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A Wet and Wild Ride

Last weekend was Mexican Independence Day. The celebrations go on for about a 4 day weekend.

I took that opportunity to head out to Manzanillo for one last beach run.

You might have a couple of questions after that last sentence.

One being, how did I get there because my car has been broken down for what seems like forever.

That is true.

I have replaced nearly everything except the motor and transmission in the car since getting to Mexico. The only things left were the radiator and serpentine belt.

Since it's cheaper to purchase them in the US, I bought a used one on eBay (the one I installed last time was the same) and brought it with me to Mexico. Wouldn't you know it, the eBay store had mislabeled it and so they had sent me the wrong one. I didn't know until I went to put it in and it didn't line up. Good grief.

I emailed the company and they profusely apologized and said they'd send out the correct one that afternoon. Obviously that wasn't going to help me so I thanked them for the effort but said a refund would be just fine. Luckily they agreed.

So now I have a used radiator for a car I don't know. Whoopee!

The fortunate part of this story is that I live within walking distance to an AutoZone. So with my alternator removed, I walked in hoping they would have the part for my car. Counting all my lucky stars, they did. It wasn't in that store, but they got it delivered later that day.

When I got the new alternator back home, I went to put it in and one of the bolts wouldn't tighten. That was odd since it was tight in my old one and when I had lined it up with the wrong alternator it tightened in that one too. Still, my bolt was old so I went the next day to get a new one. Bought 4 bolts, brought them home, and they did not tighten.

So back to AutoZone I went with the 2nd alternator the next day. They accepted the return and put in an order for another one. A few hours later I returned to pick up alternator no. 3.

I carted it home and slid it in place and my old bolt tightened right up.

Somehow in the 3 months I was in the US over the summer, my serpentine belt grew a 6 inch vertical crack. I'm not sure how but it needed replaced so I purchased a new one that last trip I made to AutoZone and waited for the weekend in order to use someone's jack since I don't have one.

After a few rounds of PB Blaster, I was able to jack the motor up enough to wrestle the serpentine belt out from between the motor mount screws and slide the new one in.

One of the Mexican mechanics along the way destroyed my belt diagram and didn't tell me before I got the car home and noticed, so luckily there is google. Put the belt on and started her up.

What a purr.

All the knocks and bangs and whines were missing.

I waited.

And waited.

Drove the car around.

Still nothing.

Drove around town the next day.

No new noises.

I couldn't believe it!

So, I decided to test her out and take her to the beach one last time.

Why one last time?

That's the second question you may have.

Turns out that life it shifting again for me and I will be leaving Mexico to return to the US. I do not wish to do so as I despise living in the US but sometimes life circumstances can't be helped.

So I had one last chance to go to the beach.

Wouldn't you know it, tropical storm Matilda came too.

The torrential downpour was reminiscent of the typhoon I experienced in Jeju Korea. Within an hour, there was over a foot of water in the street. This was on the very first night. It rained the entire time I was there to some degree. The beach was taken over by the sea foam raging from the storm waves up to the restaurant and hotel walls.

So I didn't get to go swimming in the ocean or take a long walk along the beach, but I did get to sit in restaurants and eat with a view of the tempest and my AirBnB had a lovely view of the bay where (when the rain was lite enough) I could see the boats in the harbor rocking up and down.

It wasn't the ideal beach vacation, but being near the sea was better than the city. The drive back was pure rain until an hour from home. What was a 3.5 hour journey there turned into over a 5 hour journey back in the rain and darkness of night.

My little car plugged away though. She fought through all the rain and didn't make more than a peep when her brakes got soaked.

It was a fantastic time, even so. I tried chiles en nogada for the first time and loved it!

Denny Crane enjoyed himself too because since it was raining so much, the majority of the time was spent in the AirBnB trying to see the view through the haze.

The first afternoon there was a bit of sunshine and we soaked in every bit of it we could!

All in all, can't complain. I got to go visit the ocean yet again and soak in the salt sea air.

Now I just have to see if my car can get me back across the border once again. So far she's been doing wonderfully. It's like she's happy to be back on the long road with me again :)


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