Best Ride from Mexico City to SMA?

First class Mexican bus.

  A reader writes: I’m flying into Mexico City August 1st and going to San Miguel de Allende. I’ve found two different ways of getting there and wondered if there might be a better one or which of the two is the best. There’s a bus from the airport to Queretero and a cab from there to SMA. Or, I could take a cab to to Central Norte Bus Station and catch a bus direct to SMA. I was also […]

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The People's Guide to Why Your Car Won't Start

Steve Rogers and Carl Franz wearing sombreros.

editor’s note: El Codo is a retired lead acid battery design engineer and battery performance tester You don’t need any tools or mechanical “savvy” to do this diagnostic. Print this page out. Fold it, and stick inside the glove box. If you turn the key and your car plays possum, calmly sit back and breeze through this diagnostic checklist. Let’s Diagnose! If you turn the key and the starter motor whirrs but does not start the engine, it means the […]

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Can I Rent a Car in Mexico and Drive to Panama?

  Just received this missive from a reader: Hi.  I can’t find any useful information about the logistics of renting a car in Mexico (Cancun), and driving it south to Panama.  Is it possible?  What papers would I need (other than passport)?  Please help! I’m not in the habit of renting cars in Mexico, and I’ve never driven as far south as Panama. Anyone got anything on this?

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Road to Bahia Tortugas, Baja?

Flag of baja california sur

  A reader writes: Need to meet a boat In Turtle Bay in June – – – wondering what the road condition will from the main highway to Turtle? Codo answers: When you are in the town of Vizcanio, fill up your tank at the Pemex gasolinera on your right before the intersection to Tortugas. There is a gasolinera in Bahia Tortugas but it’s an awful long way in case it’s out of gas. In Vizcaino, there will be a […]

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Letter from a Reader: Retire in Baja?

editor’s note: A reader named Sarah wrote us with the subject line “retire to baja.” Of course I passed this on to our resident retirement/baja expert El Codo, who demanded to know more about Sarah’s needs/situation. Sarah: I plan to go to Mexico this summer.  I have limited funds so will need inexpensive housing.  Would a long term older hotel be a good choice?  I have  few belongings to bring.  Having a place furnished would needed.  I am 71 and […]

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More on the Hidden Perks of the Mexican Bus System

I found myself alone around noon on a 1st class bus just north of Mazatlan. I watched with curiosity as the “ayudante,” the driver’s helper, worked his way back to my seat midway down the length of the vehicle. “¿You speak Spanish?” I replied to the affirmative. “¿Do you like pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense?” Yes of course I love charcoal grilled chicken. Why the questions, I wondered? “Si!” Me gusta pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense.” Without another word the […]

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The Palapa Files: Home Sweet Tilapia Pond

Chito's campground, Tenacatita

And then we went from partying on the piazza of a pseudo-Moorish palace to camping in the dirt in a defunct tilapia farm. The tilapia farm in question is located behind Chito’s restaurant, about a kilometer from Tenacatita beach, on the coast of Jalisco. Since the failure of the tilapia venture, Chito has been busy building a campground on the site, replete with palapas, a volleyball court, and supposedly showers, though we never exactly saw that dream materialize. I shouldn’t […]

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Partying at the Taj Miguel

I like huts and I like vans. I don’t exactly like tents, but I feel at home in the bastards. When I go on a trip to Mexico, I expect to spend the majority of my time camping in the dirt or sand, with rudimentary bathroom facilities and numerous coolers. I do not expect to spend my time in a pseudo-Moorish palace, replete with minarets and sculptures of Nubian slaves. A reunion of the family of friends that centered around […]

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The Temporary Import Permit Tempest

By Captain Elizabeth Shanahan Owner SG Boat Works Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico   A number of published news reports about the temporary import permit audit performed at twelve Mexican marinas by the Mexican IRS earlier this month have unnecessarily upset boat owners and disrupted normal business dealings in the marine industry. But the facts don’t support any hysteria. “Don’t worry about your boats,” Tere Grossman, spokesperson for the Mexican Marinas Association says. “I expect the liens to be lifted in […]

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Mexican Government Seizes Yachts?

  Associated Press reporters Mark Stevenson and Amy Taxin describe a recent sting operation on eight Mexican marinas. According to the AP, tax agents and marines descended to seize yachts that were lacking a necessary permit: “After inspecting more than 1,600 vessels in late November, the Mexican government’s Treasury Department announced it had initiated seizure orders against 338 boats it accused of lacking a $70 permit. The office says it has four months to decide whether to release the boards […]

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