Several folks have emailed questions regarding our routine. Here is a quick explanation and photo collection that will share some info about our travel style at www.slowcarfasthouse.com If you are enjoying these posts, send a quick note or hit reply. It really encourages me to keep them coming, when I hear from you.
Where are you?
We are in the Northern part of Mexico. We have been in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. We are traveling along smaller highways, through towns and villages.
What does a day look like?
Our day’s activities vary between driving and looking around. We begin at about 6:24AM, because that is when the dogs decide it is time to wake up. We make a pot of coffee on the stove in the van, using a Moka Express. Then roll the bedding away and set up for highway time. Sometimes Geneva makes breakfast of oats, fruit and yogurt;
Sometimes we have fresh tamales or stop at a panaderia and grab sweet breads or fruit filled empanadas. We also make a jar of limeade or jamaica to drink while we drive. Then we program the GPS and take off.
Driving is generally at a much slower pace than US travel. The roads are not in good condition. There are cows and horses at random locations and the other vehicles on the road are either driving slowly and aging gracefully, or racing in the Paris-Dakar and missed the start time. All of this lends to attention and caution while driving.
We also see a lot of interesting stuff on the road. Some of it is alive, and some is not. We spotted a ringtail cat (road kill) and a huge, black, King snake (slithering). We also saw a very small, baby horse that may have just been delivered on the pavement not long before we got there. And of course, many horses, cows, dogs, cats and schoolchildren. We also saw these:
While we are driving we stop occasionally to look at villages or get gas. We even met some other travelers at one stop. They were on dirt bikes and headed from Los Angeles to Costa Rica within 4 weeks!
We roll along, listening to music on the iPod or an Audible book on the Kindle or just talking to each other. We pass people who are walking; working and watching the world go by. We wave. We get the typical stare.
The dogs just hang out in the back.
When we get where we were headed we usually drive through to look it over. Then park and settle in for the evening. Generally that includes dinner, a walk with the dogs and some reading, blogging, emailing or playing games before bedtime.
What is the food like?
We can get nearly all the same items at a grocery store as you can in the US, but generally smaller packages. We have not encountered a 24 pack of toilet paper, but a single-pack or 4 pack is common. Dog food comes in 7-kilo bags, maximum, or in small plastic baggies that are scooped out of a big bin. Nothing is ever a double pack, super sized, giant or economy pack. But they have all the basic needs, plus usually some regional specialties.
We eat carne asada tacos (soft shell tacos with chunks of grilled beef, cabbage, lime, guacamole) and burritos (skinny, little, rolled up tortillas filled with shredded beef or chicken or refried beans) and pizza (same as USA) and even tried a torta (a sandwich, similar to a sub with shredded beef, mayo, cheese and lettuce on it) We even had cheese enchiladas and chile rellenos!
We also eat in the van sometimes. This might be a dinner of fried potatoes with garlic, rosemary and peppers or pasta with a homemade sauce or cheese and crackers and fruit. A typical snack is Costco trail mix (we are almost out of that) or tortillas. The one thing we are concerned about is running out of French Vanilla creamer for our coffee. And I am not talking about the powder type, or half and half style cream; I mean the creamy, chemical-laden delicious stuff!! We bought some of the shelf-stable liquid to test and it seems to be working out. So we will stock up on that and hide it in every nook and cranny in the van. Neither of us are looking forward to coffee without French Vanilla. We hope to find places to stash bottles and boxes of the new, shelf-stable, liquid variety. http://www.amazon.com/Coffee-mate-Liquid-Creamer-French-Vanilla/dp/B00CQB9VSI
Are you enjoying this so far?
We are enjoying the rhythm of moving along when we wish, and staying an extra night when we like it. I am smiling and relaxing and feeling healthy. But honestly this sort of travel is still work. Not physical work, but thoughtfulness or awareness that is still stimulating in a good way. It requires thinking of risks, locations, reading maps, planning miles to gas stations, stops to see things and of course keeping the dogs out of trouble. And all that is without the vehicle malfunctioning, which it has not in quite some.
I am not looking for a place to land; I am enjoying the opportunity to fly!