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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/29/2022 in all areas

  1. Hello everyone - we made the drive down over the last two weeks, just ahead of the bad weather. I want to thank everyone for their input. I made good use of all your advice and the route info. Very much appreciated!! Here's a little update for those who might be searching for this information in the future or interested in hearing about our experience: We had a couple of golden trip rules - no night driving and have your hotels booked in advance. Both proved to be good rules. We stuck to the US interstates but found they are full of big, fast trucks so it wasn't as leisurely a trip as I had envisioned. There are plenty of rest stops where you can get out and stretch, use the toilets etc. We enjoyed our first night on the New Jersey shore and the view of NYC very much. Next stop was Richmond, Virginia - didn't get in until late and left early the next day so didn't do the place justice. We spent two days in Savannah - historic district is lovely. Next night in Pensacola FL right on the edge of the ocean and the town was literally empty of people and it was really quite chilly. But we wanted to say we saw the beach. Good pizza at Papa's Pizza. Two days in New Orleans (could have spent a week here!) and two days in San Antonio (River Walk was all lit up with Christmas lights - very nice). Really glad we took our time coming down and hope to do the same again on the way back home in the spring but may take secondary roads rather than the interstates just so we can see the countryside a bit more. Attn Canadians: Definitely get medical insurance for the US part of the trip at least. My normally very healthy husband got some kind of food poisoning and we had to seek medical treatment at a walk-in clinic. We didn't actually use our medical insurance but I kept thinking...what if it had been something more serious!?$$$$$ We drove south from San Antonio for a few hours and crossed the border at the Laredo. I had spent a few sleepless nights going over and over which border crossing to use. Hubby was set on Laredo...so it was pointless to argue. Well, we had exactly zero issues and I felt silly for all the worrying I had done in advance. Maybe we were lucky or maybe you shouldn't believe all the horror stories on facebook? In fact the atmosphere was quite festive and the Mexican authorities were friendly and helpful. We had applied for our FMM tourist visa online from Canada. In hindsight, it probably didn't make a big difference in the amount of time the crossing took but the Mx authorities seemed pleased that we had tried the new website. I did have to return to their counter at one point to get my 180 days because they forgot to mark it down the first time. Not a big deal. Getting through the process for importing the car (TIP) took about 1 1/2 hours because of all the pre-Christmas travellers but went very smoothly. The process is well-communicated with signage and people were very patient with my poor Spanish and again there were lots of Mexicans willing to help me and chat about their own experiences. At no point did anyone ask to look in the car or seem even the least bit interested in what was in our suitcases although we had everything documented and numbered in case this were to happen. There was a security vehicle offering to accompany a convoy of travellers to city limits but we decided to skip the wait and head out on our own. No regrets. Uneventful drive from border to Monterrey on the cuota and then through to Saltillo where we spent 1 night at Sheraton Four Points just north of city limits - this is a simple hotel but we felt safe and there was a surprisingly good onsite Mexican-Lebanese (!) restaurant. We somehow missed the cuota coming out of Saltillo where we got onto a libre by mistake but made our way to Aguacalientes without any problems - we pretty much had the road to ourselves at one point. Although I did think that if we had had car problems, we were in the middle of nowhere...so I second the advice to stay on the cuotas ...which can be a bit hair-raising at times when there is no divided highway but at least there are places to stop and gas up or ask for help. The navigation app on the car was invaluable to making this a less stressful trip. We made use of cellphone apps quite often and I was grateful for MakeItSo's advice on being able to roam (Roger's "roam like home" at $15 Cdn/day). We also brought our garmin and made sure it was loaded with the Mexican maps but as it turns out we didn't need it. Also, I bought a "televia" transponder at the Oxxo in Nuevo Laredo so that we didn't have to rummage for pesos at the tollbooths - we just drove through without stopping. It cost $150 P and you can load them up to $2000 P. There was one toll booth where the system wasn't working but not a big deal if you have cash - so do bring some pesos with you. And just a note - credit cards are not always welcome. We took the Guadalajara by-pass to Chapala and thought we were very clever only to screw up and miss getting off at the right exit - it does not say Chapala at this point - it says back to Guadalajara. So we ended up on the cuota to Colima by mistake.🙄 We continued along for about 40 km cursing ourselves and then lucked out and saw a tiny sign for Chapala which got us onto the back roads north and west of Lago Chapala. It was slow going to make our way back and lots of topes but kind of a nice end to a long trip as we started to recognize things and feel like we were "home"... We arrived at the top of the libremente just as the sun was setting over the lake.☺️ Thank you again to all who answered my request for information. We'll be heading back to Canada in April if you have any other suggestions or recommendations! Happy New Year ! FeeWee
    6 points
  2. Maids in the Chapala area are among the highest paid in Mexico. We just raised our maid to $400 a day and she works about 8 hours. She earns more than her sister in Guadalajara. $400 a day for 5 days is $2000 a week. over $8000 per month To give you an idea of wages in the area.... Bank tellers in Chapala start at $9684 per month. An HR Resources analyst $12000 per month Warehouse worker $8136 Castores on the highway to GDL warehouse worker $2100 a week 10 hour shifts
    2 points
  3. Comes once a week for four hours $500.
    1 point
  4. I have also paid cash for stuff that was not in delivery, I complained to Manager, he said he will talk to driver, and they will give me refund fortunately kept delivery slip, I went to day and Mgr look at order and delivery receipt, and gave me cash back...Im will now look at all deliveries befor I pay...
