Posts Tagged Puerto Vallarta

Lingering Success

Posted on March 21, 2010 by 8 Comments

We’ve been lingering in PV for what feels like forever and we are really ready to get moving. Finally, we’re almost ready to go.

We had been camping under a mango tree and the fruit would fall off whenever the wind picked up throughout the day. They would hit the pop-top and make it reverberate like drum. We hadn’t been getting the best night’s sleep. Fortuntely, we were booted from our camping spot to make way for another French Canadian caravan.

When we landed in our next camping spot… it was full with another French Canadian caravan. These folks travel and they travel en masse. Nevertheless, there were a few spots still available and we pulled in between some giant RV’s. A day later, they all fired up their engines and drove off. We were essentially alone except for a few stragglers. Even better was that we were walking distance to Volks Vallarta.

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I made a few more trips to see Alberto and he kept us going with parts. The new coil was holding up and kept us running, but there was something else obliviously wrong. I had pulled the plugs many times and noticed that the #1 cylinder was burning far too rich, but but the rest were fine. This made no sense to me, since #1 and #2 share the same carb and intake, so the mixture should be the same. The spark was there and everything else seemed okay. I adjusted the valves way too many times, checked for vacuum leaks the best I could, and tweaked the carbs again and again but I couldn’t figure it out.

Finally, I decided to take off the carb and manifold and just poke around and clean it up and hope for some sort of indication of what was going on. It’s still a little baffling, but I think I figured it out.

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At the base of the intake manifold are the two ports. Mine are not centered. I don’t know if this is normal or if it’s a manufacturing defect. The metal seal used to connect it to the cylinder head is centered with the bolt holes. This causes the raised sealing surface to not be centered on the manifold intake  ports. Of course, I’ve been driving like this the entire trip (well, since Portland) and haven’t had a problem. I must have been lucky. Other than the miles and miles of vibrating, I’m not sure what would cause it to be problematic now, but it seems to have been my leak.

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I ‘fixed’ it by getting a new seal and cutting around the bolt holes with tin snips so I could center the sealing surface around the ports (rather than the bolt holes.) I’ve carried tin snips the entire trip and use them all the time – very handy.

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Since I had things in pieces and was already filthy, I decided to pull off the rest of my vacuum lines and go through those as well. Seemed okay.

I put it all back together and fired it up with more signs of improvement. I had to go back and re-tune the carbs and I’m almost happy with it. The thing about tuning the carbs is that they have to be synchronized. I bought the tool way back in Canada, but it doesn’t fit the top of the carbs because of the way the filters get attached. I’ve been to hardware and plumbing stores trying to find something to use as an adapter to make it work but haven’t found anything. What works? The top half of a Pringles can. Yes, I bought the chips just to use the can.

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One more thing to note. I’ve been driving the entire trip with the wrong jack and never noticed it. Every time I needed a jack, some friendly person had a floor jack or better on hand and I just used theirs. I’ve never pulled mine out from under the seat since we left. I never tried to use it before we left because I had my own floor jack. Anyway, I pulled it out to use it and it doesn’t fit. The jack insert is round and my jack points are square. Round peg into a square hole. Story of my life.

I made a few more trips to see Alberto and he kept us moving with the repairs.

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Welcome to Canada

Posted on March 19, 2010 by 6 Comments

We’re still in PV and held up a bit trying to take care of all of our outstanding issues. The bus is running, but still not great. I’m working on it and making more trips to Alberto’s. Also, we had shipped a package (a fairly expensive one) to ourselves at the condo several weeks ago and it never arrived. It’s simply disappeared and no one claims to know anything about it. It just hasn’t been our week (or two.) We’re still camped here and will stay until we take care of all the miscellaneous whatnot.

We’re in an RV park that’s pretty close to the center of Puerto Vallarta. But, It turns out it’s actually in the middle of Quebec. No kidding. We are the only non-French speaking people in the entire place. Instead of saying “Hola!” to everyone we meet, we now say “Bonjour!” It’s Weirdsville.
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It’s not that all of Canada isn’t represented – it is. But they’re all originally from Quebec. There’s someone here with Alaskan plates, but he’s French Canadian too.

