Where we are staying at the village of Gökçe, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? The village of Gökçe near Akyaka, Turkey.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

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.

We got to the entrance... and it was closed! The guy manning the gate just shrugged his shoulders. I had read about another area just down the road and I asked him about that, and he thought it was open. I left the group there and walked down to the other place.

It was closed too. The guy at that gate said it was because of coronavirus.

We had read that Mexico was starting to shut some things down, but we didn't know how widespread it was yet.

There are some other waterfalls and attractions in this area that we wanted to see, but most of them don't have an online presence or any way to contact them. We didn't want to make an effort to go to another out of the way place only to find it closed... it would be a frustrating waste of time and fuel.

So we made our way to a gas station where we parked up for a bit and weighed our options.

Essentially, we still want to cross the border into the U.S. around the 30th or 31st. And, we don't want to be doing any unnecessary driving. We ran the options of where there are decent RV parks to spend a few days of down time, and decided on the Las Palmas Midway Inn in Matehuala.

The Las Palmas is a common stopping point for RV travelers. Most people only use it as an overnight stop, but it's a nice facility with a beautiful swimming pool. And the town of Matehuala itself is nice enough. There is also the old silver mining town of Real de Catorce.

We had been planning on going there anyhow, but not this soon.

We figured we would do an overnight in the town of Guadalcazar and then the short drive to Matehuala today. But as we got closer, we made a rest stop and simply decided to carry on straight through to Matehuala.

Here are some photos of the drive...





It was a long driving day, but now we are settled in here. I'll take some photos today of where we are and post them tomorrow. We have paid for three nights, but might be here a week. We will play it by ear.

Yesterday's drive 389 kms (241 miles)

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And in Canada...


43 comments:

  1. My friends living in Progresso said it's shut, no one can leave or come into the town unless it's an essential service. Is Cabri going to open? Parks Canada has closed all their parks including reservations until at least then end of April. Safe travels.

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    1. Cabri Park isn't scheduled to open until May 15th, so it's a long way off yet for them to make any kind of decision on that.

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  2. Park at Chris and Juans! They have a pool and booze! :-)

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    1. LOL... but not enough room for 5 rigs!

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    2. Believe it or not, we were getting ready to offer you a stop at the resort Monte Sur but we received notice that it is now closed. Then we thought about the lake here at the house. Shut down. You can always park on our road with all the rigs, and we have a place for two or three small ones.

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    3. It is a shame about the Monte Sur Resort, we were going to ask you about that. I am sure we will be good. Looking forward to seeing you both in Saltillo in a few days.

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  3. I am happy to see the Mexican people realizing that there is a need to be cautious in these times. We are seeing that caution here in La Penita as well. We plan on heading out and crossing somewhere north of Laredo on April 2. We have not had any indication if this will all affect the opening date for Rivers Provincial Park, probably because no one can predict!! Good health to you and your group!

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    1. They are being cautious here in Matehuala as well. Went into Walmart yesterday and they were wiping down each and every grocery cart and then making you use hand sanitizer before you head off to do your shopping.

      Looks like we will probably be crossing almost a week before you. Hope your drive goes well.

      It is the same with us a Cabri, the park isn't scheduled to open until the long weekend in May so a lot can change before then.

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  4. Long day but you found a place to stay for awhile. A little inconvenience is expected for the present. Safe travels.

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    1. Yes, it was definitely a long day for us but it worked out for the best. Things are a little inconvenient right now and as you say that is to be expected at the moment but it is a good thing we don't get in a flap about stuff and we are flexible and can adjust our schedule accordingly.

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  5. Hi all -- I know you will undoubtedly poo-poo my comments, but you need to seriously reconsider your casual attitude towards this virus, crowd contact, and the border closings! One week ago, I was casual about this virus also -- that has changed. We now live in WNY near the Canadian border. The borders are CLOSED! And the USA/MEX border is closed to all but essential travel. It could be for weeks or for months. This virus is spreading at lightening speed and people of all ages are catching it and getting very very sick! Mexico has always been very casual when it comes to life of any sort, but once it starts spreading, it will be everywhere in that country in a flash. People who seem well or who have "recovered" appear to be carriers for weeks (or maybe longer). Virus stays on surfaces for hours (maybe days!), virus is being spread with airborne droplets. There are not enough respirators in hospitals to help save those who have severe respitory issues that this virus is causing. There are no face masks available in the USA, toilet paper is scarce if available at all, cleaning/disinfectant supplies are non-existent, fresh meat and fish hard to find, medications to treat respitory and GI symptoms are hard to find. NYS has shut down except for essential travel. Grocery stories, pharmacies, gas stations are open, but supplies (including all paper products and canned goods) are hard to find. Kevin, this will make you happy: Liquor stores are considered "essential" so are open. If you find these products in MX on your way northward, I would get some. I know you said you would be happy to remain in MX, but the rest of your group might not be.... and what happens if you really need or want to return to Canada in the next couple of months! New rules are staying 6 ft away minimum from other people, wash hands, use the unavailable-anywhere hand sanitizer after you touch anything! I really urge you guys to start seriously heading north to the border and stop trying to sight-see! I am not normally an alarmist, but I am beginning to realize this virus is unlike anything I've seen.... and I'm old enough to remember the early 1950 polio epidemics! Hope you all can get across the borders!


