Travel journal Mexico 2008 - 2009

by Claudia and PJ Potgieser




November 2008 - Mexico
Crossing the border into Mexico at Lukeville was a piece of cake. We showed the Canadian couple Beth and Wayne the ropes, it was their first time RV-ing in Mexico. In four days we drove south to camping La Penita (one hour north of Puerto Vallarta). Spending the nights was not always comfortable, like that one at a Pemex gas station. But campground Miramar is still one of my favorite stops. The temperature was rising to 93F and at night it hardly dropped. 


Spending the night at a gas station          Lush greenery on the camping Miramar    View at the ocean from the swimming pool


Coming through villages along the way we saw parts of the celebration of Revolution Day. School kids were dressed up like guerillas or rich ladies.



Last year we stayed for the first time for six weeks on the same campground: La Penita. We enjoyed this relaxed life that much, that we had decided this year to pay for two months ahead. Unfortunately the wonderful spot we had last year is occupied, but the spot we had this year for the first six weeks had a view on the ocean and a cooling sea breeze. The patio was twice as big, we only had neighbors on one side, there was a large outside kitchen and we could hung our hammocks.

Our spot of 2007                                               Our spot for  2008                                  Beach of La Penita

December 2008 - Mexico

One of the nicest things of Mexico is the use of colors at the houses. Mexicans aren’t afraid of any bright color combination. But not only their houses are colorful, also the cemeteries aren’t dull.




Every Thursday there was market in the village La Penita de Jaltemba. The goods were colorful, veggies and fruit were fresh and shrimp was caught that night.


Every Tuesday night a Mexican lady sold taco's at the trailer park and the owner of the trailer park served free Margarita cocktails with it. Every Sunday we had Hamburger Night. For the rest we met up with old friends, made some new friends, ate a lot and drank more, lots of dancing and fun. The day’s turned into weeks and before we knew X-mas was already there.

every Sunday Hamburger Night at the pool        tacolady                                                                                appies


Around Christmas a lot of Mexican families were staying at the trailer park. On Christmas eve it was time for a real Mexican tradition; the breaking of the piñata’s. These stars were filled with candy and were hanging from a rope that could be moved around. The Mexican kids were waiting in line. During a 30 seconds song one child tried to break the piñata with a wooden stick. Mostly they succeeded after a  couple of kids had tried. When the piñata broke the children were jumping on each other to get some candy.


On Christmas Day we had a huge Christmas dinner. With 170 guests you would not expect to being served a hot meal, but with a little help of each camping guest dinner was prepared. (Claudia for example cooked two cauliflowers en so every guest had cooked something). We were having roasted turkey and ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad and lots of different veggies, everything kept warm in crock-pots. We even had desert!


January 2009 - Mexico
In the beginning of January rumor started: the regulars from our temporary spot are not coming this year! Two days later we were sure, we can stay for the rest of the winter on one the best spot of the RV park! It was a bit scary to stay on one spot for the whole winter but we gave it a try. For the first time in seven years we took the camper off. Of course we have had the camper off before, but that was only for maintenance or when we had bought a new truck; this is the first time during camping. It gave us more freedom to be able to drive the truck without the camper. It was quite the job because PJ wanted extra support under the camper, so he was busy getting tree trunks and put them under the camper. Claudia made new curtains for the kitchen and we put up a big tarp above the kitchen for more shade. We should have put up that tarp weeks earlier, half an hour work and the shade was terrific.



A Canadian friend suffers a brain aneurism at the RV park and he and his wife were medivaced back to Canada. Spontaneously we offered to take care of their two dogs, but we don't know how long it was going to take! We never had dogs, so we had to get used to walk them, pick up their shit, wash them and taking care of them. After five weeks our friends returned, and fortunately he looked real good after surgery.


February 2009 - Mexico
On regular base we saw humpback whales from the trailer park jumping out of the ocean. One of the campers suggested to jump into his boat to see them up close. The whales were very active and PJ made nice action pictures.
One of a sudden a whale was coming up next to boat, luckily just floating, not jumping, but it sped up our heart rate a little (although Claudia was cool enough to capture that on film). And in between shooting PJ caught a Dorado!



Wildlife wise there was not much going in the RV park. The first two months the hummingbirds were fighting over our feeder, but lately we haven’t seen much. A couple of crocodiles were hanging out in the mangrove forest, just 50 yards away from our camper. In the morning Claudia often saw their tracks in the sand when she was walking the dogs on the beach.


March 2009 - Mexico
On March 6th we left RV park La Penita. We have spent there a total of 15 weeks! Slowly we drove north bound, back to the USA.
RV park with pool in Teacapan                  Tonight we eat smoked fish...