Posted by: glenswatman | February 18, 2008

200802-1- MEXICO Baja & Mainland

200802

 

FRIDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2008 – During breakfast we
are entertained by a bullfight.  Two
herds of cattle have appeared, one down each side of the arroyo, and they need
to establish territory.  We all gather with
our cameras and Malcolm takes a chance in getting close with his video
obviously confident that bulls are colour blind as he is wearing a red
shirt.  Malcolm helps Steve to make a
template of the broken mirror then Randy drives them up to the local glass place
where they can have on cut by 5pm.  It’s
a busy day back at camp as a caravan of 3 vehicles arrives and the leading one
gets stuck in the sand big time.  Before
anyone can come up with a plan to help he has unhitched his tow car and driven
off to return about 10 minutes later with a JCB following him.  The motorhome is too stuck for the digger to
pull him out but it ends up turning around and bit by bit winching the vehicle
out.  As soon as he is free the convoy
drive off to the adjoining campground. 
Work continues on the repair at the back of our van (the damage was done
when we bought it) with more layers of fibreglass being added and sanded.  Needless to say the mirror is not ready at
5pm but promised for tomorrow, seems like the same laid back syndrome that
affects Spain.  Ron a friends of the 2
Randy’s arrives and joins us all for an evening meal at the hot dog stand.  On return we round off the evening with 3
more games of “Left, Right and Centre” and this goes down well with Claire and
Kevin who each win a round.

LOS BARRILES, NORTH BEACH. 5

 

SATURDAY 2 FEBRUARY – The wind has finally
dropped and it’s a beautiful calm day enabling Kevin to spray undercoat on the
repair job.  Steve & I walk the 2km
to town and pick up the mirror, 100 pesos (£5).  Walking back we are just about to cross the dusty riverbed when a
car backs up and asks if we would like a lift. 
It’s no one we know but Canadian Ron introduces himself and then
proceeds to take us up the back streets to show us a house he is having built.  The basic construction here is strong corner
pillars to hold up the roof but the rest of the walls are thick sheets of
polystyrene with a panel of cross wires on either side then cement stuck onto
that.  He then insists on taking us up
to meet his wife Joan who is staying in a rented house above the arroyo.  He tells her he has kidnapped us so that she
can have some company.  They offer us a
snack and drink and we stay chatting for an hour or so until Ron is ready to return
to the house building and drop us off. 
Late afternoon Ruth brings down tasty spaghetti bolognaise for us all to
share and I cook up the Christmas pudding for dessert and add rum to the
custard.  Retire inside to all play
cards but break off to look out at some beach fireworks that we think are for
the birthday of the little girl who made the zoo.

LOS BARRILES 6

 

SUNDAY 3 FEBRUARY – Luckily it’s another calm
day so the topcoat of paint can be sprayed on. 
The can says brilliant white but it must be a Mexican brilliant white as
it comes out in a cream colour, a delicate shade of peach!  As a disclaimer the can does say that the
colour may vary slightly but that’s taking it a bit far.  Will have to get a better match once back in
the States but the whole job is a great improvement on the way it was
before.   Today’s is the Superbowl final
and Steve joins Ron in his van to watch the match.

LOS BARRILES 7

 

MONDAY 4 FEBRUARY – Time to move on so we park
up in the village by the water tap so that C&M can have showers once we
have filled up our water.  We know we
can go well over 2 weeks without needing water or emptying our tanks but our
first visitors have alerted us to the fact that with 2 extra people on board we
are lucky to make 5 nights!  The laundry
opens and we bag the first two machines, 18 pesos (90p), but water flow is slow
and it seems to take forever.  Worse
still the dryers, 18 pesos (90p), are barely warm but at least the clothes are
no longer dripping when they come out so we can dangle them around the van.  After a quick lunch we head off north and
immediately begin climbing over the mountain range.  The views are good and we pass many interesting small villages
but don’t have time to stop other than in El Triunfo for C&M to look at the
church.  Luckily we find the La Paz by
pass and this takes us out to the port area and then back to Tecolote
Beach.  It’s a very calm day and the
tide is extremely low making it appear very different to when we were here
before.  C&M cook up an evening meal
for us to share with K&R and we eat early so we can be outside.

