This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Catching Up

This post should cover the last few days and get you caught up with us.

We left the Country Express Hotel parking lot at 7 AM on January 14 and headed for the Neptuno RV Park on the Costa Esmeraldo, state of Veracruz, which would be our first night on the Gulf of Mexico.  It was not a good day.  The rain started around noon and lasted the rest of the day.  It was 236 miles and took us almost 12 hours!  There were several reasons that contributed to the length of this leg of the trip.
One big reason is that 19 RV’s can really get strung out due to the “rubber-band” effect.  The leader drives 35 MPH and “Tail End Charlie” will sometimes have to drive in sprints of 60 – 65 MPH because some of the other drivers allow too much distance to come between themselves and the RV in front of them. 
Then there are the many small towns along the route.  The entry into, and drive through, these little towns is pure torture due to the many topes (pronounced “toe pays”) that must be crawled over in a motorhome to keep from tearing it to pieces.  Topes are speed bumps lacking any consistency in size.  Some are relatively small and others are larger than any I have ever seen in the US.  They may be spaced out so there are only 3 or 4 through the town.  Other times you might encounter topes in groups of 4 or 5, with only a couple of feet between each one.  Too add even more injury to misery; the roads are filled with potholes that must be avoided while simultaneously climbing your RV over the topes.  These are absolutely the worst roads I have ever had to drive on for any appreciable distance. 
When the lead RV completes the obstacle course and heads out of town, the last RV may be just entering the town and will be far behind by the time it finishes creeping through the town.  This requires the leader to slow down to about 15 MPH until everyone is once again in radio contact.  This exercise occurs many times a day due to the numerous small towns through which we drive.
There was also an accident involving one of the RVs (Barry and Pat) in our group. They were rear-ended by a car that was following too closely and unable stop fast enough.  The rest of the group pulled onto the shoulder and waited almost an hour until the decision to proceed was made by the leader.  The “Tail Gunner” (Tom and Kim, Fantasy Staff) stayed behind with Pat and Barry.  They had to file police reports and wait on an insurance adjuster to come and view the damage.  The local police told them to move the vehicles from the roadway so they drove them a couple of kilometers and parked in a Pemex station.  Once there, the state police arrived and threatened to impound the vehicles because they had been moved from the scene.  He told them that the local police were nothing, that he (the state policeman) was the “boss”.  They all went to the nearest state police office and waited for the adjusters (one for each insurance company involved) to show up.  In Mexico this must be done immediately after an accident, and apparently prior to moving the vehicles.  The adjustors showed up around 7 PM and it was all over by 10 PM with the state policeman deciding not to impound the vehicles.  Barry and Pat, along with Tom and Kim, spend the rest of the night in the Pemex parking lot and left at 6 AM the next day. 
Meanwhile, back at the caravan, we finally pull into a Pemex station about 6 miles from our destination.  It was necessary to do so in order for everyone to catch up and to un-hook our cars before arriving at the RV park.  When we finally got to the park it was raining and dark and everyone was tired and miserable.  It was about 7:30 in the evening once we were able to relax.  Not many went out to dinner that night.
The next day a big tour bus picked us up at the RV park and took us to the Mayan ruins of El Tajin.  That is where I will start the next post.

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