Want to go to Mexico but would rather avoid being beheaded? You long for those long warm Mexican winters but wonder if you are gambling with your life? And what about those crooked cops and Moctezuma’s revenge? No worries. Mexperts Bill and Dorothy Bell are returning to the Vancouver area to teach you the tips on driving and RVing south of the US border.
Thousands of Canadian snowbirds continue to drive south to Mexico every year – many to RV and camp in a “tropical paradise” despite the well publicized safety concerns over reports of violence. The reason? Canadian winters.
“It’s the weather, the people and the affordability,” says Dorothy Bell who along with her husband Bill Bell are the creators of OnTheRoadIn.com, the largest and best known website on road travel and safety in Mexico. Considered experts in the field, they have visited every Mexican state a dozen times and know the great spots to snowbird or retire.
“Travelling in Mexico by road has always had a sense of adventure to it; before it was the banditos, now it is the drug wars, but it has never stopped the thousands of snowbirds who call Mexico home for six months of the year,” says Dorothy. “We are not discounting that the drug war in Mexico is a reality but we are saying that if you follow some very simple rules, as a visitor to Mexico you can be safer than travelling through many big American cities.”
The Bells have developed an extensive collection of road logs that cover the entire country and provide the reader extensive information on highway routes including a visual diagram of the highway with details such as whether the road is 2 or 4 lanes, and has shoulders. The road logs also give KM markings and visual landmarks to give confidence to the driver that they are indeed on the right road.
“There are some traffic rules and driving customs that are different than Canada,” says Bill. “We teach the formal rules of the road as well as the customs and subtlies.” The course includes what to pack, what documents are required as well as what to bring in your car or RV. Being prepared makes traveling safer and more enjoyable.
The Bells give these suggestions for those who want to drive in Mexico:
1. When you can, stick to the toll roads in Mexico. They are usually in good condition and are well marked and patrolled on a regular basis.
2. Never drive at night. Road conditions are different in Mexico. You need light to see poorly marked topes (speed bumps) animals and rocks on the road.
3. Plan out your trip so as to leave early and arrive at your destination early. If you have a breakdown you have an opportunity to get help before darkness.
4. In Mexico a left turn signal on the highway is usually an invitation to pass the vehicle; but be careful. It could mean they are turning left.
5. Drive defensively. Mexicans are generally very laid back people who have a flexible attitude towards arriving on time. Put behind the wheel of a car, the situation changes drastically. Expect impatient drivers, passing on solid lines, and other dangerous stunt car driver tactics.
On September 9th 2012, the Bells will be at the Sandman Inn in Langley, British Columbia offering a four hour seminar on everything you need to know about Driving and RVing in Mexico. Topics include: What to see and what to avoid; Driving tips, border crossing; and The rules of the Mexican road, among others.
The seminar starts at 9 am and costs $110 per couple or $60 per single registration. For more information or to register for the event, visit OnTheRoadIn.com, send an email to editor(at)ontheroadin.com or phone 1 (604) 670-0504.
Dorothy and Bill Bell have lectured about Mexico Road and RV travel in colleges, RV Shows and private seminars throughout Western Canada and the US. They have travelled to all 31 states over a dozen times and are considered experts on road travel in this amazing country.
Visit OnTheRoadIn.com to view photos and articles about Mexico. You can contact Bill and Dorothy at editor(at)ontheroadin.com.
The Mazatlan Post