Nov 19, 2017

An interesting day

We didn’t push ourselves today but just moved from task to task with no plan nor reason.  Because of the high tide at our usual walk time we didn’t walk today.  We had planned to walk  the beach later in the afternoon but went out to play in the ocean instead.  We spent more time today talking to the neighbors and some friends from earlier years.  The day passed quickly but we were very relaxed with the flow.

This past March when we put the girls to sleep we had two incidents with butterflies which I explained in this post.  Earlier today I was cleaning out a bin of bug spray when a large monarch type of butterfly approached me, although it was more yellow and black than orange.  What was strange is that it came into the middle of the palapa while I was working with not so pleasant fragrances and flew around me.  Actually it flew around me in a tight radius over and over and over.  I finally twigged in and called out to Colin.  He could not hear me so I moved to go to him.  As I did so the butterfly flew out to the front of our site and I thought had flown away.  I called Colin as I ran to him and told him to come quickly.  As he did, we both saw the butterfly approach us at the back of the RV ( in fact in the same area that the butterflies had appeared to me last March just before it was time to said goodbye to our beloved girls ).  Many of you won’t believe this but I feel ( as does Colin ) that this was a sign that our girls are here with us.  Needless to say tears were shed but our hearts were full.  I can’t explain the intensity of the feeling but it was also calming.

 

Later while swimming we noticed this 45′ RV come into the park. It wasn’t until we got back to our site that we saw the situation and figured out that he was supposed to be in RV2.  Why would someone who drives such a large unit drive blindly into an area they are not at all familiar with.  Most of  us would stop outside and walk in to check things out and be sure that we could get out again.

They were here on a cruise last season and loved the RV park and location so booked and came here for the rest of the winter just as we have.  I can’t imagine how tired they must be from driving and then have jackknifed so badly that his truck had some damage.  Fortunately most of the fellows helped unload the truck, physically move the trailer and then help the fellow get out of RV1 and turn him around.  They then helped him get settled in RV2.

Yet another wonderful sunset.  I was next door watching it with a friend while Colin finished a few chores and did a bit of practice.

We were all happy when he suddenly showed up and gave us a bit of a concert.  A wee crowd of seven soon gathered.  It was the perfect way to end the day.

 

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Nov 18, 2017

Getting things in order…

..poco a poco, little by little.  Another long day but things are coming together, enough that our yard is organized and we can just now deal with one project at a time as we feel like doing something.  We have a place for all the little piles of to dos and other areas to sit and relax and enjoy the view.

Colin and Ismael (the park handy man ) went out in the Jeep and hired two drivers and two trucks to get all of our things from the bodega ( our storage area ).  Colin commented on how we had much less this year.  It is because we gave away many things after the girls passed last March.  No need for fencing or dog beds or ramps, etc.

The next thing was for Ismael and Colin to put up our dust screen. This helps keep the dust from the road on the other side of the fence from coming into our site.  Most of the dust is kicked up from horses going past or ATV’s.

Meanwhile my job was to power wash most everything that came out of storage.

After a good six hours we decided to call it a day and walked up the beach for an early dinner. The meal was good but the margarita not so much. This was our second walk of the day, we had walked down the beach about 7AM just before the high tide came in.  I walked close to 13,000 steps today.  Quite the step up from sitting around all day traveling in the RV.

A colorful sunset as we walked back to the motorhome.

The view out of our front window.

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Nov 17, 2017

We are back on the Isla

Our home away from home.  It was a short drive @ 194 miles but as I type this I am beyond tired.  We have driven 2,591 miles over the last 11 days 😉

A lot of new greenhouses in the Culiacan area and they are all sporting new netting.

Great news,the road from the airport to Estrella del Mar has been recently repaved. It had pot holes last year but we didn’t find it all that bad. They are currently installing guard rails. What a treat!

Even better there are finally some signs for Tres Amigos with directions.

The best news of all is that the last unpaved km is being worked on right now.

We had to wait a few minutes for the grader to move out the pile of soil and for this machine to smooth it out. He was rolling backwards as we followed him. Likely this project will be completed in just a few days.

The rest of the road was finished over the last two years. There is no reason to not stop in for even just a few days as you head further south for the winter. Or just come to the Isla for the rest of the winter.

Once the pavement ends the signs show you were to go.  Left for a very short period of time and you have arrived in paradise.  We suspect that by next year this area will also be paved.

Sadly the photo I took of our empty site was blurry.  That’s okay as we want to create some new memories this trip.  It is very hot here as well as humid, right now at 6:30PM, 70% 😯   Everyone says that it is getting much better and cooler.  Perhaps tomorrow I will notice a difference.  Meanwhile we are living in AC.  The inside of the RV becomes very hot as we travel as the engine is under the bed.  I know that in a few days we will acclimatize, we always do.  Due to the heat we did the minimum outside and concentrated on sorting out the inside while staying cool.  So now we have the rest of the evening off but first I need to make us some dinner.

