Sunday, August 17, 2008

Boondocking Mexico - What Do You Do For Water?

As much as I like to be on the road and away from it all, I like to shower everyday. For starters, we all know the different routines for conserving water when showering. In my case, I use the old Navy method. Rinse, soap up and rinse again. I guess I'm still pretty brave, but I even take advantage of the first spurts of water that come out even though it can be mighty cold. So a lot of people ask me the question, "What do you do for water?". Not a tough one but most people are afraid to hear the answer. The fear of contaminated water is associated with Mexico. Does it exist, you bet it does. Checking your sources first is the best idea. (I have had tap water from every hotel and restaurant in Mexico over my 15 years traveling with the publisher, not one problem yet. A lot of people who get the crud think its the water. Think again, bad food handling).

We start out our trips with at least 1/2 a tank of water. We also care a five gallon jug of well water from the house or filtered water. We never buy bottled from the store. Okay, call me cheap. Water is water and it has been around for bazillions of years. We p--- and moan about the cost of gasoline but I never here anyone complain about the price of water. Maybe we need a site like to monitor water prices,
I will say that I like my coffee brewed with filtered water. So we go to these filtration stations you see around supermarkets. We found them pretty much all over on our trips. The price for the 5 gallon fillup is 10 pesos. You can't beat the price.

I keep saying I am going to collect water samples one trip and see what comes up. That would have been great on this last trip but time is my enemy. Never enough. So here is what we do when we are running low and need a fillup.

We usually fill up the fresh water tank at a Pemex. I don't use the squirter hose they have for filling the radiator. I find the "toma" or "llave" de agua and ask if I can connect my hose. I also ask if they drink the water from the line. Will I get an honest answer? I think so. But without going into a rampage on bottled fashion, just about everyone here in Mexico drinks bottled water. As poor as we are supposed to be, we pay 8 to 15 pesos for 350 mls of water. Sad consumer statistics when we know a glass bottle (envase) filled with agua mineral (club soda) is highly purified water and costs 3 pesos.

We also fill up at schools, churches, and even restaurants. Asking permission first is a must. If you just hookup and fill don't be surprised if you get a "¿que est├ís haciendo?". We don't want that. So far we have never been refused water. Even at city parks and plazas the gardner will give us a fill up. What other options are there if you are on the road and boondocking. It is just a matter of asking. Remember, almost all of the places above receive their water from the government or better yet, paid for by the government. My 120 liters won't break the bank and we always give a tip for the use of the water. Good customer relations!

Follow a few safety tips:

  • smell, taste and spit
  • use a filter system on your rv (cheap from Home Depot, you can buy them here too)
  • Brita pitcher model for drinking and coffee brewing
  • use your own hose

  • add chlorine to the tank (one teaspoon for every ten gallons)
BTW, I never buy a bottle of water. When I was a kid and we were out shopping or whatever we looked for a water cooler or we waited until we got home. Bottled water now costs on the average $23 pesos a gallon here in Mexico and those are the cheap waters. They recently discovered that some of the fancier brands use filtered New York city water.

So wherever you are in Mexico, just feel free to ask for a fill up and you will always be granted your wish!

Globalization-CBS Sunday Morning

Sitting here watching Sunday Morning on CBS. They're talking about the decline of the U.S. economy. An expert said, "I am afraid that in the future history will tell us that the U.S. was responsible for globalizing the world, but forgot to globalize itself".

I think that the playing field is being leveled and I don't see it as a threat. Isn't what we have been fighting for to equalize economies, reduce poverty, eliminate hunger? 179 countries have up and rising economies. I think we should celebrate their success and also praise the economic powers who have had a hand in the process. I don't want a world of have-nots, my wish is that everyone is prosperous in whatever way they choose.

Instead of Viva Mexico!, God Bless America and Oh Canada, we change that to God Bless The World and all human beings.
Visit To Allende

I hadn't been to the house in Allende for a couple of weeks and wanted to check on several things. One, we had ants the last time we went. I also wanted to do some cleaning and to make sure the grass was cut. Everything is fine and the place spic and span. However, the central a/c keeps popping a circuit breaker although nothing else is on, not even the refrigerator. This week I'll have to give Rene the electrician a call.

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