids. There are somewhere around 70 children who live here, but not all of them are orphans. Some simply come from dysfunctional families who can no longer care for them properly, and so Sunday is family day.

But Sunday is also family day for the employees and caregivers here. So the directors and the people we need to coordinate with were not here either... they were spending time with their own families.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Salina Cruz to Ocozocuatla. And, donation update!

Lets get to the donation stuff first, because it is the most important!

Our group has arrived at the Hogar Infantil Orphanage in Ocozocuatla, Chiapas, Mexico. Ruth and I have been here before, and we have learned about the care that goes towards the kids who call this place home. If you haven't done so already, please take the time to read the following..

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/02/ruth-and-i-will-start-things-off.html

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Huatulco to Playa Brasil

We hit the road at 9:00am Saturday for a planned 130 km (81 mile) drive. We are actually headed for the Hogar Infantil orphange in Ocozocuatla, however to do it in one day would be too much, so I had found a possible overnight spot at Playa Azul (Playa Brasil) just west of Salina Cruz.

Sure enough, it all worked out as planned... in fact, if you take into consideration the delicious food at the little beach hut restaurant, it turned our far better than planned!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The donations are rolling in...

Yesterday was a relax day with nothing planned for the group. Roger went scuba diving and Larry went snorkeling along with him. They went out in a boat to a couple of different dive sites.

The diving was not the highlight though... while they were out there a big humpback whale put on a show for them that lasted about 45 minutes, including coming right out of the water and doing spins and flips and everything. They got some video footage so I'll try to post it another day for you.

Friday, February 14, 2020

I've never had a chamoyada before!

Yesterday, we took the gang to a roast chicken restaurant for lunch in the nearby town of La Crucecita. It's a pretty basic place, but they make great roast chicken.

Afterwards, we walked over to an ice cream place where I decided to try something different!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ruth and I will start things off...

Next week our group will be staying for most of the week at the Hogar Infantil orphanage in Ocozocuatla, Chiapas, Mexico.

For Ruth and I, this will be our fourth or fifth visit to the orphanage and we are looking forward to showing the rest of the group why this is such a special place.

Please, continue reading right to the end...

Beach day with lots of fish and birds!

We had a good day yesterday! Everybody hopped in Roger and Mona's rig and Aron and Owenita's rig and drove over to Playa la Entrega. They decided to camp out there for the night, and they wanted to bring their stand up paddle boards.

We got there early and got ourselves seated in the shade at a restaurant overlooking the beach.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Puerto Escondido to Huatulco

We left La Barra de Colotepec at 10:00am headed further south towards Huatulco. And actually, during the drive we would be at our furthest south point on the trip! Really though, it only feels like we're headed south. In reality we are actually going east!

It was only 112 kms (70 miles), but I knew that would take well over two hours, probably closer to three hours when we include a gasoline break.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Beach time and baby turtles

Yesterday morning, we drove from the laguna to the parking area at Playa Carizalilo in Puerto Escondido.

The parking area is not great, but there's enough room for all of us and it gives us the opportunity to get some groceries and laundry done and spend some time at a nearby beach.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Our campsite and some bird photos

Yesterday was just a relax day. I got caught up on some computer stuff, and even put my hammock up and had a snooze!

Four of the group went into town and found a beach club with a swimming pool where they spent the day. Not a bad idea. You pay 200 pesos entrance, and then can use that 200 pesos as a credit to uy food or drink if you wish. And you get to use the facilities for the day.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Searching Puerto Escondido

Finally caught up on the blog posts. When I get a day behind, it's been difficult to get caught up because we're either too busy, or the internet connection is not decent. As it is right now, we are parked up at the Centro Turistico La Alejandria where they advertise free WiFi... and it is, but it is slow as molasses, and especially when everyone is trying to use it. But even when everybody is sleeping, it is still slow. Takes forever to upload photos. And, we do have a cell signal as well but it is not much better!

Anyhow, first world problems, right?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Playa Ventura to Puerto Escondido

And on top of that, Friday was my birthday!

Despite the long drive, I had a great day.

We hit the road out of Playa Ventura at 8:30am. We knew that including stops it would be a six hour drive. Ruth and I have done this route in both directions quite a few times. I'm only guessing, but we've probably done it seven or eight times. And it's a long drive.

