May 07, 2019

Wrap up of our fall/winter vacation

I thought that before we leave next Tuesday on our trip to Europe that I should finish off with the last trip 😆

We left September 27 and returned last month on April 1st.  We were gone a total of 186 days.  We drove 6,450 miles.  The year prior when we simply drove from here to the Isla and back we drove 5,168.  So for the seven weeks we stayed in the US, we didn’t drive that much further. But we certainly saw some wonderful sights from Arches National Park to the magnificent Alburqueque Balloon Fiesta to the south rim of the Grand Canyon where it snowed and was very cold.  From there we traveled to Page, Arizona where we were amazed at Horseshoe Bend and overwhelmed by the wonders of Antelope Canyon.  Afterwards we were awed by the beauty of the Grand Canyon’s north rim, our favourite of the two.  Somehow without planning it we ended up at both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park, simply stunning.  There were many other stops in-between including a visit to the Valley of Fire near Las Vegas.  We saw so much and I posted about it all starting with the day we left last September.

After all of that it was time to head further south to Mexico and Isla de la Piedra / Stone Island or simply the Isla as I call it.  It was so wonderful to be back in our winter home.  Now that we have been back in Canada for almost six weeks, it is time to leave again but that story will be told beginning next week.

Fuel cost us return trip, $1901.61 USD and 13,907 Pesos for an approximate total of $2650.00USD. This is only for the RV, we don’t keep track of fuel for the Jeep.  The Mexican peso ranged between 20.96 to 22.47 per litre while the lowest we paid in the US was 2.859 to 3.61 per gallon.  We only spent a total of $62.87 for propane the entire trip and that was to run our furnace.  When parked, both the fridge and the water heater are on electric.

We spent 56 nites in the US including some boondocking for which we paid a total of $1556.97USD with an average of $27.80 per night,  The lowest was $16.93 per night versus one night at $49.89.  We paid $2445.00USD for 129 nights in Mexico with an average of $18.95 per night.  While in Mexico at Tres Amigos RV Park we have metered electricity at 15 cents per kWh.  Our cost was $185.00USD or $1.43 per day.  Pretty good price considering we mostly used electric within the RV including our induction cooktop, as well as having at least a thousand fairy lights on at night.

The following are costs only related to our time in Mexico. I won’t go into all the categories but having our laundry done for us every week cost us 2092 pesos or approximately $110.00 USD for over 4 months.  What a treat not having to do laundry.  By the way since most of the costs are already in USD I am staying with USD for everything else.  We only drove into Mazatlan once to get plants for my garden. The rest of the time we took the lancha across and always used pulmonias to or from the embarcadero for a cost of 2595 MXN / $136.00USD.  We ate out as much as we wanted to ( which is much less than some folks ), a few times per week, for a total cost of 17,388 MXN / $915.00 USD. I had fourteen 90 minute massages ( wish it had been more ) while on the Isla at a cost of $33.00 USD each.

RV repairs were our biggest expense and we were only 1800 pesos / $95.00USD  over my estimated budget.  I had not even budgeted for the RV painting but as we were under budget for everything else it more or less slithered in.  My cell phone with some data which I seldom used as we have great free wifi at Tres Amigos only cost 1000 pesos / $52.50USD for the entire winter.  I am not including toll costs as so many were not being charged due to political / local take overs.

Overall it was a wonderful trip.  It all started by wanting to attend the Balloon Fiesta, something we have wanted to see for many years and the rest fell into place. It certainly won’t be an annual event but it is up there as one of our very special trips.  I mean I even hiked with poles  😎   A first for me.



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17 responses so far

17 Responses to “Wrap up of our fall/winter vacation”

  1. Don & Kathy McKelvay says:

    And we all have thoroughly enjoyed travelling with you over the last few years and look forward to all the adventures and lovely pictures in the time to come. Travel, see and create fantastic memories.

    • contessa says:

      Thank you. What a lovely thing to say. I am looking forward to creating some new memories while seeing new places. So happy to have you along with us.

  2. George Yates says:

    Nice that you git to explore more new places this past winter we enjoyed your pictures.

  3. Alan Brechin says:

    What a good summary of your trip. The pictures were geat and a very informative breakdown of expenses for those that are considering a similar trip.

  4. Peter Kouwenhoven says:

    What an amazing winter you have had. And now on to an amazing summer. We look forward to reading all about it… Wishing a safe journey and many Kodak moments.

    • contessa says:

      Thank you Peter. So lovely to have you both along with us. I really have to figure out how to post and still stay relaxed while away.

  5. Such a great trip this year, you guys got to do so much! I measured the cucumber pots and they are 9 inches deep (but I usually only fill them with to 6 inch mark, very small root ball on them) and the mouth is 1 foot wide. I then place an upside down tomato cage on them – and tie it at the top like a teepee.
    As they grow I have clips to help hold them up. Mine are long english and the cucumbers get pretty heavy so this helps. They recommend having a few plants in the same area so cross pollination can happen as last year I had too many boy flowers and not enough girls, when planted nearby like this year – also I have read that a couple plants per pot is ok, really I’ve only grown them one year like this so learning curve for me, take what I say with a big grain of salt and do as you wish 🙂

    • contessa says:

      It was a wonderful trip, a once in a lifetime thing. Thanks for the cucumber pot info. My pot is deep enough but to wide enough. We will have to move it into the garden when we return.

  6. Maxx Trails says:

    Interesting wrap up and it was nice that you included your most amazing/beautiful pictures!

  7. Electricity in Mexico is a mindset. We see electricity in Mexico as expensive when in reality it isn’t. Living fulltime in Mexico you receive your bill every two months, so psychologically it seems expensive. Yes, they have use limitations like in other parts of the U.S. and the world, but at the price you paid, it is very reasonable. If you were to use New Mexico rv parks on their yearly camping pass, electric is $4 a day, which comes to $120 a month. Big difference.

    If you have dollars, Canadian, American, Panamanian or Ecuadorian, it is a very comfortable way to spend the winter.

    • contessa says:

      I can never understand why someone who lives in Mexico complains about the cost of electricity.

  8. Phyllis Schmitz says:

    Enjoyed your travels and looking forward to the next one.

  9. Paul Walker says:

    Beautiful photos! Great experiences and memories! We love your blog!

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