By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
Our drive down Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula took us along Hwy. 1, a very narrow and winding passage with no room to move off the blacktop. Through desert and rocky hills, it passes scarce outposts of civilization where few people, if any, speak English.
POW! We heard the blowout on a trailer tire. I looked to the right and realized we were
10 feet from a Pemex gas station, the Mexican-owned system of fueling stops with mini-markets. I pulled in just enough to get us out of the road. Ten minutes later the “Green Angels” arrived to change my tire.
The Green Angels is a posse of government-sponsored multi-talented people, ready to help and
protect tourists plying the remote spaces of Mexico. Fantasy RV Tours, with whom we were traveling, had hired them to escort our RV caravan for the entire trip, and, I assure you, no members of our troupe were as thankful to have them along as Monique and I.
I have often written and spoken about how RV caravans are not journeys where rigs all travel in a queue. That’s obviously not always true, because on our 1,200-mile round-trip, our 14 rigs mostly stayed together, almost always in sight of the rig in front of us. It’s not a command, but it seemed like the best way to travel these precarious roads.
When one travel trailer in our band tried to leave room for a motorhome to exit first from a
resort RV park, the truck and then the trailer sunk down into sand about a-foot-and-a-half. It was the Green Angels that dug that rig out. [Since we were the only travel trailer in the 14-unit caravan, I’m forced to admit it was I who got into that mess.]
Driving back toward the U.S. through the mountains in an isolated area, we saw a Green Angel on patrol providing water to a car that had obviously overheated in the 88-degree temps. That wasn’t us.
But, going through the congested Town of Tecate near the border, a local motorcycle policia stopped me for going through one of the dozens of stop signs (which neither of us saw). He didn’t speak English; we don’t speak Spanish, so we couldn’t explain our side of the story to let him know that we had to stay with our group going through the border crossing. He demanded that we follow him to the police office, something we did not want to do, knowing that it could be two days before being allowed to leave.
It was the Green Angels who talked it over with him and retrieved my driver’s license. He waved us onward to U.S. Customs.
Read on in my two-part blogs for details about petting baby grey whales and lots of other great memories, but I first wanted to share with you a very powerful reason for entering Baja Mexico as part of a caravan. Having gone with Fantasy RV Tours & Creative World Travel, which may be the only company currently scheduled to go onto the peninsula, we certainly can recommend the tour.
But, mainly, I want to say that thanks to the “Angeles Verdes,” the Green Angels, there was never a time when we were concerned for our safety. Tony and Isaiah kept their professional distance, but melded well with the entire group, joining us for a few of the
Fantasy-prepared casual dinners.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
FROM JULIE IN WASHINGTON STATE — I, too had assistance from the Green Angels while traveling in Mexico. The “caravan” consisted of my motorhome and my aunt&uncle with their 5th wheel. And none of us spoke Spanish. My serpentine belt broke, and of course narrow road out of Sonoyta. The Angels showed up within 5 minutes, got the belt removed. My uncle had all my manuals, they took him back to the town, to two stores and found the belt that would work. I has a gasser at the time, one Angel took off the doghouse cover inside, and had to lay on his belly, (and I could see holes in the soles of his shoes), while the other worked from the outside. They got it on and we were once again ready to drive within an hour. They did not charge me, but I have them each $50, and Hershey chocolate bars. They seemed more excited over the candy!!
They were so nice and polite. We have travelled as far south as Puerto Vallarta many times and always have had very pleasant and friendly encounters with locals. When driving thru small villages the people wave and smile.
I am Julie from Washington state. I have really enjoyed the posts you do, and followed your Alaskan adventures with envy.