Monday, August 14, 2017

Palapa Update

We got this much done on the palapa.  Took awhile but worth the wait.  What's next?  Pouring the extension for the floor, tiling the floor, sheet rock the interior ceiling and the metal posts with square columns.   Sometime this year?   Wait and see.

I left yesterday for Chihuahua.   We had a rough start.  It was 39C yesterday at the airport and the flight was oversold and they asked for volunteers.   I was hoping that there was a later flight or a very early morning but there wasn't.  The offer was a voucher for 5000 pesos plus hotel and meals at the new Sheraton in the airport.   When I got on board, I was standing in back talking to the flight attendant and asked her what would happen if there weren't enough takers and she said they would up the ante.   Too bad for me.

Then, we're all on board, plane packed to the gills and the lights and A/C go out.   They start it again (Embraer 179) and a minute later it stops.   Maintenance comes on board and fiddles a bit then back off and back on again.   The the announcement that we were waiting for a jump start but that wouldn't affect the flight.   Hotter than heck until we got off the ground.  I knew those security information cards would come in handy, they make great fans.

Chihuahua continues to grow and it seems it has a planning committee.   Very easy to move around and also very modern.  Lots of homes that mimic the U.S. building styles.  People here are very nice.  I bought a beer at the OXXO across from the hotel.  I was waiting in line when the cashier's eight year old son pops up in front of me and says he can ring me up.   He did the debit card charge, bagged my goods and managed it like a pro.   My point:  I guess if an eight year old can do it so could anybody.  

Now my work plan has changed and I won't be home on Thursday instead going to Queretaro and then to Leon before returning to Monterrey on Saturday, hopefully in the morning.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How I Back In The Rv

My friend Steve from the Carolinas says it amazes him how I'm able to get the rv into the driveway.   I finally downloaded the videos from our security cameras.  You can probably skip through the video because they are a few minutes long.   Enjoy.

From the street backing in.

From inside looking out.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Waterfalls On Every Side

As I said yesterday, we made it to the park without any problem.   I would say any travel trailer can make it and travel buses do too but I don't drive a 45 ft motorhome.   

The park charges a day use  fee of 36 pesos per person.  When you're camping it is only charged once and you can come and go from the park.   The overnight camping fee includes a palapa with kitchen surface, a sink with running water (potable) and there is no electricity.   The idea is too keep the place as quiet as possible and it is.  Some picnickers come during the day and play music but the rangers keep an eye on them.  It's not a large park but there is hiking in the mountains and paths to take.  There are hot showers for 10 pesos and well-worth it.   Clean with lots of hot hot water.  

We're here and we have been into town for a breakfast and we have taken lots of pictures.   Hiking has been a bit muddy because it is raining off and on.  Quiet, cool nights with the sounds of waterfalls and soft rain on the roof.   

We're heading home in the morning.  I have several things I want to post about such as the now variable gas prices and welfare programs that are available to Mexicans.  Very interesting all the things that most people are unaware of.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

El Salto State Park Nuevo Leon - Parque Estatal El Salto Nuevo Leon

We had headed back to the botanical garden in San Miguel and stayed for another night.  We paid our yearly membership which we think is only fair.   The land we boondock on is not owned by the gardens but it's right in front plus we get access to the botanical garden for hiking.  They have a small restauarant which is great for an afternoon expreso.

We headed back to Matehuala for the evening.   Not an exciting drive but there really isn't any other way to head north.   There was a nice rain in the evening and it was cool during the night.  This year we didn't need to use the electric blanket but there was no need for even a fan.   Again, the Hotel Oasis charges 150 pesos for the night.   Our grey water was full so I asked the owner if I could dump in the back of the hotel.  No problem.   

We didn't get up early on Tuesday and opted to sleep in.  The cool air, watching the news and having coffee was too much fun for me.   We eventually showered and headed out.   To the north and exiting at Sandia or Parque El Salto,  There are two routes, one directly from Matehuala and the other I just mentioned off of Hwy 57 just one kilometer north of Parador San Pedro which now, by the way, has a very nice hotel that is packed (we saw it coming and going).

The road we took was the best of the best and the worst of the worst.   In other words, there were good spots and bad spots but more good than bad.  We saw some beautiful ranch land and small ejidos along the route.   Lots of livestock;  mules, cows, goats and horses, leisurely crossing the two-lane road.   As we were driving a motorcycle passed us and took a sharp left to an improvised lateral.  I should have known better even if it wasn't marked.   Someone had taken down the signs but road work ahead!   We came to an abrupt stop as there was a drop off of at least 40 centimeters.   We didn't back up but found a quick and easy work around.

We had called ahead to Zaragoza asking if we would have any issues passing through the small town of 2000 with the trailer.   Transitos are getting very picky these days and I urge people to exercise caution.   They said no problem.   Aramberri, a town 27 kms before Zaragoza (pop. 14,000) was bustling.  One major change is that there is now an official Pemex station.   Ten years ago there was no service and you had to buy from clandestine ranches.  Not a good idea as the only filter was an old pair of panty hose.   That was my only issue on this route but that was now resolved.

Made it through both towns without a hitch (no pun intended) and arrived to the park.  I hope you enjoy the pictures there is much more to share tomorrow.   We will be heading home on Friday taking another route which I think will prove interesting.