Beach day - Playa Ventura

Just getting caught up on some blog posts since we didn't have decent internet while at Playa Ventura. In case you missed it, I posted one last night...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/02/heading-further-south.html

So, we made the decision to spend an extra day at Playa Ventura. It's a pretty quiet place midweek, and everybody enjoyed a relax day.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Heading further south

On Wednesday, we headed further south. We enjoyed our time at Paul's place south of Acapulco, however it was baking hot and not enough ocean breeze reached into our camping area. A couple of nights was good, but we had been there four nights and we knew it was time to move on.

We knew we didn't have a far drive, so we headed out at 10:30am south on highway 200 towards Puerto Escondido.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A visit to Acapulco and a great Acapulco sunset

Tuesday morning, we had planned a day trip into Acapulco for anybody who was interested. It turned out that not many people were interested! Also, a couple of people weren't feeling well. There is some kind of 36 hour bug going around the group, and almost everybody has had it now to some extent... except me!

Knock on wood...!

Anyhow, Ruth ended up going in with Jim to see the cliff divers and some of the city.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Almost too hot

Yesterday morning, Ruth and I went for a walk on the beach.

Our regular readers know that we aren't beach people. Especially when the temperature is 32C (90F). We much prefer to be in more moderate temperatures. Perfect for us is maybe 24C (75F) during the day, and 10C (50F) at night. It's one of the reasons that we spend a lot of time away from the coast at higher elevations while we are in Mexico.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Some photos and January Expenses

Not a lot to talk about from yesterday, so we'll mix in January's expenses with today's blog post.

It was just after 10:00am when a bunch of us hopped into a collectivo to go to the big Chedraui store to do some stocking up. We had wanted to do this when we drove by it on our way here on Saturday, but the parking lot was busy, and not really suited for RVs to begin with.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Long drive to the coast, but now we have some beach time ahead of us!

On the road yesterday right at 9:00am for our 307 km (190 mile) drive to the coast. Since most of our route is on toll road, you would think that would be a three or four hour drive, right?

Nope.

You never get anywhere fast in Mexico. As well, we had to plan in a fuel stop and a lunch stop... so I figured we might get to our destination by 2:30pm or so.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Off to the beach!

Yesterday, we visited the ruins of Xochicalco, and we found a great overnight spot.

We left the El Paraiso Trailer Park at about 10:30am and only had a short (but convoluted) drive to the ruins. We didn't know at the time where we were going to spend the night, but we had several ideas to check out. The first stop was a big restaurant that didn't make it and the big parking lot was locked up.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Day trip to the silver town of Taxco

Yesterday, the group split up and did different things. Larry and Martha have their daughter and a friend visiting for a couple of days, and they planned a trip to the nearby silver mining town of Taxco. Denise, Jim, and Ruth decided to join them.

Bob and I stayed behind, as did Garth, Roy, and Sue. Roger and Mona, and Aron and Owenita went out for a 3 hour bike ride.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The saga continues...

If you haven't read part one of our travel day to Cuernavaca, you might want to check that out first...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/01/the-day-started-off-great-and-went.html

So, when we left you off there, it was about 4:00pm on Tuesday. I had just returned with Jim to the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park where the rest of the group had been waiting. They had been there for maybe two hours or so.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The day started off great... and went downhill from there!

What a day we had... one that we don't want to repeat.

It started off great. We left at 9:00am and had an easy drive up the toll road leading up from Valle de Bravo to the next toll highway that bypasses the north part of the city of Toluca. Lots of great scenery and blue skies. There isn't much traffic on the toll road until you get close to the city itself.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Last day in Valle de Bravo... out on the lake!

Yesterday was a free day with nothing official planned for the group. I spent the morning puttering around Sherman checking the tire pressure and then cleaning out some of the lower compartments and my tool box... just generally straightening things up.

For lunch, we went up to a taco joint down the road. Sammy's... some of the group had gone there last year and enjoyed it, and some had already gone this year but Ruth and I had never been.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Market day in Valle de Bravo

Our original schedule had us leaving Valle de Bravo yesterday (Sunday), but everyone is enjoying themselves by the lake so we decided to stay an extra couple of days. Really like the fact that we have a fairly flexible schedule... after all, it's all about enjoying your time and not feeling rushed.

Yesterday was market day in Valle de Bravo and we needed to stock up on some fruits and veggies.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Surprise trip to Toluca

Just getting caught up on the daily blog posts because... there wasn't one yesterday. Not often that we miss a day, but there was just too much going on. So if you missed yesterday's post about our paragliding fun, you can read all about it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/01/another-fantastic-paragliding-flight.html

We got up on Saturday morning with plans to go to the top of the Toluca Volcano. Ruth and I had been there in 2013 and we figured this would be a fun excursion for the group.