TECOLOTE 1

 

TUESDAY 5 FEBRUARY – The calm of yesterday has
been broken and we are back to wild winds. 
Early afternoon we head off to show C&M the Balandra Beach
walk.  The tides are incredibly low at
the moment and it’s like doing a different walk as we can walk so much further
across the bay but still can’t make it around the last couple of
headlands. 

TECOLOTE 2

 

WEDNESDAY 6 FEBRUARY – C&M head off to La
Paz on the bus to explore.  Early
afternoon 4 separate caravans of vehicles arrive and the beach camping area
fills up.  We attempt a walk to the far
end but the wind blasts the sand against our legs making us turn back.  C&M arrive back and report that the 20
pesos (£1) each way bus ride worked out well and they have enjoyed exploring
the city. 

TECOLOTE 3

 

THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY – It’s Kevin’s birthday
and last night we prepared a gift for him, put it into a box and addressed and
envelope to his present beach address. 
I play postman to deposit the gift outside their motorhome before he
wakes up.   He’s very surprised and pleased
with it and says it made him laugh.  We
join K&R for a ride to the port to book on the freight ship for
Saturday.  Continue to La Paz where we
are dropped off to look around the old town and walk along the “Malecon”
promenade.  La Paz is not particularly
touristy and the back streets are quite interesting and the promenade enhanced
by nice sculptures.  Back at the beach I
walk along to find out about the caravans. 
One is a private group of 5 but the big group of 20 vehicles are all on
a “Fantasy Tour”, half the group on a tour of the Baja and the other part have
just come over from the mainland.  For
approx $100 (£50) day they get to be shepherded around and even have a notice
board telling them when to gather for afternoon tea etc.  Not our cup of tea but at least it gets
people to explore place they would otherwise be too afraid to visit.  In the evening we head round to K&R’s
for a celebratory meal.  Ruth has done a
dinner and dessert but we also take over a homemade trifle with a giant candle
in the centre and all enjoy the celebrations.

TECOLOTE 4

 

FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY – It’s a breezy day but
pleasant enough to sit out reading in the morning.  Steve’s shoulder is still aching so I give him a back massage
followed by one for Ruth.  Whilst C&M
are out climbing the nearest mountain we play cards with K&R. 

TECOLOTE 5

 

SATURDAY 9 FEBRUARY – Departure day and we
feel quite sad to be leaving this lovely beach.  As suggested by the girl when we made our booking we arrive at
the port at 10am, drive straight past the trucks parked outside and on to the
dock.  At the first security check they
look at our vehicle papers then wave us through for customs check.  We get the red light and this means a man
comes into the van to give us a cursory glance.  Weighing and measuring comes next and we level out at a trim 5620
kilos and measure 9m according to the clerk. 
Next stage is to buy our tickets for the “Transportacion Maritima de
California” freight ship.  www.ferrytmc.com is their web site and we
know this to be our cheapest option to get to Mazatlan.  6700 pesos (£335), for a motorhome up to 10m
and driver plus 770 pesos (£38) for each additional passenger.  Armed with tickets and meal vouchers we
drive round to a position where we should be first to board the “San Guillermo”
at 12 o’clock.  In fact we end up being
the last vehicles to board at well after 3pm but they have taken our needs of
an open deck position and electricity requirement into consideration.  So much so that he has made sure we are up
wind of the fish truck!  They adjust the
boarding ramp so that we can drive on without “grounding” our back end and then
it’s straight onto the lift to be raised up a deck.  Just after 4pm we are anchored in position and the ship sets
sail.  We enjoy the view of the coast,
as we are quite familiar with it after our walks.  Meals are included whilst on board and evening meal consists of
meat, rice, refried beans and tortillas. 
There are showers for passengers but as this is a freight ship that
normally only has male lorry drivers the only ones are in with the
urinals.  Claire, Ruth & I go along
together so one of us can stand on guard whilst the others shower.  K&R have had to put their bikes inside
their motorhome so everyone else has piled inside ours leaving us little space.
So Ruth sets up her hairdressing salon on the deck and proceeds to cut my
hair.  I have a hard time deciding
whether to go for a crew cut or waves, in fact Ruth decides if she ever opens a
salon she could call it “Wave Cutter”! 

