Adventures in Mexico City

After experiencing the majesty of the butterfly kingdom we pointed our truck towards another sort of mystical place. Mexico City. Originally we had planned to skip Mexico City due to reports of violence, crime, high traffic, smog etc etc etc. However, during our few weeks traveling the country we have come to realize that 99% of things we had heard about Mexico were bullshit, so we changed our minds and we are glad we did! We ended up spending 5 days in this diverse place and barely began to touch the surface. We also partied our faces off and put a sizable dent in our Mexico budget, well worth it…

We left the highlands of Michoacán and headed towards the mountain-ringed metropolis of Mexico City. Greater Mexico City with its population of 22+ MILLION is the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the 2nd largest in the world. This place is DENSE. As we broke through the mountain tree line we saw an endless sea of concrete and buildings. Wow

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Mexico Expenses…Dun Dun Duuuuun!

Howdy, folks! I know many of you have been asking for a break down of how much we have been spending on our trip so far, so here it goes. Amazingly, it has been 30 days and 3,500 miles since we crossed into Mexico and over 85 days total on the road. Seems like just last night we were lying in our beds in San Francisco dreaming of this trip…

Gas- $591.11 (Currently ~2.80 gal in Mexico)
We had a good tally of our MPG and gas expenses but it was lost on our phone somewhere in Mexico City.

Food- $661.81
Includes groceries, restaurants, bars, beer, and tequila.

Motels, Campgrounds, etc- $221.67
This is very high for the month. We love to just sleep in the truck, and try to do so whenever possible.  Unfortunately, we drove through a lot of jungle areas where camping was almost impossible or just downright undesirable.  I also got pretty sick for 4 or 5 days, so we spent two of the worst days at a nice little motel in Morelia.  We are hoping that when we get to Guatamala we will get to camp pretty much every night.

Car Expenses & Accidentes- $272.33
We had to get our hitchpin mount and jerrycan mount fixed after accidentally backing into a pole and busting it up a bit. Oopsy. That cost $122.33, but now it is built twice as beefy and looks good as new!  We also had a little fender bender in Oaxaca.  The guy we backed into was really nice about the whole thing and we gave him $150 for his troubles. (Editors note: It seems I have a bit of trouble backing up this truck…)

Travel Expenses-  $372.30
This includes our Mexico FMM visas for 180 days, vehicle import permit, and a $200 refundable deposit)

Trip Expenses For Organizing the Truck- $40.00
I needed some extra supplies to keep the truck organized.

Personal Expenses- $40.00
Toiletries, laundry detergent, etc.

Entrance fees- $182.77
Includes all tickets for museums, zoos, visiting the ruins, soccer games, etc.

Misc- $36.84

MONTH #1 GRAND TOTAL=

$2,418.83 ($200 deposit for entrance into mexico is not subtracted)

This is a tad higher than what I projected for the first month, but unexpected expenses always seem to come up while traveling. Gotta tighten the belt for month number two!

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Morelia, Mexico and the Monarch Butterfly Reserve

After we got our share of the beach scene we cut inland, Destination: Butterfly Kingdom.

If you haven’t guessed by now we are kind of nerds. Back home we had seen a few nature documentaries on the mass migration of the Monarch butterflies. Each year the Monarch butterflies begin a huge southward migration from as far north as Canada all the way south to Mexico. This incredible journey is over 4000 miles and spans generations of Monarchs to reach its completion every year. Millions of butterflies arrive in the Michoacán highland forests of  Mexico every year for the winter before turning around and heading back north for the summer. It just so happened we were here during the right months. We had to see it!

As we cut in from the coastline through the states of Jalisco we started encountering some wonderful mountain scenery and idealic farmland. Jalisco is known as the homeland of Tequila and agave farms abound. We also saw a few huge volcanoes.

Sugarcane farms

A nice “safe” load of sugarcane, Don’t get too close or you’ll get a sugarcane spear through the windshield, they were falling off left and right as the trucks bounced down the road.

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One of our facebook fans informed me this is Sesame drying in the fields.


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Cruising the Mexican Pacific Coastline…

Howdy again friends, Its been a while since our last post. Been busy criss-crossing Mexico. When we last left off we were in a beautiful port town on the Pacific Ocean called Mazatlan. Now I am posting from the opposite side of Mexico, sitting on the Gulf of Mexico down near the isthmus of Mexico. We have traveled over 2000 miles and had many great adventures along the way.

Leaving Mazatlan we cruised down the Pacific Coast for a while, we were enjoying the beach views and fresh mariscos (seafood). We saw a small beach town on the map by the name of San Blas. Drove on down the road to check it out.

The highway cut inland for a while and then curved back to the coast, when we approached the coastline this time the landscape had started to turn into marshland.

We reached San Blas, Mexico and drove right out to the beach, We got there about an hour before sunset, busted out some beers and enjoyed the view.

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Another beautiful sunset… We found a little restaurant on the beach and sat down for dinner. The beachside palapa started to fill with acrid smoke, we looked around and noticed all the palapas were belching out this smoke. It smelled a lot like citronella, and within a few seconds we realized why. We were getting eaten ALIVE by no-seeums (tiny biting insects) The restaurants did all they could to quell the flood of fly’s but there was no hope. We inhaled our food and made a beeline to the truck. We discussed our options for camping that night and figured if we got out onto the beach into the breeze and setup our bug net we would be OK…

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MEXICO! Exploring Copper Canyon and beyond.

My friends, It was getting to the point that we thought we would never actually make it into Mexico. Our journey across the U.S. of A was only supposed to last a month then we were supposed to cross the border to be in Mexico by early December. Well…Christmas came and went and we found ourselves in Big Bend National Park , South Texas. We could actually SEE Mexico across the Rio Grande but we were not yet in it! Oh well, you know how plans go.  No regrets! The gods may have wanted us to stay state-side with a seemingly never ending “TO-DO LIST” but our will is strong, we preserved and now we are sitting at a bar looking out over the Sea of Cortez in lovely Mazaltan, MX.

When we last left each other we had just arrived to our good friends and fellow PanAm travelers house “Ruined Adventures” in Ausin, TX. Brenton and I spent most of the week tearing into the truck in what seemed like a never ending battle of fixes while Lauren and Shannon ran all over town tracking down bits and bobs and widdling down our TO-DO list.

Swapping out the CV axle, luckily Brenton had a spare on hand. We almost dropped the truck on our heads a few times but managed to get it swapped out. Quite a pain in the arse!

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Ruined Adventures have the best setup for overland preparation, Brenton and Shannon  live in a badass warehouse/loft with every tool imaginable to tackle any problems that you can throw at them. Brenton had an extra Hi-Lift too (Think a huge car-jack on crack, used for all kinds of things on the trail) here he is rigging up a mount on our rear swingout to place the unwieldy jack. Thanks to Ruined Adventures for really helping us out on our final prep for the trip.

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They are hitting the road on January 29th and will be cruising Baja before shipping over to the mainland, You will definitely be seeing them in future blog posts. You can follow their adventures on their own blog at http://ruinedadventures.com

Thanks a lot guys! See you soon!

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Our plan from Austin was to head south to Big Bend National Park, scope it out for a few days and then cross into Mexico at a border called Ojinaga. We hit the road, fixed up and ready for action!

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