Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Low Bridge!

Oh boy! What a day! We drove from Mahehuala to Monterrey yesterday. More on that trip later.
We were looking for the entrance to the Bahia Escondida Hotel & RV Park in Monterrey. The road was quite busy and the entrance to the park was not well marked so we ended up not seeing the sign until we drove by it, too late to make the turn. We continued on until we saw a “Returno” sign. The Returno route took us to the right and to an underpass under the highway. There was no height sign posted but from what I could see, it looked like I had sufficient clearance.

After I made the turn into the underpass, the height suddenly shortened and before I could react,  the air conditioner hit the concrete overpass! There was a terrible grinding noise as I hit the brakes and stopped.
We got out to look and determined the only way out was to back up, an impossible feat with the car attached.  I was starting to unhook the car when a Trafico police motorcycle arrived to direct traffic. He was soon joined by another policeman and a couple of helpful motorists. We unloaded and parked the Honda and pulled the dolly up onto the median. The motorists who stopped were letting air out of the tires so I could back out.

All this time we were completely blocking the u-turn route and the Traficos were diverting traffic back onto the highway. It was a nightmare but everything went as well as could be expected and even the motorists being waved on were pleasant.

I was finally able to back out and hook the dolly back on. Then, with a police motorcycle escort, drove on a few blocks to an area where I could park and put the Honda, which Norma was following in, back on the dolly. I climbed onto the roof to inspect the damage and found the air conditioning unit laying on top of the four solar panels, two of which had torn loose from their mounts. All four were smashed as well as two vent covers. There were also two tears in the rubber roof as well as several smaller cuts. I passed the broken parts down to the Traficos and threw the smashed air conditioner down to the ground. The police stacked everything on the sidewalk and told us not to worry about it, that someone would pick it up. Sure enough, by the time I returned to take photos of the damaged parts, they were gone. Some ingenious Mexican will soon be sporting a repaired air conditioning unit on his house!

All this time I was expecting to be charged with something. Being stupid if nothing else, but they simply shook our hands and sent us on our way. No reports, no inspecting drivers licenses, nothing.
One of the first things I did when we finally checked into the RV park was to phone Chris, who we were planning to meet the next day. He lived close by and came to meet us at the RV park. Chris is fluent in Spanish and his help was invaluable and appreciated. He called the insurance company and arranged for an adjuster who arrived within a half hour! What service! Today Chris is picking us up to go to the insurance company office here in Monterrey.

Pre and Post Damage



  1. Arrrgh. Sorry about that incident.

  2. Hey Croft,
    That sucks...keep us informed on the insurance side of things.
    It's snowing in Whistler this morning....oh when will spring arrive here.

  3. You have a wonderful attitude about the whole situation. I'm sure it will all be resolved and you will be much wiser should there ever be a low bridge again. You have a terrific adventure going, and I think as Anon says you need not hurry home. My weather channel thermometer says 3 degrees in Abbotsford, but FEELS LIKE -2. So don't hurry home.

  4. Sorry about the accident. Hope it gets resolved quickly and easily.

  5. That's a hell of a way to get a new a/c unit! Sorry you had such lousy luck. Sounds like the cops were beyond cool though. Maybe we (in the US) need to stop importing Mexican gardeners and start importing cops. LOL

  6. Oh crap! Wonder where the silver lining is on this thing. Hope you get it taken care satisfactorily.

  7. Sorry Croft-

    How do the insurance people explain the large gaping hole in your roof?

    Insurance companies make best effort to pay nothing or minimally these days - hardly worth having it. ;-0