Monday, February 28, 2022

San Carlos

 I got up early this morning about 4:30 so it is going to be a long day. Good thing yesterday we did nothing but laze about;.

Will leave sometime this morning - it is a long driving day, almost 300 miles from her to Amado, AZ. The good thing is the roads are all good until just before US border. And there shouldn't be any check points - but that can always change. And not too many topes on the highway. I wonder how much the tolls in this area have gone up. So far from Mazatlan to here the tolls were US$ 35 more than when we went down in November. Especially the big jump for the Obregon Bypass. 

We are parked in one of the hook ups on the street at Totanaka so we didn't have to unhook the car. So didn't go much of anywhere. The RV park is quite full. The most I've seen here in a couple of years. 

 I walked across to the beach just to look around. It was still before noon so not many people out there. The new ramp down to the beach and the palapas withstood the winter.

I think there might have been some kind of fishing expo or contest going on here this weekend. Saw several people in logo T shirts. And these three guys all dressed alike and with some mighty, to me, impressive fishing gear. They spend some time fishing from the shore here. 
Always a pretty view. Later I was hoping for one of the glorious sunsets but wasn't to be. 
I've posted quite a few pictures from the last couple of times we've been here of the painted decorated dolphin statures that are around town. Well there is a new one in from of Totanaka and it is the best I've seen. Really impressive and a great representative of Mexico. Took lots of pictures of it. 

A colorful Mexican street scene, the agave plant and the tail - a colorful Mexican blanket

We will leave here around 8 I imagine and hopefully arrive in Amado sometime between 2 and 3. 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Los Mochis to San Carlos

Started this yesterday evening. Posting this morning. Well we made it another 242 miles closer to home. Left Los Mochis at 8 and got to San Carlos a little after 1:00. Total tolls 1265 pesos - going south it was 993 pesos. Every toll booth was more expensive. Too bad the roads weren't better. Today is a go no where day. 

The sunrise yesterday morning at the Smart Gas truck stop. 

Us parked in an almost empty truck lot. We always park right up front next to the guard and the fence. 
On the road, the first toll booth. Long lines to get through almost all of them. Most of them had vendors selling all kinds of things. 
Here is the first picture of THE DEAD BUG. He barely showed up on the window so I'd forget he was there. But the camera loved him and would focus on what was left of him and the rest of the picture would be out of focus. So please forgive. After the 244 peso toll just north of Los Mochis the road went to heck. 
The first check point of the day.  (This is not permanent check point - see the rope tope.)
When we got over the rope tope we thought that was it. Nope. We were stopped by the FGR   - Fiscalia General de la Republica. They look for illegal migrants and investigate and prosecute federal crimes. - Two men in their camo uniforms and big guns came in to inspect. Their English was pretty good. They were very concerned about the area above our slide in bed. Why was there so much space between the top of the slide and the ceiling. Had to explain how it slides out. A little bit of thumping with fists on the ceiling. Then they thanked us and left. Very polite non threatening. Just had never heard of them before. Had to look up who they were. 
Another check point. Just asked where we came from and we where going. Waved on. 

Leaving Sinaloa into Sonora. Right here barely any asphalt on either side of the border. Mostly pot holes. 
Coming up to the agricultural check point just inside of Sonora. Lot of dust in air.
Much to our surprise this whole area has been paved. Used to be nothing but BIG pot holes. 
Just asked if we had fruit. Said no and then waved through. As I said the Whole area has been paved. 
Right out to the highway. No more rig rocking holes to go through. 
A truck full of rocking chairs. 
Finally got a kind of good picture of this. We were stopped at the light, of course, and no on coming traffic. Very pretty. 
We actually managed to catch two of the lights going through Navojoa while they were green. Amazing. 
Got on the Obregon bypass. More traffic than usual on it. There were two men with two wheel barrels working here. No transportation to take them any where. So hope someone remembered to pick them up. AN INTERESTING NOTE - THE TOLL FOR THE RV AND THE CAR WAS - GET THIS - 512 PESOS! Almost dropped my teeth when we gave her a 500 peso note and she asked for 12 more pesos. Like I said all tolls have gone up. 
When we got of the bypass and to the big sculpture of the Indian we ran into a road block. Several Nationals had a couple of the lanes blocked by a pick up truck and a rope across the only lane not blocked. Of course you have to stop. Bill told them in Spanish to lower the rope. Surprised looks. Again he said lower the rope. They were lowering the rope when Bill ended up giving them 20 pesos. They were polite but...
Entering Vicam. Here another road block, again another 20 pesos. They will move the barrel without you paying them if you insist. 
Traffic slow going through do to the horrid road and all the topes. Another group standing in the middle of the road at the end of town. Refused to pay this group. 

