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Old 01-03-2012, 08:02 PM   #61
defrag4 OP
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I'm in!
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:12 AM   #62
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Subscribed!!!

Finally found your DR! Great pictures and narrative. Keep it coming!!!

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Old 01-07-2012, 08:01 AM   #63
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #64
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #65
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Hey guys, Things are going good here in Moreilas, MX. We are just about to head out from here up into the mountains to check out the Monarch Butterfly reservations. Apparently there are millions of these guys all over the place up there. From then we are headed to Mexico City!

We have been getting lots of requests on how we actually setup and organized the interior of the truck, This is Laurens department and she just put up a new post on how we manage it. Check it out!

http://homeonthehighway.com/everythi...thing-you-dont

Sleep mode, activate!
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:24 PM   #66
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NICE!

I'm a old school Toyota snob too, so I'm definitely in!

lol'd at the Cruiser in Death Valley... Notice a trend here?

Dude, feel free to PM me with any advice I can E-give you... Like those CVs. I once lost (it got stolen) about a $500 diff to those stupid studs. I didnt know they were splined and pressed in. Couldnt get the tri-pod housing to clear those studs, but by the time I could get back to it, someone stole the dang thing... I'm glad I could help... I had 90% of it taken apart!

Anywho. You should be able to field repair it w/o a jack,,, just tap those studs through.



And word to the wise; get at least ONE spare. OEM if possible. Aftermarket ones, though they have a warranty, are not as good...


s up, Dude. You're living the dream...



Typed using my PC, in the 2,123rd apartment of an undisclosed location, in Bellevue, ok, Nashville Tn.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #67
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Howdy again friends, Its been a while since our last post. Been busy criss-crossing Mexico. When we last left off we were in a beautiful port town on the Pacific Ocean called Mazatlan. Now I am posting from the opposite side of Mexico, sitting on the Gulf of Mexico down near the Isthmus of Mexico. We have traveled over 2000 miles and had many great adventures along the way.

Leaving Mazatlan we cruised down the Pacific Coast for a while, we were enjoying the beach views and fresh mariscos (seafood). We saw a small beach town on the map by the name of San Blas. Drove on down the road to check it out.

The highway cut inland for a while and then curved back to the coast, when we approached the coastline this time the landscape had started to turn into marshland.



We reached San Blas, Mexico and drove right out to the beach, We got there about an hour before sunset, busted out some beers and enjoyed the view.











Another beautiful sunset… We found a little restaurant on the beach and sat down for dinner. The beachside palapa started to fill with acrid smoke, we looked around and noticed all the palapas were belching out this smoke. It smelled a lot like citronella, and within a few seconds we realized why. We were getting eaten ALIVE by no-seeums (tiny biting insects) The restaurants did all they could to quell the flood of fly's but there was no hope. We inhaled our food and made a beeline to the truck. We discussed our options for camping that night and figured if we got out onto the beach into the breeze and setup our bug net we would be OK.

Wrong! We drove out onto the beach, bugs didn’t seem to bad. We setup our bug net around our sleeping area and passed out. Woke up in the middle of the night getting attacked by thousands of no-seeums, turns out they took a meal break and were back for seconds. They were so small they just waltzed right through our net, gave a laugh at our weak protection, and started chomping on our bodies. With not many options we buried our heads under the covers and roughed it out for the night.

When I finally poked my head out from under the covers there were thousands of dead bugs around me and tons more alive flying around my head. I jumped out of the truck and found Lauren on the beach who gave me the “Lets get the HELL outta here look!”

Read more on the blog... http://homeonthehighway.com/cruising...can-coastline/
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:58 PM   #68
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After we got our share of the beach scene we cut inland, Destination: Butterfly Kingdom.

If you haven't guessed by now we are kind of nerds. Back home we had seen a few nature documentaries on the mass migration of the Monarch butterflies. Each year the Monarch butterflies begin a huge southward migration from as far north as Canada all the way south to Mexico. This incredible journey is over 4000 miles and spans generations of Monarchs to reach its completion every year. Millions of butterflies arrive in the Michoacán highland forests of Mexico every year for the winter before turning around and heading back north for the summer. It just so happened we were here during the right months. We had to see it!

As we cut in from the coastline through the states of Jalisco we started encountering some wonderful mountain scenery and idealic farmland. Jalisco is known as the homeland of Tequila and agave farms abound. We also saw a few huge volcanoes.



Morelia is a beautiful Spanish colonial city. They have retained a lot of the architecture from the cities founding back in the 1500’s. We found it to be a wonderful town and spent a few days exploring the city alongside other Mexican tourists. I think we were the only gringos in town.



