Thursday, January 31, 2008

6:30AM - Rancho de Tecolote.
Cirilo is up, and his grandson Edgar is just getting dressed. They sleep here at Rancho de Tecolote [Owl Ranch]. Cirilo sleeps in the back of the big truck and Edgar in the front of the pickup. They sleep here every nite, because their animals need protection. Cirilo has been sleeping here at nite for many years, seven days each week. Cirilo's home and the rest of the family are a short distance away on the other side of the paved road in the Pueblo of Trigomil.

In the pic below, you are looking east across Cirilo's field of sugar cane. The sierras [mountains] are in the distance.
View from Señorita's roof.


7:30AM - Morning walk.
After breakfast, Little Mavicito and Jorge walked the dirt road leading up the hill from the rancho. There is another rancho there, also growing sugar cane.

When we came back, we went to see the tiny waterfall and pond. The waterfall is only about 300 feet from our Camp. It is lovely there. Cirilo gets the water he uses for his animals from this pond, using a gasoline powered pump.
The waterfall and pond.


9AM - Damaged leveler.
It appears that Mr. Levelers' is going to be only three jacks strong for awhile. As you may see from the pic below, the jack is sort of bent at a 90° angle.
The messed up jack!


10AM to 3PM - Sooooo many things!
There are soooooo many things happening. Little Mavicito has decided let you in on what is going on in pics!
Pigs got a bath.


Mom Carmelina washes clothes.


We rested!

Table set for the meal.


Cleaning nopales.


Cooking nopales.


4PM - All the ladies visit Señorita Tioga.
I asked the ladies if they would like to visit inside Señorita Tioga. Ranchera Carmelina immediately said, "Yes!", with a big smile.

They looked at all of Señorita Tioga's stuff. The kitchen, dining room, upholstered chairs, shower, toilet. Visitors are always interested in the pictures of my family, and there are many on the walls.

They looked at the computers, and I showed them Google Earth. "Do you see where you live?", I asked. Immediately they saw the road to their homes. "Go that way!" Now go this way!" "Go up!"

Everybody was soooooo excited to see where they lived on Google Earth!




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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Very Special Day!

This day began as many others for us on the TiogaRV Team. We bought tortillas de harina to eat with breakfast at a tiny market in the Pueblo of San Cayetano. Then we continued on our journey.

We were looking for a place to make a Morning Camp, and we found a large valley. But events were to turn unexpected. Filled first with tragedy, then fantastic good fortune. We are telling what happened today differently than usual. More like a story than a chronology.

You may look at the maps below, to see where Señorita Tioga is Camped now. The story about how we got here may take a little while to prepare for you to read........


We came to a small paved road which headed south, and decided to take a peek. Soon we were able to see a large green valley below.


We were looking for a level place to make our Morning Camp. Señorita Tioga came to a field of sugar cane, and we decided to make a Camp there. However, this place was not very level, and we decided to move farther down into the valley.

That is when tragedy struck. Jorge drove Señorita Tioga into a culvert!



Señorita Tioga is seriously stuck!


We needed help. Up the road is a warehouse. We asked the lady in the office to phone for a tow truck. But there are no tow trucks available. The supervisor of the warehouse decided to use a fork lift to get Señorita Tioga out of the culvert.


All of the employees in the warehouse were helping with Señorita Tioga's rescue. They found large rocks in the field, and brought them to fill the culvert under Señorita Tioga's tires.

An older man arrived, who seemed to take charge. He also brought rocks to fill the culvert. This man is Cirilo Perez.

When there were enough rocks in the culvert, Cerilo shouted that it was OK to drive in reverse and out of the culvert. I put Señorita Tioga into reverse, and we were saved!

Some of the men asked me what I was going to do now? I told them that I would have to make a Camp right here, and make repairs. Several things were broken when I drove into the culvert!


Cerilo Perez told me that he owned a rancho near the palo verde trees, and he pointed down the valley. "Follow me to my rancho, and you may do your repairs there. And, you may stay there for as long as you like.", Cerilo told me.

El Rancho de Cirilo Perez.

I followed Cirilo's truck. Soon we entered a dirt road going past many fields of sugar cane. We went over a low place in the road and the broken generator box touched the ground. I raised the box up with my leg, and secured it temporarily in place with a clamp.

When we came to the rancho, I saw a small building, a corral with pigs and sheep, and a field where sugar cane is growing. Señorita Tioga is camped here now.
Ranchero Cirilo Perez.

