Dec 04, 2021

We have arrived

Lovely drive on the autopsista espescially when about half way thru you get to see  glimpses of the ocean. But no shrimp boats out there??

Drove 194 miles. Left at 7 AM, we did not want to leave so early that we would not see the roads and the bumps. We took the new Mazatlan Libramiento and arrived at 11:35AM.

Repairs are being done all along the road and on both sides.

In a nutshell the roads are the same as usual but worse in a few spots. So many areas have been re asphalted.  Colin even drove at 60mph for a bit today, he could have gone faster but this way he was able to see to slow down as needed.

Just enjoying the ride. However we did have to turn on the A/C at 9am due to the humidity. Carlie moved to the floor under my chair where it was cooler.

There is a bit more damage that we expected from the hurricane.  All of our plants have died including the bougainvillea. They are slowly coming back, not so much the hibiscus. Even the smaller palms are looking sad. I am happy to report that some plumerias flowers are blooming. My garden is mostly dead but when I get a chance I will deadhead and fertilize. There are other changes as well.  It took me a few hours to settle than we did some reorganizing which helped.

Not so bad unless you are driving too fast.

The girls just loved all the space they had to run and chase each other. They have been cooped up for 24 days so they ran their tiny hearts out. They only woke up for dinner. We have not shown them the beach, no time on our part. However they are so happy to just be in the yard. Favourite thing thus far is to eat all of my pants, dead or alive. Plus we want to be able to be free to spend as much time as they like and not be pressured to have to come back to the RV to do whatever. Being Saturday it was very busy here so tomorrow the beach may be even busier.

Just as we were about to turn left onto “Horse Road” our friend Miguel came along, heading back to his place with his horses.

The girls were so fascinated with all the different things that they were seeing.

Our friend and the park handyman Ismael waiting  for us. We were within five minutes of the time I had said we we would arrive. He and Colin built the dog fence.

Lots of changes, including noise from duelling bands tonight. Need to find out more about that.

No time to take too many photos once we landed but don’t worry that will soon be rectified.

First sunset in a very long time.

 

 

Oma ou

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Dec 03, 2021

We can almost smell the ocean

We were up at 5AM and driving at 6AM. It did not take long for dawn to break. Such a beautiful thing to observe as the various colours came out and changed to become lighter and lighter.

Difficult to capture the perfect shot from a moving vehicle. So I got an artsy one instead.

For some reason there were dozens and dozens of birds flying all around us as we drove through Vicam. The girls went wild. They watch the birds all the time at home but there so many here that they got rather excited. You can see a few on the right on the road.

They flew in front of the RV, alongside and above. The girls watched them as they moved. They really wanted to see them up close.

They followed the birds with their heads and at one point ran to the back of the RV as they flew alongside – smart thinking in that they thought they could see them at the back of the RV. They watched them land on the electrical wires and then fly away yet again.

They were so fascinated and excited and we were equally entranced watching their unique reaction to nature. Carlie came up to me several times to give me her ‘I am very happy right now” kisses of thank you for her being there. She does not do this everyday but she does let us know when she is happy or when we have arrived somewhere that she likes. Ciela is actually jumping in the air in this photo. This was a great way to start our day.

A new piece of news regarding the C Oregon bypass to Navajo. Effective December 1st the expensive toll will no longer be based on your total number of axles. Instead the toll will be based on each vehicle. So instead of paying 336 pesos we had to pay 515 🙁  Not a pleasant surprise.

Not an official toll booth but one made by people in the area. It is rather cute as they actually have a tiny piece of string that one of the elders ( sitting under the lean to ) pulls across as you drive up as if that would stop you from driving on. They are wanting a donation before they will allow you to cross. Back in 2019 they actually had a large semi blocking the highway.

We stopped at the large Pemex in Navojoa so that the girls could do their business.  They did not. Shortly after we drove in Jackie & Rolf from Tres Amigos pulled in. They were planning to do the long 10 -12 hour drive to the Isla today. We have done that in the past but just not worth the wear and tear on our bodies and of course not with two puppies. We fuelled up and carried on. There is no time for long breaks.  One never knows the conditions of the roads and how long it might take. It changes every year. Plus there are only so many places that you can overnight along the way.

