Kevin and his trusty steed. About to ride off into the Sahara Desert in eastern Morocco. April 2017.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England October 11th, connecting to Berlin, Germany.

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.

Have a look at some pics...

The RV park across the corn field.

Corn stacks.

First view of "the castle".

Scenery along the way.

Osprey.

Heron.

We have lift off!




Walking up to "the castle".

Hm. Okay then.

"The castle".



There were two beautiful and friendly German Shepherds.

For New Year's Eve, we had wine and cheese happy hour. Everybody brought a nice bottle of wine, and a plate of snacks and a wide variety of  different cheeses. It went over really well. After that, we had a camp fire. Some people stayed up right until midnight! Ruth and I made it to 11:45pm. You would think we could have stayed another 15 minutes, but we were done!






Interesting sky at sunset.

Okay, on to New Year's Day! 

Last year, we were paragliding on New Year's Day! This year, we planned a 20 km (12.4 mile) hike up to El Tigre and then across and down to Mazamitla where we would stop for a late lunch.

Pretty impressive when you consider that 9 of the group started and completed the hike! Roger took his mountain bike and rode along with us the entire way.

Looking down on Valle de Juarez.

In the village of El Tigre.

Our campground is located at 6,300', and the village of El Tigre is about 8,600'. So it was a pretty good climb! After that, we had a little further to climb before topping out at 8,940'. Then, we headed down to Mazamitla for a late lunch. 

The view from 8,940'.

The day had started off sunny, and I didn't think I would need a jacket. But up at that altitude it became windy and overcast. I don't know what the temperature was, but I would guess about 14C (58F). With the wind, it felt colder than that! I was a bit chilly at the top!

Coming back down, we came across Fred Flintstone's house!

Oh look... there's his car!

We made our way to the El Charco restaurant in Mazamitla where I found a taxi to go pick up the rest of our group from the campground so that we could all have a meal together. Again, Mazamitla was really busy and so were the restaurants. It was tough to find a taxi for them, and I even paid the guy in advance to go get them. It all worked out.

Like I said, the restaurants were really busy and the service at El Charco wasn't up to standard. But, we were in no real rush and I think everybody enjoyed their meal.

But when we were done, we had 14 people who had to make their way back to the campground. We went to the taxi stand and there were no taxis to be had. And, there were other people waiting.

So we walked down to the traffic circle and thought maybe we could find a vehicle to take us the 6 kms (3.7 miles) back to the campground. We really didn't want to walk that distance, plus the road is busy and not suitable for walking.

We saw a couple of guys with an empty box truck and I went over to talk to them. I offered them 300 pesos to take the group in the back of his truck, and the driver agreed. Not all of our group was there yet, and they had to wait ten minutes for everybody to show up. I ended up giving them 400 pesos, which is what we would have paid for 4 taxis anyhow.

The group got an authentic Mexican travel experience!

What a great start to a new decade!

Today is a rain day. It started at around midnight and it's supposed to clear up at 2:30pm or so. Not often we see this kind of precipitation while in Mexico at this time of year.

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A Happy New Year targeted deal. Some of you may not see this offer. A wide variety of household products... spend a minimum of fifty dollars and a fifteen dollar discount will be applied at checkout. And, a lot of these products are already on sale!



19 comments:

  1. It poured in Mazatlan starting Tuesday afternoon until very early this morning. Finally some son. Durango highway is closed due to snow.
    Wish I had 1/4 of your energy.

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    1. It is strange to rain at this time of year in Mexico but if it only lasts a day or two and then is back to sunny and warm, we are ok with that. So glad that we have already driven that road, if not then we would just have waited for it to improve anyways. That is the one thing about not having to stick to a schedule.

      We love to stay active and we don't want to stop because if we do then we might not be able to start again, lol. :-)

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  2. Cracked up at the "Mexican Travel" experience. What a fun and memorable time..

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    1. So did we! We love that we can do this and no one had a complaint, in fact I think everyone had a good chuckle over it. Definitely a memorable time. :-)

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  3. A great way to move people! Only in Mexico! Happy new year to you all and enjoy your adventure.

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    1. Well, maybe not "only" in Mexico but certainly not in Canada or the US!

      Happy New Year to you and Shelagh. :-)

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  4. The box truck was very cool, but how about Uber?

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    1. Nope, no Uber here! They do have "Ubercito" in Valle de Juarez, it is basically a taxi but a very little four wheeled "car" that can carry only four people which includes the driver. Only problem with that is that they can't leave the town vicinity, they will come to the campground but they aren't allowed to go to Mazamitla from Valle de Juarez.

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  5. Well, it seems that my New Year's message of 2 days ago didn't come across! So here I am with belated wishes for a Happy New Year to both of you, Ruth and Kevin, and your family! May 2020 bring along nice travels, great experiences, beautiful sceneries and a lot more that you may wish and enjoy! For myself, I make a wish : that this will be the year when we might meet and maybe travel together! Happy New Year to the group as well! I'll keep following you daily through your blog -- thanks for taking me/us along with you that way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, we didn't see any comment from you a few days ago, I guess it got lost somewhere out there in space. Anyways, thank you very much for your belated New Year's wishes, we really appreciate that. We have no doubt that 2020 is going to be another good year no matter what we do.

      Hopefully our paths with cross, if not this year then maybe some other year, we looking forward to meeting one day. :-)

      Happy New Year to you both. :-)

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  6. Think of all the memories they will have!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they certainly are going to have lots of great memories and we still have three months to go! :-)

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  7. I would have enjoyed riding in that truck - cool! Love the "Bedrock" house and Flintstone vehicle as well! What was the story behind that, if you know? I was a huge Flintstones fan growing up. Yabba-dabba-doo!

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    1. Hey Emily....I second your comments!....my feelings exactly!

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    2. We love that Flintstones' house and car. Last year they were still in the process of building it and I thought it looked like a "Flintstones" house, I never believed that that was going to be what it was, lol. Nope, don't know of any story behind it. We were big fans of the Flintstones too when we were groing up and even now! :-)

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  8. Hey Ruth and Kevin....I’m just catching up to your blogs....still have a whole December to read but I’m already exhausted just reading about your hikes albeit missing the camaraderie and happy hour. I introduced the game of LCR to my family and friends over the Christmas holidays and it went over well! Keep well and safe travels for y’all!

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    1. Glad that you are still following along Lynnette. We certainly have been doing lots of hiking this trip and we are loving it. We agree the happy hours and the camaraderie with the caravan group are some of the best parts of traveling together as a group.

      It is hard to go wrong when you play LCR, we always have a ball with it. We played it last April with all our family at Easter and had a blast. Enjoy your time in Puerto Vallarta.

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    2. Thanks Ruth. We hope to introduce LCR to our friends here in Puerto Vallarta. Paul and I are also learning to play crib! He doesn’t like it when I win! Hahah! And yes... warmer weather is back! It’s 30C today!

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    3. I am sure your friends will enjoy the game and that there will be lots of laughs.

      Kevin doesn't like playing crib with me because he usually loses. I like the game.

      Glad to hear you are back up to hot weather, we are finding our weather for the most part to be absolutely perfect for us up here in the mountains. It is mostly around 21 Celsius during the day.

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