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    1. So on the one hand you're telling us we should be heading north, while at the same time telling us how bad it is there? Doesn't seem very logical to me!

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    2. Probably not logical but depends on where you might want to be for what could be an unknown length of time -- maybe as long as several months. Hope the folks in Mexico are able to avoid the horror that is happening in Italy. Hope you all stay healthy and keep posting so we here north of the border get to read them. Take care.

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  6. The USA/Mexico borders are closed as of today. It might be a mad house crossing. I don't know about Texas but here in AZ, they have closed the parks and grocery store, warehouses and convenient stores are empty of products and goods. They've scheduled senior day shopping for one hour on various days...but seniors say yes they go in to shop but shelves empty. You might want to stock up some food before crossing including toilet paper which people are hoarding. Safe travels.

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    1. P.S. I go bulk shopping once a month since I get paid once a month. In February we watched what was happening in China so when retirement check was deposited first of March we went shopping as usual and bought extras including dog food to last at least three months. By mid March, people were finally waking up to the seriousness of the virus spread which had hit Europe and President Trump was still scoffing saying it was a hoax and democrats panicking people. We had no leadership at the beginning but now our officials are scrambling trying to find solutions when it is almost too late. They should have closed the borders early on.

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    2. Reading this, really makes us just want to stay put here in Mexico!

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  7. The one bright spot - for now - is that gasoline is very cheap! Sherman will at least be happy.

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    1. Yes, that will certainly make Sherman happy and our pocketbooks! :-)

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  8. For some reason, AZ has the highest rate of toilet paper hoarding. I've read that a couple of places, and observation would bear that out. If you cross at an AZ border, do not plan on buying TP, flushable wipes, kleenex, or paper towels. We went to Safeway yesterday, the meat counter was empty, as was apace for flour, sugar, rice, beans, potatoes and most cleaning products. Stock up where you can.

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    1. Yes AZ hit #1 in toilet paper hoarding. Someone commented 'At last we are #1 at something.'

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    2. The world has gone crazy!!!! yes, we will stock up on the things that we are allowed to bring across the border, produce will have to be bought in the USA.

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    3. Keep in mind that "flushable wipes" are NOT flushable.

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    4. Kent and Monica, you are totally right and wipes are something that we rarely if ever buy anyways so no worries there.

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  9. We came back to Canada early, after 31/2 months away, to a new world and are in self isolation. Many store shelves are empty and businesses are closed. Yup it is a new world. Reverse culture shock for us...Safe travels.

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    1. We really aren't looking forward to all this mayhem that is happening north of the border, it will definitely seems like a new and different world to us.

      Glad that you made it back home safe and sound.

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  10. Looks like a fire off in the distance of some of your photos? I gotta say that I agree with some of the posters above. Unfortunately, land crossing into the US is going to be very time-consuming, I'm afraid. I am sure they will let anyone who is a US or Canadian citizen go home, they are only blocking Mexicans and other non-residents from crossing, but the lines may be bad. And like the folks are saying above, supplies are going to be difficult as well. We are flying back to the US from Mexico on Tuesday, so we have been doing a lot of research and fear what we are going back to, but for various important reasons, it cannot be helped. We will be self-quarantining once we get there and taking all due precautions along the way. We have had our reservations for months, and this all just blew up in the last couple of weeks. Even here in the Yucatan, most restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only, bars are closed, many businesses are closed, even the beach in Progreso is closed. It's a very strange, strange world we are finding ourselves in at the moment. Take good care, Kevin, Ruth, and other caravaners. No one could have anticipated this when you set out.

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    1. I think only one picture shows a fire and that is pretty typical of Mexico. Having said that we did drive through sugarcane country here and when it is ready for harvesting they normally go in and burn the field to get rid of snakes and spiders before the workers go in to cut it all down. It was also a very hazy day from the heat and humidity so it looks quite smokey but it really wasn't.

      Surprisingly enough, everyone that we have heard from that has crossed the border has said that they haven't had any issues and that the border haven't been crazy busy or taken any longer than normal. I guess maybe it might be different at different crossings, I guess only time will tell.

      We are constantly going back and forth on whether to stay or to go, sort of like jumping from the pot into the frying pan. It is a very uncertain world out there at the moment and it is hard to know whether we are making the right decision or not.

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  11. The US closed their border to everyone except returning Americans. I don't know how many Canadians you have with you but you and they are going to have a problem crossing. Leaving the rig and flying directly home might be an option but many/most flights have been cancelled. Staying put in Mexico might be your best option. Probably what I would do in your situation.