We then headed to the Monarch Butterfly Reserve. There were so many butterflies you could literally hear them flying around bumping into each other above our heads.



Read more on the blog... http://homeonthehighway.com/morelia-...terfly-reserve
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #69
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Just got done watching "Long way Down"... After we make it to Ushuaia Im thinking we sell the truck, buy some bikes and do africa!
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:29 AM   #70
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I am loving this tale! Great job and safe travels...subscribed.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #71
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glad you are enjoying it finland, actually just posted another blog on Mexico City

Double Update Goodness!


After experiencing the majesty of the butterfly kingdom we pointed our truck towards another sort of mystical place. Mexico City. Originally we had planned to skip Mexico City due to reports of violence, crime, high traffic, smog etc etc etc. However, during our few weeks traveling the country we have come to realize that 99% of things we had heard about Mexico were bullshit, so we changed our minds and we are glad we did! We ended up spending 5 days in this diverse place and barely began to touch the surface. We also partied our faces off and put a sizable dent in our Mexico budget, well worth it…

We left the highlands of Michoacán and headed towards the mountain-ringed metropolis of Mexico City. Greater Mexico City with its population of 22+ MILLION is the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the 2nd largest in the world. This place is DENSE. As we broke through the mountain tree line we saw an endless sea of concrete and buildings. Wow



We had made a friend off the internet who graciously offered to let us stay at his place, arrange us a safe spot for the truck, and be our tourguide for the duration of our visit. Note: I made these arrangements at 9PM the night before our arrival, We were lucky to find such a grand host!

We punched his address into the GPS and drove into the jungle. We tirelessly fought across the city streets making headway towards his barrio (neighborhood). The GPS said it should take 20 minutes to arrive, it ended up taking us around 3 hours. The GPS did not account for 1-way streets, curbs, and the constant reconstruction that takes place on the mean streets of Distrito Federal. Luckily we had mentally prepared ourselves for this and took it in stride, rather enjoying the wild west style of driving in the city. It’s a no-holds barred grudge match, kill or be killed, not for the feint of heart. I loved it.

We eventually arrived at Adrian’s place where he introduced us to his grandma and aunt, showed us our room, and took us to his uncles parking lot where we were able to stash the truck for a few days.

Our Mexico City adventure HQ



Wasting no time, Adrian said lets hit the city! We threw down our stuff and headed out, grabbed a cab, to a bus, bus to a train, and popped out in the middle of downtown Mexico City about 20 minutes later. The public transportation in Mexico City is cheap and reliable, bus ride was 5 pesos and I believe the train was a similar price.



Our first spot to check out was the Monumento a la Revolucion. A gigantic monument in the middle of downtown dedicated to the Mexican Revolution and the heroes who were involved in the movement. There is an elevator to the top and we headed up for a view of the city.



EL Angel


Headed to the bars to cap off our first night in D.F., lots of cool spots and plenty of hip young people out enjoying a night on the town.



and BACON WRAPPED HOTDOGS!!11 (Hotdog guy was not amused with my antics)



Woke up the next morning and headed to the Zocolo, Mexico City’s main historic square. This is where the capital building, cathedral, and Tenochtitlan ruins are located. Fun Facts, Mexico City is built ontop of the capital of the Aztec nation originally constructed in the 12th century. The whole region was once a marshy area with scattered lakes. These lakes were slowly drained and built upon over the centuries. The city is seeing the effects of building on this soft lakebed soil. The entire place is slowly sinking into the ground.





Read more on the blog... http://homeonthehighway.com/adventures-in-mexico-city/
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #72
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Just a quick question. How do you like the truck so far and how its the truck behaving.

Later
john
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Eagletalon View Post
Just a quick question. How do you like the truck so far and how its the truck behaving.

Later
john
truck is a beast, i beat the crap outta it and it just comes back for more. I do have a few outstanding issues I need to take care of soon. busted CV boot, slow oil pan gasket drip, and I punched a hole in the gastank when I overloaded the truck bottomed out my rear springs on a giant tope. JBweld is holding her together for now!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #74
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New update on the blog: http://homeonthehighway.com/accidentes-in-oaxaca/

We waved goodbye to Mexico City as we climbed up and out of the smog-choked valley into the highlands. We were headed towards Oaxaca, we had been communicating with a volunteer organization there and planned to spend a week or two assisting them. There were a few sites along the way to see first.

First stop was a small town named Cholula, just outside of Puebla, MX. Home to the 2nd largest pyramid in the world (by volume). Sounded like something we had to check out. When we arrived in town we expected to see a huge Egyptian style pyramid dominating the landscape, instead what we found was a huge hill with a giant church on top of it. Can this be it?? Looking at the signs, sure enough, that was it. We stowed our King Tut costumes and went to check it out anyway.





