Friday, January 11, 2013

Morelia to El Mogote

We left the Pemex after a less than satisfying sleep. We were parked too close to the banios and truckers would park right beside us, leaving their engines running while they did their business.  I was a little tired when we left and we were pretty sure we would not make it to Cuernavaca today. There is a way more direct route but it involves driving close to Mexico City. So close that we get into the Hoy No Circula (Today You Do Not Circulate) area where you can only drive on certain days according to your license plate number.  It is a very complicated system, not just even and odd, and is best steered away from as fines are steep.

We headed down the long route suggested in the Church's book towards the silver mining and jewelery making town of Taxco. This involved getting around or through Toluca. Going through was not an option after our experience there in 2008 when we inadvertently drove into the center of town and had to hire a taxi to lead us out. We were very lucky the police did not notice us then.

This time we checked Google Maps for a bypass and found that the Libramento de Toluca was now completed all the way around the industrial city of Toluca. We asked at a toll booth and were assured it was open, we could use it and the Hoy No Circula rules did not apply even though it was close to the D.F. It cost us a lot in tolls ($85 CAN for the day) but kept us out of the "city"!

The road from Toluca towards Taxco is a series of very steep hills, most heading down as we lose a great deal of altitude along this route. As we drove into the village of El Mogote, we remembered that we had found a great boondocking spot here in 2008. It is a parking lot next to a school and is right on a small lake! Being it was Friday night we knew there would be no problem parking here for the night. We put out the slide and walked down the street for a (not all that great) seafood dinner. I had garlic shrimp and they were cooked with the head and peel on, a pretty messy thing to eat while Norma had shrimp "natural" which were quite small and not all that flavorful. Oh well, it could have been worse. El Mogote is near the bottom of the "loop" on the map below.

When we got back to the rig it was 87 inside and outside! We fired up the generator and air conditioning, made a pot of coffee and settled down for the night. Tomorrow is another day and a short drive to Cuernavaca!

Oh yes, we were stopped in a State Police check today. They were parked beside the road and as we approached, they motioned us to the side of the road. They were very pleasant and shook our hands before inquiring where we were going and asking for the temporary import papers for the motorhome. They examined the documents carefully before handing them back and wishing us a good journey. They did not ask to look inside.

Here is our parking spot. Just before sunset a group of young men came and threw a net in the water right beside us. Within minutes they had a net full of small sardine like fish!

It is 7:00 PM and is still 84 outside. We will only need the sheet tonight!





14 comments:

  1. I have a rule about ordering shrimp: if I cant see the ocean I don't order.
    Once you are spoiled with fresh off the boat shrimp there is no going back, especially when inland and it's hot out.
    I hope you are headed to a quiet and relaxing camping spot.

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    1. Good rule Rick. We need quiet and relaxing for a while!

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  2. Hope you can make it over to Tepotzlan while in Cuernavaca. I think you and Norma would like it.

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    1. We were there in '08 Connie. It is a memorable little town! Maybe we can get back this year. Now if I could only remember the name of that restaurant where they served those deep fried tree branches! Really! They were delicious!

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  3. Glad you made it around Toluca with no problem. We were waving at you from the top of the Toluca Volcano!

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  4. You had an interesting day of travel, soon your destination and relax a bit more.

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  5. You sure to seem to like to mention the temp! LOL It's 24F here this a.m. so I'm thinking you are in the right place. Have a good one.

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  6. Toluca can be a bear to get through. We have always been stopped, last time for illegally towing our toad. I just pretended to only speak French as I listened to the police try to bribe us and become more exasperated as we refused to cooperate. They finally let us go. I like the idea of the new bypass!

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  7. Quite the trip for you two - and made even tougher with little sleep. Your temperatures are great though. It's cool here in the southwest US.

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  8. Deep fried tree branches?? Never heard of them. If you had them in Tepotzlan you will probably be able to find the restaurant and recognize it since it is such a small place. Wow - fried tree branches. Wonder what that is about.

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    1. They have some kind of buds on them Connie. You put them in your mouth, close your teeth lightly and draw the branch out. The parts that stay in your mouth is very delicious! We were taken there by a Mexican lawyer friend.

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  9. I'm envious that you found that route ... maybe better marked now? I tried it a few years ago and never saw what looked like a reasonable exit after Toluca and suddenly found myself cresting the hill looking at Mexico City. I'd been in the city a number of times in the '90's so managed to stay mostly on the periférico but still uncomfortable. Maybe someday but I drive a lot less in Mexico any more

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    1. "suddenly found myself cresting the hill looking at Mexico City"

      Now THAT would give me nightmares!

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