Thursday, January 5, 2012

Arco Norte and Further

We did not make it all the way to Puebla yesterday, We said our goodbyes to the very friendly staff at Queretaro's Hotel Flamingo Inn at about 11:00, found propane (butane) and headed down Mex 57. We stopped at San Pedro, the Pemex, restaurant complex about 100 KM before the exit for the Arco Norte where we topped off the gas tank and had breakfast. Norma then spent an hour or so shopping in the store attached to the restaurant complex and bought a nice Mexican blanket for the bed. Most blankets are far too short for me, making me decide if I want my neck warm or my feet. This one is almost seven feet long and actually covers me!

We took the well marked turnoff to the Arco Norte and pulled our electronic card out of the dispenser. When you exit, this card tells the attendant how far you drove and how much to charge you.

We made it as far as the Pemex near the far end of the Arco Norte where we nestled in with the trucks for the night. It was safe but noisy with trucks coming and going all night. There was no reception on my Banda Ancha stick so no Internet! We had a small accident with the water when norma turned on the pump from the bathroom without realizing the kitchen tap had been turned on when we pulled the coffee maker out of the sink, where it travels. The tap had swung out over the counter so when the water started flowing, it landed on the counter, found it's way down between the counter and the wall and out the bottom. Before she realized what was happening, the 40 gallon fresh water tank was just about drained! We sopped up water, removed drawers and dried outside storage bins for an hour and finally got the job done! We then watched some TV programs we had recorded on the PVR  until we fell asleep.

This morning we filled the water tank from a spigot on the Pemex station and hit the road. We got to the toll booth, handed them the card and then handed them $630 pesos or $47 CAN! Ouch, expensive but well worth it. The alternative would have been to drive through Mexico City or take hours picking our own bypass route via country roads around the capital. It was money well spent!

Today we stayed on the cuota (toll) roads and forked over an additional $920 pesos on tolls! That makes the day's total $126 CAN. Ouch! And to add insult to injury, the road after Puebla (except one very nice concrete section) was terrible! There was only a little construction and the rest of the road was ruts and potholes! It would be nice if they spent the tolls they collect on fixing the roads! Rant over.

This afternoon we stopped at a quiet Pemex on Mex 145D and parked on the side opposite the truck parking. There was an armed guard walking around who we asked if we could park where we were. He said "si" and we gave him $40 pesos to watch over us. There is a restaurant as well as a Red Hat Coffee shop which is providing me with a weak WIFI signal. Despite being under a tower, the Banda Ancha is dropping out too often.

It will be 260 KM to Villahermosa tomorrow where we will spend the night at a real RV park with a nice pool. Life is good!

Safe and sound:


  1. That fun with the water must have been a real pain! Hopefully there was no long term damage.

  2. We will do a good check when we are in an RV park and can take evwrything out to dry.

  3. I hate when that happens....we use our portables heaters to help dry thing out.

    But a good day all in all.....great bypass around DF.

  4. hopefully theres no perm damage from the water...i hate when that happens esp if it was me who did it...hopefully it will all dry out for you...

  5. Funny fhoto with the Policia - hard to get a shot lot that - ;-)

  6. I am learning to appreciate the armed guards that are everywhere down here in Honduras. I trust the guards more than the local policia.

  7. That looks like an Uzi the guard is carrying. I think it is a Mini Uzi but hard to tell. Some serious firepower.

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