TMC SHIP SAN GUILLERMO FROM LA PAZ TO MAZATLAN

 

SUNDAY 10 FEBRUARY – It’s a bit disappointing
to wake to a chilly misty morning, especially as we are now back in the
tropics.  Breakfast is a simple refried
beans, scrambled egg and tortillas but very filling.  Dock on MEXICO MAINLAND in Mazatlan, around 9am, and Ruth and
Whiskey are the first foot passengers off. 
Somebody is bursting for the loo and it’s not Ruth.  Whiskey is trained to only go on grass so
has just gone 17-hours without a wee. 
Kevin found an offer from SKP’s member Lee who said she could help
people visiting Mazatlan.  She is on the
dockside waiting to meet us all. 
Disembarking is very simple and we are soon regrouped on shore.  Lee hops in with K&R and takes us to the
headland to describe how the statue of the Virgin of La Puntia was found out at
sea and is now a patron saint for the fishermen.  Next we park at the waterfront by the historic district.  Lee then proceed to give us a superb tour
and is most knowledgeable with just enough depth for us but leaving C&M
wanting much more.  There’s a service in
the cathedral and people are all linking hands and singing a lovely song.  Next we visit her favourite street stall
where the seafood is delicious and cheap. 
So now that we’ve done the old town we return to the motorhome to drive
to the area, Los Sauces, where Lee lives and we park beside El Begotes a
carnitas.  This is an outdoor restaurant
that cooks whole pigs and sells various parts of the body by the kilo to be eaten
with tortillas and “criminals” sauce. 
We have a royal feast for 7 of us, 1-½ kilos of meat and the total bill
is less than 300 pesos (£15) including a tip. 
We walk around to her home, a 3-bed semi detached bungalow amongst the
local Mexicans.  She tells us much about
life in Mexico and time flies until we must leave to do some shopping whilst
Lee goes to a meeting.  Soriana is a
huge supermarket and in the centre of the car park there is a large look out
tower with a “vigilante” on guard. 
C&M head off to get enough fruit and veg for a couple of weeks
whilst I make a start on the other shopping. 
Steve nearly has a fit when he sees 2 trolleys full of stuff that need
to be stashed away.  Back at Lee’s she
is a superb host and offers us everything we need, electric for Harry, showers,
washing machine and Internet.  In the
evening we walk to a nearby street where Betty opens up her kitchen to
guests.  Again we enjoy typical Mexican
food at a very modest cost and round off a wonderful day.

MAZATLAN

 

MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY – C&M are keen to see
more of the old town whilst the rest of us are happy for Lee to show us more of
the other parts of Mazatlan.  The
motorhomes are safe so we set out in different directions on the local buses.  Fares seem to range from 5 – 8 pesos (25p –
40p) and although the buses are old the service is frequent.  Our first driver is so confident amongst the
traffic that he uses his mobile phone whilst driving along.  We head up to the northern most beach area
of Cerritos where they are building a new campground.  Spaces are so scarce in this area that motorhomes are already
staying in the middle of the “building site” and paying for the privilege.  Gingers bilingual horses is owned by Lee’s
friend Ginger and we go over to meet her. 
During the conversation we find out the she used to go to school with
Marilyn (of Randy & Marilyn) who we have just been camped with on Baja –
what a coincidence.  There is a small
shopping strip springing up and we take lunch at the hamburger place.  Back on the bus, the driver is busy puffing
away on his cigarette – perhaps the next one will be swigging from a bottle of
beer!  We alight at “Valentinos” castle
to begin walking along the Malecon. 
It’s a glorious day and a most pleasant walk around the bay.  There are a few statues to look at and some
displays left over from the recent carnival.  
The bay is still longer than it looks so we flag down an auriga (local
truck with seats in the back) to take us to the divers rock.  This is an area where local lads dive into
the ocean from a high rock knowing that they must time themselves to hit the
top of the wave or risk death. 
Unfortunately there are not enough tourists around to tip them enough to
take the chance.  A few more statues and
we are back in the old town to catch the bus back.  C&M arrive back shortly after us and we put together salad
and snacks for our evening meal but by the time it is ready Steve has retired
to bed feeling unwell. 

