Friday, July 25, 2008

Croft's Mexico Blog

I have set this Blog up to detail our upcoming winter in Mexico. We will be leaving Campbell River, BC on November 1 and returning sometime in April. Please drop back then and in the meantime please have a look at my other Blog, listed to the left, of our 2007 - 2008 Mexico trip.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eagle Saga On The Beach

Something was happening with our nesting pair of Bald Eagles today. I was painting the house and noticed cars stopping on the road in front of our house to look at something on the beach. I went to look and saw the pair of eagles on a rock in the water. This is unusual in itself as they usually hunt separately. Watching them for a while I noticed another eagle, this one without the telltale white (Bald) head in the water near the rock.DSC_7092-1

I assumed it must be their young because immature Bald Eagles do not have a white head. As I watched, the third eagle climbed onto the rock with them and after it stood there for a minute, one of the adults pushed it back into the water and both adults flew away, one to another rock and the second to a nearby tree where they sat watching. The third eagle climbed back up onto the rock where it stood alone, wings spread drying in the sun. I thought maybe the adults were teaching the young one to swim or fish or else simply trying to get it to leave the nest. I left them and went back to my painting.

Just a short time ago I noticed more vehicles stopping and when I went to investigate, found the third eagle sitting atop a very large rock on the beach beside the walkway. I took my camera down and snapped this photo of it. It is a huge, beautiful bird and to be allowed to approach this close is a privilege.


Twilight Rose


Our flower garden is starting to produce! I got this shot before the family of deer that share our property with us came down and ate it for desert…

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Thoughts On RV Caravans

Many people join Caravans for their first trip or two into Mexico and some keep traveling by caravan. They find the structured travel appealing to them and enjoy having someone else do all the mundane route planing. For them it works but for us, we do not like the “Today is Wednesday so this must be San Miguel” type of travel. We talked to people along the way who were on their ninth or tenth caravan so this must appeal to some travelers. Not us though!

When we first ventured into Mexico with the motorhome, we knew no Spanish and aside from a loose plan to visit my niece who has a condo in Mazatlan, had no fixed plans. We thought we might stay in the popular beach areas down the West Coast as the photos on the Internet looked nice and we thought it would be easier to get along without any Spanish. We just stumbled along day by day deciding where we were heading by looking at the map as we went. We made several side trips, one to Alamos which is a very pleasant little town a bit off the beaten path. This would not be possible in a caravan, nor would the several week stop we made in Mazatlan where our son decided at the last minute to fly down to visit us for Christmas. After Mazatlan we decided to abandon the beaches and head inland. The weather was a little too damp and cool for us.

In San Miguel we ran into a caravan parked in the same park as we were in and it reaffirmed everything I feared. It was run by a bossy woman who ran around assigning parking places to everyone. As soon as everyone was hooked up a meeting was held in the middle of the parking lot where the “plan” for the day was explained. This was repeated every morning for their entire three day stay which is nowhere near long enough to explore this beautiful area.

The caravan had a resident repairman/mechanic along to fix any problems that came up with the participants rigs. While they were in the park another RVer was having trouble with his water heater. The mechanic wandered past while the owner was working on it and soon they were both up to their armpits in the repair. A few minutes later the “bossy woman” who ran the caravan walked by, saw “her” mechanic working on a non participants RV and proceeded to loudly tell him off. She made it clear that he was only to work on participants rigs. No if’s, and’s or but’s! She stood there while he sheepishly picked up his tools and walked off with her, probably for a further scolding. She was probably afraid of what her charges, who were paying many thousands of dollars, would say if they saw him working for free. This is not how RVers behave! If someone is having a problem, everyone pitches in and helps! Tools, advice, spare parts and labour are freely shared. It is part of what makes our lifestyle so appealing.

Anyway, after a very hectic three days of tours and organized meals, there was a “drivers meeting” in the middle of the parking lot and they were off in a cloud of dust to their next destination. All the rest of us breathed a great sigh of relief and went back to our relaxing. This may not be the normal caravan and some may be a lot better but this was our only close experience with one and we did not like it. Good riddance to them!

We will continue to avoid caravans. We prefer to decide for ourselves what day we will take our side trips and go out for dinner. If we like a place, we just may decide to stay for an extra day or five and if we do not like it, we simply pack up and move on. People we meet along the way are always telling each other about neat places to visit and changes in plans are made all the time. RV travel is a fluid affair where you go as you please, when you please. I do not need the “bossy woman” telling me who I can talk to and what I am having for dinner.