Little Heaven.
Cirilo calls his place "Ranchito", meaning small rancho. I call it "Cielito Lindo", "Little Heaven." The Ranchito has everything. There are several fruit trees; lime, orange, banana, and my favorite, tangerine! And these tangerines are soooooo sweet! I've already eaten several of these tangerines!
Sweet tangerines!


Fixing broken stuff.
There are several things that are broken. The generator box that holds the little Honda, needs to be re-attached on one end. Mr. Levelers' front left jack is completely messed up, and will have to be removed to see what's what. Mr. Sunny's solar battery bank moved several inches, the latch of our big slide out drawer needs some attention. And finally, the driver's side aluminum step is a bit crumpled.

However, we are going to begin to do these repairs tomorrow. There is no hurry.
Jorge resting in la hamaca.



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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

6AM - Thinking in Tepic.
Every year on my birthday since becoming a vagabond, I've set a goal for the following year. I was unable to come up with a goal this last November. Yesterday I found that goal.

Last evening I bought a hamburger at the food stand at the Ley grocery. I walked back to see how the burger was prepared, and was surprised to see the cook bring an already cooked burger from the rear room. The burger was curled up, and I figured that it had been simmering in a warm broth.

However, I did not listen to my thoughts, and allowed my order to continue. A ton of mayo and mustard was spooned on to the bun. The burger was swimming in mayo and mustard. Still I did not stop my order.

Earlier that afternoon, when I checked into the Hotel Humberto, I found that my room was on the highway side of the building. I could have asked for a room away from the highway. I did not listen to my thoughts then either.

During the evening in my hotel room, I thought about these two events. What should have I done? And that's when I came up with my goal for this year, and maybe for all of my remaining years:

Goal: To be sensitive to my thoughts. When I think something is wrong, recognize it consciously. And take action in my own best interests.

7AM - Hotel Humberto.
We are leaving Hotel Humberto, and walking back to the Ford dealer. Our hotel room cost $170 pesos, a very inexpensive price.

During the nite, after 11PM, the traffic on the highway below died down, and it was very quiet for sleeping.
Hotel Humberto.

7:30AM - Back at Ford.
We found the gaskets for both the timing cover [tapa] and the water pump sitting on the wall near MsTioga. The timing cover had been cleaned and looked ready for installation.

The mechanic told me that the timing cover gasket had been "glued" in place by the mechanic last working on MsTioga, instead of using silicone seal. Below is a pic of the seal being used.
RTV Hi-Temp Silicone used on gaskets.


9AM - Work is going great!
The timing cover is already installed, and the water pump is installed too. There is a tiny hose, only about 3" long that is being replaced. This is the water pump bypass hose. Reader John was concerned about this hose for many months, a few years back.

In the pic below, you may see this small hose, and it has only one clamp in place. I interrupted the mechanic to take this pic.

Reader John, this pic is for you!


Reader Earl Robinson from Toronto, Canada, asked for a pic of the huge bays here at Ford, Tepic.
Earl Robinson, this pic's for you!


3:30PM - Señorita Tioga is finished!
Everything was completely assembled before the two hour siesta break [1:30 to 3:30PM]. After siesta, Jorge test drove Señorita Tioga around Tepic. Then we were escorted to the cashier, and paid the bill.

The total cost is $3,306 pesos, a little over $300US. We have paid $900US in the USA for the same kind of work. However, this time, this job is done right! We have confidence in this work, and do not believe that we will have to do this job again.

5PM - Headed toward Guadalajara.
We have left the City of Tepic, and headed out on the highway toward the Huge City of Guadalajara. It is late in the afternoon, so we have made a Nite Camp in the Pueblo of San Cayetano.
Señorita Tioga in San Cayetano.


6PM - Repair job or Mexico?
Readers are really tuning in to our website! Yesterday was the first time that we went over 3,000 visits in one day [3,174]. Also yesterday was the first time we went over 300 visits in one hour [342].

Are you tuning because of Señorita Tioga's repair job, or is it Mexico?



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Monday, January 28, 2008

6AM - Going to Ford.
MsTioga has decided to go to the Ford dealer here in the City of Tepic. The Ford dealer is located very close to where we have been Camped this weekend.

If Ford is NOT able to work on MsTioga's leaking engine coolant problem, we will ask them for a recommendation for a local mechanic.

