Monday, March 5, 2012

Back in the USA

It’s 1400 miles from Xpu-Ha back to the US border. It took us 3 long days and 1 short day to do it. We started out early in the morning right after sunrise and drove to 4 PM for 3 days. The last day is about 4 hours including border crossing delays. For the trip back we averaged about 40 mph.

This year I couldn’t believe how good the East Coast roads are. Everyone complains about all the potholes and rough pavement especially North of Vera Cruz and South of Tampico. This year the worst road was a Quota (turnpike) near Acayucan. You have to pay for all these bumps?

The small towns south of the Emerald Coast slow you down but some of the recently paved roads are great. Safety? Well we like to travel alone but we are sharing the road with hundreds of cars, buses and trucks so we never felt that there were any danger. We do not travel at night in Mexico.

The biggest surprise this year is that we were never stopped by a traffic policeman looking for a bribe. If you are looking to make the shortest time and don’t like to drive in the mountains and want to save over $100 in tolls, I recommend this route, vs. the route through Puebla.

Our Travel Plan Xpu-Ha to TX was almost dead on each day, One surprise was that the Pemex we stayed at for our last night did not stay open 24 hrs. But they left the light poles on and I think there was a security man in the office. It was one of the quietest stopovers we have had.

We crossed the border at Los Indios on a Sunday morning, if you need to turn in your TIP (Temporary Import Permit), be aware that the Banjercito office is closed on Sundays and doesn’t open until 9AM the rest of the week. Use another crossing if that is a problem. For a change, the US border people were friendly and all smiles. Some years they make you feel like you are a criminal for vacationing in Mexico.

When we got to Harlingen, Peggy practically jumped out of the RV. Look at all those stores “Kohl’s, Target, Wal-Mart and a huge mall”. She was going to hit them all, while I used the internet. She actually finished shopping before I finished playing with the computer.

Tomorrow I need to contact the USA agent for the Mexican insurance company to see where we will have the damage estimate done. It turns out that they now consider the damage done to our RV to be due to a collision which is covered and not a road hazard which is not covered. I’ll see what is really going to happen, the Texas claims guy has not been the easiest to work with but the head of claims in Mexico City was very helpful.

We went out to dinner at our favorite Bar-B-Q place in San Benito, TX called Longhorn Cattle Company, my favorite is the all you can eat bean soup which comes free with all meals, and the Beef Brisket which comes with potato salad and coleslaw. I think that Archie's Ribs back home near Deep Creek has better ribs.



Maybe this is why they call it Long Horn, these guys are grazing out behind the restaurant.

Tomorrow we will fill our propane tank with Propane as opposed to Butane which is what they sell in Mexico. Butane has no pressure below 32oF, so it doesn’t work well in cold climates. The place is right near the mall.

After the insurance adjuster tells us where to take the RV, we will head up to Houston to spend some time with my cousin Rich and his family.

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