Out for a hike near Bluff, Utah.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bluff, Utah.

Where are they going next? North towards Wyoming.

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.

We sat around at happy hour last night and questioned the group about the less enjoyable parts of the trip. Fortunately, they couldn't come up with very much! But, circumstances certainly did affect us at times.

The first incident was as we tried to leave Basaseachic Falls on November 23rd. I think we were planning on a 7:00am start, but Garth knocked on our door early saying that his automatic parking brake wasn't releasing. It turned out the system was low on fluid and it was a simple fix. But Garth's parking brake would cause him more problems later on in the trip... several different times.

At Creel, we had buckets of rain. So much that the RV parking area turned to mud, and one rig got stuck, and another almost did so. We managed, but it was not fun.

Larry and Martha had a problem with their slide out in Creel. It wasn't retracting properly and it turned out to be a broken weld. We got it fixed there, but not properly and it broke again in Durango. They also bent their entrance steps while getting propane in Creel.

At that same propane place, Sue and Roy got taken. I can't remember the details, but essentially the attendant charged them 500 pesos ($30 CAD, $21 USD) and didn't put any propane in the tank! They don't have a gauge directly on the tank, and didn't notice until we had already moved on.

On December 3rd, Sherman had a flat LR inner tire.
It was quickly fixed with a plug and pumped back up.

When we were traveling through the state of Durango, we had interactions various levels of police... three times in one day!

Chihuahua and Durango are states that are not frequented by RVs. We knew this in advance and we were not surprised. However 3 times in one day had people getting a little concerned.

Various levels of police at a checkpoint.

Still, I'm pretty sure that everybody enjoyed the "adventure" of it all... and we have some stories to tell. Despite the inconvenience and maybe a little bit of stress, I honestly don't believe we were ever in any danger.

Garth got stuck!

Another incident was when Garth got stuck. It took some effort to get him "un"stuck, but ultimately it wasn't a big deal.

Garth ended up taking a detour to Puerto Vallarta to visit his sister and have some repairs done to his parking brake. We missed him during that time!

We had warned everybody that they would likely at some point in the trip experience a bad stomach. Sometimes called Montezuma's Revenge.

And sure enough, various members of the group experienced a bout of this that lasted throughout the month of January. It was kind of odd  because it almost seemed to be some kind of stomach bug that wasn't related to what we ate. Although it certainly might have been. Ruth and I didn't have it very bad, but our systems are pretty used to it. Ruth had a minor incident with it, but I think I survived the entire trip without getting sick.

But, several others had stomach problems from both ends...some of which lasted a couple of weeks.

Vehicle problems continued for poor Garth. It got to the point where he was afraid of driving days wondering what was going to go wrong next. It didn't really bother the rest of us... we simply did everything we could to help and we were sorry that it was happening to him! The worst was when his rig broke down in an area known to have "problems".

The National Guard watched over us while Garth's rig got hooked up.

The city of Cuernavaca was a city worth visiting but there was not a decent campground from which to do the visiting. We did stay at one place run by an eccentric old guy who monitored our every movement including comings and goings through his locked gate. Not an enjoyable stay, and we cut it short.

Our trip had about two and a half weeks worth of beach time. While we think everybody enjoyed some aspects of that time, the southern coastal area has two problems. One, it is simply too hot... and two, the no-see-um bugs.

This was definitely an issue, and there was a reason we had limited our beach time due to that. But we think everybody agreed that we are glad that was all the beach time on the schedule. 

We would have liked to have spent more time in Puerto Escondido. But unfortunately there are no camping areas well suited for a group. 

Things continued pretty smoothly until it was Sherman's time to have some minor problems. We're still not sure that they are fixed, but he hasn't been running as smoothly as he should be. We've dealt with it, and have made do, but I don't think he's been getting the fuel mileage he should have been getting for the last few weeks. Hopefully that is now fixed as we have done some more repairs over the last couple of days.

Sherman had a bad year in 2018... this time it was Garth's turn. With several more problems, and several more fixes we managed to limp him along without too many delays. Not that the delays mattered... we had planned enough extra days into the route to compensate for any problems... it was just frustrating for him.

And then, coronavirus came upon the scene.