MAZATLAN 2 

 

TUESDAY 12 FEBRUARY – I also went to bed early
last night but C&M stayed chatting and tell me that Kevin also fell
ill.  He almost passed out and had to
rush to the toilet.  In fact he is too
sick to drive so they will have to stay. 
We’ve had an early awakening with the rubbish lorry squeezing past and
know it’s time for us to move out of the crowded street.  By the time we have made use of Lee’s free
call phone to UK it’s almost a 10am departure. 
It’s strange not having K&R in tow after 2 months; they are now
heading inland to get to Florida by March. 
Out of Mazatlan we join the toll road Mex 15 south.  It’s totally different countryside here with
lots of agriculture.  The toll for our
motorhome to Rosario is 61 pesos (£3). 
As soon as we leave the freeway there is a distinct lack of signs and we
have to keep asking for directions. 
Rosario has a very interesting looking cemetery in the centre of town
but we are past it before we can find parking. 
At this point we notice the streets are becoming narrow and the kerbs at
the side higher.  Eventually we realise
we are going to get stuck is we continue so end up making all the traffic grind
to a halt whilst we do a 3 point turn in a side street.  All the Mexicans are very friendly and laid
back about the problem and no one toots their horn or seems bothered by the
delay.  Having found the correct road
it’s easy going through Escuinapa De Hidalgo where we pick up signs for our
destination Teacapan.  Steve is still
feeling a bit delicate and my stomach is growling so I pass around a list for
use of the toilet with myself in the first 4 positions.  Malcolm has a different problem as he is
feeling queasy and before long is crawling along the floor to vomit in the
rubbish bin.  Steve pulls over at the
end of a dirt track whilst Malcolm sorts himself out.  Whilst parked there for less than 10 minutes there are 2 vehicles
that come up the track but both are happy to manoeuvre themselves around
us.  Teacapan is a small fishing village
and we easily find the beach camping area at Playa Las Lupitas.  Luckily there are flush toilets on site as I
am desperate by then.  It’s a super
camping area with grassy places to park behind a beautiful sandy beach.  There’s a dump station and water supply and
some of the spots have palapas.  Most
campers are Canadians and extremely friendly. 
There should be some waterfront positions vacated tomorrow but with 3 of
us feeling unwell we are happy just to park up anywhere and rest.  Malcolm & I go straight to bed but I
have to get up to vomit.  Steve joins us
later and we are in bed for the night by 6.30pm.  Throughout the night I suffer with hot and cold sweats, bad
headaches, sickness and stomach pain and Steve is much the same so we don’t get
much sleep.

TEACAPAN, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

80 pesos (£4)

 

WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY – Malcolm feels considerably
better when he gets up but both Steve & I are still struggling.  Move the van to a position with a sea view
but that’s about the extent of our activities. 
We all have a laze around except Claire who plays nurse.  We get many offers of help from other
campers who have heard of our illness. 

TEACAPAN 2, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

 

THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY – I’m feeling
considerably better although a little delicate but Steve is still
bedridden.  C&M take a walk to the
nearby fishing village and I manage to stroll the length of the
campground.  Many people are Canadians
who came from England and all are happy to chat.  A vegetable delivery van arrives and says he will be back on
Sunday.  Apparently fresh water and
other things are also delivered regularly so this has to be the best spot so
far for our needs.  When C&M return
they have bought heart shaped lollies in the village to celebrate Valentines
Day.  Had I been feeling better I would
have done a special meal but this will have to suffice today.  In the afternoon Malcolm & I rise to the
challenge of restringing one of the motorhomes day/night blinds.  Even with a diagram off the computer it’s an
interesting task but we are pleased to find it works when we have finished.  We get a fabulous sunset with the palm tress
silhouettes in front of the blazing sky.

TEACAPAN 3, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

 

FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY – Our neighbours Fernan
& Nicole have chartered a boat for some of the campers to take a
bird-spotting trip up the river.  Steve
is still sick so stays behind to enjoy some peace and quiet whilst C&M and
I take the 2-hour trip for 100 pesos (£5). 
For the first time I get to see the nearby fishing village and it looks
really pretty set behind palm trees with boats bobbing at the waters edge.  Heading up river we are soon seeing the
local bird life.  Front seat of the boat
has Nicole’s husband, Malcolm (in the middle) and Claire – the keenest
birdwatchers of us all no doubt.   It’s
a very pleasant ride and there are numerous birds to be seen as it is low tide
and we are looking under the mangroves. 
Bird Island lives up to its name; I like the salmon coloured spoonbill
there.  Steve’s a little better when we
get back and manages to sit out and have a bit of lunch and even has a swing in
his hammock.  In the afternoon C&M
test the water for snorkelling.  Malcolm
looks like something out of a comedy programme with his regular glass attached
outside swimming goggles and a household peg on his nose.  After all his efforts they see nothing but a
few basic fish. 

