Mexico in Feb09

Anywhere in the country is fine. Where do you want to camp?

Mexico in Feb09

Postby Gaston » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:18 pm

During a BS session around the campfire at the IRG 2.0 While Talking with Kai (from Mexico) a couple of us thought it was time to take our teardrops international.
The idea is to meet at a border town, at the decided on date, and caravan down to a campground south of Mazatlan, spend the month of February enjoying the warm sun and cold margaritas.
Dave (tdhombre) spent a great vacation there a while back, and Kai has also been to there. He said he and Lois would be there for Chrismas and stay for the meet. A great chance to learn about travel and camping in western Mexico.
Nothing firm yet, just throwing out the idea to see if it sticks. Lets hear what you all think. :thinking:
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Postby Dean in Eureka, CA » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:10 pm

Well...
Joanie has taken me to Mexico three times.
Twice to Mazatlan and once South of there... Colima???
All three trips were right at Christmas time. 8)
Maybe history will repete itself. :worship:
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Postby dmb90260 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:49 pm

Intriguing but I prefer Baja because is it closer.
Anyone have contacts in Ensenada?
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Postby Pam Wright » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:33 pm

Hi!

I talked with Kai and Lois about it also.... depending on the new job..... and $$$$, I'd love to do it! I'll be curiously watching for the info.... and guess I'd better get busy on a passport....

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Postby sdtripper2 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:11 am

Hi, All

My thoughts are leaning positive for such a trip as well. 8)
The details are the key for me.
Looking forward to fleshing out this travel idea.
I for one would feel safer with Mexico travel companions in a Tear~O~Van.

Mexico Travel Advice
by Kai = (Mexican tear)
:thumbsup:
http://tnttt.com/viewto ... 708#260708
***
Kia also recommends a paper back guide:
Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping:
By Mike and Terri Church
http://tinyurl.com/6fo6c7

Steve :)
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Postby sdtripper2 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:51 pm

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8) Is there still interest in this trip going down to Mexico? 8)
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is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards." -------Theodore Roosevelt

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Postby traveler » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:44 am

Hey John, count me in on the trip also. Would love to go. :thumbsup:
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I thought it was in November

Postby Guy » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:41 pm

Dear All,

I thought Kai and Lois were organizing the camping trip thisNovember. They spoke of the campground they were staying at would be about $300 a month.
Regards,

Guy
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Postby Gaston » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:41 pm

Hey all
I kinda backed off on going south given low interest and the hit the economy has taken, but.... It seems we are now gaining interest
so lets go ahead and plan do it.
I am still trying to plan a trip in January or Feburary 09

I have not been below the border for about 15 years and don't have the know how to lead such an endeavor, but I guess if there's enough of us we can muddle our way thru with a little study, some common sense and a friendly Canadian or two.

I would like for Kai or Dave(tdhombre) to weigh in with their thoughts and advice ( I have been planning to PM them before getting too carried away with this project)as they have the experience needed.

SO HERES THE OPENING PAGE TO THIS BOOK

chapter 1

THE PLAN:
Make reservations for the group if possible somewhere near Mazatlan for the agreed on area and dates

Meet at an agreed on place near the border crossing chosen (ex. Wallmart in Nogales AZ ) on the agreed crossing date.

Discuss the route, driving times, and stops people want to make along the way

Plan the overnight stops and make reservations if needed

Find out what we should take to sustain life for the time we are there

Plan to enjoy warm weather, good friends and a great adventure.

I am very much looking forward to being part of the First Teardrop good will tour to Mexico

please add your thoughts wishes and ideas
then after careful consideration we'll do it my way( Just kidding))
:applause:
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Postby traveler » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:18 pm

If we are going to have any kind of show up, what about advertising it in or on a national paper or national TV show or news, or even the arizona news media. Boy would that put a big light on our teardrops. Sound like a plan???????? If we had 15 or more, it would direct attention on the little and up comings of the teardrop community. :applause: :twisted: :thumbsup: :beer: I don't drink, but just might have a Dr. Pepper :rofl2:
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Postby sdtripper2 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:46 pm

Gaston wrote:Hey all
I kinda backed off on going south given low interest and the hit the economy has taken, but.... It seems we are now gaining interest
so lets go ahead and plan do it.
I am still trying to plan a trip in January or Feburary 09

I have not been below the border for about 15 years and don't have the know how to lead such an endeavor, but I guess if there's enough of us we can muddle our way thru with a little study, some common sense and a friendly Canadian or two.

I would like for Kai or Dave(tdhombre) to weigh in with their thoughts and advice ( I have been planning to PM them before getting too carried away with this project)as they have the experience needed.

SO HERES THE OPENING PAGE TO THIS BOOK

chapter 1

THE PLAN:
Make reservations for the group if possible somewhere near Mazatlan for the agreed on area and dates

Meet at an agreed on place near the border crossing chosen (ex. Wallmart in Nogales AZ ) on the agreed crossing date.

