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On the beach near Tulum


reed and elaine

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Arrived four days ago. Weather is mid 80s during the day and 70s to low 80s at night. We have numerous 12 V outlets and four x 12 V fans (12 W). They make sleeping quite comfortable.

 

Have a good site. There is 30 amp outlet but we have only hooked into it twice for an hour each time to charge batteries since it did rain all day. Supposed to be clearing for a few days. Tap water is slightly salty so we jhad 14 x 20 liter (5.2 gallons) purified water delivered and filled fresh water tank with that. It cost only 250 pesos ($17).Did rig a hose to the semi-salty water tap for showers.

 

Picked up daughter and boy friend at 6:15 pm (Cancun IAP) and expect to see them up and about by noon. They left Las Cruces, NM at 3:30 am yesterday morning. Younger son and family arrive around 6 am tomorrow but they are renting a van so we don't have to get up at 4 am to retrieve them.

 

There is an eclectic crowd here: three German couples and one widowed; two South Africans, one French-Canadian couple, one couple from Ontario, another American (who took his Toyota with roof top camper to Panama and back a few years ago)and ourselves. Two of the German couples plan to make it down to Chile/Argentina and take a few years to do the travel. One couple has a monsterous Mercedes framed-expedition level vehicle and the others have an Arctic Fox camper shell.

 

All in all it is a delightful group of folks.

 

Reed and Elaine

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The Overlanders are the adventturesome ones. We have made it to Belize and Tulum and that is as far as we would go. Wish we were 10 or 15 years younger than 75 and we would probablly try try. The Germans with the Mercedes exploration level vehicle plan 15 years for the Americas, Africa and Australia.

 

Our GPS is

N 20.87275

W 86.86664

 

Google maps will show a few RVs at this spot.

 

Roads have been extremely bumpy and we are going over things that have separated, shifted etc. Really need Gorilla tape, bungies, screws, tie-downs. Daughter's boy friend is doing some electrical work and carpentry. Tail light wire on left turn signal separated so have to get soldering iron and solder today.

 

 

 

Reed and Elaine

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few more overlanders have shown up: All Canadians. One couple have been down to Panama and are returning. Another couple are going to Costa Rica. Everyone has some form of solar. So we have 3 or 4 overlanders out of 10 RVs staying here.

 

Water has been quite clear for a few days so we are out snorkeling (we did go over to Chichen Itza yesterday and arrived at 7:30 - when it is still cool and not many folks there - we were 15th vehicle in - there were 15,000 tourists expected). Winds are up and older son is happy since he wants to try kite surfing. Things are busy with family here for a total of two weeks (two groups) and we are out doing something most days. We shall just crash on the beach and rest when they leave.

 

Elaine wants to keep pure water in the 81 gallon tank. So we go to Puerto Aventura and fill up 80 gallons of canisters for about $10. The internal pump on Open Range 5th wheels can be used to draw about 2.5 gallons/minute into the freshwater tank

 

Reed and Elaine

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Older son and family leave tomorrow morning. They leave our site around 7:30 am, and we shall doubtless go back to bed. Quintana Roo is on Eastern Daylight Time (the only state in Mexico to do such).

 

Happily they were here today. The 508 W Mean Well 48 V to 12 V converter died this morning. He designed and fabricated the system (is also licensed master electrician). He just ran a line from inverter to the 12 V converter that came with the rig. So we will have to use the inverter when use 12 V DC. Shall be sure to get two 48 V to 12 V converters when we return to US in early April.

Hate to think where we would be had this happened after he left.

 

Reed and Elaine

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Two more retired German couples have shown up with modern VW campers. One is a 4x4. One couple had VW shipped from Hamburg to Uruguay (they spent 4 weeks aboard as happy passengers). They boondocked a lot in Argentina, Chile and Peru.

 

The other couple drove to India and back 15 or so years

 

We have been to Belize and Tikal, Guatemala and our adventures pale by comparison. The Swiss-Germans have been on the road for 15 years to include shipping vehicle to Malaysia and returning via Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India etc. Claude and Erika are absolutely delightful.

 

Reed and Elaine

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The rigs run from small vans to 5-ton Mercedes expedition level vehicles. The Mercedes are older vehicles. The one that got in last night might be 30-40 years old. The other one is 20 years old. The owner talked to Mercedes about buying a new one but was told that the new ones have to much electronics in the system that could not be easily fixed if something went wrong. Large Mercedes trucks are sold in most countries in the world.

 

Most popular are 1-ton pickups with camper shells. A young German couple (took off a year as high school teachers) bought one in New York City. They have to be back to teach in October.

 

Three more German couples and one from Quebec showed up in last several days. It is a bit crowded.

 

One retired German couple has their two daughters coming over individually. They will stay in Tulum with one and we have offered our large tent for the other. It really works somewhat as a commune here. Everyone helps with tools and repairs.

 

Reed and Elaine

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I've been as far as Yaviza in the Darien in Panama. It's pretty rough from Panama city east. I have a Pinzgauer which is a smaller version of the Unimogs you were referring to. Bridges and roads are sometimes scary to walk across let alone drive across. Ferries are an option but the bureaucratic side is a pain in the neck. That's how I got from Panama to Columbia. Way too dangerous to go through the "gap". Met a few guys my age on bikes going from Alaska to Ushuaia. Now that's an ADVENTURE!!!

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Stekay - Have always wanted a Pinzgauer, do not know why, I just have and still do.

 

Congratulations on making it to Panamao. We have met only two other folks from US on this trip. Lots from Canada, France and Germany. Gringos are just not doing travel to Yucatan and south. There are a lot that make it down the west coast - Californians will travel anywhere. Panama is far more than we would do at age 75. We have made it to Tikal. From what I have read, going through the Darien Gap is an expedition level undertaking. Panama does not want a road built through there for "ecological" reasons, probably to keep Colombia from invading and taking back their rogue province. Had classmates from college (Deep Springs, smallest college in the world, student body of 22 and it has been that since 1917) who rode horseback from Panama to USA around 1960. One guy's Dad had been an advisor to two Presidents and they had everything set up internationally for the trip.

 

 

 

Two of the retired Swiss decided to drive to final bridge before Darien Gap. Panamanian soldiers thought they were a bit mad.

 

Three more German couples have showed up heading towards Patagonia. One is retired and the other two are fairly young. One has a three year old daughter and are expecting another who will be born in Cancun. Then they continue on to Argentina and home in a year. Husband is a programmer and said he has a job waiting when he returns. they have a large 35 year old Mercedes truck. He said that Freight-Liner repairs these. Mentioned that there is a 20 year old Mercedes set up expedition level for their planned 15 year trip (The Americas, Australia, Southern Africa) The other young couple drove to India and back five years ago. They found the people in Iran to be the friendliest they have met anywhere.

 

Chevie truck is in the Chevie shop in Playa del Carmen. We can get along in Spanish more or less but when it came to discussing technical things on a diesel truck, we were delighted that one of the young women there spoke excellent English and was technically competent.

 

Reed and Elaine

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its very capable. Our special forces use them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOKIeaqtPzY The Panamanian National Police (there is no army) don't want you going in for fear of having you kidnapped or lost and having to find you. They don't want to have to take the risk of smugglers and Farc. The Pinz was built dead simple so that an Austrian or Swiss kid right off the farm could fix it. You can get every single nut bolt part from Swiss Army Vehicles in Arkansas of all places. Some pricey, most dirt cheap.

 

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPD4pvuZDWLUaqDWfeBkiqguP6g9m_M952jQbrb/photo/AF1QipOSrKbXH7IJer6qLb7h6AKnDIYHq0V622VuvZ1v

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