TEACAPAN 4, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

200802

 

FRIDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2008 – During breakfast we
are entertained by a bullfight.  Two
herds of cattle have appeared, one down each side of the arroyo, and they need
to establish territory.  We all gather with
our cameras and Malcolm takes a chance in getting close with his video
obviously confident that bulls are colour blind as he is wearing a red
shirt.  Malcolm helps Steve to make a
template of the broken mirror then Randy drives them up to the local glass place
where they can have on cut by 5pm.  It’s
a busy day back at camp as a caravan of 3 vehicles arrives and the leading one
gets stuck in the sand big time.  Before
anyone can come up with a plan to help he has unhitched his tow car and driven
off to return about 10 minutes later with a JCB following him.  The motorhome is too stuck for the digger to
pull him out but it ends up turning around and bit by bit winching the vehicle
out.  As soon as he is free the convoy
drive off to the adjoining campground. 
Work continues on the repair at the back of our van (the damage was done
when we bought it) with more layers of fibreglass being added and sanded.  Needless to say the mirror is not ready at
5pm but promised for tomorrow, seems like the same laid back syndrome that
affects Spain.  Ron a friends of the 2
Randy’s arrives and joins us all for an evening meal at the hot dog stand.  On return we round off the evening with 3
more games of “Left, Right and Centre” and this goes down well with Claire and
Kevin who each win a round.

LOS BARRILES, NORTH BEACH. 5

 

SATURDAY 2 FEBRUARY – The wind has finally
dropped and it’s a beautiful calm day enabling Kevin to spray undercoat on the
repair job.  Steve & I walk the 2km
to town and pick up the mirror, 100 pesos (£5).  Walking back we are just about to cross the dusty riverbed when a
car backs up and asks if we would like a lift. 
It’s no one we know but Canadian Ron introduces himself and then
proceeds to take us up the back streets to show us a house he is having built.  The basic construction here is strong corner
pillars to hold up the roof but the rest of the walls are thick sheets of
polystyrene with a panel of cross wires on either side then cement stuck onto
that.  He then insists on taking us up
to meet his wife Joan who is staying in a rented house above the arroyo.  He tells her he has kidnapped us so that she
can have some company.  They offer us a
snack and drink and we stay chatting for an hour or so until Ron is ready to return
to the house building and drop us off. 
Late afternoon Ruth brings down tasty spaghetti bolognaise for us all to
share and I cook up the Christmas pudding for dessert and add rum to the
custard.  Retire inside to all play
cards but break off to look out at some beach fireworks that we think are for
the birthday of the little girl who made the zoo.

LOS BARRILES 6

 

SUNDAY 3 FEBRUARY – Luckily it’s another calm
day so the topcoat of paint can be sprayed on. 
The can says brilliant white but it must be a Mexican brilliant white as
it comes out in a cream colour, a delicate shade of peach!  As a disclaimer the can does say that the
colour may vary slightly but that’s taking it a bit far.  Will have to get a better match once back in
the States but the whole job is a great improvement on the way it was
before.   Today’s is the Superbowl final
and Steve joins Ron in his van to watch the match.

LOS BARRILES 7

 

MONDAY 4 FEBRUARY – Time to move on so we park
up in the village by the water tap so that C&M can have showers once we
have filled up our water.  We know we
can go well over 2 weeks without needing water or emptying our tanks but our
first visitors have alerted us to the fact that with 2 extra people on board we
are lucky to make 5 nights!  The laundry
opens and we bag the first two machines, 18 pesos (90p), but water flow is slow
and it seems to take forever.  Worse
still the dryers, 18 pesos (90p), are barely warm but at least the clothes are
no longer dripping when they come out so we can dangle them around the van.  After a quick lunch we head off north and
immediately begin climbing over the mountain range.  The views are good and we pass many interesting small villages
but don’t have time to stop other than in El Triunfo for C&M to look at the
church.  Luckily we find the La Paz by
pass and this takes us out to the port area and then back to Tecolote
Beach.  It’s a very calm day and the
tide is extremely low making it appear very different to when we were here
before.  C&M cook up an evening meal
for us to share with K&R and we eat early so we can be outside.

TECOLOTE 1

 

TUESDAY 5 FEBRUARY – The calm of yesterday has
been broken and we are back to wild winds. 
Early afternoon we head off to show C&M the Balandra Beach
walk.  The tides are incredibly low at
the moment and it’s like doing a different walk as we can walk so much further
across the bay but still can’t make it around the last couple of
headlands. 

