EAST COAST OF MEXICO 2009
Segment Two – San Fernando to La Pesca, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Last night was pretty miserable. The station attendents were playing music until midnight, and I woke up at 5:30. So I'm a little shy of sleep. Robin is fine though, she took a couple of her pills and was out of it before she could get her CPAP mask on. We lift after gassing up and were on the road by about 7:30.
Today was a much better day. We actually made it to Tropicana Resort in La Pesca. With the exception of some road work detours (ditch that has been graded along the side of the road) where they are completing a major upgrade of the highway, it went just the way we planned it. Of course the S&T was totally lost as soon as we left Mex 180 at Soto la Marina. And I got caught a couple of times with bushwhacking topes (that's what I call the unmarked ones). But overall, it was an uneventful drive on good pavement. Of course that doesn't apply to the road through the towns, they are as bad as ever.
When we arrived at the Tropicana Beach Resort the owner and his handi-man/manager were gone, leaving just the handi-mans wife; who spoke absolutely no english. She was able to get Don (the owner) on the phone and we settled on a price (250 pesos) and where we should park. Of course that didn't go as planned either. There were 4 electrical and water hookups along a low block wall and we were told to park parallel to the wall, with one in front of the other. So Kat pulled down to the box closest to the water (box 4) and I pulled in behind her (box 3) and we started to set up. When I checked my electrical outlet, I discovered that 1) it was backwards, and 2) it wasn't grounded. When I checked Kats box there wasn't any power. I opened the fused disconnect box and found that there wasn't any cables coming in! So she moved to the spot behind me where she could access box 2, which checked OK. I also checked box 1 and found it was reversed. (Later I showed him how to ground his system and how to wire up the receptacles correctly), The power is 20 amp receptacles with 30 amp fuses.
While Kat was maneuvering into the new spot, I again talked to the owner, Don. He's on his way and told me to leave my coach where it was and he'd reverse the wiring when he got there. It also appears that what he quoted me on the phone was for EACH rig! I balked at that and he settled for 200 pesos per coach; that's about $15 US. Which is what the Church's book had him at.
The next problem was with Kat's site again. This time with the water. There wasn't any,.... water connection that is. So we put a splitter on mine and added another length of hose. Problem solved. Set-up complete and Kat's toad disconnected and rinsed off.
Now it's time for lunch in town. We drove back through and picked out a restaurant that looked acceptable and had sea food (we had seen tables covered with shrimp coming in, and everyone wanted shrimp). No one in the restaurant could speak English and Robins Spanish isn't all that great yet. So I took charge and pointed out three different shrimp (camaron) dishes and indicated we wanted one of each. We would decide who gets what once we saw what they were. This worked out pretty good. I got deep fried shrimp with rice and fries and a limonade; Robin got shrimp soup, and Kat got a shrimp fritata and a beer. It was all good but the fritata was kinda small, so Kat ordered a second one. The total for the three of us was 290 pesos, including tip.
After walking around town for awhile, we drove down to the beach and walked there (had to do something with all that food). This beach has a layer of shells on it that are 6 inches deep in places. There are rows and rows of palapa's but they looked kind of forelorn with us being the only ones on the beach. By this time the weather had taken a real bad turn and was cold and windy, with a smattering of rain. So home we go.
DAY 3! Well we're still here. We were rocked all night with high winds and rain and it's continuing today. I don't want to drive in this so we are staying one more day. Hopefully we can get out of here tomorrow. All this rain has turned the clay areas of the park into mudpits! Don has the gravel to put down but hasn't done it yet.
When I talked to Don (owner, from New Orleans) about his park, he said that when Mike and Terri Church were here, they asked if it would be OK to put his park in their book. He said sure, not knowing what book they were talking about. His park has 4 cabins and lots of tent camping space, and is full every easter week and all summer. But he doesn't see any RV'ers. After the Church's book came out, he has had a steady procession of big rigs coming in and out. That caught him totally off guard! He's trying to upgrade his place to handle them as fast as he can but still has a long way to go. I told him he hadn't seen anything yet, just wait until January, when the big rush of RV'ers come across the border!
That's all for now.