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Friday, January 11, 2013

Willie still hates Rambo

Yesterday turned out to be one of those very interesting days. And we found out for sure that Willie the jeep is still jealous of Rambo the truck. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We left here, the campground, about 9:00 to get to Puerta Vallarta to pick up our friend
Tom who was flying in from cold, cold Indiana.
The trip down was uneventful. It’s a very pretty ride through lots of tropical vegetation and farming land. We stopped at a big supermarket, the Mega, on the way down to check it out and to see if there were any car washers there. Willie is desperately in need of a bath. But there weren’t any so we just looked around, didn’t buy anything and got back on the road.
Found the airport without any problems parked and went inside but we were early so we had lunch while waiting. A very expensive lunch. We each had one of the smallest club sandwiches ever with four French fries and coffee for 250 pesos around US$20. Then it was time for the airplane to arrive. Met Tom with no problem and started home.
Did stop at WalMart to get a few things – mainly zip lock baggies. First half of trip was uneventful again. Enjoying the pretty scenery. Then Bill and Tom started to talk about our truck, Rambo, who is home in the garage. “PING” a noise from the warning system on the Jeep. What the? A warning light came on. Hum? Luckily we were near a bunch of fruit stands where there was plenty of room to pull off the highway. No sooner had Bill pulled over than a car pulled up next to us and said “You’re losing a lot of some kind of fluid.” Oh, oh. By then we could see the steam/smoke coming out from under the hood.
Bill and Tom got out and raised the hood. Lots of smoke/steam rolled out. They studied it for a bit. Then Bill walked away towards the vendors where he stopped to talk to a woman. She pulled her cell phone out and made a call. As I walked over towards them I heard her say “Diaz minutos.”  I asked Bill what was going on and he said she had called a mechanic and he would be with us in about 10 minutes.
Sure enough about 10 minutes later up pulled an Angeles Verdes pickup. These Green Angels are trucks that patrol the roads just to help stranded cars. Their service is free. The driver got out and checked under the hood. At first everyone thought that the serpentine belt had broken. So he got a new belt out of his tool box and was getting ready to install it when he discovered the REAL problem. A broken water pump. Oh Crap!!  That can’t be fixed beside the road. Now what? 
Another phone call to get a Grua – a tow truck – or as in our case a flat bed. Lovely we were 67 miles from Aticama and it was 3:30 arrrrggggg……
In less than five minutes the flat bed pulled up.
A few minutes later Willie was all loaded up. 
Bill and I rode in the tow truck and Tom got to ride in the Jeep up on top of the flat bed. He said it was “a very interesting ride.” I bet! We were back in Aticama before sunset. Welcome to Mexico Tom. The flat bed had to take us 67 miles and it cost 2200 pesos – about US$170.
Back at the campground Bill talked to one of the owners, Trini - who uses a mechanic near here for all their vehicles. John and Trini took off in John’s four wheeler to the mechanic’s. They were soon back with the message that the mechanic would be here this morning..
In the mean time because we were planning on taking Tom out to dinner there was nothing here ready to fix. John offered the keys to his truck to us to go out – but Bill didn’t want to drive it for the first time in the dark. So John took us to the restaurant and then came and picked up us. How’s that for being a friend.
So did the mechanic show up this morning? Yes he did. Can he fix Willie? We are sure hoping so cause pieces of Willie are now on the ground and the mechanic is driving up the mountain to Tepic to get the needed parts.
This was another unexpected unpleasant adventure that left us with good feelings and memories of Mexico. From the lady with the cell phone who made the first phone call, the Green Angel driver, the tow truck driver and the owner of the campground. None of them had to help us and all did it with a smile. 


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  2. WoW! Well for breaking down on the side of the road it really couldn't have gone any better!

    Doubt you would have gotten that kind of service in the USA - or Canada!

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