Glad we were going the other way. Big traffic back up going south. 
Just beyond Vicam there is another small town that has four topes to watch out for. Around km 58 just about a mile past the Pemex on the left.
The roads in Sonora are good, except for the few exceptions of at the border and going through Vicam and the topes scattered here and there. 
IF you are going to San Carlos or the big gas station just north of the toll booth. Take care, there is a new turn off to get to the station and the south bound lanes. (Actually it is the turn off we took last year and ended up in the city dump.) So of course we didn't take it this year. Well we should have. Suddenly we were going over the gas station and eventually had to find a returno to get back headed south to go to San Carlos.) There is signage (it too was there in the spring) but it is a little confusing. 
So we are in Totanaka until tomorrow morning when we will cross the border. The longest driving day. Almost 300 miles. And of course more topes and toll booths. 
We are not unhooking the car so will have a quiet day here in the campground. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

We are 242 miles closer to home.

We are now in the Smart Gas fenced truck stop in Los Mochis. A LONG 242 mile day. The road from Mazatlan to the third toll booth near Culiacan was pretty good - mostly. From Culiacan it was good in spots and needs a lot of work in other spots. And all the tolls have gone UP. Paid 632 pesos more to come home than to go down. took us 5 hours from start to stop. We had dinner in the Elba Restaurant. Very good. Chicken empanazada, salad and french fries - enough for a today and tomorrow. 

Will look at my pictures and resize some then try to update this later. Internet connection is iffy at best. 

Just before we left at 9:30.

At the ARC O filling the gas tank. 2979 pesos. 
The Guardia National were stopping incoming cars at the railroad tracks. A Carnival thing I think. Just waved us through. 

All town bound cars were stopped. No idea what they were checking for. 

Lots of Guardia National trucks and cars on the highway.
North bound 15D parts getting repaved. Good.  Just before first toll booth. 
I had read that tolls had gone up.  Wow have they ever. 
The old prices are covered so it is a surprise what you will owe. If I remember correctly this one went up around  60 pesos.  Total for both RV and car. 
Lots of paving being done on south bound lanes too. GOOD
Just a pretty pink blooming tree along the way.

 More work being done on the north bound lanes. 
Some of the toll booths had long lines, no idea why. Unless people were upset about new tolls.
Agricultural check point. Just asked if we had any fruit. Said no and waved on. They used to want to spray the vehicles here. In the past we've paid them 100 pesos to NOT spray us. 
Onions or potatoes for sale along the highway.  No one around to take money???

So we are here for the night. When we got here there was not one truck in the lot. But some have shown up since. Nice rumble of truck engines going on. 
Tomorrow will be in San Carlos for few days. 

A major change of plans.

Well we are still in Mazatlan Bill woke up Tuesday morning not feeling well - NOT COVID - stomach very upset. Stomach did not improve so a couple of hours later he made the decision, which I wholly agreed with, to not drive. The car was/is already hooked up. We had almost every thing ready to go, just had to pull in slides and leave.  By evening he was feeling a "little" better. He had a very restless night and come Wednesday morning was still not sure he felt well enough to drive. Again okay. We could stay here up until March 3rd if we want to. So we are. A couple of pretty -very - quiet days. Car is still hooked up. 