Discuss the route, driving times, and stops people want to make along the way

Plan the overnight stops and make reservations if needed

Find out what we should take to sustain life for the time we are there

Plan to enjoy warm weather, good friends and a great adventure.

I am very much looking forward to being part of the First Teardrop good will tour to Mexico

please add your thoughts wishes and ideas
then after careful consideration we'll do it my way( Just kidding))
:applause:



Hello, Gaston & All ~
:)

Here are some of my thoughts and concerns ~ :thinking:

I would feel more comfortable if Kai gave us more input here, but not
having him posting at this time feel it is a must that we look into the
suggestions he makes in the post below.

Mexico Travel Advice
by Kai = (Mexican tear)
:thumbsup:
Kai's advice post
***

Map of Mexico for thought assimilation's

Dates
Dates that we might travel and for how long can everyone stay?

Itinerary leaving the USA point
As far as the itinerary details as to a meeting place in Arizona ~
Yuma or San Diego are other places we could meet as well as Nogales AZ I guess?

Itinerary destination or destinations
Would our travel destination be Mazatlan or somewhere on the East coast of Mexico ~
where Kai was discussing at the IRG?
Car travel Mexico

Experienced traveler
It would be good to have someone in the group that has traveled down the
same route, anyone done this before? Spanish speakers would be an asset
as well?

Special considerations
What considerations should we think of when traveling?
Refueling? Filtration issues because of poor gas? as suggestions

Safety ~ should we consider this a concern as to the ongoing
gang/drug wars going on down there?
Mexico Country Specific Information from the US State Department
Mexico Travel Alert

Tripp ~ Out
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is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards." -------Theodore Roosevelt

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Postby Gaston » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:49 pm

thanks Steve for the good input
I think as a start we need to consider the following as the "foundation" for planning this trip

1- meet at Nogales AZ someplace like the wallmart
Nogales is the best and most logical place to cross. We have to start some place and Hiway 15D runs from there to mazatlan

2- everyone considering this trip must have
a- valid US or Canadian passport
b-vehicle insurance for the time we will be in Mexico
( If you don't have these you ain't going )

3 realize this isn't a cheap endeavor, have enough $$ to see it through

4 make sure your equipment is in good shape and up to the trip.

5 buy, rent or steal a copy of "Travelers Guide to Mexican Camping
by Mike and Terri church. rolling homes press

My current thoughts are to take our time and wander down the coast to Mazatlan spend a week or so and wander back up to the states (4 or 5 weeks total) this way time impaired members can drop off and head home from any point. and we can spend more time at the places we like along the way

waiting to hear from ya
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Postby sdtripper2 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:45 am

Given:

Date: ~ Exact date of departure from Nogales AZ to be decided
Length of Stay ~ ?

Meeting place: ~ Nogales AZ Wallmart
Mexico insurance: Here is one solution AAA of Southern California
US Passport: Application form
Mexico information: US Department of State information on Mexico
Mexico
Mazatlan
More Mexico information

By car
American automobile insurance is not accepted in Mexico, however it is easy to obtain short-term or long-term tourist policies that include the mandatory liability coverage, theft and accident coverage for your vehicle, and often, legal assistance coverage. Should you decide to drive to Mexico, the Transport and Communications Secretariat website [6] has free downloadable road maps.

Foreign-plated vehicles must obtain necessary permits before being allowed into the interior of Mexico. This can be done at the border checkpoints by showing your vehicle title or registration, as well as immigration documents and a valid credit card.
***

Information I have learned

I live in San Diego. My friend goes to Mazatlan on occasion. He suggests your USDA for Pesos on this side of he boarder for a better rate before you go. He says it will run about $150.00 or so to get to Mazatlan and suggests having $300.00 in Pesos on hand. There are gas stations on the main drag down to Mazatlan and ATM machines as well. (Note: letting your bank know you will be in Mexico seems prudent) Carrying a credit card would be handy and letting that card provider know you will be in Mexico, again is prudent. Not carrying too much cash is prudent ~ thus going to an ATM down there is the way to go and the rate of exchange isn't too bad at these machines.

My friend says the trip from Nogales AZ to Mazatlan is about a 11 hour trip.
The temps during February are mid 70's during the day and high 60's at night (These temps may be wrong not proven by me) . So shorts and sweater for the eve will be a good bet for most of the time. The temps are realtively warm and the dryness of the air will be the norm. Skin cream may be needed.
***

Communication while on the caravan trip:

I will have my CB rig on my car do most of you have this form of communication? It would be good to have the lead car and the rear car at minimum have this form of communication so as to be proactive in-case of any breakdown or other issues.
***

Currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN)
See USDA to MXN calculator here
The currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN), divided into 100 centavos. Coins are issued in 5 , 10 (steel), 20, 50 centavo (brass) and 1, 2, 5 (steel ring, brass center), 10, 20, 50, and 100 peso (brass ring, steel or silver center) denominations, but it's extremely rare to find coins valued at more than 10 pesos or less than 50 centavos. Banknotes are produced in 10 (blue-green, very rare), 20 (blue), 50 (pink-red), 100 (red), 200 (green), 500 (brown), and 1000 peso (purple and pink for the latest issue, purple for older issues) denominations. The 20- and 50-peso bills are made from polymer plastic, and there are several different series of 20-, 50-, 200-, and 1000-peso notes.

