Looking forward to reuniting with our motorhome Max in Germany.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

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.

We decided to take the cuota (toll road) from Zitacuaro towards Toluca. The road leaving Zitacuaro is a steep uphill climb, and we figured we might use as much fuel taking the free road as what the cuota cost, and the free road would be much longer and curvy.

We did about 30 kms (18 miles) on the toll road, and it was in good condition.
Cost for a motorhome was 173 pesos ($12 CAD, $9.25 USD).

Scenery along the way.

Somebody is building themselves a castle!

We made the turn off on the free road going towards Valle de Bravo. It's a two lane road with no shoulder, and the last 12 kms (7.5 miles) drops 2,400 feet.

We were just about getting to that 12 km point when Garth radios that he has lost power steering and is pulling off to the side. Aron and Owenita, and Jim were also able to pull over at the same point, but there was no more room for any other rigs. I was already about a kilometer ahead, and we managed to find a spot to pull over with Bob and Denise, and Sue and Roy behind me. The others continued on to find another spot.

Bob and Denise led 3 of the rigs down to Chago's marina, because they had been there last year.

By radio, Garth told us that his serpentine belt had come off and got chewed up by the fan. It was garbage.

Fortunately, Garth was well prepared and had a spare belt! We decided to let the engine cool down for a couple of hours in order to install the new belt. Garth stayed with his rig while Ruth and I led Aron and Owenita, and Jim to the marina.

We got ourselves set up, and had some lunch, after which our friend Paco drove Bob and I back up to Garth's rig. It was a tough job because there isn't enough room for three sets of hands to get in there to route the belt and depress the tensioner to get the belt in place. With me underneath, and Garth and Bob on top, we finally got it done!

Meanwhile, the people back at the marina were having some fun...

Larry having some fun on Mona and Roger's paddleboards.

Roger out on the paddleboard.

An hour later, things would be very different!

As we were driving back with Garth's rig it started to rain a little bit, and we even had a few pieces of hail coming down.

Made it to the marina, and got Garth parked up.

And then the dark clouds opened up and it began to rain. Then, the rain turned to hail. And it just kept coming.

I took a video for you... turn up your volume, because you'll need it for the next videos too!



They were pretty big... I haven't been up on the roof yet!

Bet Aron wasn't planning on shoveling this winter!

2020  Valle.

The same thing happened 10 years ago!

Some of the gang at Nautica Las Olas de Valle.

And then it started to melt.

Fatima (age 7) having a snowball fight with Ruth.
She has never seen this before!

All in good fun... time for a hug!

So, that was exciting. But, we're not done with the fun yet.

Paco and Oti were going to make enchiladas for the group for dinner, and they had some friends coming to join in. But because of the weather, it was decided that we would travel about 1 km down to the road to the friend's house, and we were all invited. So we hopped in a few vehicles and they drove us.

We had a fiesta!

Oti making enchiladas.

Some of the boys having a drink or two.

Ruth, Martha, and Owenita.

Fatima and Ruth.

Roy, Sue, Mona and Garth.

Mmmm... Yummy!

So we never expected to be going to a house party. What a good time we had!

And then... they brought out the karaoke. Not normally something we're in to, but it turned out to be a whole lot of laughs! Even I got up for a turn at the microphone!

Mona belting out a tune!

Owenita and Aron.

Chago, putting some serious effort in.

Okay, here's something you won't see very often!

Having fun with Karaoke.

What a day we had! This is always the way it is at Chago's marina. Ruth and I have been here probably 7 or 8 times over the years and it's always one of our favorite stops. The people really look after us well. Never a dull moment!

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And in Canada...


