Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Totonaka R.V. Park, San Carlos, Mexico

Having spent the past couple of days around here, chatting with both the locals and fellow R.V.ers, most of them by the way heading home either to the U.S. or Canada, we are altering our itinerary to taking a more direct route to Mazatlan. Although, we have been cautioned about Mazatlan also. We have been told to avoid the town center of Navajoa and instead take the circuitous truck route, staying on Mex 15 and not to go to the city of Cuilican at all. We knew the day prior to entering Mexico through Nogales, that the Nogales Chief of Police and his guard and been murdered. In addition to that, about two weeks ago, there was an assault and shooting of a couple in an R. V. park in Mazatlan. Apparently, 2 men dressed as federales knocked on the door to their R. V. They drew weapons, a fight ensued and the man was shot. His wife went to the front of their motorhome and turned on lights, blared the horn and scared them off. Her husband took a shot to the leg. According to the man telling us this, most of the other campers packed up and left town, presumably for greener and more peaceful pastures! As if that weren't enough, a couple of days ago 2 other R. V. homes were stopped on the highway at what appeared to be one of the numerous police checkpoints seen on the roads here, but this wasn't a valid stop. These R. V. ers had their motorhomes stolen but at least they were not bodily hurt. The stories abound around the park with people lamenting as to how much Mexico has changed (and not for the better) and how cautious the seasoned has become. A few of these people have been travelling through this area every year for the last 20 or more years. So, back to Tom and I. Instead of trying to find some remote beaches, accessed only by us and a couple of locals, we will head to Mazatlan on a 2 day, twelve hour driving spree. Tomorrow we will stay in Los Mochis and drive to Mazatlan on Friday. We have parks selected in both places so hopefully, by Friday afternoon we will be settled and safe. On a more cheerful note, we are having a great time. I walked Winston to the local stores this morning. Rosies Market allowed Winston and I to browse, we only needed milk and beer. At Tony's Market, which is really just an open air stand that sells a variety of fresh seafood and meat, vegies, juices, miscellaneous food items, clothes, decorative pots... etc,. We bought gulf shrimp (they were fresh and big) for dinner and fruit. Tom and I did some basic r. v. cleaning this afternoon, a lot of reading and cooked dinner. Those gulf shrimp with rice and green beans - quite delicious. Well, one quick walk for Winston and off to bed. Tomorrow travel. Next blog, hopefully on Friday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 29th, 2010. Hermosillo to Guaymas/San Carlos, 80 miles

This drive was a snap. We were on the road about 1 and 1/2 hours and decided to head to San Carlos instead of Guaymas. There is a much touted R. V. park in San Carlos, so we decided there. There is Totonaka R. V. Park and is really nice. Close to beach. reataurants and stores. It has laundry, showers, a small motel, pool and spa and WiFi. Cost per night is $24USD or $300pesos. Most of the rvers are American and Canadian. We are going to stay 3 days and relax.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 28th, 2010, Nogales to Hermosillo, 172 miles,

The border crossing was amazingly easy. After making sure I had everything ready - passports, Green Card and Winston's rabies and travel certificates, we were not even asked for our passports! However it did take about one hour for us to obtain the temporary import certificate for the vehicle. This is a must. If you don't get one, then the checkpoints along the way send you back to the border, which is the only place that issues them. Their office is located about 5 mile from Nogales but you can't miss it. They wanted copies of our passport, drivers license and vehicle title, oh and a credit card. The cost was 637 pesos .If you don't have a credit card, you have to place a substantial cash bond. The road to Hermosillo (Route 15) is mostly a narrow 4 lane highway, winding in places, with for the most part, no shoulder. This made for some interesting driving for Tom, particularly when passing the many trucks on the road. Also, it is a toll road with a toll gate when you enter costing 33 pesos and at the end costing 98 pesos.Make sure you have pesos! At the checkpoints along the way we were waved through, so no stopping and no hassles. In addition, when you see signs for topes, slow down.. They have speedbumps that are extremely effective in ruining your vehicle if you don't obey the sign. Arriving in Hermosillo , we found an R. V. park called Sonora R. V. and this is where we finally spent the night after going into town to find a supermarket for beer, wine, oh and dinner. The campsite is clean and quiet with no facilities but working WIFi and a family that do 24 hr security. If you go, ask for Jose. The cost $20.00 American or 300 pesos. We gave American. Winston is a trooper. He is so good when we drive. Although he was happy when we finally stopped at the market and he was able to stretch his legs and take care of business. We were all pretty exhausted by the time we had settled camp and ate, so it was an early night.