Archive for the ‘Mexico – Mazatlan’ Category

Celestino – March 9-11, 2008

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

We arrived at Celestino RV Park at about 2:00 PM after leaving Lo de Marcos at 7:00 AM.  Celestino is about 60 KM north of Mazatlan.  There are three RV parks on the beach at Celestino; Villa Celestino, Celestino RV Resort, and San Miguel’s RV Resort.  We had reservations at San Miguel’s, but didn’t need them.  There were only two other rigs in the park.  The other two parks appeared to be almost full.

San Miguel’s is the newest of the parks, opening in November, 2007.  The facilities are quite nice.  They have free 30 AMP electrical service, Wi-Fi, beautiful palapas, showers and other amenities.


The beach directly in front of the park has some large rocks showing in the shallow water.  The waves in this area break to the left and appear to be uniform well shaped for the surfers.


The beach has sand near the water but rocks are a major feature.


Just north of the park, the beach is less strewn with the rocks.


Here’s a look from the palapa at the beach to the north of the park.


It seems that, judging from the slim crowd, it appears that San Miguel needs to do a little more PR to build clientele.  Because of the amenities, we think that this park will soon become the most popular in the area.  One point, they turn the water pump off at about 11:00 at night and it gets turned on when the caretaker gets up in the morning.

Tips on getting there:

Take exit at KM 78 and follow the paved road through town toward the ocean.  Watch for topes!!  There are three in the town and they are substantial.  Once you cross the railroad tracks, turn left on the dirt road and head south.  At the time that we arrived, the road was a washboard.  Continue for a few kilometers passing Villa Celeste RV park and the next park (about another KM) is San Miguel.

The park can also be reached by the exit at KM 75 if you are southbound, but the route is a little more convoluted, but less washboard.  Slow down at overpass and go past it.  There are three possible places to exit.  The third looks like a wide pullout which will allow you to get to the road that is just to the south.  Follow the road toward the ocean and cross under the railroad tracks.  The clearance is about 17 feet.  Turn right after the tracks and head north.  San Miguel is the second park on your left.  DO NOT TAKE EXIT 75 FROM THE SOUTH because the cattle guard is out. (SEE COMMENTS FOR CURRENT UPDATES Jan-2009)

Oops – Didn’t make it.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

First of all, we want to wish our granddaughter, Gracie, a happy 6th birthday.


Now, for the rest of the story.  We left Mazatlan on Saturday morning at 7:30 AM.  For the second time in a row we were right on time.  All was going well over the new, 200 mile, toll road to the town of Tepic.  Tepic is at the top of a mountain at about 3500 feet.  This is where the fun begins.

For the first time since entering Mexico we left Hwy 15 behind and headed down Hwy 200 towards Sayulita, which is our ultimate destination for the winter.  We had only about 70 miles to go, so we thought we had it made.  Just a note about Hwy 200.  It is mostly downhill, narrow, and extremely curvy for the first 40 miles past Tepic.

Here is your typical downhill curve. Note the lack of shoulder.  In some places the drop-off is hundreds of feet.


Anyway, as luck would have it, we ended up following an extremely slow truck.  You wouldn’t necessarily think of this as a problem, but, it was.  He was traveling so slow that we could not build up enough speed for our exhaust brake to activate.  This is bad, because we were forced to use our brakes extensively.

About 30 miles into this ordeal, we spotted a place that we could pull out.  When I braked to stop, billows of smoke started coming out of our left front wheel.  We got to a stop and discovered that the wheel was on fire.  What was burning was brake fluid and grease, not tire.  We carry a fire extinquisher in the cab, so I gave that a whirl.  The fire stopped momentarily, but the heat from the wheel re-ignited it.

A young man came running from across the street with a liter bottle of coke, shook it up  and began spraying the foam on the wheel.  We grabbed a couple of more liters from the restaurant on our side of the road.  The fire was out at this point, but we kept squirting large quantities of water on the wheels through openings in the hub caps.  After the excitement, we sat down with the young man and joined him in a beer and waited about an hour for the wheels to cool off before starting out again.

Well, off we started.  The left front wheel was making a horrible metal-to-metal noise.  It didn’t appear to be the brakes, therefore, our assumption was a wheel bearing.  We continued on for about 20 miles at about 20 – 25 mph.  Every couple of miles we stopped to wet down the wheel with water.  I was driving in first and rarely used the brake.

When we entered the town of La Penita we noticed the La Penita RV Park.  We had met the owners of that resort in San Carlos when the caravan came through the RV Park.  We continued a few more miles and stopped to check the wheels out again.  A retired military gentleman from the US  that lives in the area pulled up beside us to see if we were having trouble.  He indicated that if we were to continue and break down in our final 20 miles that there are no places to pull off the narrow road.  We opted to head back to La Penita RV Park and wait there until Monday so we could get the wheel fixed.  Manana has stretched out for a couple of days and we expect to have our diagnosis Wednesday, the 14th.

