Paradero San Pedro
There was one dump station for waste water at Bugamville RV Park and we planned to use it this morning before hitting the highway. When we drove over to the dump station we discovered that the PVC pipe to which we needed to connect stood about 3 feet above the ground. Now, the outlet for my waste water tank is probably no more than 2 ½ feet above the ground. If you know anything about Newton’s Law of Gravity you should know that without help from a pump the waste water was not going to flow from the outlet up to the PVC pipe. Earlier, I had noticed that Tom and Kim drove their motorhome to the rear of the RV park property. I drove over to where they had been and found a partially uncovered sewer so I dumped there and then got the motorhome lined up and ready to leave.
We left the Bugamville RV Park at 8:00 AM to drive 322 miles to the Paradero San Pedro on Highway 57. There were only a couple of tolls to pay and the roads were decent to good so we made good time (average of 44 miles per hour including stops). I spent most of the day at the rear of the caravan so got the full effect of the rubber band action (slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up….). Eventually I just drifted further back to lessen the effect somewhat. All in all, it wasn’t a bad day of driving, as I wasn’t exhausted when we arrived.
At one point near the end of the day we drove for miles with nothing on either side of the highway except Joshua Tree cacti as far as the eye could see. It was like a giant Joshua Tree forest. I only learned today what a Joshua Tree cactus is. I have wondered at times where the name for the Joshua Tree National Park came from. Now I know.
We encountered two Federal Police inspection stations on the trip. We were waved through the first inspection station. Everyone but Harvey and Barbara, that is. They had to pull over and be boarded. Harvey said they looked in some cabinets but probably just wanted to see the inside of such a huge fifth-wheel. At the second inspection station we had to drive through a large scanner or x-ray machine. It looked like a super large version of the ones you have to walk through at airports and government buildings. No lights flashed and no alarms sounded so I guess we didn’t have whatever they were looking for.
We arrived at the Paradero by 4:00 PM and claimed one end of a very large parking lot. A Paradero is basically a truck stop on steroids. There is a Pemex station plus a large building that houses a club for truckers (showers, gym, sleeping quarters, lounge, etc.), a big cafeteria, a small sandwich counter, a coffee bar, and of course a souvenir shop that must have had some of everything that anyone on this tour had purchased in the many places we visited. The main difference was in price (higher at the Paradero). There is also a police substation located here, which makes it a good place to overnight in an RV.
We ate supper in the cafeteria. We couldn’t read the menu, didn’t know how to order, and weren’t sure what we would end up eating. We pushed our trays down to the cashier only to learn that they didn’t take credit cards and we had left our money in the coach. Bruce came to the rescue. He and Karen were behind us in line and bailed us out.
When we left the cafeteria we found that the weather had changed drastically. First came very high winds and then it got cold and rained very hard for a while. A cold front must have moved through here. We had to turn on our heat because the temperature dropped from the 70’s to 45 degrees.
Tomorrow is the final leg of our odyssey. It’s about 300 more miles to the border where we will cross at Mission, TX. We are taking a different route than the one in the logbook in order to stay on toll roads as much as possible. The possibility of another bandito experience is highly unlikely on a toll road. It will add a few extra miles and about $75 US in tolls but worth it. Butch says he does not want to have another machine gun stuck in his face!