Wednesday, November 25, 2020

San Carlos to Los Mochis - Thursday

We just got internet here at Las Jaibas so today I' trying to catch up some. Will post two blogs - Both traveling days Thursday and Friday.  

On Wednesday we went into Guaymas to get our TelCel data. Unfortunately after we did that I realized the battery had died. So we have lots of data but no way to use it. So it has been a couple of day since I've posted. I will eventually do a blog on Guaymas but this one is of our last day in San Carlos and the drive to Los Mochis. 

First time I've ever seen goats on the road into San Carlos. Glad they stayed where they were. 
Found more dolphins at the park where the San Carlos sign is. Of course had to stop and take pictures. 
Couldn't get a picture of the other side of this one. 
This is a different one on the other side of the sign. 

And another really colorful one. 

Another one.  I think I accidentally erased the other pictures of this one. Oh well. shouldn't have emptied the  recycle bin so quick. 
There are two of these big mosaic reptiles in the park. For years you couldn't see them because of the tall grass around them. 
We went out to dinner at the Italian restaurant right next to the campground. Good meal. Had to walk through a tray of sanitizer on entering and leaving restaurant. Waiter brought large bottle of hand sanitizer to the table. All had masks on and tables over six feet apart.  Good meal. 
And now the road trip. 
We got to Mazatlan around noon Friday. A VERY LONG two day trip.

Wednesday night in San Carlos we did go out to dinner at the Italian restaurant right next to the campground. I only mention it because it was the first place where we had to walk through a container of sanitizer to enter the restaurant. The tables, which were outside, are spaced further apart. We were the only people there so didn’t make any difference to us. Also, a bottle of sanitizer was brought to our table for us to use. Waiters and owner were wearing masks. Good meal and then a quiet evening resting up for the ordeal ahead.

We left San Carlos around 10 o'clock didn't want to have to spend too much time in the truck stop at t he end of the day. 237 miles. Actually to be more accurate we left the gas station just on the main road from San Carlos at 10. Unleaded gasoline is around US$4 a gallon. Not all stations charge the same rate and of course the exchange rate fluctuates. We get around 7.5 miles a gallon in the RV That station did not take credit cards, only cash. 

The first toll booth right after we got back on the highway was not collecting tolls, just asking for donations. Look closely as soon as you can see the booths. If the barricade arm is not down and there are people standing around it is a donation. We “give 20 pesos” usually the people are very polite. So on we went. Road continued to be pretty good.

Then just after kilometer 62 we came to the very little town of Potam. There are big topes there and a semi roadblock of people. With their donation buckets out. We did not donate, just slowed way down and drove through. A couple of them rapped on the side of the RV with their fists. Leaving town another roadblock. Donated to it.

And then a few miles down the road you come Vicam. Suddenly the nice concrete road becomes a two lane asphalt disaster going through town. Many topes and some one selling something at each one. Also buckets out to collect money at beginning of town. 20 pesos to them.  They pretty much stop traffic at both entrances south and north of town. Again they were friendly and non-threatening. But go really slow through town – topes are hard to see. Watch for people holding out something for sale and there will be a tope there.

There are several topes in Viacam. And the road is rough. Go slow. 

The topes are hard to see, but most of them have signs. 

Tope barely visible, glad he was standing next to it. 
Here is a page from our road log – through the years I’ve added topes, good and bad road notes and amounts of toils. It is almost to the point I can’t read it anymore. [On the facing page at one time I wrote “I hate this section of road.”

After Vicam road becomes concrete and four lane divided again. Coming up to the Obregon Bypass. Watch for the big statue of the Indian at the rest area. The bypass is a few kilometres beyond it. 

See red arrow. There is a very complete roadblock here – no way around it. Again we donated 20 pesos.

See the cars blocking all but one lane.

Continuing on – watch the vibradores they will really rattle your vehicle, not quite as bad in a car as in an RV. If you have a trailer or fifth wheel, believe me things are shaking around in there. Secure every thing you can before starting out in the morning. 

There are plenty of signs for the Bypass, stay in right side lane.

The toll booth on the bypass was collecting tolls, cost us 328 pesos for the RV and the car. 

The bypass is two lane traffic with no center divider. Pay attention when exiting the bypass. You want to go to Navojoa. And be prepared to make a complete stop at end of off ramp before merging into fast coming traffic.

When you see the signs reminding you to watch for cattle. Believe them. Lots of cattle grazing along road and in center divider. Usually with one cowboy on foot watching them.

More toll booths collecting donations. Going through Navojoa you will usually hit EVERY signal red. Don’t know how that happens but this time we only got one on green. Also traffic is crazy so take your time. The truck route around Navojoa is good but way out of the way unless you are going to Huatabampito. There are a couple of nasty topes just south of Navojoa watch for signs. Also for some reason when ever you see a Pemex gas station prepare to find vibradores on the road. Also coming up to and going around curves. Some are real, others are just paint, but hard to tell until you are rattling over them. 

Just before the state line the road becomes horrible. HORRIBLE!!. You cannot avoid all the potholes, so just pick the ones that won’t bust your suspension. It is a very short piece of road but takes a while to get through it.

And then you come to the state line between Sonora and Sinaloa. There is a southbound agriculture check point there.  You have to slow down, but we’ve never been stopped. BUT this time just a few feet beyond the check point there is another check point – military maybe??  See arrow.

Anyway we got stopped and the gentleman asked for the vehicle papers. I gave him a copy of the RV TIP – he studied it for a bit then asked for the Jeeps papers??  Well the original permit is in our fireproof box, the copy is in the car. Then I remember when we got it in Nogales, they sent a copy to my email. I had downloaded it and took a color picture of it with my phone. So I brought up the picture on the phone, handed it to him. He walked back towards car with phone and soon returned to give us the phone and wave us through. Came as a complete surprise. Don’t know if they are there all the time and/or if they stop everyone. But be sure to have some form of your TIP ready to show.

The road from there to Los Mochis toll booth is mostly good. That toll booth is collecting tolls, 142 pesos for RV and Car.

We stop at the Smart Gas truck stop about 4.5 miles south of Los Mochis. Pay the guard 50 pesos for the night. As we go in the gate we make a sharp left turn and park right next to the fence in front.  This year we did not eat at the Elba restaurant there. But their food is good. Just being careful this year. They have Wi-Fi, but couldn’t get it to do anything.  We got there about 3:00. We also gas up there before parking so we are ready to go in the morning. The station only takes cash, no cards.

And that was Thursday.

I am posting Friday's journey in a couple of hours. So two today.  


Kathy Tycho said...

The usual..ropes and bad roads. Funny enough I have the same road log and 11 years of notes on it have really messed it up.

Carol and Bill said...

Kathy - it sure has been useful over the years. Maybe they will do a new one to include the bypasses some day.