TECOLOTE 2

 

WEDNESDAY 6 FEBRUARY – C&M head off to La
Paz on the bus to explore.  Early
afternoon 4 separate caravans of vehicles arrive and the beach camping area
fills up.  We attempt a walk to the far
end but the wind blasts the sand against our legs making us turn back.  C&M arrive back and report that the 20
pesos (£1) each way bus ride worked out well and they have enjoyed exploring
the city. 

TECOLOTE 3

 

THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY – It’s Kevin’s birthday
and last night we prepared a gift for him, put it into a box and addressed and
envelope to his present beach address. 
I play postman to deposit the gift outside their motorhome before he
wakes up.   He’s very surprised and pleased
with it and says it made him laugh.  We
join K&R for a ride to the port to book on the freight ship for
Saturday.  Continue to La Paz where we
are dropped off to look around the old town and walk along the “Malecon”
promenade.  La Paz is not particularly
touristy and the back streets are quite interesting and the promenade enhanced
by nice sculptures.  Back at the beach I
walk along to find out about the caravans. 
One is a private group of 5 but the big group of 20 vehicles are all on
a “Fantasy Tour”, half the group on a tour of the Baja and the other part have
just come over from the mainland.  For
approx $100 (£50) day they get to be shepherded around and even have a notice
board telling them when to gather for afternoon tea etc.  Not our cup of tea but at least it gets
people to explore place they would otherwise be too afraid to visit.  In the evening we head round to K&R’s
for a celebratory meal.  Ruth has done a
dinner and dessert but we also take over a homemade trifle with a giant candle
in the centre and all enjoy the celebrations.

TECOLOTE 4

 

FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY – It’s a breezy day but
pleasant enough to sit out reading in the morning.  Steve’s shoulder is still aching so I give him a back massage
followed by one for Ruth.  Whilst C&M
are out climbing the nearest mountain we play cards with K&R. 

TECOLOTE 5

 

SATURDAY 9 FEBRUARY – Departure day and we
feel quite sad to be leaving this lovely beach.  As suggested by the girl when we made our booking we arrive at
the port at 10am, drive straight past the trucks parked outside and on to the
dock.  At the first security check they
look at our vehicle papers then wave us through for customs check.  We get the red light and this means a man
comes into the van to give us a cursory glance.  Weighing and measuring comes next and we level out at a trim 5620
kilos and measure 9m according to the clerk. 
Next stage is to buy our tickets for the “Transportacion Maritima de
California” freight ship.  www.ferrytmc.com is their web site and we
know this to be our cheapest option to get to Mazatlan.  6700 pesos (£335), for a motorhome up to 10m
and driver plus 770 pesos (£38) for each additional passenger.  Armed with tickets and meal vouchers we
drive round to a position where we should be first to board the “San Guillermo”
at 12 o’clock.  In fact we end up being
the last vehicles to board at well after 3pm but they have taken our needs of
an open deck position and electricity requirement into consideration.  So much so that he has made sure we are up
wind of the fish truck!  They adjust the
boarding ramp so that we can drive on without “grounding” our back end and then
it’s straight onto the lift to be raised up a deck.  Just after 4pm we are anchored in position and the ship sets
sail.  We enjoy the view of the coast,
as we are quite familiar with it after our walks.  Meals are included whilst on board and evening meal consists of
meat, rice, refried beans and tortillas. 
There are showers for passengers but as this is a freight ship that
normally only has male lorry drivers the only ones are in with the
urinals.  Claire, Ruth & I go along
together so one of us can stand on guard whilst the others shower.  K&R have had to put their bikes inside
their motorhome so everyone else has piled inside ours leaving us little space.
So Ruth sets up her hairdressing salon on the deck and proceeds to cut my
hair.  I have a hard time deciding
whether to go for a crew cut or waves, in fact Ruth decides if she ever opens a
salon she could call it “Wave Cutter”! 