Our first sunset. Not a great shot but the jejenes were out and biting. The other RVers continued to sit outside as they are now used to the noseeums.

Sadly we did not get out for a beach walk but it was really too hot and sticky.  Tomorrow promises to be a full day and then we may just let some of our stuff sit while we relax.  However we both prefer to push through and get it all done and then we will truly relax.  No matter, it is still wonderful to finally be here.

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Nov 16, 2017

Almost there

What a long day 🙄 Even though we only drove 317 miles today it was tiring.  When the roads were good they were excellent but when they were bad they were the worst we have ever experienced in our 18 years of RVing in Mexico.  What we called bad roads last year have deteriorated and today it was either good or bad.   Colin says that it gave the black tank a good shake up.  Seriously, the roads were so bad at times that at our slowest we were were only going 20Kph or 12.5Mph.  I had to wait for the smooth new concrete roads to be able to take a sip of my hot drink.  We usually average 60 – 63 Mph in the US and here in Mexico it is down to 50 – 55 Mph.  The slower speeds today made us just over an hour later than our anticipated arrival.  Tonight we are staying at Pemex 3970 which is at about KM 75, south of Los Mochis.  They have free WiFi here 😀 and it is much faster that the one we paid 420 pesos for last night.  By the way we found out that several folks had burned out electrical devices, etc. this morning, which is why we never plugin at Totonaka.  This morning it was spiking to 145 volts.  We boiled our water outside at the electrical post.  Colin spoke to an RVer who says that he bought a special device to bring the voltage down.  Tonight we are running the generator as it was so hot today that the RV was like a sauna.  We have a heavy curtain that we pull closed behind our driving seats and that keeps the AC right where we are sitting where we need it the most as we drive into the sun.

There is so much more road construction happening in Sonora.  In this photo they are working on both sides of the road.  As you can see it is a two lane road and rather than being two lanes in one direction as intended it is now single lane in both directions.

One little thing I would like to mention is that they are no longer selling wild parrots at Vicam.  Nancy will appreciate that.  There is a long story that goes with this but suffice to say that this is a good thing.  I was too caught up with the roads today to take many photos.

This giant Yaqui statue is just north of Ciudad Obregon and is meant to be a memorial but the park is not yet open.

I love all these bright city signs going up all over Mexico.

Finally we are in Sinaloa 🙂 This is the state where Mazatlan and Isla de la Piedra are located.  I can’t crop out all the bug splatters but you get the idea.

We came across some lovely countryside today.  The dirty windshield hides the stunning beauty of these hills.

There are always interesting things to see in Mexico that likely would not be allowed north of its border.

Then there is the price of fuel which has gone up 4.65 pesos per litre since this last November.  But Mexico is worth every extra penny.  Having said that we had a wee incident earlier this afternoon when the Pemex attendant attempted to trick us out of 1000 pesos ( 66.87CAD or 52.60USD ).  The cost for our diesel was 4200 pesos and I gave the guy 4 x 1000 peso note and 1 X 200 peso note.  I watched as he palmed one of the 1000 peso notes and put it into his lower jacket pocket. He then turned back to me and said that it was 4200 pesos and not 3200 pesos.  I told him in English ( which he suddenly understood ) that  I saw him put the bill into his pocket.  He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a few small bills to show me that I was mistaken.  I pointed to his lower pocket and pointed to my eyes and asked him to take the large bill out of his pocket which he did.  He then said in English “it’s okay” and walked away.  Colin always does the money transactions at the Pemex stations but today I did for some reason.  I simply handed over the 5 bills splayed out like a hand of cards.  Colin would have placed one bill at a time in the attendants hand and count out 1000 pesos, 2000 thousands pesos, etc.  We think that they had us pegged as mere tourists as we started with one guy pumping fuel and another came and took over.  FYI this was Pemex 3539 @ km 210 just south of C. Obregon.   Just another incident in our lives.

Meanwhile we are counting every hour until we reach paradise.

PS  Welcome to all the new commenters to my blog.  You are the inspiration to keep me going.  Last night it took so many hours to post, tonight less than half that time.  Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it and then I get a lovely comment, so thank you for leaving your comments.  It means a lot to me.   I hope to go back later this evening and answer your individual questions.

 

 

 

 

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Nov 15, 2017

Woohoo!! We are officially back in Mexico….

…but first I have to finish telling you about our last day in the US.  Monday morning we drove to Lake Havasu City to see a very dear friend of mine.

From Las Vegas we crossed into California, our 5th state.

Talk about a ribbon of highway.

The last US state this trip.

As we drove I got a call from Canon Canada telling me that through the photos we had sent of the blown up battery that they decided that our battery was a fake!!!!  So it appears that we have purchased according Canon, fake batteries even though they say Canon on them and look the same.  Therefore they are not responsible for the damage and expenses occurred.  We just could not deal with this as were we less than a day from crossing into Mexico.  How would I know that I was buying a phony battery?  We just put it all aside until we reach the Isla.  Then we will check with a lawyer or possibly just Kevin/Ruth as he knows all the ins and out outs of things.  It took a while to shake that horrid call off but I did.

