Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The oil pan and the “no-tell motel”

We're getting settled into our house here in Mazatlan and it's large and clean and comfortable.  The only problem is I'm not able to get my computer to work on the internet there.  Sometimes these iBooks have a problem with certain networks.  I'm trying to scramble it out today.  Meanwhile I'm posting from a nearby coffee shop.

I shall quickly tell you the sad story of Monday afternoon.  I can do so now that the stress is relieved and everything worked out.  We returned from El Fuerte on a different road that came through many little villages with topes, speed bumps, pedestrians, school children , burros and carts.  It was a very slow drive, so when we hit the highway we were revved to get going to make it to Culiacan to stop overnight for the last leg of our trip.  However it was not to be.

Not two miles onto the highway we hit a piece of tire that somehow punctured our oil pan.  We pulled over at a fortunately placed gas station and watched all the oil leak out onto the tarmac.  So it was Wanda’s turn to get a tow to the repair shop.  It took a while before they could take a look to see what other damage might have been done, so we had to take the dogs out and walk around the back streets of Los Mochis for several hours.  Finally we found that they could fix it that day and we walked along the highway to the nearest motel (about three kilometers).  We were so pleased to find a place that accepted dogs, that it didn’t matter that it was a “no-tell motel.”  

We’ve heard about these places from other travelers.  They exist on the outskirts of most Mexican cities and they are specifically designed as places where men can take their mistresses for a tryst.  The building are always surrounded by high walls so nobody passing by can see identify the cars inside.  As a further precaution, the parking spaces can be curtained off.  The room we had was pretty bare, just a double bed, two big towels, and a tv/video with very unusual programming (need I say more?)  The oddest thing was this little gadget, which is spins around to the outside of the room. It’s designed so that the occupants can have food delivered and pay for it without having to show their faces.

People who travel in Mexico have suggested that these places can be fine as they’re clean and quite cheap.  You can pay by the hour if you like.  We found it reasonable but extremely noisy.  Cars and people were coming and going all night, with laughing and fighting, and barking dogs.  I don’t think we’ll be repeating this experience.

We were glad to get back on the road early the next morning and make it to Mazatlan.


  1. Are you sure you're not in Japan? LOL

    Poor Wanda. How embarrassing for her to lose her fluids in front of everyone like that! Glad to hear her little issue didn't turn out to be a much bigger deal. Harry's mechanical Spanish must really be coming along! Hopefully he won't have to use it again any time soon!

    Good luck with sorting out your internet!

    We're on day 2 of sunny but cold here at home...

  2. You are much more adventurous than I, my dear. I'd be worried about what I'd see if I sprayed the room with luminal and had a really good look-see. Yikes.

  3. Linette, yes it could have been a lot worse.
    Rudee, I think we won't be going to one of those places again. It was desperation.
    Take care,

  4. That's a great adventure! One of those stories to tell the grandkids...someday. Wanda's adventure was not near as much fun. Glad it was all sorted with a minimum of anxiety. I'm impressed with how well you two deal with these mechanical worries.

  5. joanna you see "no-tell" has been in my lexicon for a long time but i've not actually had such detail about the reality of such a love palace! thanks for this! steven


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