Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Melaque to Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas

We got a late start this morning! I disconnected, dumped, loaded the chairs and pulled out to hook up the dolly. As I stopped in the driveway I noticed with great alarm that the battery “Idiot Light” was on, indicating a no charge condition! As luck would have it our very friendly neighbours, Gord and Donna Rudichuk from Kamloops, BC used to own a car parts place and Gord can fix anything! We had been talking to him last night about our intended journey and he said, “I don’t want to scare you off but you should know that V-10’s are not sold in Mexico and nobody knows how to work on them or has parts for them”. Thanks Gord for that bit of depressing information!

In desperation called Gord over and he confirmed that 1) I was an idiot and 2) my light was on. I unhooked the dolly and backed into the spot I had just vacated while Gord went for his test gear.  He told me the alternator field is fused and that is the first thing to check. He started checking all the fuses he could find while I discovered that we did not have a Ford Owners Manual. The fuses all checked good but we could see the battery was not charging and was sitting at 12.1 volts with the engine running. He started checking the fuses again and when I glanced at the dash, the Idiot Light was out. We had done nothing except test the fuses with a test light so what must have happened was when he pressed the probe into the fuse, it moved it enough to restore contact. All is well again and I now have a pretty good idea of what to do if it happens again. My job jar now includes removing the fuses one at a time and squirting them with contact cleaner. Thanks Gord!

We continued South, actually more East because we are now following the coast towards Guatemala. While we were in the State of Colima the roads are wide, smooth and straight. As soon as we entered the State of Michoacan they became just the opposite: narrow, crooked and rough. We went through numerous small villages, each with their own proud collection of topes, some marked but most not. It was very slow going and the speedometer seldom got above 40 KPH. We knew we were going to get caught in the dark which would have been a very bad idea in tope country so we started looking for a safe place to pull over for the night. Suddenly we saw a sign for an RV Park and we turned down a steep dirt path to the beach. We are in a neat little park right on the ocean with no hookups but with a palapa restaurant. She charged us $80 Pesos to park for the night and offered us electric for a small extra charge but it would have required running extension cords about 100 feet to the restaurant. We did not bother and are using the generator to make coffee after a delicious meal of steak for Norma and TWO, count them, TWO deep fried red snappers for yours truly. The fish was six dollars and the steak eight. Not bad. We have the RV Park to ourselves tonight.


It is a short 120 KM drive tomorrow on what looks to be a straighter road and then the decision on what to do next. Continue down the coast towards Acapulco and Chiapas or turn inland and get to Chiapas that way. Either way I will not miss Chiapas and San Cristobal as these will be the highlight of the trip for me..

No Internet here of course so this post joins the Queue to be posted next.


We have now arrived in Lazardo Cardenas (actually Playa Azul, a seaside community nearby). It was about three hours of bad twisting road and I lost an unimportant part of the dolly on a Tope. No problem a stop at a local hardware store fixed it. The park here at Hotel Playa Azul meets only the bare minimum requirements with unusable electric. I plugged in and imediatly got a shock from the motorhome frame as I hooked up the water. I checked the power and there is no ground.  We will use the generator again tonight. The good thing is, there is Internet in the lobby and a pool. Worth the $200 Pesos even without electricity.

The road along the coast does not get any better so we have decided to leave the coast and head inland from here towards Morilia on a new Cuota (toll) highway. It will be a nice break from the turns and topes. So for now, in Playa Azul, Mexico, Life is Good!


  1. If you ever need information from the extremely useful Ford manual, email me. I have a V-10, too. :-)

  2. Thanks Rae but I found one on line and downloaded it to a pdf document. It is now on the hard drive and also on a CD in the glove compartment.

    The PO did not make it very easy for any future owner, but then again, it was a repo.