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    1. Canadians returning to Canada are being allowed through.

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    2. Many Canadians I know were told by their insurance carriers to return by March 23 or not be covered any longer, hope this doesn't pertain to any of your travelers.

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    3. True, but only in some situations. Our group is fine.

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  12. The Canadian Embassy will help repatriate Canadians.

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  13. Perhaps the Mexican government is more on top of this crisis than our American government, but I have to agree with Lynn about the seriousness of this. If you can reach out to the Canadian embassy and ask their best advice, I would do so. We have been basically locked down for nine days, and it is not easy. We would all prefer to be traveling and exploring, but that would put ourselves and others at risk. Please reconsider your (at least to your readers) rather cavalier attitude to this unprecedented crisis. Personal safety is the most important. Stay well.

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    1. We don't think we have a "cavalier" attitude to this situation at all, I am sorry that you think this is the way we feel! Our group is made up of very intelligent people and each day at happy hour we sit down and discuss how everyone feels and what our next step should be for the following day. We are very logical about the whole process and we fact check everything that we hear or read so that we are making what we think are very informed choices. At the moment we feel staying in Mexico for a little longer is our best option considering all the craziness that is going on in the US. At the moment no one knows which choice is the best choice as to what the near future holds but at least here in Mexico we can still get food and supplies and we are only a day's drive to the border if we need to make a quick crossing.

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  14. My two cents is Mexico could turn out just like the USA and Canada, over night the government changes it's mind of the severity of this and people panic buy. We left town last weekend (before) the call to "stay in place" for a off-road trip. We get home and all the stores cleaned out. In one weekend everyone panic horded all the food and supplies. So weather this Virus is going to kill everyone or not is not my concern its how everyone is freaking out buying all the food. If Mexico does what the other countries are doing the food will become our biggest concern. I think we are all just as safe wherever we are at it's the people I worry about. Be safe, I read the Virus showed up in Mexico from some well off Mexicans returning home from vacationing in Colorado at some event that is very popular with lots of other countries. I live in Los Angeles area and they have us on total lock down in California. Went to the bank on Saturday and lots of people still out and about, later on I see this notice they are going to start really cracking down. All camp grounds closed now. I hope Mexicans have a cool head and the supply chain is not affected the same way we are seeing.

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    1. Yes, you are totally right and everyone in the group realizes this but at this very moment we feel much safer here, plus we have access to food and supplies. We are only a day's drive to the border so if things start to head downhill we can make a quick drive there. We honestly feel that we can we can stay away from people here as easily as we can back in the US. The group is staying well informed of what is happening both here in Mexico and also back in the US and Canada and each day we calmly sit down and discuss our options and how everyone feels before we make a decision as to what our next move will be. We aren't heading into this blind or being lackadaisical about this situation, we are being calm and logical about it.

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    2. I have been following along for some time now and I know you are seasoned travelers. Way beter then the avraage that's for sure. I did not realize you were that close to the boarder. The reason most of us stress that you need to get home is because, one we are not there and the news will scare you. Second is because we are also aware that things can get crazier in countries like Mexico a lot faster then the States and Canada. I just remember what recently happened in Equator. The fuel price thing and overnight the citizens shut the country off from all travel, boom just like that. I would not want to be in a place where I felt stuck because the citizens protested or started road blocks because they did not like what the government did or told them to do. Sound like you have thought this through. Safe travels.

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    3. We really think that we have weighed the odds and feel we are safer at least at the moment sitting tight where we are and just keeping to ourselves where we luckily have a nice private walking path and lots of private areas where we can sit out as a group and not be near other people.

      Mexico is taking great care to stay ahead of the virus and so far everyone understands what is happening and they are being calm and orderly about the whole situation. We highly doubt that they would have any kind of upheaval that Equator had as this is a totally different kind of situation.

      For the moment we are taking every day as it comes and if the situation warrants it, they we will make a run straight to the border. Thank you for your concern, we appreciate it. :-)

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  15. I think your decision to stay put in Mexico for the time being is the right decision. From all appearances the virus is moving slower in Mexico (perhaps because of the weather?) and the government does seem to have a handle on it. Stay safe.

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    1. We think it is the right decision as well. We know we have a good spot to hunker down along with great weather, whereas back up in the US, there is just too much unknowns and less places to park up that are away from people.

      We think the virus is spreading less here for several reasons, one the weather, two because people spend way more time outside rather than inside and three, they aren't big travelers. Having said that, it is also possible that the reporting of numbers isn't totally accurate but that could be said for Canada and the US as well as there are so many people who could have it and never know it. And, we think the government here got a much quicker jump on the virus than they did in a number of other countries. We are closely monitoring the situation and if we feel the need then we can make the border crossing in a comfortable day's drive.

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  16. Hope you all stay healthy and safe. Good luck.

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    1. Thank you very much, we will do our best to do just that. :-)

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