Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Phew. Mama said there'd be days like this.

We left Punta Perula at 9:30 this morning. I started writing today's journal about two hours later, while I sat in a garage near Maleche. This is what I said then:


I am sitting in a tire shop on Hwy. 200, just outside Maleche. We limped in here after we blew a tire (left rear, inside) just up the road. We wanted to buy a new tire, but the shop doesn't have one, so they are just putting the spare on. Robin thinks there is a Michelin store down the road a bit (How does he know that?), so if they have a new tire for us,we'll go through all this backing and forthing and upping and downing again. Meanwhile, I'm chatting with a couple of men from Ontario - Georgian Bay - who are here to have their steering looked at.

We were unable to get up the ramp to the hydraulic lift, so the repairman is down on the road, under the rv, lying on a piece of cardboard, using our jack.

It appears that the new tire is on now, and someone is checking the tire pressure all around. That's good.

When we first got here, I walked down to the next corner, where I had seen a grocery store. I wanted to buy Robin a loaf of his favourite bread, Bimbo, but the store had no bread at all - only tortilla chips and cookies. So I bought a 10-peso bag of animal crackers. I said to the grocer that there must be a lot of children in the village, he had so many animal crackers. He agreed, but told me that the animal crackers are really good with coffee, too - so I bought them, along with a cold Squirt for Robin and a can of refried beans for me (for another time).


Okay. To continue: We went down the road, looking for the fabled Michelin tire shop, and ended up driving all the way to Manzanillo, where we found several tire shops, one of which was able to help us. That was a place called Ursua. They didn't actually have the tire we needed on site, but their Colima store did, so they phoned Colima and had two tires sent over for us. Meanwhile, we drove a short block to the Soriana supermarket, parked in their lot, and went in to do our shopping. I was a little annoyed because there was a sort of Cineplex at one end of the mall, and they were showing Benjamin Button in English - but we were too late for the 2:45 showing. The next showing was at 6:00, and we really hoped to be leaving Manzanillo by then. So I took the groceries out to the rv and put them away.

At that point, I decided that I really needed a shower - it was hot out there! - so I had one of those wonderful RV moments, when I was able to just go have a shower, in the middle of the Soriana parking lot. Robin left on his bike, to check on the tire situation. I took nail file and polish outside, sat on a folding chair, and set about doing my manicure. I had polished three nails when one of the guys from the tire shop walked up and said "Esta bien." (It's okay!) I replied "Oh, no!" which seemed, on reflection, awfully ungrateful - but my nails were wet. Oh, well. Manicure be damned. I stowed the chairs and got behind the wheel, expecting to find Robin over at the tire shop. It seems he had been there, but the tires hadn't arrived yet, so he'd gone for a ride around the Soriana complex. He arrived back just as I was driving away. He looked a little surprised. ;>)

The guys had done a terrific job of getting the tires delivered promptly. They put one in the designated spare tire place, and Robin wanted to put the second one on the roof, but it turned out there was no way to do that - so now we're driving with a tire in the kitchen. That's okay. It's a conversation piece for when we get inspected by the army.

That did happen, of course, after we left Manzanillo, as it was getting dark and we were moving as fast as we legally could. We were pulled over. I came back and turned on the lights, opened the door, invited the soldiers in. I got the impression that they were just a little bored, standing around at the side of the road. They were pleasant enough.

We were headed for La Placita, where Kristin and TJ fetched up last night. It turns out that they tried to go under something that wasn't high enough for their rv, and they nearly ripped their air conditioner off. They did do a lot of damage to their bikes. That was right after Manzanillo, when they were exiting the toll road. When we got to the place where it had happened, I knew. Robin started to turn off, and I said "Wait. That's 3.1 metres. Can we do 3.1 metres?" "No," he replied, and he got back onto the highway. The exit we actually wanted was a couple of miles up the road.

It took forever, but we did eventually make it to La Placita. The last 15 or 20 minutes, we were in the middle of a convoy of cars and pickup trucks, the latter overflowing with teenagers, who had apparently just won a football game somewhere. Horns were honking, kids were yelling, we were wondering if we would ever find the RV park in the midst of all that chaos. Then the kids turned left, and we didn't. Five minutes later, we came to the entrance to the RV park. Having made the turnoff, we drove what seemed like a mile down a dirt road (I must ask in the morning how long that laneway really is) and came out in the Rancho Buganvilias RV park, which looked like the Promised Land. It was 9:00 p.m.

Not only TJ and Kris were anxiously awaiting our arrival. They had the whole park on high alert. It was rather touching. I can hardly wait to see the place by daylight. Kris says it's very beautiful, but that the heat during the day is unbearable. Early to rise, I guess.

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