Now that we’ve been out here on what we’d billed as our “Epic Road Trip”, we’ve run into so many other travelers whose trips are way more epic and yet they seem to be taking them in stride. I guess, for us, the intended trip was epic compared to any road trip we’d ever done before. But it pales in comparison to the many folks we’ve run into that are headed to South America after having travelled extensively through North America. And my hat is off to all of them.
Our trip got a little less “epic” the day before yesterday when we came to the mutual decision that we’re kind of burned out on being on the road at the moment. We were at Roca Azul RV Park outside Jocotepec, where we had both just finished suffering through cold showers because, apparently, the park ran out of propane. Not real good planning. But anyway, we were both just a little ticked off and I think that made all the other stuff come out. I explained it to our daughter in an e-mail by saying that, after 6 months we were tired of pooping in other people’s toilets and showering in substandard facilities. She (naturally, being her mother’s daughter) assumed we meant the facilities at her house. I set her straight and gelled my own feelings with this response:
NO, NO NO! Not your toilet! I’m talking about the ones we encounter with no toilet seats or toilet paper. The ones where you’re not quite sure who might have been in there just before you got there. The kind where you’re sitting in a stall taking care of business and in the next stall there is someone else and they’re making the most god-awful noises to the point where you’re not really sure what the heck they’re even doing and you wonder if this is someone you know. I’m talking about showers with no shower heads or, if they do have one, ¾ of the holes are plugged so the water goes everywhere except where you need it to and it’s all you can do to find a portion of the stream strong enough to actually rinse you off. And the water’s cold. The kinds of places where there’s really no good, safe, dry place to put your clean clothes while showering. The kinds of places that may or may not even have a shower curtain or door on the stall. No, your bathroom is just fine.
Note: in fairness to Roca Azul, tI have to mention that he only portion of the above diatribe that applied to them was the cold shower. And there had been hot water the day before. Their bathrooms were just fine: toilet paper and toilet seats! No soap or paper towels but I guess you can’t have everything. Unless, of course, you go to Coconutz RV Park.
The upshot of our bit of miffery was that we decided right then and there that we needed a break from the road. We still have so many places to go and see that we didn’t want this trip to sour future trips. Now was the time to stop, before we got more disillusioned. And, AND, besides being on the road continuously for the last 6 months, we’ve been traveling and using public facilities since we moved onto the boat back in July of 2009. So, we’re headed back up to Puerto Peñasco to get ourselves settled in to our new-to-us little trailer/casita, the first fixed-position home we’ve had in five and a half years. Knowing it was up there waiting for us probably increased our urge to get off the road.
So, yesterday, instead of taking the bus to Guadalajara, we beat feet north at an unprecedented rate of travel (at least for us). Pulled in to Mazatlán around 5:00 PM, well before sunset. We were aided by the fact that we gained an hour by traveling from Central to Mountain time zone. We covered 340 miles yesterday, definitely a record for the trip. And we did it while averaging around 55-60 mph, a feat accomplished at great financial cost. In order to travel at that speed for long distances, one has to take the toll roads (the ‘cuotas’). Tolls in Mexico are expensive as I may have ranted about before. Yesterday, between Guadalajara and Mazatlán, we spent almost $70US on tolls. Would have been only about $40-$50, maybe less, if we hadn’t had dual wheels on the rear. But Mexico tolls are based sort of on weight which is based on how many tires you have touching the ground. I can look around this RV park and see any number of rigs that are far larger than Flipper but, because they don’t have dual wheels aft, pay the same rate as a Honda Civic. We would have paid a little more in tolls except that we opted to take the free road past the last couple of booths since we were practically where we were going by then. Guess that’s what happens when you get in a hurry. It’s going to cost you one way or the other.
So, what are we rushing back to? Here are some shots of our trailer/casita. The furnishings belong to the previous owner although I believe she left us the table and chairs:
It will be nice to spend a few months not wondering where we’re going to be tomorrow night. We should have our psychic batteries well charged and be once again road-ready by the time late spring rolls around.
Jocotopac to Mazatlán: 340 miles
Trip to date: 7,682 miles
If you’re jonesing for more Mexico road trip stuff, check out:
Bumfuzzle (although, if you’re reading this, I suspect you long ago discovered the Bums)
A Little Moxie – Travel, disability & living life with some courage (haven’t met these guys except online but their trip is similar to version 2.0 of our trip – and Meriah wields a gifted pen)
1RdTrip | A continuing adventure in the making (met these guys in Puerto Vallarta. The things they’ve seen and done since leaving PV compared to what we’ve done in the same time is downright embarrassing.)