We were staying at the Lake Havasu State Park where we had a a great view ( site 4 ). Sadly we were not there more than a few hours total.

Great view from the Safeway parking lot.

The view from my friends front door, can you see the lake with the sunset reflection?

Libby and I have been friends from when we started nursing school together back in 1971.  Yes that means that we have been friends for over 46 years.  We have been through thick and thin together and everything in between.  If Libby called me tomorrow and said she needed my help I would be on the first plane out of Mexico.  We managed to have a wonderful visit in the short amount of time we had together.

We had to drive about 1388 miles from home to visit Libby 🙂 Good thing she happens to live on our route to Mexico.

Since we left Lake Havasu on Tuesday morning ( yesterday ) we have driven 635 miles. I posted yesterday about the drive to Lake Havasu. We also had a fellow come at 8AM yesterday ( Tuesday ) to fill a rock ship in the windshield just before we left for Amado, AZ.  Sorry we missed you R & M.  Stay well.

About 7:25AM this morning we were welcomed into Mexico.

I know that I might have confused some of you with my back and forth catch up but we are in real time now.  However the internet here at Totonaka RV Park in San Carlos is beyond slow and it has taken me two hours to get this far in the post and I already had my photos edited.  Plus the power is out of whack and we have a heater running outside the RV to try and draw the voltage down.  So many tricks one needs to know to function in Mexico.

As we left Lake Havasu City Colin decided to stop using our brake device on the Jeep.  It just was not functioning as it should and Colin felt safer not using it.  He was worried about damaging the tow car brakes.  The current plan is to call a Blue Ox Patriot Assist Device tech guy once we get to the Isla and then make a decision if we need to ship it back to the US for repairs or ???  I suspect that this may be an ongoing saga this winter.

I has some sad moments today as I realized that all of my road logs and maps had notations about stopping here and there for the girls, a good spot with grass, etc.  We did spend time talking about memories along the way of things that had happened here and there.  We did make excellent time today which was mostly due to no pee stops for the girls.  Overall it was a lovely travel day and the temps certainly warmed up.  We had to turn the A/C on about 11:45AM 😉

I want to give a brief rundown of the roads as there are others who are coming behind us and I know they check my posts to help plan their travels.

For the most part the roads were good, at least to San Carlos. Because of the ongoing construction we ended up doing a great deal of one way single lane driving and alternating from one side of the highway to the other.

The important thing to note is that if you are entering Mexico via Nogales they are now ( for the second year ) doing a very thorough entry search just a few miles after you cross into Mexico.  This stop is not far from the very first toll after crossing the border.  They asked for the paperwork for the RV and the Jeep, the 10 year RV permit and our passports.  First of all we had to wait 10 minutes for an official to come and speak with us once we had arrived.  He showed up in a vehicle with lights flashing.  After checking all of our papers he came into the RV and verified the VIN which is in a closet in the bedroom.  As we went through this last year and got questioned rather strongly on the desktop we placed it so that it was out of sight.  We also did the same with most of the wine we had with us.  Has we been asked if we had wine I would have said yes and shown what we had in the fridge as well as in a cupboard.  Today this fellow simply said ‘wine’ and before Colin would answer, said ‘beer’!  Colin said that we don’t drink beer but preferred margaritas, the guy was bored and moved on.  He never asked if we had any alcohol or what we had.  Next he went to search the Jeep and that was it.  In all, it took about  15 minutes.

In a nutshell, there is road construction from the border to Santa Ana but it moves long.  From Santa Ana to Hermosillo the road is pretty good with a few rough areas.  Hermosillo itself never gets better, just deeper pot holes and more of them.  Once you get thru the craters of Hermosillo the road to San Carlos is amazing.  You are on new roads 98% of the time even though it is for the most part single lane alternating sides of the road.  We were thrown off a bit as we approached the exit to San Carlos, the road is all torn up.  However a sign said to head to either CD Obregon or Guaymas.  We did not want Guaymas but it eventually lead to the original road to San Carlos, thank goodness.

We got here the earliest ever, again because we no longer had the girls to deal with as we traveled.  Very warm here at 85F.  Sadly as we are parked hooked up along side the main road, we only have 15 Amps with very high voltage.  At the moment we have a heater plugged in outside to deflect some of the voltage so that our inverter does not shut off my computer.

We wanted to break from our usual routine with the girls and chose to head out to Charly’s Rock to view the sunset and have dinner.

An excellent margarita for 50 pesos and the best coconut shrimp since long ago Acapulco.

Sorry but I can’t proof this, it has been close to 4 hours since I started this post and due to slow internet or ??? I just can’t keep going.  Time to shower and ago to bed where Colin already is.  Tomorrow will be a new adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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