02 April 2009

A Work in Progress...

Well, as so often happens with us, the promised completion continues to be delayed — but it will happen eventually, so please do watch this space.

Remember, your encouragement keeps us writing, so please leave a comment...

Galena Alyson Canada 2 April 2009 Vashon Island, Washington, USA

01 May 2008

March 2008 - Return of the Two Gringas

The Two Gringas have just recently completed the fourth USA-to-Belize drive-down, and we're now sequestered somewhere in Placencia, Belize, compiling and posting the travelogue and photo galleries. You'll see these appear here over the next few days.

Remember that this is being posted in reverse-chronological order (most recent on top). The easiest way to follow along in proper chronological order is to use the table of contents at right. The route map is below, in the column at right, and a description of the planned route is in the first blog entry.

(If you are new to the Two Gringas adventures, please have a look at the first Gringa adventure, A Gringa Drives to Belize.

Remember, your encouragement keeps us writing, so please leave a comment...

21 April 2008

Day 12 - Haven't We Been This Way Before?

After a full day of rest in this nice little motel we feel we can brave the dirt road back to the north end of the canyon.

The question is, can the car make it??

No use in cleaning it up until we're back on pavement, and we know about where that is heading back north. We travel back to San Rafael, get on blacktop and consider getting out and kissing the pavement. But we think better of it and continue on past Cuauhtemoc and on to the city of Chihuahua. It's getting dark so we find a motel and call it day. Tomorrow we start heading south directly toward Mexico City.

20 April 2008

Day 11 - Rest Day

After our harrowing adventure yesterday, we decide this is pretty nice place to take a rest day. We walk around town, enjoy the sights and have lunch at the restaurant that helped us the night before. And they have a nice church next to the town square.

And we find one of the sources of the Tecate bread crumbs.

Tomorrow we'll hit the road with energy renewed.

Day 10 - Never Trust A Mexico Road Map

We start out and head southwest and soon the paved road gives way to a well travelled dirt/rock road. I can't really call it gravel, for it is mostly this white powdery dirt mixed with rocks that have obviously been put down so the road doesn't wash away in a rain. We have chosen to go this way because our maps (note plural) show this road heading along the side of the canyon and over to more major towns where we can pick up paved road again. We can then take those down to the Pacific coast road which will take us southeast toward Belize.

So we travel along and see all sorts of scenic sights.

And cross some not-so-good cattle crossings.

The car and us are getting a good pounding as we wind our way up and down and around the hills and mini-mountains. In our wake we leave a cloud of dust, and every time we go by another car or truck we close the vents and windows in an attempt to keep the dust out. After what seems like many hours, we come to the town of Temoris. Our maps show this as the half way point of our "unimproved" road adventure. Great. All we have to do is find the road out of town. We find "a" road and after a bit the GPS confirms that it is heading in the correct direction.

As we travel along, we have been seeing a fresh (uncrushed) Tecate beer can in the road. We again see these on the road out of Temoris and soon we calling them our Tecate bread crumbs. We take these as a good omen. Unfortunately, this road is even worse than the road into Temoris. Not a good sign. But we trudge along hoping that the end will come soon. Whose end, the road's or our's, makes less difference as the day wears on. Eventually our good humor fades away as we both wonder how to get the heck out of here, and if the car will actually get us there.

Eventually we come down into a little valley with a village in it. we take what seems to be a road through town and head up the hill. At the top of the hill the road becomes what I call a field road. You know the ones: 2 tire tracks through the high grass. We see a pickup with a couple of guys in it. Lena goes over and attempts to communicate with them. It seems we found the source of the beer cans. 2 drunk cowboys returned from town with a couple cases of beer. The road we came in on is the ONLY road into, or out of, town.

We have no choice but to head back to Temoris. We try to figure our remaining daylight and hope we can make it there before we loose light. Just as we leaving the village, the exhaust pipe falls loose again. Again we jack up the car, right in the middle of the one lane road, and try to cool the pipe and get it back in place. A family in a pick up comes along and trys to see what the 2 white women are doing under the little car.

We jump back in the car and take off up the hill. Now I seem to remember Lena saying as we drove down into the village that she sure hoped we wouldn't have to come back up this hill. Well, we are. The trouble is that the road here is made of marble sized rocks. Lena has the engine revved up trying to get some traction, and rocks are pelting the bottom of the car. We look at each other, barley moving, rocks flying everywhere, and just bust up laughing. It was the only thing we could do....

We arrive back in Temoris, after dark, and find a small restaurant with people still in it. Now I have always been amazed at what rural people will do for stangers. One of the owner's girls escorted us around to find a room to stay. We give her our eternal thanks and bed down for the night, too tired to eat.

Day 9 - To the Canyon

We leave Cuauhtemoc and head west and then south toward Copper Canyon, Mexico's "grand canyon". One of the principal modes of transportation for many people in Mexico is in the back of pickups, often someone else's pickup.

I always enjoy seeing the different colored buildings while driving through Mexico. It's not like anything I've seen in the States.

We only travel about half the day and find ourselves in San Rafael, right on the edge of the canyon.

There are many street vendors selling all sorts of hand made goods.

We find a little place to stay with the help of some of the locals and prepare to settle down for the rest of the day. But first a little auto maintenance. The exhaust pipe that we sort of fixed before we left home has slipped out of the cat converter. Not to worry, we have our trusty jack and a tool set with us.

11 April 2008

Day 8 - The Big Plunge Into Mexico

We stayed the night at Douglas, Arizona, and made the crossing into Agua Prieta (dark water) first thing in the morning after the requisite money changing, auto insurance getting, etc. We found that this crossing to be the easiest of any of our crossings. Most of the Mexican officials spoke at least some English to go along with our so-so Spanish, and one of them was quite cheerful. That made the experience not only painless, but almost fun.

Having attained the necessary visas and sticker for the windshield of the car, we take off first east and then south through Mennonite country toward the city of Cuauhtemoc, where we plan to spend the first night. We pass numerous orchards with nets that can be strung over them (very labor intensive), and soon we get back into the groove of Mexican driving. And of course, we see some interesting vehicles.

We get into town and use our Mexico guide to find a place to stay. Soon we're bedded down for the night.