El Gordo and San Pancho Aquatic and RV Park
(posted from Tehuantepec on Feb 12)
It took a while this morning for everyone to exit the Nututan Hotel parking lot. Most of us had to stop at the dump station on the way out to empty our waste tanks. We regrouped at a Pemex station about 18 miles down the highway at a T-intersection where we would turn left for Villahermosa. This was an extremely busy intersection. Trucks were in and out of the Pemex continuously, taxis lined one side of the highway, and two buses were stopping on the other side. To make matters worse the highway was under construction with only one lane available for traffic.
As RVs arrived at the Pemex station’s large parking lot we formed up in 4 or 5 rows to wait until everyone was together. The Wagon Masters were the last to arrive and instead of pulling in the parking lot, went on past and through the intersection. We had to pull out of the parking lot, get across the very busy intersection, and follow the leader to Villahermosa. It turned out to be more like a LeMan’s start in which the drivers race for their cars and attempt to get off quickly and assume the lead or at least avoid being in the rear of the pack. The Wagon Master’s RV was the pace car I suppose.
The El Gordo and San Pancho Aquatic and RV Park in Villahermosa was only 80 miles from the Pemex so it would take about 3 hours due to highway conditions and topes in every village along the route. You just have to get used to the fact that your average speed will only be around 30 mph.
Driving through Villahermosa was a bit hairy. The main drag through town is a divided four-lane avenue. The lanes seemed a little narrow but that was probably because there were no shoulders. The avenue is tree-lined, which is nice, except that driving in the right-hand lane was like running your RV through a gauntlet of tree limbs.
I was very glad to be in the caravan instead of on my own because I never saw a sign for the RV park and it would be difficult to find without someone leading the way. We turned off onto a very narrow, pothole filled, dirt road that was lined with small houses situated very close to the road. Each house was the home of at least a dozen kids plus unknown numbers of chickens, turkeys, and dogs. You had to be very careful not to run over them when they ran out asking for candy. The children that is, not the chickens, turkeys, or dogs.
As we crept along trying to avoid the holes we heard Richard on the radio telling Harvey to stop because the roof of Harvey’s RV had snagged some wires above the road. On one side of the road the wires were tied to a utility pole and spliced into the electric line. On the other side of the road they were tied to a nail on the side of a house. We have seen this quite often. People take big risks when stealing electricity here in Mexico. A few minutes after Harvey got the lines off of his roof a guy from the RV park came running up with a long bamboo pole with which he held the wires up for the rest of us. Apparently he does this quite often.
Once we had parked and settled in I heard some bad news. Are you surprised? I found out that one of Bruce and Karen’s dogs had chewed up one of Bruce’s hearing aids. At least he still has one left. He just moves it from one ear to the other depending on which side he wants to hear. This actually happened a few days ago but Bruce was trying to keep it quiet so it wouldn’t make it into one of my posts. I guess he has a security leak somewhere.
As if the dog eating the hearing aid was not bad enough, Harold and Marilyn won the “Oh, Shit” award today. As the caravan was passing through Villahermosa they split off to stop at a Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, their Class C motorhome didn’t quite make it under the parking lot entrance and the rooftop A/C was torn off! All that was left was a hole in their roof. The Green Angels are again earning their keep by patching the hole. They went into town and purchased a sheet of Plexiglas that they fastened and sealed over the hole. Harold and Marilyn may have lost an air conditioner but they have gained a nice skylight.
There is not much to the RV park here. There aren’t any facilities to speak of other than undependable 15-amp power and very low-pressure water. There is a drainage ditch, which is filled with stagnant water (and probably mosquitos), along one side of the park. However, the Aquatic Park side is really nice. There is a large, irregular shaped pool that is sectioned off into areas of different depths. The pool has two water slides and a rope bridge that crosses one end of the pool. There is also a separate pool for children that includes a “water play ground” in the pool.
The park manager (owner?) is very nice but speaks no English. He tried to help me with my banda ancha cellular modem and spent at least 30 minutes on his phone with Telcel support. When he finished we had to get Kathy to translate. Apparently when I was trying to get the thing to work I did something to the configuration and the only option is to take it and my laptop to a Telcel store and let them straighten it out. Once I do get this thing working I will try to post step-by-step instructions for other Mexico travelers needing help.
(No Internet here and could not get to a Telcel store so will post this at first opportunity)