We actually feel fortunate in our particular situation. All of this stuff could have happened much sooner than it did. For us, it kind of disrupted the last two weeks of the trip and we all made the choices that we felt were best. The group of eight rigs split up at that point and we are now down to five. Nothing we can do, but to adapt.

Monday, we hope to cross the border into the United States and the group trip is officially over. However, some of us may continue to travel together as we head back to Canada. Our blog posts will not be as regular or as detailed for the next few weeks, so just bear with us as we navigate our way back "home".

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And in Canada...




38 comments:

  1. I'm sure you will be fine, you have a good plan. Safe travels, Judi

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  2. Enjoyed traveling with you...via the internet. Thanks for the blog posts. Save trip home.

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    1. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed all of our adventures down in Mexico this past winter, I know that we enjoyed bringing them to you. :-)

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  3. Wishing you all continued safety and health.

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  4. Hope your travel through the US proves to be healthy. Err on the cautious side with the pandemic as it is spreading like wild fire there.

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    1. Thank you Taylore, we will definitely be doing our best to stay away from people, especially in populated areas. Thank goodness our route takes us through the middle of nowhere, with very few people.

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  5. Stay away from big cities. The US mid-west seems to be the safest area, especially the Dakotas. Expect shortages in a lot of stores, including Walmart.

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    1. We have no intentions of going near any big cities! And yes, we are headed pretty much due north of Amarillo, Texas right through part of the mid-west and through very non-populated areas. We want to stay away from the general public as much as possible.

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  6. Thanks for the trip. We really enjoyed coming along, as always!!

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    1. We are glad that you enjoyed our posts of our adventures this winter, we sure did have some fun times. :-)

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  7. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad. I loved reading about your trip. Hope for safe travels in the US as you head back to Canada. I dream about one day joining you on a future trip!

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    1. It was our pleasure Cindy, we like to show life how it really is because not everything sunshine and roses. Having said that not even the few bad things we had to deal with were really that bad!

      The future is unknown, so maybe one day there will be another chance to join us. :-)

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  8. Have a safe trip home, all of you. Another fabulous trip to Mexico

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    1. Thank you! And yes, it was definitely another fabulous trip. :-)

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  9. Sounds over all an amazing trip...issues in a group always should be expected...safe trip home as this virus has our counties consumed... enjoy a slow trip back...

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    1. It was a fantastic trip for sure and as Kevin mentioned, it is not a matter of "if" something will go wrong but "when" and as a group that is bound to happen over a 4 1/2 month trip. All things considered though, none of our issues were something that couldn't be dealt with and never really held up the group in any way. We are just glad that our schedule was pretty flexible and not one that was so set in place.

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  10. So enjoy your trip logs! Stay safe. Hope I can join you some day soon.

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    1. Thank you, we are glad that you enjoyed them.

      Right now we have no future plans of doing another caravan trip but that doesn't mean that we won't do another one a few years down the road.

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  11. Have enjoyed the the trip from day One.Just haven't been able to comment each time.
    You are probably back in the US by now so all I can do is wish your smaller convoy a Safe journey home.
    Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. We are so glad that you enjoyed the trip, I know we sure did! :-)

      You are not expected to comment each and every day, as long as you are following along, is all that matters.

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  12. Safe and stay healthy travels

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  13. Bring your TP and Sanitizes none to be found in the USA... the land of the Pandemic Hoarders Association.

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  14. This is my favorite Blog. Thank you for letting me tag along. Stay safe and healthy.

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    1. We are so happy to hear that! And, we were happy to bring you along on our adventures virtually from the comfort of your chair at home. :-)

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  15. All in all a great trip and wonderful experience. Good luck with your travels back home. Traffic shouldn't be bad:))

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    1. It was a fantastic trip! The amazing things that we saw and did, out numbered the bad things by far. We actually had to struggle to think up some of the not so good stuff, lol.

      No, the traffic isn't too bad but there is definitely still lots of truck traffic.

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  16. Mexico always provides an adventure!

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  17. You've been pretty safe staying within the same social circle in terms of the virus.

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    1. We think so too and we are doing as much as we can to keep to ourselves and stay away from the general population.

      We hope you and Juan, stay good and healthy too. :-)

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  18. Godspeed on your journey thru the formerly united states...how I envy your Canadian passports!

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    1. Thank you, we will do our best to stay healthy and safe as we make our way north.

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