Archive for October, 2007

First few days in San Carlos October 28, 2007

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

After a couple of days staying at the nearly empty Totonaka RV Park, in rolled a caravan of 25 RVs to help fill the place up.  It took about 3 hours for them to arrive.

Before their arrival…

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One thing that we hold sacred is our strip map that we purchased online from http://www.ontheroadin.com/ .  It is an amazing tool with all important information, including the location of every speed bump, neatly cataloged.  The website also has reviews on hundreds of Mexican RV Parks.  The reason I mention this is because the caravan was being led by Dot and Bill, the owners of the website and authors of the valuable map.  We’re hoping to pick their brains for suggestions on our trip.

Below is one of the beautiful beaches that are available on the various bays here in San Carlos, MX.

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The housing is anything but cheap by Dallas standards.  Maybe real estate is affordable by east and west coast standards.  The location is certainly beautiful.

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Here is your typical new house under construction.

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We found a place with an ocean view that we could afford.

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Here’s a close-up, alas, it’s occupied and not for sale.

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Life, as we know it, doesn’t suck!!!!!!

Day 2 in Mexico October 26, 2007

Friday, October 26th, 2007

We made it from Hermosillo to San Carlos.

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 It is not a very long drive. We left at 10:00 and pulled into Totonaka RV Park about 1:30 PM. The park looked pretty empty. The guy in the office told us just pick a spot. We chose a 30 AMP so we could run our air conditioner. We are spoiled!!!! The other choice would have been 15 AMPs.  Unfortunately, the voltage sometimes jumps to 133 volts.  This is bad because our safety system will cut out at 130 volts.

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We picked a spot and as we were setting up everyone started pulling in to the park. They had come all the way from the border today. Most were leaving the next morning heading farther south. We will be here for a week then we will head farther south ourselves. Will the same thing happen today with a slew of RVs showing up in the afternoon?

There were 2 RVs traveling together. They had left the states early this morning. They were leaving the next day to go to Mazatlan and then the next day to Puerta Vallarta. We asked ourselves why are they trying to kill themselves to get there? Then we laughed and said maybe all they have time for is 2 weeks—like maybe they are on a 2 week vacation from w o r k.

We drove around San Carlos and it is a gorgeous place. San Carlos has small bays full of sailboats, marinas, and beautiful houses on the hills overlooking the bays. We see why it is a popular spot for norteamericanos to buy houses here. You are only 5 hours to the US border and the weather is pleasant during the winter. Some norteamericanos live here year round while others just live in their houses for the winter.

One of many bays.

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We ate out last night and had our first margaritas. They were strong but good.

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Then we had shrimp wrapped in bacon and crab gratin.

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Nice meal looking over the Sea of Cortez. This was our view.

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Looking down at shore from our table.

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Life, as we know it, doesn’t suck!!!!!!!

DAY 1 in Mexico October 24, 2007

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Last night we stayed in a RV Park about 20 miles to the border.  Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Mexico are the towns located on the border.  Sonora is the state in which Nogales is located.  The elevation here is about 3700 feet.

The RV park was very unique.  There was a plaque on the wall that said it was a Greyhound Dog Track started in 1963.  There was a huge parking lot in front of the main building and grandstand.  They have turned the parking lot into about 80 RV lots.  The main building now serves as the office, meeting rooms, kitchen and tables, game room and more. The grandstand was turned into an indoor pool, shuffleboard and other entertainment.  Really a neat place for people to stay the winter.

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A caravan stayed at the same RV Park we stayed in last night. 

A caravan is a group of RVs traveling together with experienced drivers leading and another in the back of the line. They are the same as tour guides so it cost money to join a caravan.  We have read tons of books on Mexico, especially what documents you need and where to go to turn in all these documents inside of Mexico. At 6 AM this morning we heard all 11 RVs leaving the park.  What time did they have to get up to leave at that hour?  We left at 8:30 AM. 

We had no problem stopping at the immigration office which was located about 15 miles inside Mexico.  There were not a lot of people there when we arrived.  Apparently they have large groups of people at one time because there were lots of chairs to sit in while waiting your turn.  It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to tend to the paper work.

The majority of the people were norteamericanos (us).  The Canadians were flying their little antenna flags on their RVs.  Since 9/11 it is a little scary to fly a United States flag outside of the US.

Passing customs with paperwork.

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We had read that the toll roads to Hermosillo, where we would spend the first night, were just like in the states.  The authors must not have driven in Texas where the roads are smooth. They must have been driving in California or Louisiana where the roads are rough. (Rough roads are not excluded to these two states, they are just the worst.). 

A 3-mile row of northbound trucks waiting for an inspection point.

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Our stop this evening is at the Sonora RV Park on the north side (Hwy 15, KM 7) of Hermosillo.  The park is nearly empty, probably because it is new.  We found the park to be extremely clean.  Each of the 10 spots has 30 amp connections.  We picked one with a 50 amp connection; however, it was only capable of 30 amps.

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Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora, is a city of 700,000 people and is located in the desert at 750 feet elevation.  It reminds us of El Paso and Tucson with the mountains and cactus everywhere.  Tomorrow we drive to San Carlos and Guaymas which are located on the Sea of Cortez.  We will stay there for about a week before moving on down the coast.

We definitely are in a different country.  There are lots of cars that would not pass an emission inspection.  We were driving around Hermosillo and a train was passing by and lo and behold there were people on top of the cars hitching a ride!!!!!  We went into Wal Mart and it pretty much looks just like all Wal Marts except everything is written in Spanish.  They even had a McDonalds.

 

Life’s a journey and we are on one!!!

Texas Canyon – In Arizona

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Here’s an odd, and seemingly out of place spot, just east of Tucson.  It’s called Texas Canyon.  Fortunately there is a rest area at this point with about a 2000 foot drop to the west. 

The rocks are similar to those found in southern California. (See May blog regarding the formation)

Here you can see the tremendous size of the rocks with the trucks in the foreground.

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This unique area is seen for only a few miles and then disappears as quickly as it appeared.

Quite a sight in the middle of the desert.

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Life’s a journey, and we’re on one!

Behind on the Blog as Usual October 11, 2007

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

I am sure you guessed we are not in the Dallas, Fort Worth area anymore!!!!  We spent last Monday in Midland, TX visiting with Tinka’s 2 aunts and uncles.  It was certainly good to see all of them again. Then it was an early morning start for our drive to El Paso.

We stayed at Mission RV Park in El Paso which is the closest RV park near Tinka’s long time friend, Sherri. We enjoyed ourselves as usual by laughing, visiting, laughing, eating and laughing some more.  Had a great time and then it was time to move on down the road.

We arrived in Tucson, AZ on Thursday, October 4, 2007.  We are here to get ready to go into Mexico.  So we are now both busy reading all our Mexico books to see what documents, insurance and copies of papers we need.  We have a neat 8 envelope plastic folder that is slowly getting full.

What kind of documents do you need?  You need a passport, driver’s license, original titles to your vehicles and rig.  We are in the process of getting Mexican insurance on both vehicles.  Plus, we are taking our US insurance papers along with us.

We are also reading about what to take with us to Mexico.  They do have Sam’s Club and Wal Mart at the larger towns.  How familiar will the merchandise and food be to us?  It says to take peanut butter (and that is a must for Rick), canned tomatoes and dill pickles.  We also need to take car and rig things that they do not have down in

Mexico.  So we have bought 12 quarts of Mobil 1 oil and an oil filter for the diesel truck for an oil change when we are ready for it.We still have a lot to do before we head into Mexico.Life’s a journey and we are on one!!!!!!!!!