green &red sausage brakes on fire

February 01, 2020

Leaving the butterflies was somewhat sad but  turned out more of a challenge as we participated. As we were more than 3000m above sea level, the small road dropped and narrowed through steep parts of small towns, and our brakes got a thorough test.

“Failure is central to engineering. Every single calculation that an engineer makes is a failure calculation. Successful engineering is all about understanding how things break or fail.”

― Henry Petroski

Right after the butterflies, we crossed into the state of Mexico, which has its own rules. The state of Mexico is small and covers mostly Mexico city and a little of the mountain range surrounding the large city. With that said. Mexico city and its state have a record level of ozone, other airborne pollutants and strict admission rules for driving. It all depends on the year of your vehicle and licence plate. You restricted from driving certain hours and days of the week. So it is very tricky to time and to know the rules when your vehicle is legal on the road. With that said, we ventured into this part of Mexico and were greeted with very steep small roads into small villages. The LuvShk, with her 6700kg and the brakes being challenged and started to glow and then smoke, we had to stop in the middle of a village on the side of the road and change the brake pads.

Changing brake pads

Some of the villagers came and showed us a flat spot we could do our repairs. One lady called her daughter in California to translate that she has a friend who could help us. And here we go again. People in Mexico do anything to help you. As Cliff was changing the brake pads, the lovely lady kept returning and checking on us. There were also multiple mobile mechanical trucks stopping offering help. After a couple of hours, Cliff got us back on the road. The problem was that the new brakes need a gentle break-in. The streets were so steep that the brakes were smoking to the next town Villa Victoria.

Villa Victoria

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

We are spending the night at this little town, which has a large rowing facility by the lake. We boon-docked next to it with permission from the security guard. As we explored the facilities, we met Ceasar and his family, who had a picknick by the lake. They invited us for wine at the park.Later that night, after a shift change, a new security guard knocked on the Travco, and we explained that we had permission to park here. He was confused about our licence plate. He thought we were from Columbia. After 20 minutes of trying to explain that British Columbia is in Canada, we all had a good laugh, and he wished us a good night. The rest of the night was quiet and safe.

Parque National Laguna de Zempoala


“I have always thought of our Service as an institution, more than any other bureau, engaged in a field essentially of morality–the aim of man to rise above himself, and to choose the option of quality rather than material superfluity.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 

On the way to the National park, we drove through many small towns. It was after Christmas and red and green sausages where hanging on many foods stands. So, of course, we had to try this specialty and purchased a few links to this curious food.

Green and red sausage for sale


Cooking it up with rice

Lagunas de Zempoala National Park is a natural protected area which consists of a group of seven lagoons. In the Nahuatl language, “Zempoala” means “place of many waters.” The park located between the states of Morelos and the State of MexicoMexico.

Parque National Laguna de Zempoala

We stayed for one night next to the ranger station overlooking the beautiful lagoon. It was peaceful and quiet other than a couple of vendors dropping off their trucks on this location. It looked like the military was coming in, but only security was making their rounds.

It felt like home for a little bit as we were overlooking the pine trees and the lagoon.