Mexico To Puerto Vallarta

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We set the alarm early, 6:00 am to get an early start for our destination - San Carlos, Sinaloa, Mexico. We were packed and ready before 8:00 am. Our hotel breakfast was the best of the three days.

I phoned my Dad while still connected to AT&T. We had a great conversation until I lost connectivity and never got to say good-bye.

We went to Migracion (people documentation) right at the border. Then onto Banjercito (to get vehicle documentation) about 21 kilometers from the border. This is our third sticker on the van in about a year and a half. It was all o' so easy-peasy, no problems.  Now we are in Mexico!!!

We had another day of driving. We got to see inside our first OXXO and be at our first Pemex of the trip. We stopped at a toll booth area to collect tostado chips, cucumber, avocado and lime for an "on the road" lunch. - yum! We saw the mall we often stop at in Hermosillo, Sonora.

We stopped to sleep at the Totonaka RV Park which we stayed at almost six and one half years ago to the day.  It has wonderful mature tamarind trees with hanging green and brown pods.  It has evergreen trees with very rough bark surrounded by rugged, rocky outcrops of mountains.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We drove through the town of San Carlos. The jagged hills are interesting as re the cactus. San Carlos appears to be a resort town for fisherman or boaters. The Totonaka RV Park was clean, well landscaped with exotic plants (cactus, Tamarind trees, etc.) It had lots of Canadians staying there - we met some from Sooke and from way north of Kamloops (originally from Spain). We were late getting away, like about 11:30 am late.

We felt like we needed to hurry all day and made very few stops. It became hot enough for air conditioning in the van then it rained just before our evening stop. We did get our to walk in Navojoa. They had Christmas decorations up which seemed odd in the heat and sun and on cactus. It was "mucho" fun walking through the mercado.

We felt in a hurry after that to beat the dark. It is likely not a good idea to drive in the dark in Mexico, especially if you are not experienced at driving there. No stops after Navojoa. 

We were getting anxious from sitting so long without enough breaks. Once safely in our RV spot in Los Mochis (Copper Canyon RV Park - not for the faint of heart) we sent e-mails and watched Netflix. We are watching another British drama series called "Luther". It was a more out of the box crime series than "Law and Order". We picked our spot by the wifi not the cleanth of the place (older bathrooms).

Friday, December 20, 2013

We went to Leys and Walmart about 8:00 am, (Walmart preferred) in Los Mochis. Vacuum packed corn for pozole was one of the unusual produce items I saw. Loved the smells; the unusualness of the products and music in the Walmart, oh so Mexico. They had covered parking, too, with attendants.

Today was another driving day. We were driving through leas desert and into more richly green, fertile farm land. Corn was a big crop, tomatoes and we saw sugar can, too. We saw acres or hectares of green houses. We believe as they have a picture of a tomatoes on the license plate of the state of Sinaloa. As we got closer to Mazatlan there were look outs of view the ocean.

When we drove into Mazatlan we drove in from the northern entrance passed all the big hotels and condos. We never really noted how populated it was. We drove to San Fernando RV Park which we stayed at in July of 2007. It seems cleaner and generally more well kept. It is just south of El Cid Tower.

We walked on mostly the beach from the RV Park to the rocky outcrop (above the beach is the McDonalds turn). It was a long, wonderful walk. There were horses, vendors ad sea birds. Then a memorable supper at Pancho's, very full - same free appetizers and jalapeƱo poppers but this time free ounces of moonshine stored in fruit.

Sand, beach, sun. Still not warm at night. Keep driving south.

Pancho's. Never disappoints.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It poured rain last night here in Mazatlan. This morning felt like a real camping experience because we are staying in one spot. We or should I say I took a long time to get ready. Ken figured out how to take the city bus into cento or Old Town (green bus).

We got out near the main mercado and big church (Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion). We walked in Plazuel Republica - shoe shiners, giant decorated Christmas trees. 

Next we walked to the Plazuela Machado which we have been to before. 

There is a wonderful art shop there selling crafts and art from all over Mexico. It was decorated for Christmas. 

We went for ice coffee and ice cream at Vivaldi Artecafe. First no chocolate ice cream, then back to let us know he had no strawberry. In lieu of those flavoured ice creams we got Khalua, not a bad idea so now we are spoiled. 

We walked around by the Teatro Angela Peralta/Opera House then to the Nidart Nidos de Artesanos. It had a gallery selling pictures of iguanas - great to see after completing my iguana quilt. We found an art gallery run by an expat - Luna Gallery. 

Then up to El Shrimp Bucket and the Best Western Freeman Hotel (stayed there, still a bargain, luxurious hotel on the beach in Old Town).

We walked the six and a half mile malecon for about two miles then took the bus to the Zona Dorado.

We went to the Aztecca Inn to check it out - spotless as ever (another Maz. bargain). 

Then off to Pancho's again for supper. They made us feel like royalty, so warm and welcoming. We had the Mexican plate with seafood minus the meat and plus the fish.  They gave us about four each of moonshine ounces.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We met a guy from Kamloops at the San Fernando RV Park. He really likes all there is to do in Mazatlan. 

Before leaving the city we stocked up at Mega. The vegetation appears very tropical with tobacco, peppers, beans and orchards of mango (not in season). We left early enough to make a few stops during our drive to Puerto Vallarta. We turned at Villa Yago toward  San Blas.  

Villa Yago had its main street torn up so we had to drive on bumpy, decrepit side streets. Ken said he should have taken the road his Dad took him on back in 1976 instead of Googles route.

We drove into San Blas at my insistence. There were many barbecue restaurants set up for seafood and fish - yum! We did not even get out, so uneventful.

We saw farmers burning dead grass and such along the road. I saw one donkey, many horses and cows. Grackles are making their wonderful sounds.

Two iguana stories - one we saw an iguana sauntering across the road. In San Blas we saw a house front decoration of Santa's sleigh being pulled by a huge iguana.

We checked out one campground - Playa Amour - no shade/privacy, primitive looking bathrooms. We went to the next campground in a park like setting Paraiso Miramar. The setting was glorious with huge philodendron plants, ginger and banana plants. It was up above a rocky beach. 

It had well built palapas and several friendly pooches to amuse us. We ate lots of shrimp at the restaurant.

Paraiso Miramar

Monday, December 23, 2013

We woke up up to hearing the crashing of the waves and the sounds of birds. We were in a park like setting with so many beautiful tropical trees and plants. The little, golden dog greeted us good morning.

It was hotter then we'd experienced previously and we stopped for icy drinks in Las Varas.  We drove on to La Penita and just started driving into the town. It was obviously market day and Ken turned out of the town to avoid the traffic. From here to Puerto Vallarta there was plenty of traffic. Ken was tired from all the topes, curves and slow moving traffic. The surrounding hills were lush and green.

Once passed the town of Bucerias there was the huge entrance sign on the highway announcing Puerto Vallarta, passing the city of Nuevo Vallarta, also.
We found our camp spot just south and east of the big Walmart/Sam's Club at Tacho's Trailer Park. We saw an orange coloured iguana up in a huge tree near our campsite.

I took Ken for a walk to the malecon. He saw the prices. We decided to eat at a restaurant where locals eat Rico Mac Taco Restaurant. Great food and service. We did take the bus from the RV Park to nearly downtown and back.

Welcome to PV

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