Another fantastic paragliding flight

Last year on January 1st, we took some of the group paragliding. What a great way to start off 2019! I thought the flight was fantastic, and was really looking forward to doing it again.

I was not let down by my second flight. In fact, it was even better than the first!

Valle de Bravo is a world class paragliding destination, and it's one of the reasons that the area gets a lot of international visitors.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Filet Mignon for dinner!

Yesterday before lunch, Ruth and I took the collectivo taxi into Valle de Bravo. We had a few errands to run, including booking some of the group for another paragliding flight like the one we did on January 1st last year.

First stop was the bank to pick up some more pesos, then right beside the bank was a really busy street taco stand where we each had two tacos for lunch.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Yet another visit to the butterflies

With clear sky all around Valle de Bravo, it looked like a perfect day to visit the butterflies again. This time, nine of us headed to the Cerro Pelon Reserve near the town of El Capulin. We rented a van and driver to take us there.

For Ruth and I, this was our 7th visit to see the butterflies over the years. And, our fourth different sanctuary.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A relaxing day by the lake

After such a busy day on Monday, Tuesday was a bit of a relax day. I did some planning for our future stops and got caught up on some computer work in the morning.

The newer people in our group took off into Valle de Bravo to do some exploring, while the others walked into nearby El Arco to pick up some things.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Never a dull moment!

Well, that was an interesting day!

You never know what's going to happen on a travel day, so we always try to get an early enough start so that if anything goes wrong you have lots of daylight hours to fix it.

Yesterday, we only had about an 80 km (50 mile) drive, so we didn't leave Zitacuaro until 10:00am.

Monday, January 20, 2020

An odd propane problem

Yesterday was a day off for the group, with nothing official planned. However, we are very close to the small city of Zitácuaro (pop 200,000) so some of the group decided to hop on the collectivo and go into town.

Ruth and I have driven right by Zitácuaro several times, but have never made a stop. This time, we had some other things on the go and just decided not to go. Zitácuaro will have to wait for another time.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Not the best visit to the monarch butterflies

But, it's still a fascinating experience.

This was our sixth visit to see the monarch butterfly wintering grounds in the mountains west of Mexico City. And our second visit to the El Rosario sanctuary. Depending on which article you read, there are anywhere between 8 and 16 known locations, but only 4 of them are open to the public. We have now been to Sierra Chincua twice, Piedra Herrada twice, and El Rosario twice. We have not yet visited Cerro Pelón, however that may change over the next week!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Patzcuaro to Zitacuaro

With a 9:00am start on the schedule we were up early getting Sherman ready to go. As always, everybody was ready on time, and we set out towards the big city of Morelia (pop 650,000).

We didn't really want to have to drive through the city, but the only other route option would have had us taking toll roads for most of the day. And we wanted the group to be able to see the fantastic scenery from old highway 15 going through the mountains east of Morelia.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Out exploring, and time to move on

Yesterday, some of us just hung around the campground and some of us went exploring. Ruth took off with Roger, Mona, Aron, Owenita, and Denise to go see Lago de Zirahuén.

I never left the campground.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Out for a hike, and Ruth's new glasses

We set out at 9:45am for a hike to Estribo Grande... an old volcanic hill overlooking Patzcuaro. There is a mirador (lookout) there, as well as 472 steps leading up to another lookout.

We decided to do the route that goes up and around the other side of the volcano, and then down the 472 steps.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The copper artisan town of Santa Clara del Cobre

Sorry for the delayed posting. Didn't get out of bed on time, and then had a few other things to do on the internet and time just ran out!

On Tuesday, we took the group to Santa Clara del Cobre. This town is famous or it's artisans who make products out of copper. There used to be a mine in the area, but now all copper used to produce the products is recycled copper that come mostly in the form of copper wire before it is melted down.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Off to the island

One of the tourist attractions here in Patzcuaro is Janitzio Island. And it's worth a visit if you've never been here before.

But Ruth and I have been to the island 3 or 4 times... and we really didn't need to go again. And the people in our group who were with us last year didn't want to go again either. So I walked down to the embarcadero (dock) with those who wanted to go and I guided them to the ferry pier where they caught the boat to the island.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Just another great day in Mexico

A bunch of us went for a walk yesterday morning along a dirt road that goes through a farming area on the other side of the highway. We took off at about 9:30am and went for about an hour and a half.

A few clouds in the sky, but very pleasant temperatures. Highs are around 24C (75F) and lows around 6C (43F). In our opinion, perfect.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

In to the town of Patzcuaro, and Ruth orders new glasses

A relaxing start to the day, and we didn't take off until 10:00am. It's a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) walk downhill to the central plaza, and the whole group walked into town.

