Sunday, 24 August 2014

0089 22nd - 24th Aug - Isla Aguarda

Been here longer than anywhere else on this trip !  It has been just so pleasant sitting still, working on routes and camp sites, and talking about travel type things with my German friends Peter and Christa who have been in Mexico for about 7 months already !!  They were in Alaska a year before we were, so 2013, but they are spending a lot of time going almost everywhere – They will not be going to Guatemala for another 3 months or so. 

It is just such a nice place.  The owner Thelma started this place with her American husband many years ago, but he has since died, and Thelma keeps it going her self.  She is so friendly and helpful, especially if there is anything you need because he is fluent in English so can make phone calls for us and make sure we do things correctly !!  There always seems to be a sea breeze off the beach, and there is so much shade here,  so it is actually very pleasant just sitting around watching the day go past.

I seem to have a bit of a problem with my electrics in the car – The deep cycle battery that runs the fridge and internal lights etc seems to go flat much more quickly than it used to.  I used to be able to last 2 days when stopped, but now only seem to be able to last 1 day.  I was starting to think it was the battery itself – Although this is only about 2 years old and should last about 5 years or more.  So I drove into del Carmen today because despite it being Sunday the Auto parts store was open, and I thought that if it was the battery that was faulty I could get it replaced before I head south to Guatemala.  Well, they tested it, and the battery is just fine.  So I am now trying to eliminate different things to see if I can pin point the problem.  Trouble is I do not like electrical issues, I do not understand them very well, and I do not really know how to use electrical testing gauges – But I will try.  Maybe it is a short somewhere, I don’t know, but I do know the problem has only really been noticeable since I did two things – 1) When I arrived in the USA I bought a 110 volt battery charger, and right from the first time I used it back in Seattle, I didn’t feel it was working properly.  I still don’t.  The other thing is I bought a cheap fan in the USA that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket and I use on hot evenings to keep the air circulating while I go to sleep.  No where on the fan does it say what the amperage is, so I don’t know how much it is using, so maybe that is just a power hungry little monster ?  Trying without it tonight to see what happens.  Anyway, it is not a deal breaker – The batteries charge up fine when I am driving – They just seem to run down a bit more quickly than they used to. 

While I was in del Carmen (only 30 kms from the camp site), I bought some diesel.  You have to watch these Pemex guys who pump the fuel for you, make sure they zero the pump first, make sure they charge you the right amount etc.  Well today, the pumps had 4 nozzles on each island, 2 on each side, one petrol (green nozzle) and one diesel (black nozzle).  So having made sure he got the nozzle from the diesel slot, he zeroed the pump and then when he clicked the pump, it wouldn’t pump.  He tried a couple of times, and still nothing – Then I suddenly realised the GREEN (petrol) nozzle was in my car !! These guys are always grabbing pumps on one side and pumping to the other side, and in this case they had put the petrol nozzle back in the diesel socket !!  The hoses were SO tangled up it took us about 5 minutes to untangle them (he couldn’t do it on his own !!) –  fortunately no damage was done, but it was close !!  I attach two pics taken AFTER I had refuelled, and that guy in the khaki outfit is the supervisor, taking a reading off the pump.  Any way, despite the near miss, he (the supervisor) took the BLACK (diesel), nozzle and put it BACK into the green (petrol) slot again – I could not believe it – So I took some photos thinking it might make them realise what they were doing – but no, of course not ! You can see in the pics, on one side of the pump the nozzles are in the WRONG slots, and on the other side, they are in the correct ones.  Speechless ! One more thing to watch out for !!

After that it was back to the camp site for a beer, chat with Peter and Christa and a few locals who are spending Sunday afternoon on the beach, and then the rest of my steak that was so good the other night.  I have written down what it said on the packing, and will see if I can find it again tomorrow !!  Sunset was beautiful, and the pelicans were diving into the water to catch fish while the locals barbecued their supper on the beach.  All very relaxing.

I am going to head south tomorrow, back up into the mountains to San Cristobal / Tuxtla Gutierrez, so it should be a bit cooler.  Then the drop down to Tapachula on the pacific coast and the Guatemala border, so I can then cross the border on the 27th Aug, before my Mexican insurance runs out on the 28th.  Looking forward to seeing some new countryside.

Pics here :-

No comments:

Post a Comment