Do not accept old pesos (issued before 1992): they are practically worthless.

The symbol for pesos is the same as for US dollars, which can be slightly confusing. Prices in dollars (in tourist areas) are labeled "US$" or sport an S with a double stroke. As of October 2008 the exchange rate hovers around $13.00 MXN to $1.00 USD.

US dollars are widely accepted in the far north and in tourist locales elsewhere. Euros are generally not accepted by merchants, and even banks headquartered in Europe may refuse to accept euros for exchange.

Best place to convert USD to pesos is the supermarket. At Pemex gas stations, attendants seem to be private enterprise minded. They will give you 500 pesos of gas and charge you $50 (which is 10.00 mexican to 1.00 dollar). And will readily convert 500 pesos to dollars by multiplying by .105 rather than dividing by 10.5 and thus supplement their hourly wage. Attendants carry a wad of cash and make their own change. While many Pemex stations accept credit cards, especially in locations that have heavy tourist traffic, some do not; travelers who intend to pay by credit card should ask the attendant if the card is accepted before pumping begins.

ATMs are easy to come by. Bank of America customers can avoid ATM fees by using Santander Serfin ATMs. Other banks may have similar policies, check with your respective institution. Otherwise, do not be surprised to find yourself with a fee for each withdrawal. ATMs in smaller towns can run out of currency; sometimes this is a regular occurrence. Check with the bank (or locals) about the best time to use the ATM and don't wait until the very last minute to get cash.

Merchants can be picky about the state of your paper money, they may scrutinize it and reject anything with rips. Try to keep it in as pristine condition as possible. Reputedly, this is more the case the further South you go.

Merchants are often reluctant to make change in smaller towns. Try to avoid paying with overly large denominations; the best customer has exact change. In rural areas, your 'change' may consist of chiclets or other small commodities.
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is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards." -------Theodore Roosevelt

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Postby Gaston » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:48 pm

thanks again Steve for your information gathering efforts, good job
As for the rest of you, you know the 400+ who have viewed these posts with out input or replying, all I can hear is one hand clapping. I realize many lurk in the shadows until too late then say I wish I could have , I should have , oh darn its to late now well maybe next time. To you I say GET A PASSPORT
Then when your dreaming you will at least have the "key to the border" that will let you join us when you do make up your mind
I realize this trip won't be for everyone, but it will be a lot more fun if we can get a "few good men (and women)" :thinking:
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Postby jimqpublic » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:48 am

I strongly encourage anyone thinking of traveling to Mexico to ... Just Do It! Do your research, Do make a plan, Do be flexible, and Do have a great time.

One of the reasons we bought a trailer was after a motel trip to Baja with our daughter- 2 months old at the time. We decided that we would rather be able to have our bed and kitchen with us on a pristine beach rather than back in the nearest town. Unfortunately we've only done two trips to Baja since- but they were great. Now with kids in school it's a lot harder for us to take winter trips- and snow play trumps.


Here are a few thoughts that may be responsible for me always having a great time, staying safe, and seldom getting sick in Mexico and other Latin American countries:

Regarding health and safety- be careful in the border zone and any big city. Buy Mexican car insurance- For more than about 3 weeks you will probably save money with an annual tourist policy. Obey all traffic laws- going through a town presume the speed limit is very slow and presume that some stop signs may be hidden or broken. Camp in campgrounds that have other patrons and a resident manager. Don't drive at night. Watch out for shady gringos. Buy filtered water at the purification shops "Agua Pura" that every town offers- Even campgrounds have guys coming through delivering sealed 5 gallon jugs. Buy ice in cube form- at least in Baja cube ice must be made from purified water but block might not be. If you're worried about food go with grilled or fried without condomints- go al a carte instead of getting the deluxe plate with salad.

Do eat the food. Do communicate with whatever spanish you might know, smiles, gestures, and pointing. Smiles, courtesy, and patience will do wonders. Don't be in a hurry, some things take time.

Prices are flexible- make sure you know in advance what things cost. Especially if the tourist economy is weak the merchants sometimes increase the price. On the other hand many small shops, vendors, mechanics, etc. don't have much cash on hand. Pay with small bills since they might not have change. Pay with Pesos because you can get a much better exchange rate from the ATM than locals will get exchanging small amounts of money. If you're having a repair made you might need to pay part up front so the repairman can buy materials.

If something breakes and you need springs, bearings, welding, etc.- you will be in good hands. Welders and repairmen abound.

Try to escape the Gringo bubble. Eat and shop where locals eat and shop.
Jim
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