TMC SHIP SAN GUILLERMO FROM LA PAZ TO MAZATLAN

 

SUNDAY 10 FEBRUARY – It’s a bit disappointing
to wake to a chilly misty morning, especially as we are now back in the
tropics.  Breakfast is a simple refried
beans, scrambled egg and tortillas but very filling.  Dock on MEXICO MAINLAND in Mazatlan, around 9am, and Ruth and
Whiskey are the first foot passengers off. 
Somebody is bursting for the loo and it’s not Ruth.  Whiskey is trained to only go on grass so
has just gone 17-hours without a wee. 
Kevin found an offer from SKP’s member Lee who said she could help
people visiting Mazatlan.  She is on the
dockside waiting to meet us all. 
Disembarking is very simple and we are soon regrouped on shore.  Lee hops in with K&R and takes us to the
headland to describe how the statue of the Virgin of La Puntia was found out at
sea and is now a patron saint for the fishermen.  Next we park at the waterfront by the historic district.  Lee then proceed to give us a superb tour
and is most knowledgeable with just enough depth for us but leaving C&M
wanting much more.  There’s a service in
the cathedral and people are all linking hands and singing a lovely song.  Next we visit her favourite street stall
where the seafood is delicious and cheap. 
So now that we’ve done the old town we return to the motorhome to drive
to the area, Los Sauces, where Lee lives and we park beside El Begotes a
carnitas.  This is an outdoor restaurant
that cooks whole pigs and sells various parts of the body by the kilo to be eaten
with tortillas and “criminals” sauce. 
We have a royal feast for 7 of us, 1-½ kilos of meat and the total bill
is less than 300 pesos (£15) including a tip. 
We walk around to her home, a 3-bed semi detached bungalow amongst the
local Mexicans.  She tells us much about
life in Mexico and time flies until we must leave to do some shopping whilst
Lee goes to a meeting.  Soriana is a
huge supermarket and in the centre of the car park there is a large look out
tower with a “vigilante” on guard. 
C&M head off to get enough fruit and veg for a couple of weeks
whilst I make a start on the other shopping. 
Steve nearly has a fit when he sees 2 trolleys full of stuff that need
to be stashed away.  Back at Lee’s she
is a superb host and offers us everything we need, electric for Harry, showers,
washing machine and Internet.  In the
evening we walk to a nearby street where Betty opens up her kitchen to
guests.  Again we enjoy typical Mexican
food at a very modest cost and round off a wonderful day.

MAZATLAN

 

MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY – C&M are keen to see
more of the old town whilst the rest of us are happy for Lee to show us more of
the other parts of Mazatlan.  The
motorhomes are safe so we set out in different directions on the local buses.  Fares seem to range from 5 – 8 pesos (25p –
40p) and although the buses are old the service is frequent.  Our first driver is so confident amongst the
traffic that he uses his mobile phone whilst driving along.  We head up to the northern most beach area
of Cerritos where they are building a new campground.  Spaces are so scarce in this area that motorhomes are already
staying in the middle of the “building site” and paying for the privilege.  Gingers bilingual horses is owned by Lee’s
friend Ginger and we go over to meet her. 
During the conversation we find out the she used to go to school with
Marilyn (of Randy & Marilyn) who we have just been camped with on Baja –
what a coincidence.  There is a small
shopping strip springing up and we take lunch at the hamburger place.  Back on the bus, the driver is busy puffing
away on his cigarette – perhaps the next one will be swigging from a bottle of
beer!  We alight at “Valentinos” castle
to begin walking along the Malecon. 
It’s a glorious day and a most pleasant walk around the bay.  There are a few statues to look at and some
displays left over from the recent carnival.  
The bay is still longer than it looks so we flag down an auriga (local
truck with seats in the back) to take us to the divers rock.  This is an area where local lads dive into
the ocean from a high rock knowing that they must time themselves to hit the
top of the wave or risk death. 
Unfortunately there are not enough tourists around to tip them enough to
take the chance.  A few more statues and
we are back in the old town to catch the bus back.  C&M arrive back shortly after us and we put together salad
and snacks for our evening meal but by the time it is ready Steve has retired
to bed feeling unwell. 