7AM - Ford opens at 8AM.
Camped in front of the Ford dealer. The service department opens at 8AM, and we will find out then if they are able to work on Señorita Tioga.
Señorita Tioga at Ford in Tepic.


8AM - Señorita Tioga being worked on!
Would you believe that Señorita Tioga got right in to the shop? Wow! We thought that we would need an appointment!
In the shop at Ford in the City of Tepic.

10AM - Ms. GQ on Ford's Network!
Ms. GQ, hardworking laptop that she is, talked the network administrator at Ford to give her the passwords. So, we are on the net!

The mechanic working on Señorita Tioga found that the "tapa" is broken. We understand the "tapa" is the casting that holds the water pump, etc. The mechanic is taking out the tapa now, and it will take about two hours to remove. Wow!

Ford here in Tepic, does not have a new tapa. But the tapa needs to be first removed in order to know completely what is the problem. Maybe the tapa can be repaired? Or, a new one must be ordered from the USA? We do not know at this time!

11:30AM - Pic of the broken tapa!
Little Mavicito was able to capture a pic of the broken "tapa". If you take a look at the pic below, you will see Jorge pointing at the broken place, just below his finger. It is the dark wet section, that is a little green from the engine coolant. In front of the "tapa" is the water pump.
Close up of Señorita Tioga's broken "tapa".


1PM - The "Tapa" is not broken!
Shop Foreman, Manuel brought the removed "tapa" for me to see. The "tapa" is NOT broken. Manuel says that the corrosion that you see in the pic below, may be cleaned off.

However, a new gasket must be bought. Ford is looking around the City of Tepic to find one.
Shop Foreman Manuel shows the "tapa".


Close-up of the "tapa". Do you see the corroded place?


3:30PM - Hotel Humberto.
Señorita Tioga's repair job will not be completed until mañana. So, we asked the guys around the Ford place for a hotel recommendation. Hotel Humberto is close, only 2-3 blocks away. A small hotel, and not expensive! Wow!

Jorge, Little Mavicito and Ms. GQ walked up to the hotel. Just before the hotel, we found an internet cafe! Aren't we lucky? Hmmmm?
Hotel Humberto, City of Tepic.


4PM - A nice hot shower!
Hotel Humberto advertises, "Agua Caliente - 24 horas." We tried it, and there was plenty of hot water. Jorge took a very long and nice hot shower.

The room is clean, and has a window overlooking the main road. We believe that it will be nice and quiet for sleeping. There is a bottle of water for drinking, soap, a towel and a TV. What more could we want?

Our room at Hotel Humberto.


5PM - Internet Cafe.
We are now at the internet cafe. The connection speed is super fast! Ms. GQ is whizzing along at top speed.

We are not able to answer email when we are away from Mr. Datastorm. Something about our email software setup. So, we will be answering email in la mañana. Bién?

We are leaving our location maps unchanged, and pointing at the Ford dealer. Hotel Humberto is a few blocks to the east.



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Sunday, January 27, 2008

7AM - Mayans and Aztecs.
During our morning walk, we came upon artwork on the wall of the football stadium, here in the City of Tepic. This art appears to be a representation of the Spaniards arrival into the World of Mayans and Aztecs.

Little Mavicito was jumping around with joy, because he has been begging and pleading for us to go visit the ancient places where the Mayans and Aztecs lived.
Artwork at the football stadium in Tepic, Nayarít, Mexico.


10AM - Virtual Reality of our Park Camp in Tepic.
Little Mavicito and Señor Fousie Magic went out and captured a VR of our Park Camp in the City of Tepic, Mexico!

Click the park image below, to see where we are in Fousie Magic!

3PM - Dating in Mexico.
Ever since we entered Mexico last December, we have been seeing young dating couples walking hand-in-hand. Along streets, in parks, they are walking and talking. Little Mavicito is too shy to take pics of these couples because they might see him.

Over fifty years ago when Jorge was dating, the guys all used cars to pick up girlfriends. But here in Mexico, things are different. Milder.

Up the street from our Camp, a dating couple has been sitting on the sidewalk for the longest time. Talking and talking and talking. We are far enough away so that this couple cannot see Little Mavicito!
Dating in Tepic, Mexico.


5PM - Pic of Jorge dating!
There is a post in the ShoutBox from reader Sangeeta asking to see Jorge dating pics. We do have one pic, of Clara & Jorge going to a prom. Coincidentally, Clara was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico!
Jorge & Clara [1950s]




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