The church turned out be about 600 years old and was a magnificent structure. Missionaries had built it on top of the highest point in town, not realizing they were constructing on top of ancient buried ruins. By the time the ruins were discovered the church had so much history and relevance they could not remove it. Excavation of the ruins are still in progress at the bottom of the hill. Walking the excavated perimeter and looking up towards the church you can see this really was a huge pyramid at one point.






We spied some street vendors selling all kinds of fruits and snacks. Getting a closer look I saw some sort of weird bbq bug they had. Turns out they were grasshoppers, yum! Lauren opted for peanuts while I chowed down on some grasshoppers with salt and lime. Crunchy and delicious! If you come across some, eat up.



Leaving the pyramid and grasshopper delights behind we headed further south towards Oaxaca, eventually winding up into a national park whose landscape was half mountains/half desert. A weird but beautiful place with thousands of cactus rolling over the mountains. We camped here for the night.




*CAUTION: LONG STORY WITH NO PICS*

We finally arrived in Oaxaca City, but without our phone or internet we had no way to contact our host. Downtown Oaxaca is a tight maze of one-way streets, tons of foot traffic, and lots of cabs, trucks, and motorcycles all jockeying for pole position. We drove around for about an hour in an attempt to find a hostel in our guidebook. Eventually we gave up and decided to just park and look around. Easier said than done… after 30 minutes of driving in circles (Reminds me of living in San Francisco…) I finally spot a parking spot and my instincts kick in. THIS IS MY SPOT!!! I throw it in reverse to start parallel parking, crazy Mexicans are wiggling their way behind my truck as I'm backing into the spot, I finally assert my position and the coast is clear to reverse.

BAM!

Maybe not so clear after all… turns out another guy didn’t agree with my “asserted position” and tried to wiggle behind. I clipped his taillight which shattered all over the street. Grand… This should be interesting. I jump out to survey the damage, busted taillight and some scuff marks on his fender. OK, not to bad I think. We start to converse (AKA He speaks to me in Spanish and I stand there with a dumb look on my face saying “si, si, si” over and over) eventually he says something about the policia, (I know that word!) not wanting to get the cops involved I told him that I would rather just pay him cash right now. He says he's not sure how much it would cost to get fixed and says we should go to a bodyshop for an estimate. Not exactly in the power position here I say OK, we jump back in our trucks and I follow him on a 45-minute joyride to the outskirts of town wondering just how much these guys are going to take me for…

We get to the bodyshop, where an old man with gold rimmed teeth comes out and starts running his hands all over the rear of the truck. Pointing at every ding and dent on the thing with dollar signs in his eyes. Oh man… I am screwed. They converse back and forth for a while about where to get parts, paint, etc etc. Finally they come to an agreement, the guy turns to me and says it will cost 2 Mil pesos. 2 MILLION PESOS!?!?

Turns out 2 Mil is actually 2000 pesos, around $175 US. I am sure this same minimal damage would have ended up costing me upwards of 1K in the states so I quickly agree to the price. We drive up to the ATM, the guy gets out of his car and starts talking to us again in Spanish. Great, here comes the rub, I think to myself… I am not sure exactly what he wants but we eventually figure out he is saying that he could probably save us some money if we went somewhere else to get another quote. Wow, I had this guy pegged all wrong, he was actually trying to save us money not extort it from us. Feeling guilty and not really wanting to go on another tour of Oaxaca, I told him I am happy to give him 2000 pesos, he thought we were dumb but agreed. 2000 pesos exchanged and we were back on the road. Escaping our first (and hopefully last) accident on this trip only $175 lighter in the pocket. Everything went better than expected.

Frustrated, overheated, and our budget burned up for the week. We said screw it and left Oaxaca in the rearview. We hope to return someday as we heard this was a wonderful city, maybe I will just find a parking spot on the outskirts of town next time…

We headed west up and over a mountain range from Oaxaca towards the Isthmus of Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula.

We wound up near the top of the mountain and found an amazing campsite down a small dirtpath. Secluded, beautiful, and quiet, just what we needed after a hectic day in Oaxaca.



We watched the clouds roll in over the mountainous valley below and the sun set on another day in paradise. Sometimes we have to stop and remind ourselves what really matters, Will we remember that $175 and this frustrating day in 3 months? Or will we remember this beautiful spot on our amazing adventure together?

Its easy to let your “problems” melt away with scenes like this.



http://homeonthehighway.com/accidentes-in-oaxaca/
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:15 PM   #75
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Following along with great interest.. also on Facebook. I am a few bad days at work away from packing up my FZJ80, picking up my girlfriend and dog and doing the same.
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