Saturday, November 30, 2013

RV Trip West Coast Route 200 Mexico

The mountains between Oaxaca city and coast road 200
 pose a barrier that will require 8 hours to cross.

RV Trip West Coast Mexico

Coast Road 200
      The Coastal Highway Route 200 is  two lane blacktop along the Pacific Coast between the mountains and the coastal villages. This road called Route 200 is free of tolls and runs all the way from Tapachula, Chiapas to the area of Tepic near the coastal village of San Blass.  North of Tepic the road becomes Route 15 and continues along the coast and then swing eastward towards Hermosillo.  The road eventually connects to Nogales Mexico.

A toll road cuts through the mountains north 
of Oaxaca city.

There are also roads north of Oaxaca through the mountains.  These roads offer scenery much like you might find in Arizona and Utah. The newest road is two-lane, high speed, Cuota, (toll) from Oaxaca to Mexico City.   There is also a Libre, (Free) road running in the same direction between Mexico City and Oaxaca. This is the old road, narrow and winding, that  passes through many interesting towns.
 These roads are well surfaced. and make Mexico  an enjoyable place to drive.  The scenery is magnificent in the high country of the Mixtec Alta and Puebla while less interesting on the coast as it is flat for the most part and through dense tropical forest with few views of the ocean.  Both these routes pose a few hazards, foremost among them, topes. (speed bumps).
The road between Mexico City and Chihuahua 
goes over the Central Plateau.

Topes are annoying speed bumps that are at the entrance to every town to slow traffic.  Many of them are not marked and they present a significant hazard if you hit one at high speed.  These are sometimes indicated with a sign Tope (in the south, Oaxaca) Reductador, or Vibrador in the north round Mazatlan.  If you drive in Mexico you cannot escape hitting a tope, even the local drivers slam into them.

Mexico's gas comes exclusively from the Pemex station. They are standardized throughout the country.  
Regardless of your destination: Chiapas or Morelia, Merida or Veracruz, you will gas up at Pemex and the price will be the same.  On remote mountain roads such as the one from Mazatlan to Durango and on to Zacatecas and the ruin of Alta Vista, you might find gas at the small markets in an independent set up.  This might be a restaurant or convenience store that dispenses gas from a plastic jug at a slightly higher price because there are no Pemex stations nearby.

You should get out of the car and note the reading on the gas pump before the attendant starts the pump.  Make sure that the meter reads zero. Check again that you received the full amount before you pay; otherwise you might receive less than you paid for.

Pemex Rest Areas
If you are traveling by RV watch for the Pemex stations outside of the congested cities, they will have a wide paved or gravel area where you can park for an extended rest.  Otherwise the roads do not offer rest areas.  You can find the 24 hour Pemex that will be well-lit with a security person on duty.

Next: Road Trip Coastal, Oaxaca City to Nogales


San Blas Longfellow Connection

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