Wednesday, October 27, 2021

From Nogales to San Carlos

We had quite a day yesterday! Long post. Mainly at the beginning and at the end. More about both later. Very cloudy morning when we left Amado. In fact we encountered some rain drops. Luckily just a few, enough to make windshield dirty. 

There is still construction on the 19, mainly yesterday just before exit 12 where we wanted to off to get gasoline at the Pilot. Took us over half hour to go 2 miles. We stopped at the Pilot - we have a Good Sam RV Plus credit card which gives us somewhere around 5 cents a gallon off. This truck was making a delivery there. I just liked its looks.
A closer picture of one of the faces. We left the gas station at 9:30  We ARRIVED in San Carlos at 4:30 - only a 287 mile drive! More about the reason later.
Got to US border just before 10 a..m.  Again if you have an RV go through the TRUCKS lane. 
Very important. The weather was still very overcast and our front windshield has a slight tint so pictures taken out of it are not real bright. 
You come out and just go around the nice big lane around the curve. Once around the curve stay to the left always. 
Takes you right here where you join up with the cars. 
All tolls booths are open and collecting tolls. Make sure you have pesos to pay them, they do not take dollars. We spent just over 700 pesos in tolls to San Carlos.
He coming up on the Mexican Customs stop. Stay to left of barriers, slow down going between sign post and barriers, it is narrow. 
Watch out for this first tope then there is another one just after it. They are both marked but... (Notice the red X - more about it later.) Continue ahead following red line. 
If you are in an RV you must go to the Right - there are markings on the road. HOWEVER if nothing changes from yesterday until you get here STOP before entering the lane, especially if one of the guards is holding there hand up to you. That is not an arrow on the picture it is an indication where you should stop. 
Seems like this year there is a new law. Every vehicle that goes through this check post MUST DO SO UNDER THEIR OWN POWER. That means you CANNOT tow your car or pickup through this area. YOU MUST UNHOOK  then drive the car/pickup through the car lanes and the RV through the truck/bus lane and then REHOOK ON THE OTHER SIDE. 
Well we drove right through the bus lane even though a guard had run over and was waving at us to stop and back up - yah sure. So what happened next. Lots of discussion first. (Remember Bill speaks excellent Spanish) They would not budge. The law is - under own power period. So we were clocking the lane. No where to unhook. So we had to drive around the buildings back into the north bound lanes and find a place just past the exit where all the trucks come out and pull over and UNHOOK the Jeep. 
Got some army guys to stop both north and sound traffic for us and went back to south bound lanes - remember the red X that is where we went to the south bound lanes again. I took the car through the car lanes, just waved me through. Bill went through the bus lane. The border people had already check the original registrations against the vin number on both vehicles. So this time they just went in RV looked right and left and got out. So ... Bill got in RV and went down highway a few yards to where he could pull off and I followed him in the Jeep. Rehooking - the first time.
Notice I said the first time. As we started back on the road the jeep was swerving all over. Pulled over immediately. The hitch had not engaged completely. So because of the angle of the jeep - had to completely unhook and rehook. Just what we needed. So finally on the road south again 
So to continue on little town of Cibuta has THREE topes, slow down when you come to the vibradores. (the little silver bumps on the roads.) 
There usually is a big tope when you see someone standing in the middle of the road selling something or asking for a donation. 
A nasty tope that is hard to see if not expecting it. Most are marked, but with some the marking is right next to the tope. To late to slow down then. Some are marked 500m before...
There is still some construction going on. Well marked.
This pretty area with all the trees and curves and hills is still under construction. 
Imuris has topes see the guys in the middle of the road. Tope there, they are selling birds in small cages. 
The toll booth at the Magdalena bypass. Open and collecting. 
I put a picture of the Santa Ana sign because just the other side of it is a big tope. Watch for it. There is also another one just after going around the curve in town.  Also about Santa Ana, we were thinking about stopping in Santa Ana at the Punta Vista RV Park, so we called to see if it was open. Dora - Edgars sister is running it and it is open. She is hopping to get lots of business this year. We did not stop though. We got there about noon. 
Saw many many pickups l
We saw many, many pickups loaded to the hilt on the road. Most had California license plates. Still not too many cross country busses on the road, a few more than last year. 
If you see a Pemex gas station, or any other gas station slow down a lot of them have vibradores in front of them. 
The military check point for trucks heading north. Zillions of trucks in line. It must take them a whole day to get through. 
The toll booth right before Hermosillo - it is before the bypass of course. Don't know what the problem was but it was really backed up. The guy in the picture was having vehicles change from one lane to another. Took about 20 minutes to get through.
All cars in lane 3 were changed to lane 2. Our lane 4 was not moving at all. 
Don't argue with these guys. 
So people in our lane s
So people in our lane started to try to change lanes.
Then other people decided to drive down the middle lane - don't know where they thought they were going. 
Finally our lane started moving again. After we paid the barrier did not go up. The guy had to come out of the booth and move it so we could go through. Start watching for the bypass. Stay in LEFT lane.
Here it is. You enter the on ramp from the left highway lane. 

A couple sections of the bypass are rough washboard, but mostly very good. Hard to pass though, be careful. Toll booth is expensive cost up RV and car 265 pesos.
On highway to San Carlos. If going there be sure to keep to right heading to Guaymas.
After getting to Totonaka RV park we parked in our spot. I was outside "helping" Bill back in when I decided I needed to check how my bone density was holding up. So I stubbed my toe on the patio and promptly fell over. Came down on my knees and hands. Guess the density is okay, nothing broke. My knees are a little skinned up. My right hand and arm are fine. My left hand not so good. Big bruise on palm of hand and my poor deformed little finger took the brunt of the fall. It is black and blue and sore - so am typing using one hand and only one finger on left hand. Have typed a couple of strange words. The left arm is a little sore too. Nothing to be concerned about, a few swear words now and then take care of it. 
So any way. We didn't get to San Carlos until 4:00 . A six and a half hour day. Got set up and went to Griegos La Palapa on the beach for dinner. Funny when we walked in one of the waiters saw Bill and said, "Welcome mister three fish and chips. Good to see you back."  Our first meal there every year is fish and chips and Bill orders two for himself and then one for me. Thus 3 fish and chips. The last storm push too much sand up on the beach - the tables out there cannot be used until some of the sand is moved.
Good to be sitting here enjoying our meal and the ocean and fine weather.
We were both in bed by 9:00 last night.  And so ends our first day in Mexico. Today RELAX!


Grandma on the Road said...

Glad you made it safely in spite of your problems! I would love to go to Mexico someday, but I can see where you really need to speak fluent Spanish, especially when you are alone, as I am.


Doug and Nancy said...

Ahh. This is what I heard rumblings about regarding driving each vehicle over separately. What a pain, especially if someone is a solo traveler and has a towed car!! Glad you are resting for a few days!!

Beth said...

I'd be up a creek as a solo, eh? I wonder how they'd handle it.

SandyM said...

Glad you are safely in San Carlos. So very sorry about the fall and you are lucky no bones are broken. I do wonder how a solo driver that is also towing gets through; anything for confusion. You two are great travelers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm heading that way Monday. Pulling a tow behind my RV by myself.

Carol and Bill said...

Maybe things will change. Just be aware if they motion to you to stop. Stop before entering the lane. I imagine they will have you unhook, probable drive the RV through park it then walk back a short way and then drive the towed vehicle through. Except for the unhooking and hooking part it should go smoothly. We should have stopped right away. Your vehicles will be safe and it is only a few feet to walk. Let me know what happens. As I was told the law has always been each vehicle must enter on it own power it just hasn't been enforced.