Van No Longer Starts

October 2016: Busy in Mexico

This is the seventh monthly summary I wrote. I can’t believe that I’ve actually been on the road for seven months now. It feels every normal to live in a van and live through new adventures every week. I expected I might get annoyed by it after a while but so far I’m still enjoying most of it. This month was not a normal month for me. I flew back to Europe twice and the two weeks in between I had Tessa and Egbert join me in the van. Both the trips home and having extra people meant I had less empty time to relax, plan and write stories. While I was home the second time I looked at my planning and I compared my budget to my expenses and I decided to slow down some more. I added 4 months to my overall planning. I’d rather have some extra time and decide to stop in Panama than have to hurry all the way down to Argentina. But don’t worry, my plan is still to get to Argentina, only now I won’t get there before October next year.

 

The Good

  • Travelling with Tessa and Egbert: having company is great. Also being kicked out of your habits once again is a good way to re-evaluate your trip (I should go out for dinner more often and stay in hostels while I’m in cities). Also being able took at the views instead of at the potholes while on the road is awesome!
  • Staying in hostels meant being able to walk around towns in the evening. Good fun.
  • Flying home again this time to see a lot of my friends from Zurich at a wedding

The Bad

  • Flying back twice in a month, roadblocks and van problems made the plans very tight
  • Getting into a car crash was definitely a bad plan, luckily the damage was limited
  • Loads of problems with the van, fixing them is expensive

 

The Unforgettable

  • Four days of hanging on the beach, snorkeling and opening coconuts (Tulum)
  • Fixing the van at the side of a steep highway after it kept overheating by bypassing some sensors (San Cristobal)
  • Bars, restaurants, stores, basically everything being decorated with skulls and skeletons (Dia de Muertos)

 

The Stats

  • No days: 31 (256 total)
  • No. km: 3759 (34850 total)
  • Countries: Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, Cuba (stopover only)
  • States/Provinces: DF, Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo
  • No. Border crossings: 5 (5 by plane)
  • No. of places stayed at: 13 (8 campsites, 4 hostels)
  • Hikes: I didn’t do any hike hikes, from now on I’ll keep track of ruins visits as hikes too (long distances, loads of heights)
  • Books: 3
  • Movies: 14 (loads of flying)
  • New Beers: 21
  • Photos: 934
  • Weather:
    • Days: warmest 32 coldest 16, average 27
    • Nights: warmest 26, coldest 12, average 20

Daily costs for October

  • Campsites: 8 Euro per night (plan was 10)
  • Food: 8 Euro per day (plan was 6)
  • Fun: 3 Euro per day (plan was 5)
  • Total: 19 Euro per day (plan was 21)

The camping in Mexico is still very cheap. Even when spending 4 nights in hostels I’m still at an average of 8 euro per day. I’m a bit over budget for food but that’s because with Tessa and Egbert visiting I went out for dinner/lunch more often. But I do have to mention that the 8 euros per day is still way under the original budget of 10 euro per day that I started Mexico with. In total I now spend some 16 euros per day for food/camping/fun where I had originally planned 35. Being in Mexico for some 2 months this saves me almost 1000 euros. Score!

 

Overall driving (6 months):

  • Distance: 34850 (plan was 35154)
  • Fuel costs: 63 cents/l (plan was 68 cents/l)
  • Efficiency: 11.2 km/l (plan was 10.5 km/l)

Splitting diesel with Tessa and Egbert for 2.5 weeks was a big money saver. Efficiency is a bit lower now (probably because of extra weight of 2 people plus luggage and van troubles). For the first time ever my actual distance is lower than the expected. I do have to note that the expected is an updated version. Before I left in April the plan was that by this part of Mexico I would be at some 20000 km, so that way I’ve done 15000 extra. Whooops…

 

Other costs:

This month was a big one:

  • 200 euros to pay for the car crash
  • 200 euros for two new tires
  • 200 euros for new battery, alternator belt, radiator fan, diesel filter, etc, etc

Luckily Tessa and Egbert offered to pay a part of my maintenance costs. THANKS!!

See you next month!

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