Angels on the Road to Puerto Vallarta: Snowbirds are returning to Mexico this time of year and many will be on the path to Puerto Vallarta. Expats who live here during the winter and early spring come from all over the United States and Canada. Each party will claim their chosen route the best, their choice of crossing the easiest, and their method of travel the quickest or most leisurely. They’re all fine as long as you use common sense.
RV travelers are known to caravan to Puerto Vallarta, stopping in groups, pouring cocktails, and discussing whose GPS system is superior. This is a practical way to travel though it’s not cheap; big rigs require a lot more fuel and can’t zip along quite as fast. What’s saved in gasoline however, can be made up for in cooking on the spot. When you travel with your kitchen, you save money on eating out.
Pulling trailers behind vehicles calls for twice the licensing and added expenses, such as insurance and equipment, plus extra fuel costs. Minivans are great for stuffing to the rims. When headed to Puerto Vallarta, a car will suffice, as long as you’re not determined to drag along everything from up north, short of that handy kitchen sink.
What happens to vehicles if they break down on the long journey to Puerto Vallarta? There’s no reason to despair. If you’re experiencing problems, pull over and raise your hood. If you’ve driven the highways of Mexico, you have seen the Green Angels, who park under overpasses along the toll roads; they will come to your rescue. Ángeles Verdes are a government sponsored AAA, the guardians of road travelers, patrolling all federal and toll highways throughout the country. They’re sometimes bi-lingual, though mechanical failures don’t regularly entail language barriers. They will provide first aid if needed and gladly supply everything from cold water to promos for tourist attractions. Chiefly, they will help with your crisis, or tow you to the nearest mechanic. One thing you can be sure of in Mexico is that if you do have a breakdown, someone will phone in your location. You can do it, too, by calling 078 from any phone.
The Mexican Tourism Ministry offers this service to all motorists, no matter where you’re from, and there’s no charge. They bring spare parts, a variety of tools and friendly mechanics. If you need major parts, that’s your responsibility but they will tow you to the next available service station regardless of distance. Tipping is appreciated and recommended, and the amount is up to you. We suggest generosity in the face of immense gratitude.
If you read your toll receipts you’ll see contact information for the Green Angels printed at the bottom of every one.
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