Friday, January 30, 2009

The Gasoline Gap

All gas in Mexico is sold at government-owned PEMEX stations at a fixed price, currently about $2.40 a gallon. This is the same price it was sold for a year ago when gas in the U.S. was in the $3-4 a gallon range. The travel guide books warn that even though the maps say there are PEMEX stations in certain locations, some of them are abandoned and others sometimes run out of fuel for a day or two. As a result, they suggest you always fill up when you hit half a tank. El Rosario (remember Mama Espinosa’s where we ate lobster burritos?) to Guerrero Negro is a stretch of 240 miles known as “the gas gap” where there are no gas stations! It’s a mystery to us why in some places there are 3 stations (remember all government-owned, with the same price) within a quarter of a mile, and then they allow this “gap”, but they do. Now most cars can easily go 240 miles between fill-ups, but while we are hauling the Chalet, there have been a couple of times when the road conditions didn’t allow us to go much further, so this gap could have found us pulling into Guerrero Negro on fumes. As always, the entrepreneurial spirit prevails. In Cativina about 80 miles into “the gap”, there are a couple of guys beside the road selling gas out of a 55 gallon drum. They of course charge a premium, about $4.00 a gallon, but we happily agreed to pay for the peace of mind. It also allowed us to feel comfortable driving around the Catavina area the day we were there, exploring some side roads into the boulders.

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