Thursday, February 21, 2008

Guadalajara Traffic

There is no easy way to get from Villa Corona to Leon without taking the Anillo Periferico around Guadalajara! This was supposed to be a ring road around the city designed to keep traffic out of the heart of the city and in theory, it should work fine for that. In actuality, the road was never completed and only goes about 80% of the way around Guadalajara, leaving a gap right where I needed to exit onto Mexico 80 to Leon. There is a complicated set of instructions in the Church & Church Mexico Camping Guide that involves changing lanes many times at different exits, cross streets and Pemex stations. What the book does not tell you is that some exits are not marked, some highway direction signs are ambiguous to say the least and the dotted lines between lanes have worn right off to the point that the only person who can see what lane you are in is the guy behind you with the big horn. Add to this the propensity of Mexican drivers (at least in Guadalajara) to immediately close any gaps the instant they see your signal that you want into “their” lane. Now add the fact that the speed limit of 80 Km/Hr is treated as no more than a suggestion and you will have some Idea of what I went through!

Imagine heading into L.A. on the freeway with the traffic all doing WAY over the speed limit, no one allowing more than four or five feet in front of themselves with cars, trucks and busses passing on the left and right of you while you are trying to change lanes in a 50 foot long motorhome tow car combination for an exit that may or may not be marked correctly, and if it is marked, it is in Spanish. I was very relieved when I finally got on Mex. 80 and all I had to worry about was having enough Pesos for the toll booths.

There are five toll booths on the ”Cuota” highway between Guadalajara and Leon. The cost ranged from a low of $3.80 CAN at one to a high of $24 CAN at another totaling about $60 CAN for the 270 Km trip. I can never figure out what governs the charge. There is a complicated list of tariffs posted at each toll booth, outlining charges for extra axels, length, height, passengers, etc. but sometimes the charges differ wildly even though the same tariffs seem to be posted. Basically I suspect they charge whatever the Hell they want to charge! At the last one I got charged $13 and then as I was waiting for her to lift the gate she gave me another bill for $11 for the car! Every other time they put it through as a motorhome and a trailer for a cheaper rate but no, this time it was a motorhome with a car following closely behind. Oh well, it was a nicely maintained road and we pay no other taxes for our six months in Mexico so – what the heck. It’s only money.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog as I'm thinking about traveling in Mexico very soon. However I wish you had pictures of your trips.

    J.R. Jackson