Yesterday was the first day of Carnival, but the big crowds are expected to arrive starting today. Goody, goody. The government is asking every one driving here to go slow and avoid accidents caused by traffic and bad roads. Bad roads? Really? At least when we do leave we will be going against the traffic. 

Watching the mess going on in Ukraine. Not good.  But enough of that. 

In the last post I mentioned and took pictures of the weird structures that were being built on the beach.  Found out what they are for. From the paper, "You will notice that there are about 10 structures already installed at beach level. Various artifacts, including light and thunder, as well as special effects will be installed on them." For the big fireworks show that will be one night. The hotels are at 100% full for the next week. And Covid protocols will be enforced for the duration of Carnival. To enter the planned events people will need to show vaccination certificate or negative test. Hope that works. 

However - he just got up and says he feels great. So in a little bit we will put the rest of the possible flying objects - away and head north. Tonight in truck stop so probably no Internet. Two nights in San Carlos then on to Amado, AZ for a couple of nights. Will post when we are in San Carlos. Sure hope todays road is better going north than it was coming south. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

On the highway again. Heading home.

Well I'm up at 5:30 and we won't be leaving until about 10! We leave later today because we will be spending the night in a truck stop. No sense getting there early. About 250 miles today and most of it on bad expensive road if the trip down is an accurate indication. I do hope some of the north bound sections have been repaved. Also read the tolls have gone up again. Probably will not have WiFi tonight so no posting from Los Mochis...sometimes I can pick up the parking lots WiFi for a quick post. We will see. Then tomorrow we will head for San Carlos another long drive but mostly on good roads. 

Yesterday we took our last trip to Centro. Things are starting to gear up for Carnival which begins Thursday. Just one of the deliveries of beer we saw.

Building all kinds of stands along the Malecon and in Olas Altas. Usually by now there are bleachers built all along the Malecon for the Parades. But it wasn't decided until three days ago to for sure have Carnival. 
Don't know what these are but there are several of them built on the beach just off the sidewalk. Haven't seen them before.
This one has a cover on it. 
Finally got a half way decent photo of this one. 
Beer stands going up. One thing missing still are all the porta potties along the way. 
I wanted to see the finished mural at the Observatory. It sure is pretty. I wonder if they are going to do something with the newly painted white wall to the left of it. 
So anyway, the watch. We usually manage to pull up into a small driveway right next to the watchmakers shop but there was a taxi cab pulled in there. Didn't want to go to the parking lot a couple of blocks away 'cause we'd only be a couple of minutes. So parked with several cars along the curb around the corner. A little further down the curb was a NO PARKING sign. But there are always cars parked there...Got to the watchmaker and he apologized profusely about not being able to fix the watch. The movement he'd found would not work. So after two years Bill got his watch back just as it went in. Not working. It is over 30 some years old so....
Back to the car. Oh, oh, right in front of it was a policeman on an ATV getting ready to give out parking tickets. We hurried to the Jeep got in and drove away before he got off his ATV. Whew. Just in time. 
So back towards home. Decided to stop at the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. As we turned the corner from the Malecon to the street where the store is the traffic cop on foot at the corner pointed to us and motioned to us to pull over. WHAT? He blew his whistle and continued to point to the curb. So Bill pulled over. We weren't speeding, our turn signal was on, we were wearing seat belts... Policeman came up from behind us to Bill's window. He asked if we were American. Bill said yes. He smiled and told Bill in Spanish he thought our car was Mexican and if it was it needed a front license plate. But he realized some American cars didn't need one. So he smiled and waved us on our way.  The first time in years we'd been pulled over. He was very nice and respectful as was Bill. 
So in and out of grocery store and home.
Had the RV washed and waxed yesterday and gave all of our plants  that were in planters to Rafael the handy man in the park. 
Bill took down all the colored lights and straightened out the outdoor storage areas and I straightened out all the inside cupboards. So this morning we just have to put things away, pull the slides in, hook the car and we'll be ready to go.
Part if me hates to leave, as it will probably we our last time coming here. And part of me can't wait to get home.