The Internet and e-mail is invaluable for communication with friends and family. Although use of the telephone is friendlier, it is also very expensive, especially in Mexico where 2.50 pounds per minute to the UK is the norm. There is also an immediate charge on connection so that a call to an engaged tone or the ever-present answering machine is costly.
Access to the Internet has been relatively easy since we left Alaska. In Alaska, only the large towns had public access and the going rate was about seven dollars an hour.
Further down, we learned that all libraries had free Internet access although sometimes the time was limited to 20 minutes or half an hour. At Internet cafes the rate was about 4-5 dollars an hour but the connection was faster.
When we reached Mexico, the access was more limited to the larger towns. Libraries had no access but the Internet cafes charged only about 10-20 pesos or one-two dollars an hour. A notable exception to this was in Loreto on the Baja where they charged us 7 dollars for an hour. This was because it was the only one and the town was full of Americans in an expensive hotel. All along the Baja, Internet connections were slow due to the noisy phone lines, although the computers and modems were fast.
On mainland Mexico the prices for a fast connection was again about 1 dollar an hour although tourist places like Mazatlan could charge 2 dollars an hour and Puerto Vallarta 4 dollars an hour.
A very annoying trait in Internet use is that some of the local youngsters use it for listening to loud music.
We are regularly using the e-mail to keep in contact with other cyclists and travellers who are on our route. They are able to read our web-site and find out where we are and even arrange to meet. Our web-site has been useful for those following in our footsteps.