  1. That little Fatima stole the show...she sure is adorable.

  2. Replies
    1. It was more of an eventful afternoon and evening rather than a full day but at least it was mostly good. Definitely a fun evening out with lots of laughs. :-)

  3. Kevin/Frank....good job....does he go by Frank now??? Jeannie and Barry p.s was alcohol involved by any chance?? lol

    1. No, he still goes by Kevin, lol. And yes, alcohol was definitely involved! :-)

  4. What a very unusual and freaky day indeed but capped off by a fun filled fiesta fueled by enchiladas and tequila! Happy for everyone! Definitely wish I was there especially for the fiesta! Fatima is sure growing up fast. I see Chago still wearing his favourite hat! Hola to Chago and his wife and to Paco and Oti as well. They are so much fun to be with! And I also notice a big improvement to the campground... doesn’t look like the same sites we occupied last year. Is it still without hookups though?

    1. The weather was certainly a bit freaky for this area but it was also fun to see, we are just all glad that there wasn't any damage done to any of our solar panels or units themselves.

      Paco, Oti, and Chago sure know how to greet us, it was a fun party with lots of laughs, delicious food and great company. We really love all the Mexican interaction that we get when we come here for a visit.

      I will pass your greetings on to Paco, Oti, Chago and Carmen.

      Yes, we are in a totally different camping spot this year. The water level is a little lower so we are all able to park down on the grass along the shore so we all get a beautiful view of the lake. Chago has again made lots of changes since our last visit and it is always for the better. He is even getting ready to build a small restaurant down beside the office. No, there are still no hookups, and no one can even use the one that Brian used last year as Mario's rig is all hooked up to it so there is absolutely no excess to it now but everyone is good with dry camping and going for at least 10 days or more without services plus we have use of the toilets and showers if anyone needs them.

  5. Garth has been having problems with his rig. Might be time to do a good look over so he can get things back in shape.
    Always nice having fun with friends.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. It's all related to the same oil leak problem. We think that because the pulleys had all got oil on them that the belt slipped off. The new oil cooler is ordered and should arrive tomorrow.

  6. Happy New Year K&R! Of course I've been enjoying your trip from the car wash in cold snowy Oliver BC. Actually not bad this winter, think we might get an early Spring. My 2 cents on your previous post propane problem. It's not the hose or the grill, it's the sun! Long black neoprene or thermoplastic propane hoses and hot sun do not mix. The sun causes the propane to "crack" which basically separates an oily component in the propane. It can clog pilot orifices in appliances. Store your hose out of the sun when not in use, problem solved. Also Garth's serpentine belt issue. Always clean the pulley grooves with a toothbrush (use someone else's haha) and some spray cleaner. Rubber dust and dirt clog the grooves causing the belt to walk a bit to the side and shred your new belt. Have fun in Mexico. Might just skip out on work and head down myself. Cheers!

    1. We are not yet positive what caused the problem. It "could" be related to the sun, however the hose has been mostly rolled up and stored in by the propane tank, even while connected. However, the oily compound definitely exists... I think it has deteriorated the regulator on my Weber Q!

      Garth's belt problem was due to the oil leak... oil splashed up on the pulley's and caused the belt to slip.

  7. Wow, what a day! Glad all ended well!

    1. It was a great day and yes, it all ended well. :-)

  8. Thanks for the karaoke laughs. I think Frank would be rolling over in his grave (not that I could do any better!).

    1. When I was recording Kevin's video I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face! Having said that I would have been twice as bad as that, so I knew to not even attempt it. :-P

  9. Love your blog. What a day ye had and love the videos.

    1. Thank you Nora! :-)

      It was a great day with one misadventure that was made up later with lots of laughs, good friends and delicious food.

  10. The secret to getting a serpentine belt on single handed is clothespins. Or maybe little clamps if you have them. Losing your ps (and power brakes) on a steep road could have been bad!

    1. That's a great tip, thanks Creigh! Yes, we were lucky that we hadn't started heading down hill at that point but even if we had it would have been at a very slow pace but thankfully we didn't have to worry about that.

  11. What a wonderful time! Nice to see videos of everyone doing their "thing", as it brings out their personalities. A few "stars" were born from the joy of karaoke!

    1. It was a wonderful time and I think everyone will have great memories of the day, well except for Garth losing his power steering. The evening was so fun and it was great to spend it with old and new friends, delicious food and lots of laughs.

      I somehow don't think that we will have any music managers knocking on our doors, although "American Women" was pretty good. :-)


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