Anyway, La Penita RV park is large and nearly full of mostly Canadians.  The owner is also Canadian.  We put up our Texas flag.  The park is quite hilly and the trailers and motor homes are all up and down the hill.  We’re at the top.  The property goes all the way to the beach.

Here’s a shot from the sun deck at the rv park.


From the beach toward the park.


View from the beach. 


And a little wildlife (Iguana)


Hopefully, we’ll continue our journey towards Sayulita in a day or two. 

Our thanks go out to Carole and Grant, the owners of La Penita RV Park for their hospitality and help with our problems.

North Mazatlan and Stone Island

Friday, November 9th, 2007

The past couple of days have been spent exploring the Mazatlan area.  Wednesday we went north of the city and scouted out a few other RV parks.

There is a new one, still under construction, called Cerritos.  Even though it is under construction, many of the guests that had reservations for this year have arrived.  This park is a somewhat different in that it is a coop.  Each person has a ten-year contract, and pay $2500 each year for the facility.

We traveled a gravel road on up the coast until it became a path.  There were some beautiful houses along the way but not terribly many.  Only one vehicle passed us.  What you see in this photo are two postal mailmen on one motorcycle.  They rode to the last building on the road and returned.


We had the pleasure of crossing this wooden bridge in both directions.   Believe it or not, it was just as scary going over it the second time.


Yesterday we went the other direction towards the south end of the penensula.  We were heading for a day at Stone Island.  We headed for South Beach which is the area of Mazatlan where fishing boats, water taxis are located and near the cruise line piers.  Our quest was a water taxi to take us to Stone Island.  (It isn’t really an island, but more of a peninsula across the bay from Mazatlan.)  The first place we tried was closed; however, we located water taxies about a quarter mile away.

Here’s a view of the sea from the first water taxi area.  Pretty spectacular.


On the way across the bay we could see the ships and ocean liners at the pier.  The Carnival Pride was in port.


When we reached the other side we hopped a taxi (a pickup with planks in the bed to sit on) and headed off to our destination which was one of the restaurants along the beach.  We had been told to try Lety’s.  Lety’s is near the end of the row of restaurants.

All of the tables were under the thatched roof (Palapa) and a few lounges were located under umbrellas at the edge of the restaurant and even hamocks in the restaurant.  We plopped down at a table near the edge of the palapa.  With the exception of one trip into the water, we stayed put enjoying good food and adult beverages.


A continual parade of beach vendors marched by and asked us if we needed any of their goods.  There were mariachis, blankets, ceramics, dresses, clothing, purses, beads, silver and just about anything else you might need.  They politely disappear when you say “no gracias”.  I’ve decided that if fortunes turn down and I need to take up being a mariachi, I certainly won’t be lugging a cello around.


All of the restaurants were renting fourwheelers for rides up and down the beach. ($30.00 USD per hour)  From my stationary position, this is the best shot of fourwheelers that I could get.


By the look on Tinka’s face you can tell that it was a very relaxing and enjoyable day.


At about 3:00 we headed back to the dock and water taxi for the return to Mazatlan.

In general, we have had a nice time here.  The traffic, as in most Mexican cities, is pretty horrible.  They have outgrown the infrastructure.  They do have all of the conveniences.  I was able to get my oil changed and today had the truck cleaned (detailed) for about $8.00 USD. We also made a quick trip to both Sam’s and Wal-mart in preparation for our trip south.

Mazatlan November 7, 2007

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

We’ve done quite a bit of driving around and getting to know Mazatlan.  The town is a bit larger and busier than we would prefer, however, the place is beautiful.

Here’s a view of the hotel area from the downtown beach.


This old “Fisherman’s Statue” is pretty much the center of the downtown beach.  Several streets go off at different angles from there.  Please excuse the “drive-by” photo.


Downtown Beaches.


New Developments on the north side of town.


The old part of Mazatlan reminds you of parts of the French Quarter in New Orleans with the wrought iron balconies.


There are numerous places to purchase fresh shrimp and seafood.  The entire block where this photo was taken was lined with shrimp.  Each container has a different size shrimp.


We’re staying at the Mar Rosa RV Park.  It is owned by an 87 year old woman.  The land is under contract from a hotel or condo developer and they will take over when she dies.  (See comments about the previous statement) This is a shot of the front gate through a dirty windshield.


The park is pretty empty right now, but will be full by December and stay that way until April.  We are right on the beach and the property is fenced in.  There are two gates that get us to the sea. Here’s a shot at the RV park from the beach, through the fence.


The waves have been pretty large.  Here’s a shot, at dusk, of some ten foot waves from the RV Park patio (palapa).


The park is next door to the Holiday Inn.  Here’s a shot from the other side of the HI toward our “beach”.


Life, as we know it, doesn’t suck!!!