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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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Palma Sola, Mexico

Written by Raenelle on Friday, January 9, 2004

We reached Mexico early in the morning, and travelled through a slow, windy road through southern Chiapas towards a tollroad. Welcome back to Mexico! The roads here are terribly slow and there are speed bumps ‘topes’ in every small town that the highway passes through … which drives us absolutely crazy! We’ve decided to travel on tollroads as much as possible on our return trip through Mexico. We don’t have the time to spend 6 hours travelling 250km in this country anymore, so we’ll pay the big bucks for the nicely paved, ‘tope’-free tollroads! In Tepanatepec, we camped at the same hotel that we had stayed at in late October. The yappy dogs were still there, and we decided to make friends with them … so that they wouldn’t bark at us all night and we might just be able to get a few hours of sleep! They were pretty dumb dogs though and they didn’t want to make friends with us – but we lucked out and they only barked till about 10pm. The rooster, on the other hand, was a little confused and started screeching at about 1am!

We made good time travelling through Mexico today – drove for about 12 hours, and we’re now on the Gulf of Mexico near a small town called Palma Sola. We stopped for gas in the afternoon, and when we went to start the truck, the batteries were dead! Hmm. Ongoing battery problems have haunted us since battery acid leaked out of our first battery at the beginning of this trip in Baja. Conveniently for us, a big rig had just pulled up behind us at the gas station to fill up with diesel, so we got him to push us and we were soon on our way! We saw a restaurant and house just off the main road, and we stopped and asked if we could camp on the property for the night. There we met Carmen and Carlos, who opened their home and their hearts to us. They were a wonderful couple who chatted to us about all sorts of things, and then invited us to go with them in the evening to their restaurant in Palma Sola. They had a young baby son who had just discovered that he liked the sound of his scream! We all squished into their little Volkswagen beetle (screaming baby and all) and made our way to the Mexican restaurant where we had the most amazing meal. We all played pick-up-sticks (including Carmen and Carlos’ 9-year-old daughter who was at the restaurant), and then headed home. They invited us to sleep in their home, because it was terribly windy outside and we wouldn’t have gotten any sleep in the tent in the wind!

In the morning, we had breakfast with Carmen and Carlos (delicious scrambled eggs with ham and tortillas, followed by pineapple tamales). We took it easy and chatted till mid morning, and then got a jump-start from their little beetle (damn those batteries) which sent us on our way! We stopped in the afternoon to look around the ruins at El Tijan which were interesting, but they were also a great opportunity to get out of the truck and walk around a bit! Since our vehicle batteries and playing roulette with us, we camped overnight at a designated campground and spent the evening talking to two american couples (from Alaska and Florida) and two Canadian couples from Saskatchewan. It was weird being around English speaking people and hearing their travel stories from an rv-ing point of view! Early in the morning we got a jump start from the Alaskans and were on the road by 5.30am. We’re fed up with the batteries dying on us, so we’re going to head for Texas today to get new batteries. We can’t get the batteries that we want here in Mexico, and we think that the replacement battery that we purchased in Baja to replace our original one is playing havoc with the other battery. Our truck is 24V, so we need 2 batteries which need to stay equally charged with a charge equalizer etc. You can read about this on the 24V Issues link on the truck page. Texas here we come!

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