I have named this Hell on Earth road.

It is a huge mess of no road but rather sand, gravel, pot holes and is extremely bumpy, did I mention pot holes? It does not go a long way but what there was was hellish. Three young ladies were working with shovels to fit in the holes as we drove past and at the same time asking for a donation for their volunteer efforts. We were happy to give them some pesos.

This is at the south end of Sonora. You can see the nicer highway as you cross into Sinaloa. We could have walked faster then the speed we were driving along here.

Shortly after the Hell on Earth road our dash A/C started to work again 😯 Bonus!

The San Miguel toll booth just before Los Mochis was a beehive of activity with vendors swarming all vehicles trying to make some money. For some reason it took forever to get through the toll booth and move on.

A burning fire is how brush is cleared along the side of the road. No one is there to watch it. A few weeks back my friend Carol took a similar shot except in her’s the fire was actually burning right up towards the top of a pole.

We drove 312 miles today in 8 1/2 hours. I always use miles in the blog when referring to the RV as our odometer only registers miles.  We imported it from the US.  We pulled into the Pemex  3970 at KM 75 about 25 kilometres before the Autopista between Culiacan and Mazatlan. First we fuelled up for the second time today.  We were parked by 2:40PM, dumped the air, levelled the jacks and put the slides out. Within twenty minutes Colin had the generator out and running. Five minutes later we could feel the trickle of cool air. It was very very hot, 89F inside and 96F outside. It took a while be we did get the inside down to 79F by first using the front AC and later the back one in the bedroom. So wonderful to be cool again.

Too warm to do much so we all relaxed. That orange reflection is the sun ever so slowly going down.

Can you see that bit of yellow next to the RV just behind the steps? That is our generator, put there to protect it from other vehicles and trucks.

End of a long day. We still have abut 200 miles to drive tomorrow which will take at least five hours based on the condition of the autopsista.

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Dec 02, 2021

A mixed bag today

The sun coming up just as we pulled away.

The day started off perfectly. I was surprised when we got to the border and there was sign saying only open 8AM – 8PM. We got there exactly at 8AM. When we got to the customs area, we were pulled over to the side, We could see on the left many cars &  pickups filled to the brim with goods they were bringing into Mexico. One fellow was pulling at least 20 dirty mattresses behind him. Several cars had another vehicle on a dolly and were also to the side.

This fellow drove on without a vehicle on his dolly. They are now checking that every vehicle is able to drive on its own.

We had a lovely fellow who took our passports and the registrations for the Jeep and the RV and then proceeded to walk away and direct traffic and move some cones, all the while carrying our paper-work, before he came back and entered the RV. He took a slow tour and spent most of his time petting the girls.  Finally we asked if he would like to take the girls with him – and he said ” oh, you can go now”! Quite funny. So happy that we did not have to disconnect the Jeep.

Sonora is a beautiful state to drive through.

KM 21 was a breeze, just under an hour and again only the one fellow doing Immigration. The big difference was that we paid right then and there this year. Then onto the Banjercito to import the car. Seven open booths there.  No more stickers for the cars.

Sadly very shortly after we left KM21 we saw a Class A motorhome similar to ours off to the side of the road heading north. Just a few seconds later on the right we saw what looked like a tow car crashed into an old cement structure. It was totalled. The RV appeared fine at a quick glance as we passed.  As they were headed north they must have been heading home. How very sad for them. Hard to believe that the tow car totally broke away. We did have a tow car way back when in our Acapulco days half tear away. We were using padlocks instead of pins on the tow bar and they do not take shear force. Lesson learned. Colin saw someone at Purcell Tires the other day using padlocks and explained the situation to him. He just said that it hasn’t happened to him yet. At least he has been warned.

We stopped at the second Oxxo and it turns out ( as I suspected ) that my SIM card was no longer valid, almost two years had passed since I put money on it. So I now have a new phone number and 4 bonus G’s. Which is turning out to be just what we need at the moment.

Today was difficult for the girls, they are not doing their business as usual. Actually food is even an issue. Plus they are so lethargic, they need their space to run and run. At least they so a bit of wrestling which wears off a bit of energy. They so need to get to an area to run with space. Sounds like a beach to me.  We all need to get there.