    1 point
  5. I pay my housekeeper $800 pesos a week; she works two days for four hours each. I'm going to raise her pay by 50 pesos a week as I do every new year. Neither my housekeeper nor my gardener want to be signed up for IMSS and pension.
    1 point
  6. That is low IMO, but I get slammed about this every time it comes up. Our house cleaner has worked for us for about 4-years. We don't pay by the hour per se, rather by the visit. She is generally here 4-hours and we are up to $500/visit. She started out at $300 and we have increased her pay every January. This year, because of inflation, we gave her what would have been her Jan. 2023 increase in July. Every time she receives an increase, she finds additional work to add to "mi trabajo". I wouldn't consider paying her less.
    1 point
  7. Did u miss the part where they can't have solar panels?
    1 point
  8. Gas dryers require venting... To not do so places your health and safety at risk... These are NOB rules that may or may not be applicable here...I wouldn't take the chance...
    1 point
  9. I have never had any reason to shop at Walmart here. I had too many bad experiences and heard too many horror stories about the quality of their products NOB. I have no reason to think things are any different in Mexico. Possibly worse - a manufacturer that produces items for Walmart US is caught with an adulterated product and banned by the FTC, do you really think Walmart stops buying from them? No, they just sell the product in a country with less oversite. Items from Walmart are NOT the same as a similar item bought elsewhere. They look the same, but are made for Walmart more cheaply and with less quality control. There are too many other options for getting what I need at smaller local stores and markets to ever buy from Walmart.
    1 point
  10. We have many memes that we have used after living in MX for 24 years that are apropos for customer service ( I will admit this applies to customer service nob too). 1) you'd have to care and 2), you'd have to want to make money.
    1 point
  11. Look at this post as a repair place is suggested:
    1 point
  12. Have not set foot in Wallmart for probably over 7 years. I use to go to Soriana to buy coffee but now buy it on Mercado Libre. I go to Pancho's maybe every 4 months when I need a hit of Salami and cheddar cheese. Living in an all Mexican neighborhood everything is in walking distance and at much better prices (yes I go to Costco about every 5 months but mainly for stuff for my golden retriever). Also, the need for a Home Depot in this area is puzzling since in Chapala anyway there is a hardware store about every other block. Happy New years 😊
    1 point
  13. Sorry for your bad day. Because I pay by CCard I have never had a change problem. If I were you I would vote with my feet and patronize Soriana. Their ice cream is always very cold.
    1 point
  14. Eva Antúnez Pastelería https://es-la.facebook.com/evaantunezchef/
    1 point
  15. I paid a driver 600 pesos from Brisas de Chapala to the main bus station just outside of GDL.
    1 point
  16. I pay my driver 200 pesos an hour in town, and 250 when going to GDL he pays for gas...
    1 point
  17. Aside from the COVID years, we have made this trip annually for over 10 years and will do so in November. All the advice given here makes sense. Here's what we would reinforce: Take the Columbia bridge instead of Laredo. It's much smaller, easier and less stressful for your first trip. Do follow the letter of the signs when making the 20k trip from Columbia to Laredo bypass after crossing the border. There are 2 cops who try to hustle for money in that region. Just keep insisting on the ticket, and keep your sense of humor. They will give up. Take the toll roads for your first trip. You may feel more confident on future trips and take some free roads, but it's worth the money (more than $100) in tolls when you are still nervous about supposed bandidos and narcos. You'll soon find that the roads are excellent and safe. We cross the border in the morning and stop at Las Palmas Matahuala, mostly because we travel with a dog, and they are dog-friendly. It makes for a shortish day ( 6 or so hours) for your first day in Mexico, and you don't need more stress your first time. We leave by 8 am and are iat Lakeside mid afternoon. Use your GPS. Make sure the maps and instructions for Mexico are up to date and comprehensive. There are a couple of places where you might go wrong, as the signage is not clear, but you should be never more than one or two minutes out of your way and getting back where you belong isn't hard. Enjoy the ride. The view in the mountains is fabulous, and the truckers are courteous. You will be fine.
    1 point
  18. Just to note that maids in this area are the highest paid in Mexico. Going rate in GDL is $300 for a full day for non live in maids. $500 for 4 hours is $125 an hour. Working 6 hours a day 5.5 days a week = $16,500 for 4 weeks work Guardia Nacional starting salary is $12,500 a month Técnico radiologo in Chapala starting salary $10,500 a month 44 hour work week A teacher at Instituto Terranova starting salary max $8577 a month Bank Teller starting salary $8000 a month. An engineer at Sane Products Chapala starting salary $20,00 a month (university degree)
    1 point
  19. Enrique. 332-282-5020. Speaks English. ladies are great reliable every other week and bring all of their cleaning supplies.
    0 points
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