Saturday July 21
Ken felt I should get a better impression of Mazatlan then what I received driving in the night before. We went and found a wonderful place to eat breakfast that was clean and had great service - the Restaurant at the Azteca Inn. I was able to finally try tamales as these were vegetarian, a chile / cheese sauce came on the side. We soon discovered that the weather here was very hot and also humid - almost unbearable. We went from one air conditioned place to the next seeking solace from the heat. We looked in many shops or stores, buying nothing. We found one little set of shops that had an entrance way to the beach. We saw the wonderful beach that tourists pay dearly to fly here for. It has green hills reaching out of the water. Hawkers are selling their wares on the beach, cover ups, drinks and more. Since we are both pretty white, especially me, we didn't dare stay on the beach too long. We moved on to the air conditioned comfort of the van. Finally we found where the pelicans hang out and took their pictures. After being so hot all day and we went for another bashing by the waves. A cool shower was in order before supper. We had drinks at Gringo Lingos, but after seeing a coachroach being killed we moved on to have supper elsewhere. An outdoor restaurant called Panchos caught our eye as it was on the water so we could drink in the sunset. Our appetizer of shrimp was delicious as were the chips and very hot salsa sauce. The supper was a bit of a disappointment to me. I ordered a shrimp dish that had bacon wrapped around the shrimp-ugh! I tried to not complain about it and just cut off the bacon. Ken bought me a rose. This was like our anniversary supper, only a few days late.
We walked around a bit and took each others pictures in front of the Canadian Consulate building - Buenos dias, ay! We drove home in an open air taxi. All in all Mazatlan was a bust - hot, humid, fleas, no place to stay, kicked out of the Holiday Inn, crowded, started feeling sick (oh wait a few days...), not to mention the music playing at the camp ground until 2 am... we're heading for the hills.
Friday July 20
The hotel we stayed in was called the Taj Mahal Hotel and it had a real middle eastern look to it. The breakfast we ate here, however, was very much Mexican and delicious. We drove from Los Mochis to Mazatlan this day. It was rather uneventful and was, of course, hot. Near dusk a large bird almost hit our windshield. That was a really a heart stopper. We saw lots of rubbish on and around the roadway. The sunset was spectacular but never got a picture of it. We arrived in Mazatlan and as we drove in to the area it was very run down looking and not like any other touristy town I had been in. Then we hit the Ava de Playas where all the hotels and the beach are. We rolled into town thinking it was Thursday night and wondered why it was so busy. Busy being an understatement, busy with open air taxis and small half tons with people riding in the back, lots of cars and buses. Many pedestrians were roaming the streets. We tried at many hotels and they were all booked because it was really Friday night. We found a RV park - San Fernando RV Park, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, MX. with hardly anyone staying there. The bathrooms were not really clean and a mariache band was playing loudly until about two in the morning. We did not care because we had actually found a place to stay the night.
Thursday July 19 (our 21st wedding anniversary)
San Carlos was a great place to wake up to on our anniversary. It, however, became hot quickly even though it had rained that night. I took pictures of some of the local trees, etc. The mundane becomes quickly exaggerated when there is not a lot to occupy the mind you are really hot. I lost my glasses case which turned into a real fiasco. Ken drove the van out of our camping spot and I stayed behind in case it was left behind - there was the glasses case under the van. We had our anniversary brunch at Marine Terrace Restaurant in San Carlos. It was really fancy with a courtyard and waiters in full dress. We were served a great meal, plus this was my first meal in Mexico. Our waiter took a picture of us outside as we were about to go. Most of the rest of the day was taken up with driving after our late start. We found a Walmart and had to see what Walmart was like in Mexico. It was, of course, more relevant to the people in this area than a Walmart at home.
We had little trouble finding our hotel when we arrived in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MX. It was so nice to stay in an air conditioned hotel after fighting the heat for so long. I laid down when I first arrived and fell fast asleep, sleeping through until morning. Ken went down and had supper in the restaurant downstairs.
Wednesday July 18
We were off for our drive to the Mexican border today. We picked up enough food so we would not have to stop and deal with the language issue, etc. on our first day in our country of destination. We went through at Nogales, AZ the Mariposa Gate, We had to go to present our papers to the Banjercito, it took about forty-five minutes. We saw line-up mazes, which must sometimes be used and take hours. Our wait at Checkpoint 21 was about forty-five minutes in the shaded heat. It felt great to be at long last in Mexico. We began our trip on Mex 15 down the west coast of Mexico (the toll booths started). There was lots of garbage beside the road and it was not as I imagined it at all. Our first stop was at a Pemex in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. These are state regulated gas stations. We went into the gas station (similar in looks to a gas stop at home) and tried get oriented and cooled off. We wanted to get a bit of planning inside a cool place. Two of the young workers in the Pemex came up to us and wanted to know if we were ok or lost, etc. They talked to us in English and were very friendly and welcoming in what seemed like a very strange and unusual land. We were really put at ease by our first contact with these two young Mexicans.
At around supper time we arrived at the RV park we had planned for at San Carlos, Sonora, MX. - Totonaka RV Park. The owner spoke English and was very friendly. Supper time consisted of suiting up, going swimming in the pool and eating a bit of a meal by the pool. I saw my first coach roach in San Carlos. We parked under an orange flowering Tamarind tree and a fruiting mango tree was about fifteen feet away from us. That night it thundered and lightening like I have never seen before (and I am a prairie girl) and then it rained. We watched the storm from our bed perch with the tailgate open. Wow! It was raining like crazy - monsoon style!!!