It’s actually kind of interesting – being immersed in Montreal in Mexico. It seems like we’re on an entirely different trip. But, Bode is frustrated. He’s found some kids here and tried to initiate some sort of play with them and they refuse to speak to him – literally. He’s been playing with the local Mexican kids every day with no regards to language and they have all been great. The French-Canadian kids have an attitude. He’s speaking in some taboo tongue and they literally turn around and ignore him. He even tried some Spanish to no avail. C’est la vie?

The good news is that our decision whether or not to stay at this particular campground has been made for us. We’re being evicted to make way for a giant Canadian caravan. From Quebec. A big soiree and we’re not invited. Au revoir!

Also, I was listening to The Mountain Goats today and thought I would share what is possibly the worst song lyric ever: “Our love is like the border between Greece and Albania.” This makes Neil Diamond’s “…song she sang to me, song she brang to me” sound like poetry. I think the Spice Girls had some of the worst lyrics ever (not that I would know,) but the border between Greece and Albania?

One more fun fact: You can get a roll of toilet paper and a popsicle for 10 pesos.

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Filed Under: Jalisco

Julie’s Top Ten

Posted on March 18, 2010 by 1 Comment

Like before, Julie’s visit concluded with us on the side of the road. And, like before, she wrapped it up with a guest blog post…

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Four tickets to paradise? I packed my bags that night!

Top 10 highlights from my trip to paradise … village:

10. Yoplait con manzanas.

9. Big Mac, Mc Flurry Cranky and a barrel of tequila.

8. No bug bites!

7. Paradise pants.

6. Mis alto lattes con leche entera, sin spuma.

5. Translating E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for Bode from Spanish to English while he hid behind  is blanket because apparently just the music is enough to scare the paradise pants off that kid.

4. Bode commenting on his relaxing candle lit bubble bath: “There’s nothing better than this!”.

3. Swimming with Bode in the pool and the ocean, watching Bode play with his Leapster, watching Bode make a beeline for every kid he saw, watching Bode display his swimming skills for everyone in the pool who made eye contact with him (and for those who didn’t even notice him), listening to Bode spell, hearing Bode pronounce vi-o-lon-ce-llo over and over again, getting a really great hug good-bye from Bode!

2. The week’s motto: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, except drink tequila.

1. Taxi ride to the airport – did I mention the van broke down on the way to the airport again? A curse? Deja vu? Really bad luck? Or just another day in paradise …. village.

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We’ve been thinking about starting a roaming tour guide operation. We’ll pick you up at the airport and set you up somewhere really cool and entertain you all week. At the end, we’ll break down on the side of the road and send you away in a taxi – the complete BodesWell experience for a low low price! Contact us for details ;)

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We didn’t buy a thing

Posted on March 11, 2010 by 4 Comments

We headed into town to explore a bit and ended up on the beach having a few cervezas and watching the waves roll in. Boogies boarders hopping on and off giant waves that would break right on the beach – looked fun.

Anyway, since we’re being lazy this week I suggested we go easy on the blog posts. Here’s an idea: just take a picture of each person that comes to sell us junk over the next 20 minutes. Angela grabbed the camera, but didn’t last 15. That’s about one vendor every 30 seconds.

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Vacation in PV

Posted on March 10, 2010 by 2 Comments

We have been persistently pushing south the past few days because we had a date in Puerto Vallarta. We made it exactly on time in order to take advantage of an incredibly generous offer from Dee. She set us up in her condo here for an entire week! Amazing!

We were hoping that she would be able to join us for some relaxing in the sun, but it turns out she could not make it. Sorry we missed you and best wishes Dee! Thanks again!

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On the way down, we stopped near a sleepy little town called Monteon, right on the beach. Nice place – very quiet. We then cruised to the airport to pick up a visitor… Julie! We didn’t scare her off the first time, so we’ll see what happens this time.

We retired to the condo to start the R&R proper. It’s nice – REALLY nice (thanks again Dee!) Bode is in heaven, with multiple pools and giant water slides right on the beach. Without a doubt, this is the nicest place we’ve stayed over the entire trip (no offense to anyone who’s hosted us, but you don’t have a giant alligator water slide in your backyard.)

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A few nights ago we met a guy that gave us a little barrel of tequila (he was on a bike and couldn’t carry it.)  Angela’s rule for the week is “You can say ‘no’ to anything you want all week… except the tequila.”

Also, if you are up on your Portuguese, we were just mentioned here.

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Filed Under: Jalisco