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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Back In Oaxaca After Another All Day And Night Run.

I got the phone call that I was waiting for about mid afternoon on Monday,Feb.1st.when James the boss man at Camco Wheel and Axle,said those magic words…”Your axles are in.”

001 001-1

The 2nd shot is what all the trouble was about as that is a shot of them laying on the ground here,waiting for today’s installation.

They changed the drums and brakes over from the damaged one that I brought north and I was loaded and ready to roll first thing Tuesday morning.I Had a bit of a sleepless night in anticipation and worrying whether I would have to pay duty to get them back into Mexico,even though it was just a temporary importation.

I was rolling in the 5:45 AM darkness on 281 from Pharr Texas,a different route than the one I took coming in,quieter and more isolated,in the outskirts of Reynosa.It was confusing trying to figure out exactly where to go in the darkness,upon reaching the customs section on the Mexican side,as there were several lanes of travel.So I backed off and waited for a car behind me to pass and quickly fell in behind him and followed and did what he did as we passed through a series of gates,not seeing a soul.

Wow! no customs check,all that worry for nothing….NOT!…Again the early morning rush in the city of 3/4 of a million, with everyone jockeying for position in the narrow lanes.One accident made things worse with the traffic.Finally out with no other cities to contend with that are difficult to traverse until Oaxaca…Then the “free zone customs” loomed in the darkness,21 K’s out, and my heart sunk as I realized that this is probably where they are going to ding me the tax.The first thing the nice young agent did was want to look in the back of course and even with me trying to distract,mentioning that this was all stuff related to my winter travel with my trailer,he quickly spotted the axles and the discussion was on.

He understood exactly that I was bringing them in just to make a repair then leave the country,but that doesn't matter because I’m still importing goods and who knows what I may really be doing with them.He was really nice through all my arguing,and I realized,just pay up and get on the road,this is futile.The cost was just under $150 US.

I guess what really hurts is that I will have to go through this again to bring them into Canada.And after what happened last year when I tried to come in with 8 new tires on both the van and trailer,and got caught….I don't want to go through that again.

A shot below back in the Oaxaca Trailer Park.


To carry on, the whole drive on Tuesday was a combination of fog,drizzle,heavy rain,a big thunder and lightning storm,(was napping for that one) and temperatures never getting above 50 degrees,and mostly mid 40’s.

I took four 1 hour naps over the 26 hours of driving,stopped again at my favorite little travel plaza at the toll booth of the San Luis Potosi bypass.I bought a pizza this time.I’m afraid this little 2 week side trip has put my normally well balanced diet into the toilet…..Well you know what I mean with that little play on words.

I arrived back in Oaxaca(and finally a warm climate) just about 7:30 am and into what I would say is the most difficult city that I have ever encountered,for driving, in all of Mexico.Despite the heavy rush hour,the highway through the north end has a strange set-up where you alternate the traffic flow back and forth,from side to side,sometimes the traffic going the other way is on your left then you crisscross at these weird intersections then the other flow is on your right.When I leave this place pulling the trailer……I’m leaving real early.


This park is no beauty but it does have an unexplainable appeal and I find it to be very friendly.One of the reasons are Calvin and Leanne,2 expats from BC who have been living here for 2 years now in their converted bus. Calvin really came to my rescue when I arrived with my axle problem.He said he could smell me before he saw me as the odor of burning rubber permeated the campground.

The campground is right in the cities north end and makes all shopping an easy walk.This city is a real cultural experience and everyone who visits,goes away with fond memories of their experiences in this place.So I’m looking forward to taking some time after all the axle business is over.

This campground used to be much larger but they built this office tower(below) on the property.That's the nose of my truck sticking out on the right.


So now with Calvin’s expertise,we hope to get the installation started today and hope no other unexpected surprises will come along during the process.First we will remove the other axle and I need to repair at least temporarily,a badly damaged wheel well insert,where a hole has appeared inside at floor level below my fridge.


One final comment from my last post.Several people came forward with help on identifying some of the birds, and regarding the thrasher,Judy and Emma according to my “Birds of Mexico” book were correct,it was the Long billed Thrasher,so similar to the Brown Thrasher that I needed the books explanation to see the difference,mainly being grayer cheeks and blackish (not brown) breast strips.Thank you all.

I finally have my side bar weather and travel map updated.It was impossible to do the map using the laptop pad.I really missed my mouse.         MY LOCATION


  1. Sounds like your long axle ordeal is about to wrap up with things returning to 'normal' soon. It will go into the books as a trip to remember & when all is said & done....a memorable experience:))

  2. Oh Willie thank goodness this is finally coming to a close... It has exhausted me reading about your ordeals with the axles! How great you handled everything... So hopefully soon you'll be showing us the sights once again...
    Have fun & travel safe

  3. Sure hope those axles fit and everything works o.k. It's been a memorable vacation that's for sure. I have to admire your tenacity, I think I would have ended up parking the trailer where it is and declaring that my winter vacation destination!

  4. I didn't realize there was so much difficulty with importing/exporting. If something breaks and you have to fix it, you end up paying duty to take it home? How will Canadian officials know you have a new axle on your trailer?

    Glad you made it back safely. Reading your account of travel in Mexico, I realize I could never do it.

  5. Oh, I couldn't do without the little mouse to my laptop. That was part of the deal when I bought it.

    So glad that finally, you can get it all back together, and start back on the road.

    It sure has been an interesting ride following along, and an exhausting one for you.

    Get some rest, and Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  6. Glad to see you made it back safe and sound. Hope the reassembly goes well.