MAZATLAN 2 

 

TUESDAY 12 FEBRUARY – I also went to bed early
last night but C&M stayed chatting and tell me that Kevin also fell
ill.  He almost passed out and had to
rush to the toilet.  In fact he is too
sick to drive so they will have to stay. 
We’ve had an early awakening with the rubbish lorry squeezing past and
know it’s time for us to move out of the crowded street.  By the time we have made use of Lee’s free
call phone to UK it’s almost a 10am departure. 
It’s strange not having K&R in tow after 2 months; they are now
heading inland to get to Florida by March. 
Out of Mazatlan we join the toll road Mex 15 south.  It’s totally different countryside here with
lots of agriculture.  The toll for our
motorhome to Rosario is 61 pesos (£3). 
As soon as we leave the freeway there is a distinct lack of signs and we
have to keep asking for directions. 
Rosario has a very interesting looking cemetery in the centre of town
but we are past it before we can find parking. 
At this point we notice the streets are becoming narrow and the kerbs at
the side higher.  Eventually we realise
we are going to get stuck is we continue so end up making all the traffic grind
to a halt whilst we do a 3 point turn in a side street.  All the Mexicans are very friendly and laid
back about the problem and no one toots their horn or seems bothered by the
delay.  Having found the correct road
it’s easy going through Escuinapa De Hidalgo where we pick up signs for our
destination Teacapan.  Steve is still
feeling a bit delicate and my stomach is growling so I pass around a list for
use of the toilet with myself in the first 4 positions.  Malcolm has a different problem as he is
feeling queasy and before long is crawling along the floor to vomit in the
rubbish bin.  Steve pulls over at the
end of a dirt track whilst Malcolm sorts himself out.  Whilst parked there for less than 10 minutes there are 2 vehicles
that come up the track but both are happy to manoeuvre themselves around
us.  Teacapan is a small fishing village
and we easily find the beach camping area at Playa Las Lupitas.  Luckily there are flush toilets on site as I
am desperate by then.  It’s a super
camping area with grassy places to park behind a beautiful sandy beach.  There’s a dump station and water supply and
some of the spots have palapas.  Most
campers are Canadians and extremely friendly. 
There should be some waterfront positions vacated tomorrow but with 3 of
us feeling unwell we are happy just to park up anywhere and rest.  Malcolm & I go straight to bed but I
have to get up to vomit.  Steve joins us
later and we are in bed for the night by 6.30pm.  Throughout the night I suffer with hot and cold sweats, bad
headaches, sickness and stomach pain and Steve is much the same so we don’t get
much sleep.

TEACAPAN, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

80 pesos (£4)

 

WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY – Malcolm feels considerably
better when he gets up but both Steve & I are still struggling.  Move the van to a position with a sea view
but that’s about the extent of our activities. 
We all have a laze around except Claire who plays nurse.  We get many offers of help from other
campers who have heard of our illness. 

TEACAPAN 2, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

 

THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY – I’m feeling
considerably better although a little delicate but Steve is still
bedridden.  C&M take a walk to the
nearby fishing village and I manage to stroll the length of the
campground.  Many people are Canadians
who came from England and all are happy to chat.  A vegetable delivery van arrives and says he will be back on
Sunday.  Apparently fresh water and
other things are also delivered regularly so this has to be the best spot so
far for our needs.  When C&M return
they have bought heart shaped lollies in the village to celebrate Valentines
Day.  Had I been feeling better I would
have done a special meal but this will have to suffice today.  In the afternoon Malcolm & I rise to the
challenge of restringing one of the motorhomes day/night blinds.  Even with a diagram off the computer it’s an
interesting task but we are pleased to find it works when we have finished.  We get a fabulous sunset with the palm tress
silhouettes in front of the blazing sky.

TEACAPAN 3, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

 

FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY – Our neighbours Fernan
& Nicole have chartered a boat for some of the campers to take a
bird-spotting trip up the river.  Steve
is still sick so stays behind to enjoy some peace and quiet whilst C&M and
I take the 2-hour trip for 100 pesos (£5). 
For the first time I get to see the nearby fishing village and it looks
really pretty set behind palm trees with boats bobbing at the waters edge.  Heading up river we are soon seeing the
local bird life.  Front seat of the boat
has Nicole’s husband, Malcolm (in the middle) and Claire – the keenest
birdwatchers of us all no doubt.   It’s
a very pleasant ride and there are numerous birds to be seen as it is low tide
and we are looking under the mangroves. 
Bird Island lives up to its name; I like the salmon coloured spoonbill
there.  Steve’s a little better when we
get back and manages to sit out and have a bit of lunch and even has a swing in
his hammock.  In the afternoon C&M
test the water for snorkelling.  Malcolm
looks like something out of a comedy programme with his regular glass attached
outside swimming goggles and a household peg on his nose.  After all his efforts they see nothing but a
few basic fish. 

TEACAPAN 4, PLAYA LAS LUPITAS

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: