Monday, October 31, 2016

Vacation #2

Another 3 1/2 hour trip that took 6 hours. Actually 7 1/2 if you include the 45 minutes at Walmart and a couple of unintentional detours of another 45 minutes (with an impressive - by my wife's admission -  mid-road u-turn that we barely pulled off). Admittedly, this was the smoothest stretch of road yet, but still long and stressful at the end - as usual.

We're at San Juan Del Lago RV Resort & Spa in San Juan Benito Juarez. San Juan Benito is a tiny village with a larger sister city, Cuitzeo, directly across the giant Lake Cuitzeo. San Juan Del Lago has just over 20 RV sites sitting on about 47 acres overlooking the lake. It has just recently, officially, opened. The park is in a beautiful setting, but the best part of it is Arturo, the owner.

We had to contact Arturo in advance so he could lead us through the narrow streets of the town and down two kilometers of gravel road to the park entrance. Once we went through the gate and up the first hill we stopped and unhooked the truck. He then took me up the hill in his truck to give me an advance look at the grade. The RV made it up with little difficulty, but we had to make a couple of tries with the truck. It was just about building up enough speed and momentum to conquer the incline.

Once again, we are the only ones here and we love it. Arturo is a huge dog lover (he has 9 of his own) so our critters get to run free. Since his property is so large, they can wander at will and we don't have to worry about ever leashing them (unless we leave so they don't follow us). They've also recently been introduced to the horses on the property. Seeing giant "dogs" was a bit unnerving for them at first. Despite my warnings to not antagonize them, Scraps thought he could take them on until he got kicked in the head and squealed away with a nice fat lip. Harley enjoys grazing with them and I think they believe him to be just another horse. All the horses like Amy and follow her around and Tess even got a kiss from one of them.


We were ready for another break and we feel very welcomed and comfortable here so we opted to stay put for a few days.We love the area, the towns, the people, the site, and our host. It's yet another tempting alternative for us to keep in mind.

Arturo has been our constant companion. At Laurie's insistence, he and I had a boys day our first full day here. We walked a couple of miles down the hill to one of the local mineral bath houses for beers and a soak. This area is renowned for the natural, thermal, mineral water springs that run close to the surface. You can take advantage of one of the natural baths that occur in the foothills or hit one of the local bath houses where they have set up private bath rooms and pumped the water in. We chose the latter. We had a couple of tall Coronas with lime and salt and soaked in crystal clear, steaming hot mineral water for 20 minutes or so for $150 pesos (a little less than $8). Arturo joined us that night as our first dinner guest in the RV.

Arturo has taken us into the nearby towns several times. We hit the town of Cuitzeo after our baths on our first day here for a little shopping, and returned the next day for the farmer's market where we picked up several varieties of local fruits and veggies and about 5 pounds of roasted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans, and another unidentified roasted mondo bean. Afterward, we hit the local watering hole for beers and sipping shots of mezcal and shared some of our 2 kilos of pumpkin seeds with everyone in the place.

On night three, Arturo  made arrangements for us to visit his "plastic artist" friend, Jacobo Dominquez's home for a meal Jacobo prepared just for us. Jacobo is a wonderful character. Artist, chef, musician - all around creative wonder. He made us a phenomenal meal prepared in the traditional ways of the ancient locals here, sang for us, played his box drum, and let us freely wander his home/art studio. We couldn't resist picking up a couple pieces of his artwork which consists of paper mache' colored, woven around wire forms, hardened with polyurethane and turned into wonderful creatures and creations.

All around artist, Jacobo

Our host, Arturo

On day 4, Halloween, we headed to a nearby town where we picked up three pairs of incredible, hand-made, softened, all-leather shoes & boots for about $25 a pair. We're ready to move along, but we're in the middle of Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead (from which Halloween was borrowed and modified). The Mexican people celebrate their departed dead by visiting their graves and bringing food and drink to enjoy with them while singing, chanting, telling stories, etc. for a few days (that description doesn't begin to do the holiday justice, but it gives you a basic idea). As such, we're sitting tight a bit longer to avoid any parades/celebrations in towns we may be passing through on our way to the area just north of Mexico City. The greater metropolitan area of  Mexico City has a population of 21.5 million people so we're trying to steer as far away from it as possible.

A quick plug for San Juan Del Lago RV Resort & Spa...
For the last 10 years, Arturo has been creating one of the nicest RV parks in Mexico. It has huge sites with lots of room in between sites, full, modern hook-ups, fast internet, lovely bathrooms, and a beautiful outdoor kitchen and gathering area. His vision is of a full-service RV park for long-term retirees. This would be an ideal setting to retire in. The weather is temperate, the views are wonderful, the towns are quaint, the people welcoming, the host is amazing, and the prices are incredible. Someone could park their motor home here for $185 a month, electricity included, and live an incredibly comfortable life. Again, we're not RVers, but if we were, I think we would be locking in a space now. Check it out:


  1. Sounds like a wonderful spot. We're just glad you're safely (if slowly) making your way to Belize. Sending love and hugs.

  2. You guys are making lovely friends along the way, good for you! What an incredible journey.