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Monday, March 7, 2011

Long Day - Short Drive to Guadalajara

Monday p.m.

Well Sunday’s drive to Guadalajara was an experience not worth repeating. All started well as we left the campground at 7:45.

ready to go
 A little haze over the mountains but otherwise a nice day.
About four miles down the road we started hearing a tick-tick-tick coming from the left front. Hummm? Continued on a little further until we could find a place to pull off - another couple of miles. Oh, Oh left front brake/wheel very hot. Not good. The Driver unhooked Willie and turned around and headed back towards campground. Got about half way there where there was a big parking lot and pulled off. I followed in Willie. By now the wheel was smelling and smoking – LOVELY. Driver got in Willie and went back to Aticama to find Ramon. He came right away and pulled the wheel and fixed the problem. The cylinder was stuck. What ever that means.
While he was fixing it a pickup pulled up between us and the highway. A family – Mom, Dad and daughter proceeded to set up a watermelon stand right next to the road – and the big tope.
They got plenty of customers.
All fixed. Hooked up again and started out. By now it was 10:30. Ramon followed us to the main highway to Tepic – we stopped again and everything was fine. Ramon gave us his phone number and told Bill to call him if there were any more problems. Okay. Off went up the road to the Autopista. It is a very pretty drive scenery wise. These yellow trees are in full bloom now.
We got about 15 miles when I started to smell something coming from the right front wheel. SH**. Had to continue on until we came to a place where we could pull off. Little town by the name of Cinco de Mayo. Luckily we had cell phone service. The Driver call Ramon. He said he would be there as soon as he could. Before he hung up the phone though we heard him say, “Chingodo!!! Esta muy lejos!” Kind of translated as “Son of a gun! He is far away.” So we sat and waited. Watched this boy up in a tree playing with his friends.
And the girls selling cups of cut of fresh fruit at the tope.
And Bill talked to an old man laying in a hammock in front of a little store. He is 94 years old and remembers when there wasn’t even a dirt road coming through here. Seemed like he was related to everyone who went in and out of the store.
Any way Ramon and his helper showed up. Same problem as other side. Soon it was fixed and we were on our way again – it was 1:45 and we’d made less than 25 miles.
A few more miles and we were on the Autopista. Stopped for gas just outside of Tepic. This was a nice big Pemex with auto and truck pumps, a restaurant and a hotel.
Four toll booths on this stretch of the road. US$64 in tolls. At least the road was good. Seemed to be recently repaved.
We finally crossed in the state of Jalisco.
Into different time zone too. Instead of 4 o’clock it was now 5 o’clock. (I need to mention that in all the time we spent waiting neither one of us thought to have something to eat. Smart huh?)
The highway really started to climb – Guadalajara is 5000 feet high. And we started to see fields and fields of blue agave.
Just before Guadalajara we turned off on to the Periferico around the western side of the city. Then to the Colima highway west. Finally about 6 o’clock we pulled into the San Jose del Tajo RV Park. Sure glad to be there.
San Jose del Tajo RV Park
Got settled in after we found a 30 amp plug that wasn’t being used and that worked. By now neither of us was feeling very good – got to remember to eat!
Tried putting Stanley (the satellite dish) up and he refused to find the satellite. So talked to him nicely and put him down. Didn’t feel like dealing with him. Probably too many trees.
Both ate and hit the sack early.
It actually got pretty cool here during the night.
This morning The Driver moved Jennie a little and I put Stanley up and he latched right on to the right satellite and voila! Here we are with Internet.
Took it easy today – went to Applebee’s for breakfast and some grocery shopping at Wal*Mart.

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