Skip to content

Driving South – Cholula to San Cristobal

January 24, 2012

We needed to get a bit of a move on with our trip South so over the course of three days we went all the way from Cholula to San Cristobal in Chiapas. This doesn’t look so far but the roads are hard work and slow going so it took three days of driving to get all the way to San Cristobal.

Our two stopovers on the way South were at Oaxaca and at Arriga. Neither were very nice. At Arriga there was a gale blowing all night (not surprising given the enormous windfarm we had gone past just before getting there). At Oaxaca we tried to go to a campground that sounds really nice but there were roadworks (an entire road ripped up) along the Main access road. We ended up trying to get round the roadworks and driving down smaller and smaller roads. We bailed and went to the other not so nice campground – we later learnt that the one that we had been trying to get to was shut anyway.

The road to San Cristobal from Tuxtla Gurritez is only 40 miles but it’s a slow 40 miles with an elevation gain of over 2000m in that distance. We went on the faster (and shorter) toll road but we still ground up it at 25 miles an hour !

On this journey we had two small mechanical problems. Firstly at Arriga we noticed that at the back of the truck one of the metal struts with the lights on was about to fall off. The rough roads had obviously caused it to bounce around and fatigue the metal. We needed a welder to fix it up.

The great thing about Mexico is that things like this are easy to get done. We asked in the place we were staying whether they knew of a welder and found there was one just up the road. We went to the welder and he said he could do us straight away and it would cost USD20.  The bit that took us a while was that we had to get the beam off the back of the truck and this involved unplugging all the lights and undoing all the bolts. Once we’d managed this it only took the welder under an hour to fix it up – just as good as new. Another few minutes to bolt it back on the truck and we were on our way.

The other thing that happened which stopped us in our tracks is that while we were driving one of the hoses attached to the brakes on one of our front wheels blew off. This had the affect of slamming the brakes on one wheel on, causing the truck to slew across the road. I managed to get the truck under control and pull over to the side of the road. A temporary repair got us back on the road – with some tape wrapped around the hose connector but the hose would need replacing as soon as we could. Not a real big deal but dangerous if it happened again at the wrong time.

The picture shows the new air line (Blue) that we had put on in Merida. It’s the connection at the frame side that blew out.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: