Tag Archives: Car trouble in Mexico

El Rollo and beyond

Yesterday I had the strangest sensation as we were driving back from the El Rollo water park. For about five minutes I had myself convinced we were driving to my parent´s house in Minnesota. I don´t know if it was the one I grew up in or the one they moved to after I graduated from high school but it felt so familiar that when I finally shook off the day-dream, I was very lonely. I have no idea what sparked the feeling because we were driving past fields of sugar cane, little mountains and half-finished stone houses. Absolutely nothing looked like my little town in Minnesota or even the Midwest.

El Rollo water park, Morelos, Mexico

Anyway, we took a break from the heat and went with Leonardo (the husband of Mex´s sister who died in December) and Deysi to El Rollo which is a water park about an hour away. It is near Tlaltizapan for anyone looking at a Mexico map or google earth. It has loads of water slides, pools, wave pools, playgrounds, picnic areas and burger stands. Unfortunately, business here is unlike the US and since there were so few people, they actually closed down almost all the water slides. Mex and Leonardo went on two and then we spent the rest of the day in the wave pool or wandering around. It costs about $20 for the day and $10 for kids (based on height) and would be a fabulous place to spend the day with kids, assuming all the water slides are open!

We left about 4 and made our way north to Cocoyoc which is about 8 km west of Cuautla. There we stopped at this place called Hotel Hacienda Cocoyoc for dinner. It is a hacienda built in the 1500’s to entertain rich Spaniards and it is absolutely amazing. I wish Maren had been there to capture some of it in pictures. The place was absolutely everything you would

One of the pools at Hacienda Cocoyoc

think an aristocratic hacienda would be – huge and sprawling with multi-levels and high ceilings, arches, tile floors and white walls. The pools had ancient looking stone walls with arches surrounding them. There were

trees growing right out of the walls with arm-like roots reaching for the ground. It seemed like the kind of place Disney would create as their Mexican-themed hotel (except for the little hidden pockets of trash that we found here and there). It was gorgeous and we definitely

Gardens at Hacienda Cocoyoc

plan to stay there some day. The rooms started at around $140 US for two people which didn’t seem bad for the amenities we saw. Dinner was enjoyable (but not quite as delicious as Las Mañanitas) and after a pitcher of pineapple water (I will REALLY miss the fruit waters) we hopped in the car and headed for Cuautla.

Our stop in Cuautla was because this morning the fan fell out of the window and broke. We couldn’t stand the thought of sleeping without one (plus it was his family´s so we couldn´t leave without replacing it.) It was very interesting to see the prices of things here. A stackable washer and dryer was about $1000. Stoves were around $500 – they are all gas here. Washing machines were about $250 for the kind that doesn´t wring out your clothes and $500 for the kind that does. I can´t remember what the refrigerators were priced at but they are the 3/4 apartment-sized ones, not huge ones like we all have. I should pay more attention to prices. One thing I thought was surprising is that fresh honey is $40 US a liter. Since there are 3.8 liters in a gallon I suppose that makes a liter a little less than 4 cups. The thought of paying $10 a cup for honey is crazy. Meanwhile, Mex paid only $6 US for 3.5 pounds of fresh fish the other day. True, you had to clean them yourselves but still!

And I suppose you may be wondering about my poor little PT… Well, the mechanic came over and jumped it. He thought it was a dead battery, not the alternator and that our battery is just very weak in general. We have been starting the car every morning and evening to make sure it works. However, this is no guarantee since the very first time it refused to start it was only 90 minutes after we had it running. We are only going to park in places where it is ok if it doesn´t start and we can get an easy tow. It has made us think about our plan to drive back a little bit and if we should stay here longer and drive back to Juarez in long bursts. However, we decided it is better to go a little bit at a time and enjoy ourselves and try to keep relaxed. We are stopping mainly in big cities that should have good mechanics. We just need to make it the 1500 miles to the border where my AAA works! Did I mention that we aren´t using the air conditioning or radio to save the battery? Ugh!

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Car problems

 

Our poor PT enjoying the few hours of morning shade before its daily roasting in the Mexican sun.

Our car has decided to stop starting. Luckily, we made it all the way back from Acapulco but the very next day when we drove to Jonacatepec to visit the internet cafe for an hour. When we went back to the car it wouldn´t start. We walked around the town looking for a mechanic and eventually found one but he couldn’t look at it. We took a taxi back to Tetelilla and left the car in the “parking lot” which is actually some one’s yard. A mechanic cleaned the starter off the next day and it started (Monday) so we drove it home but we tried to start it today (Wednesday) and it is sitting in his dad´s yard refusing to budge. The mechanic thankfully makes house calls since tow trucks are not easily found here in his town. He thinks it may be the battery, my dad thinks it may be the alternator. Thank goodness for Skype and the internet because I was able to run to the internet cafe and then instant message my dad and tell him to call me on Skype over the internet so we could talk like on the telephone… All that for just a few pesos! Technology is a blessing when travelling and thankfully my dad has become almost as tech savvy as any generation Xer (he just needs to work on the typing speed).

Tomorrow we are going to another water park to take a break from the intense heat. I´ll have some more entries on Friday and an update on our car. Fixing it is very important because we are planning to leave on Monday for our 10 day trip back to the border. Everyone keep us and especially Mex in your thoughts the next few weeks and send him lots of good vibes, prayers and confidence for his interview on the 17th! We miss everyone and are soooooooo jealous of the snow!

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