We got away from Huatabampito about an hour earlier than our usual departure time. Lulu woke up early and was out of bed by 7:00 so we hit the road around 8:30 instead of our usual 9:30 -10:00. We knew it was going to be a long-ish day (at least by our standards) so we wanted to get going. As I think I mentioned yesterday, the place we wanted to stop, which was much closer, is closed indefinitely. That left either Los Mochis or Culiacán and the RV parks in both those places got less than exemplary reviews. We could also stay overnight at one of the large Pemex truck stops but, unless it was getting dark, we’re not likely to do that. Definitely wouldn’t want to spend the afternoon sitting around in a Pemex parking lot. Like Walmart, it’s nice to know they’re there, though.
So, we decided to try Jardines La Rinconada just south of Culiacán. The description in the Church’s book was interesting although not necessarily glowing (unmaintained bathrooms, cold showers). But this was the only viable option we could see unless we wanted to drive all the way to Celestino Gasca. But, the trip to Jardines was already long enough at 259 miles, no way did I want to add another hour to the drive. Took us 6 hours as it was.
We went through a LOT of toll booths today. If my memory is right, we paid a toll at 5 different booths, a couple that were only a few miles apart. The tolls ranged from $102 (~$7.25US) to $37 (~$2.65US). After a screw up which made us have to drive around in a few circles, we finally got on the road to Jardines. We passed through the village of Costa Rica which was surprisingly active. Narrow little streets were crammed with cars, trucks, motorcycles, vendors, and pedestrians. A little bit nerve-wracking to drive through but not too bad. I’m mellowing.
The Jardines La Rinconada used to be part of a resort and balneario (spa, bathing place) called Las Cascabeles. We passed a huge amusement park-looking place called Las Cascabeles on our way here but it was closed down. We really hoped, after 6 hours of driving, that Las Jardines wasn’t also closed. And it wasn’t. We pulled in under the arch, paid for a spot and then followed a guy who drove us to a couple of different spots so we could choose. We are the only RV here so we pretty much had our pick. But pick of what, exactly?
This isn’t really an RV park. It’s more of a complex of rentable vacation casitas around a central area of swimming pools, playgrounds and picnic pavilions. RVs are allowed to park alongside he road that runs through the park. The Church book describes each site as having a covered patio with a table, electricity, water, and a light. Not exactly. There are a number of those covered patios here and there on the lawns, two of which are even sort of close to where we chose to park. But to use the electricity would require a very long extension cord. Water was not to be found.
The bathrooms are as advertised: poorly maintained and cold showers. But at least they work.
Now, all that being said, it really is a pretty place to stay. Check it out:
So, we’re essentially boondocking tonight for $200 (~$14US). We would probably even consider staying an extra day, just because it’s so pretty, except that it’s also really hot and humid. It was 90 degrees when we got here and we sweated like pigs until we took our cold showers. So, tomorrow it’s off to Celestino Gasca.
Huatabampito to Jardines La Rinconada: 259 miles
Total to-date: 6,560 miles