South of the Border - Yucatan Bound travel blog

Dry Camping

Although we are 30+ days into a 44-day tour, we are in some sense just starting back toward home. We've completed the loop around the Yucatan Peninsula and we drove a straight line west and then south to Tehauntepec (Te-wahn-te-peck). A long driving day was projected so we started early and four rigs caravanned together. We paid three tolls for a total of 340 pesos. Generally, the roads were good, lots of construction and repair going on, and a little narrow with steep drop-offs in some places. When we stopped for fuel, Kay had made snacks and the drivers sure appreciated them.

We passed through numerous little villages and, of course, with every little village came at least one tope. We were waved on at the military checkpoint and, unceremoniously, left the state of Veracruz and entered the state of Oaxaca....not even a sign to welcome us. Because we were all towing and the directions to the park were a little vague, we decided to stop about 15 miles out and disconnect one of the cars. Margrita, Kay and I drove ahead and the guys followed us in the rigs. When we were sure of the turns, they followed us. The taxi drivers were all so friendly and helped us at every turn....smiling and pointing to where we should go. We really like the Mexican people and the little children just steal your heart away.

When we arrived at the park, it was almost incredible how bad the entry roads were. We were also sharing the same park with a competitor's caravan coming out of Guatemala. They arrived first and were all nicely spaced and parked; we were stuffed in like sardines in a can. It really didn't matter; it was dry camping with no facilities.

Our leaders had warned us about the noseeums. We have experienced these little critters in Florida; but, we were told the insects here are different and actually burrowed under the skin.......didn't sound very inviting. They told us to wear long pants, socks, and bug spray. We had dinner, served outdoors, and entertainment. Somehow, I tend to lose my appetite for food when I smell like a can of "OFF".

The heat and humidity were awful and we were surrounded by these huge trees the owner claimed were hundreds of years old; he should know; I think he said he was 5th generation of the family. It felt claustrophobic and we were being cooked by fluorescent lights; we would have given our right arms for a fan.

The meal was very poor and the entertainment followed. The best way to describe the entertainment would be a folkloric fashion show. Girls and women modeled native costumes of embroidered blouses, flared skirts embroidered with large brilliantly colored flowers, and a strange type of headgear. Then, we were treated to a wedding re-enactment. One couple was selected from each caravan to get re-married. Al & Sharon represented our group and they looked beautiful all dressed up in their folkloric traditional wedding attire. We all donated 3 pesos to either the bride or groom and were given pots of confetti to shower on them. By this time, my bug spray was wearing off and I headed back to the coach. We want to leave as early as possible in the morning.

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