First stop was the cathedral, followed by the central plaza but we each went our separate ways for a while and met again at 12:30pm to show the group Mario's birria stall at the market.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Uruapan to Patzcuaro

No need to rush out of Uruapan because it was just a relatively short 80 km (50 mile) drive to Patzcuaro. So we left the RV park shortly before 9:00am and regrouped at a nearby gas station to get ourselves headed in the right direction to get through the city of Uruapan.

There is no easy way through Uruapan. It's a busy city, and the main east west road is four lanes of busy traffic with a bumpy road and lots of traffic lights. But, it's also an easy route to follow, and we had no problems.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The guitar town of Paracho

One of the places that Ruth and I had never made it to was the town of Paracho, Michoacan. It's known around the world to anybody with an interest in guitars because the town of about 35,000 people produces over 1 million guitars per year. Some articles say that 90% of the town's workforce is somehow involved in the guitar business.

We arranged for the hotel van to take us to the town, located about 32 kms (20 miles) north of Uruapan. Cost for the one way trip was 750 pesos, but there were 12 of us going so not a bad price at 65 pesos ($4.50 CAD, $3.50 USD) per person.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A little too close for comfort

Our mini bus arrived just before our planned 8:30am departure and we were soon on our way to the town of Angahuan (pop 4,000?) located 31 kms (19 miles) away.

We arrived at the mirador overlooking the volcano and lava field just before 9:30am after a very slow drive through the town itself.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Interesting day in Uruapan

We set off walking from the hotel/RV Park at 9:30am, headed for the national park located right in the city of Uruapan. Ruth and I have been here several times before, but it never gets old. It's a beautiful park, and an easy place to spend a couple of hours.

It was about a 35 minute walk all downhill.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Valle de Juarez to Uruapan, Michoacan

We were on the road yesterday at our planned 8:00am start time.

Our original schedule called for us to spend a night at Lago de Camécuaro National Park on the way to Uruapan, but because we took an extra couple of days to fix Garth's oil cooler line, we decided to make the park a lunch stop instead to make up one of those days and then head directly to Uruapan.

The first part of our drive began on what is arguably the worst stretch of highway in Mexico!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Time to hit the road!

Sunday morning, most of us decided to go to La Cocinita for breakfast. It's a popular spot and we've been here for two weeks now and still hadn't made it over there.

We arrived at about 9:00am to find that a large group had taken over most of the tables. Still, half of us managed to get seated and served, while the other half had to wait another 45 minutes or so.

But it didn't matter. After all, we have lots of time!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Market day, bike ride, and steak for dinner!

Saturday is market day here in Valle de Juarez, so we walked into town at 9:30am to do our weekly grocery shopping. We think it's fun stopping at the wide variety of stalls and shops to do our groceries.

There is one larger grocery store here, but almost everything is available if you know where to go to find the smaller shops.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Nice to take a relax day every now and again

With an unexpected three additional days here at Valle de Juarez, yesterday turned into a mostly relax day. It was supposed to be a travel day, but we have now put that off until Monday. Nobody in the group seems to mind, and that's the whole idea... a relaxing trip with lots of flexibility.

I did get a few things done though. About a year ago we had bought a new shoe hanger thing that was designed to go over the back of a door. But we cut it into sections and then attach them to the bed frame. Just for another use of space in the motorhome.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Time ran out!

Ruth and I like to play Yahtzee and Backgammon. In fact, we play those games almost every day. It's become kind of a habit when we are traveling in the motorhome to play a game or three of backgammon before happy hour. And we play Yahtzee while we eat supper!

A few years ago, we started keeping track of our scores on an annual basis. Are you ready for the final scores of 2019?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Kicking off the New Year with a 20 km hike!

But before we get to that, make sure you check out our December and 2019 full year expense report, published only yesterday evening.

And next, we have to back up a little to New Year's Eve! In the morning, Ruth went with the group over to "the castle"... an event center located nearby that has some interesting things to see. Late afternoon, we had wine and cheese happy hour, and then an evening campfire to ring in the new year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

December Expenses and 2019 Expense Review

December was a bit higher than expected. Seems we are having a lot of those kind of months lately. Still, at $2,175 CAD ($1,680 USD), we saw an awfully lot of neat things during the month! Plus, a big chunk of that was gas for the motorhome.

But, we finished the month with pretty much a full tank of gas and the liquor cabinet is full and so is the fridge. So maybe it wasn't such a bad month after all.