Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Day in Catemaco

Boy does time fly. It seems like we just got here and a week has flown by. We have to get moving so that we can be in Cancun in two weeks. We fly home for the Christmas holidays. So we are going to pull out of here early Sunday morning to head for Isla de Aguada.
It finally got sunny and warm on Saturday. Thursday and Friday were cool with off and on rain. Sunnyvz who stays in a Casita here year around, suggested that we take our kayaks out on the lake. She would paddle her new inflatable kayak with  Bev who has the Casita next door.

Bev put our kayaks in the back of her minivan and we drove to the lakeshore about 1/2 mi away. We paddled from town and enjoyed all the birds and views from the lake.

If the whole picture is not visible, double click to bring up a bigger picture. Catemaco on the shores of Catemaco Lake.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thangsgiving at Tepetapan

It was another dreary drizzly day in Catemaco but our spirits brightened considerably when the campground owner, Gene, invited us to enjoy his big Thanksgiving dinner with all his guests.

I guess each year Gene cooks up a couple of turkeys with all the trimmings to share with his friends and guests.

Everyone brought their own wine and drinks and had a great time making friends with Canadians and Mexicans celebrating the US Holiday.
A great party, great food and great new friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catemaco – The crowd just left

We pulled into Tepetapan RV Park about 1 PM, greeted by Gene the campground owner. The sites along the wall were almost full, really unusual for this early in the season. He indicated that some were leaving tomorrow and we could then have the nice patio site above the river. Well, actually 5 campers left all heading in different directions. One couple, I forgot their names, were heading all the way to Honduras to Trujillo. This is where Christopher Columbus landed in 1503, the only time he actually landed in America.

So all there was left was another RV and us. We met Sunny, a gal who lives year around in one of the Casitas (Cabins). She and her friend Beth both have a couple of kayaks and said maybe we could paddle together on Friday.
Peggy and I took a walk to town down the Malecon (Walkway along the lake) to see if much was changed since we were here last year. It was a dreary dark day so there weren't many boatman trying to interest us in a boat trip to see the monkeys on the islands.
The power in the campground is 137 Volts so my EMS will not let me have any power. Also the site I moved to had the polarity reversed on the power plug but I have a polarity switcher I made myself for just such an occasion. Peggy wanted to bake some Brownies in our convection microwave so I came up with a plan. I plugged our waffle iron into a second outlet on the power plug and it reduced the line voltage to 131V, Voila the EMS turned on the power to the RV and she made some wonderful brownies to go with our big Pork dinner tonight and for tomorrow’s turkey dinner. We brought leftover turkey, gravy and dressing with us to celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On our way to Catemaco

See Map4
We decided that the weather was a little dreary and we had taken our beach walk. I rode my bike to pick up some cash from a ATM machine (Cajera Automatica) at a Pemex a couple of miles away. We washed all the road grime from the RV and are ready to be on the road by 7AM. This should put us in Catemaco after lunch.
We will stop at the hotel Playa Azul to see if they still have camping spots but will probably end up at Villas Tepetapan where we stayed last year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Attempted Bite in Tampico

See Map3

I forgot to really tell yesterday's travel story. Traffic was really light until we passed Altamira coming into Tampico. I was in the passing lane of a 4-lane divided highway but going around the speed limit. Lots of trucks were in the right lane when a policeman waved me over. He started speaking rapidly in Spanish, of course, and the gist of what I caught was that I'm supposed to travel in the right lane. He asked for my driver's license and began to ask where are we going, and don't we have any money. I told him Cancun and nothing else. He inferred the ticket would be costly and mar my driving record but I just said OK give me a ticket. I then handed him a copy of this logo. He talked some more and handed both back and said stay in the right lane, adios.

We decided to take the Tampico bypass so I wouldn't get stopped again by driving through the city. The bypass was improved slightly but it was still a bumpy long way to go. MX-180 south of Tampico was much improve, not a lot of chuck holes but a wavy pavement. Traffic was really heavy until we got off the Alamo bypass then it was light again. Without the traffic cop stop it would have taken exactly 9 hours as we planned.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back on the Emerald Coast

On Saturday we took another bike ride around town and to the beach. Even though it was a cool weekend there were a few Mexican families tenting on the beach. We took a look at the new International Airport that Fontour is building to bring more tourists to the area. There goes the beautiful place we just discovered. Here is a picture of their new terminal.

We decided to hit the road early Sunday morning at 6 AM, so we could make it to our favorite campground on the Emerald Coast Trailer Park de Alba. It's a long driving day because of the bad roads. We pulled in at 3:15PM.

On our way right after we bought fruit at a roadside stand, we passed two big camping rigs who had stayed at the other campground in La Pesca and took two days to do the drive. Two nice couples and Ron has a satellite  rig with Wi-Fi. He generously allowed me to connect which is why I can post this blog tonight. They just started a blog which I will follow to see if we end up in the same place at some other points of the trip since they are heading about the same way. I copied their picture of the fruit stand.

We also found that Emily and Francois had got here yesterday. After a few weekend Mexican families left our group are the only ones here in the campground.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Revolution Day? Weather warming.

I ride into town this morning to see if I could see a water truck to bring be about 20 gallons of purified water. I found the streets of the little town of La Pesca blocked with the start of a big parade, featuring Red Cross, Army, boys and girls dressed like the army soldiers with toy guns all getting ready to march in the big parade. They say there are 500 persons that live in this town. 250 of them must have been in the parade with the rest watching. I think it was in celebration of another revolutionary event in Mexico.

I did find the water truck who agreed to drive down to our campground and fill my water tank. The day was very windy but temps climbed into the mid 80’s. Sun was hot but the breeze was cool. Our young friends from Quebec got a late start and need to make stops so they didn’t think they would get much beyond Tampico on Friday night.