We used a photographic light reflector to help keep the sun off Carlie sitting on my lap. As you can see they are now wearing collars. We started that so that it was easier to just attach a leash and take them out. Putting on the full vest takes more time and it is much too hot for them to wear.

The Hermosillo Bypass was a surprise to us in that they have changed how to get onto it. Back in the fall of 2019 we had to turn right after the toll booth and double back.  Now you need to be in the left lane to get directly  on it. We got were we needed to be.  You may have mentioned this in your blog posts Carol however I lost all the notes I had taken the time to make. At 6:30AM this morning I was looking everywhere. We have had so much upheaval that they may have been turfed by accident. You can imagine how upset I was.

Ciela was lucky to choose the bed in the shade.

About halfway through the bypass is when the other half of the mixed bag showed up. Once again for the 2nd  for certain and possibly the third year we lost our dash A/C.  I still remember how hot we both were in November of 2019 when we had neither an onboard generator nor dash air. Often when the dash air goes one simply turns on the generator and runs the overhead A/C.  So despite having a portable generator it did us no good cooling the RV.  It was hot, the girls were panting and I was almost passing out. It was over 90F with the sun streaming through our big windshield.

Later I had to hand hold the reflector so that they were both shaded. Colin is holding a thicker piece of card to shade Carlie on his lap where my reflector did not reach. Despite this it felt like and inferno with no cold air circulating.

We did get the A/C repaired in Mazatlan back in 2019. Turn out a pipe was damaged and we had to get Freightliner back home to repair that – they needed to make a custom piece for the repair. Yet here we are once again sweltering as we travel south.

We stopped at 3:40PM at the Fletcha Gasoline station at exit 140 to Guaymas/San Carlos. We asked at the station and Juan made several calls on our behalf and said that someone would be here by 7PM. We tipped him well, however no one showed up. Colin went to check with Juan. He made more calls and then said that the mechanic was very busy working in Guaymas and could not come. So was he really coming or was it the Mexican thing where they were being polite but knew that no one was coming.

The girls loved their time out on the leash.

So once again we talked about going back to the US, a first for us. These mechanical issues are getting the best of us. Back home it has been about 18F/65F, new high records for this time of year. Plus they have not had snow. We really want to get to the Isla but honestly driving in the heat has become difficult.  I feel so bad for the pups.

We have decided to get up at 5AM and start to drive at 6AM and see how far we can get. If it gets too hot we will stop and turn on the portable generator which by the way did an excellent job of cooling off the inside of the RV earlier this afternoon.  Perhaps cool the RV and continue or just stop for the day and continue the next day.

Today was a 281 mile day and tomorrow is to be a 300 mile day. We have no idea how  tomorrow will go.  I guess that you will have to check back tomorrow evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 01, 2021

Only 16 miles from the Mexican border

We did it, we are poised to cross into Mexico tomorrow December 2nd.  I still can’t believe that we are traveling in December. I am behind one blog which I except to catch up on in the next few days. I decided to stay in real time as it makes it easier on all of us, you included.

We had just set up on the empty lot yesterday after our repairs were completed, when this dude and passenger flew overhead. Not much chance to focus better than this.They flew right over I-8. Nice sunset ride.

Those look like some pretty mean guys behind bars. They so want to be able to run wild like they do at home.

What a view out of the front window this morning.

Colin to the rescue. He did the outside first and then the inside. The girls were licking at that window as he cleaned the exterior.

Tucson way in the hazy distance.

The girls were not interested in a rest stop. It was a challenge today getting them to do their business today.

Picacho Peak off I-10. This state park is one of Colin’s favourite places.  Next time.

While Colin was walking the girls I took this photo of the sun reflected in the mountains in front of us. The colour was amazing and this photo shows it just as it was.

He took this shot when he got back from his walk.

Today we drove 270 miles to the De Anza RV Park in Amado, Arizona. The girls were happy to be back to a routine they are familiar with. 10PM and all is ready for the crossing. Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

 

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Nov 30, 2021

November Calendar Photo

Second post tonight, first one is about the RV update.

 

This really was a fun trip. We preferred the north rim.

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