We took advantage of the hot weather to take a cool shower, they have a hot water tank but never turn it on. We plan to go into town and try one of the little restaurants a few doors down from the internet place. So if this is posted that’s what we did.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Enjoying the warm weather in La Pesca

The Norther that started on Monday with all the wind has gone away. The cold front cooled the highs to the high 70’s and lows in the low 60’s and left a lot of cloudy skies in the area.
A young couple from Quebec arrived last night. They are on a longer adventure in their VW van, all the way to Panama. One problem, they have no detailed maps and didn’t have a campground guide but Francoise and Emily had determination and luck.
I brought my old Mexico Campground Guide by Church and gave them a good price. I was able to provide them with detailed maps of the states of Mexico as PDF files so they could find their way to the Mayan ruins and the Belize border.
The cooler weather makes it enjoyable to bicycle. Peggy and I biked back to the beach and explored from the mouth of the river to the Turtle conservation area and walk on the isolated shell laden beach. Our little 7 mi bike ride was a good start to get Peggy going on her new bike again.
We are getting in some book reading but I’m going back to the Internet place to send this on Thursday afternoon our fourth day in Mexico.
The campground is quiet and the owner is very friendly. I don’t know when we will move on to our next destination Trailer Park de Alba on the Emerald Coast North of Vera Cruz.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Third Day in La Pesca

We are really enjoying the warm weather. Yesterday we hiked about 4 miles to the beach and back. This morning we walked into town to the weekly market to buy some Problamo Peppers and other vegetables.
Cute Little Cabins here at Tropicana Resort
We invited the campground owner to having dinner with us tonight for helping me out early Tuesday morning.
I stopped by to show the doctor that I was OK and found the only Internet place in town where I am now writing from.     

I hung my hammock under the palapa by the pool. I think we will skip our next planned stop “Barra del Tordo” and stay here for a while.

La Pesca our first Night in Mexico

See Map1
We got a nice early start from Houston on Monday 11/16 at 5:00 AM. there was only light traffic all the way to the border. We hit very strong winds and a heavy rain storm. Luckily the winds were from the NW and we were travelling S-SE. The rain ended quickly but the wind blew hard all day and into the night. We got to the border about 11:00 AM. It took us about an hour to get searched twice and get our Visa's (MFT), we already had the 10 yr RV permit. We got some Pesos at a bank machine & some grocery shopping in Valle Hermosa. We got stopped once more for a drug dog search at the new Aduana (Customs) at MX-101 intersection. The roads in this part are excellent and have wide shoulders that slow traffic uses to assist people passing.

Our plans were to see when we got to the big Pemex truck stop whether we should stop for the night, it was only 3:00 PM, so we pushed on since we knew they had just completed widening MX-180 to Soto La Marina. Well, almost completed, the last 3 mi was under construction but no tie-up just rough driving.
We then took the turn for La Pesca, a beach town on the Gulf that we have never visited. I had read Fontour the MX Gov't resort developer was going to start developing this area so we wanted to see it before it got built up with high rise hotels. We pulled into the first camping possibility Gaviota Resort. It was on the river and grassy camping area with lots of mosquitoes for 250 Pesos/nite.
We drove through the town with it dozens of mini-super, small seafood restaurants and fish markets. Peggy didn't like the looks and said let's eat-in tonight. We got to the next campground Tropicana mini-super and camp. They spoke excellent English, it was almost on the Gulf beach and had a nice camp, cabins hookups for RV's for 200 pesos/night. It was 5:00PM and long day but now we get to rest and enjoy the warm weather that just turned a little cooler. 80's-60's.

Bad Morning - I woke about 3:00 AM with a lot of Phlegm clogging my throat. The more I tried to clear it the more trouble I had. It felt like my throat had closed up. Peggy took a look and said my Epiglottis was swollen. We didn't know what to do. Not breathing was a bad option. We didn't think the town of 500 had a doctor but Peggy decided to ask the campground owner who was protected in his trailer by his two wild barking guard dogs inside the fenced-in trailer. He had fallen asleep watching TV which was blaring loudly so he couldn't hear her. She risked her life entering the fenced area and calmed the dogs so she could pound on the window to wake him. It worked, the friendly English speaking owner came to our rescue by driving us to the one doctor in town, which required the help of the police to find. He gave me a me a shot of Diprospan as he thought it could be an allergic reaction to something, he gave me some Avapena tablets to take. I can now breath fine and we went back to bed. Total cost of the emergency medical care and drugs was $45. US medical care should be so cheap.

Fisherman at the Mouth of the river
It is an easy 2 mi walk down a really nice paved road to the beach where there are hundreds of Palapas set up for beach camping. Many places rent showers and toilets.

However this is for summer and holidays so all were empty and only one nice beach restaurant was open. It looks like a good place to use our bikes as traffic is very light.





Sunday, November 15, 2009

Entering Mexico on Monday 11/16

After two 12 hour days of driving we arrived at Rich & Tracey Priem's home in Houston. Tracey prepared a great lasagna dinner. Their baby Finn is getting really big and standing on his own. I forgot to take a family picture but here is one from earlier this year.

We went to Cade's soccer game on Saturday morning, and played with Rich's computer setup in the afternoon. For dinner we met Tracey's parents and walked to our favorite restaurant Lupe Tortillas.

We got up early Sunday morning and Rich & Dane, along with his friend John did a 23 mi. bike ride around Geo. Bush Park Reservoir. We had a nice dinner with them Sunday evening and are driving the 5 1/2 hrs to the border at Los Indios early Monday morning.

It depends on how long it takes us to cross the border through customs where we will end up on Monday night. But by Tuesday we hope to be in La Pescada, which is a beach down East of Soto La Marina.