12/20/2104 – We’re not in the Sonoran Desert anymore

After spending a week in Mazatlán, it was time to hit the road again.  We enjoyed our time there visiting with boating friends, going out to eat, and buying obscure grocery items at Mega.  But, eventually the gloss rubs off and it’s time to go.  Our trip wasn’t overly ambitious as we only planned to go down the coast a little ways, to Teacapán.  Indeed, the distance was only 93 miles which was 36 miles further than we’d driven on our way to Mazatlán.  Teacapán is out at the end of a long peninsula and is right at the Sinaloa/Nayarit border, on the Sinaloa side.  There were supposed to be several RV parks out there and there were although only a couple appeared to be open.  We hadn’t originally had this place on our radar until our Swiss friends Daniela and Pascal told us about it. 

The place they told us about is Playa Las Lupitas, aka Punta Hermosa.  Once we found the driveway, we drove through a big cow pasture over a windy, rutted dirt road.  We eventually came out at the beach.  There were a few trailers and Class A motorhomes there that looked like they were there for the whole season, as it turns out they are.  We pulled up to a likely looking spot and got out to ask someone what was what.  The first person we ran into was Bob who is sort of a quasi-Oregonian like ourselves.  His connection now is that his daughter lives in Rogue River.  Bob told us that it cost $120/day (~$8.25US) or $3000/month.  There are rudimentary bathrooms (bring your own toilet paper and, if you must have one, your own toilet seat), a cold water shower and, best of all, no rules.  He said to park wherever we wanted to.  So we chose this sweet spot.

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It was very pleasant.  A nice cool breeze came up in the evening but not so cool that we needed to close any of our windows.  The downside was that it was cloudy much of the time we were there which didn’t do our solar-charging any favors.  On our first full day there, we took a long walk down the beach.   Found out later that there’s supposed to be a restaurant down there somewhere but we must not have walked far enough.

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A school bus came in on Thursday morning and unloaded a bunch of junior-high-school age kids.  They played volleyball, football, soccer, as well as just hanging around, wading in the surf and visiting with each other.  At one point, while we were sitting outside, a group of young girls came up and, among much giggling, managed to convey the fact that they wanted to have their pictures taken with us.  We said OK and the smart phones and tablets came out.  They posed behind us and took turns taking pictures and being in them.  The young lady below was the primary instigator.  The guy is a faculty member.

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Early afternoon, shortly after the kids were loaded onto the buses and headed back to school, our friends Mo and Donna, from Gresham, Oregon, showed up.  They had been at an RV park down the beach but Mo rode his bike over and decided he liked our digs better.  We met Mo and Donna as well as Daniela and Pascal at Huatabampito a couple weeks ago.  Now we run into each other here and there and, in fact, Daniela and Pascal showed up in the late afternoon from Mazatlán.

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Lulu made some salsa and instigated a nice little afternoon get-together at “our place”.  Had a great time eating and comparing notes about where we all were going and where we’d all been.  Darkness and bugs eventually drove us inside and we all retreated to our own campers.

Friday morning I looked out the window and saw a large herd of Brahma-looking cattle moving into the RV park.  But, just then a barefoot vaquero came galloping along herding the herd back into the brush and out of the park area.  

We hit the road on Friday the 19th at about 9:50 AM.  Our plan was to drive down to the San Blás area for a couple days.  Looked like a fairly short trip.  Well, some five and a half hours later we finally pulled into the Paraiso Miramar Hotel & RV park just outside of Miramar, Nayarit.  Getting there was something of an ordeal.  In the Church’s Mexico RV guide, they talk of 2 different ways to get from the highway down to San Blás.  One they call Route One and the other is Route Two.  Route One is their recommended route.  I programmed our destination into Dora and told her I wanted the fastest route without tolls.  She picked Route Two.  There’s a feature on Dora where you can touch a spot on the map and then, if it’s a road for instance, add it to your route.  I did that to get us on Route One.  Or so I thought.

We drove along Mex15 Libre enjoying the scenery.  Pretty soon, sooner than seemed possible, Dora had us scheduled to turn off onto Route One.  And so we did.  However, after a few miles on a very small road, we ended up on the cobblestone streets of El Aguaje.  The cobbled streets turned to dirt and it looked like Dora was leading us out onto a farm road between fields.  OK, something’s not right.  I did a 3-point turn around and backed into a fence post, bending our bike rack and breaking one of the brake levers on my bike in the process.  We retraced our steps back out of town, past the confused locals who looked just as confused as they had when we passed them going the other way a few minutes before.  We got back out onto the highway and, once we found where we’d turned off on the map, realized that I’d completely screwed the turn-off up.  We were still 100 km from where we were supposed to turn.  Geez!

We continued south and finally found the correct turnoff.  We followed it along through all the towns that were listed in the Church guide.  At one point, Dora wanted us to turn left but my gut said go straight ahead, even though we were going to be leaving the pavement.  We stopped and had a look at the map and decided that Dora was right.  So, we turned around and went back to where she wanted us to turn.  The road definitely seemed like the right route.  Well, it seemed like the right route for the first 500 feet or so.  For the next mile or so it was under construction, only one-lane wide in some places, with no flaggers to keep things in order.  After the construction, the road was completely dirt and had the absolute worst case of potholes that we have ever seen anywhere.  Somehow, it no longer seemed like the right road.  It didn’t get any better when we came into a tiny little town where Dora wanted us to turn down yet another tiny dirt road that seemed to go nowhere.  We looked at the map view on Dora and saw where we were but we couldn’t reconcile it with the maps in the Church book.  We did, however see the town of Navarette which was about a third of the way along Route Two!  No matter, we headed for it.  From there it was an easy trip down towards San Blás and then to the RV park.

There was (and still is) only one rig here.  It’s a camper-van with a German couple aboard.  They shipped the rig to Argentina and then explored South America. They are now slowly heading towards Alaska.  Been on the road for a year and a half and might be for another year.  We decided to have dinner in the little restaurant that is right here at the Hotel/RV park complex.  After the drive, neither of us felt like making dinner.  Well, on the positive side, at least we didn’t have to cook or clean up.  I had Shrimp al Ajo and Lulu had Enchiladas de Pollo.  The food was mediocre at best but would have gotten a little better grade if it had been hot.  We were the only customers so why they couldn’t serve us our dinner while it was still hot escapes me.  On the other hand, the park is beautiful.

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We had neglected to stop at a store yesterday to fill up our drinking water jug so we needed to walk into town to do that.  The manager here told us that we could walk there on the beach, no problem.  Well, we couldn’t seem to find the access down to the beach.  Everything was fenced.  We decided to walk in on the road.  Because we had to backtrack just to get to the road, it turned out to be about a 2-mile walk into the little town of Miramar.  Sketchy walking as there is very little shoulder.  Along the way we passed some banana orchards (plantations?) and got to see what bananas look like “in the wild”.

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We also saw these crazy looking things.  Weren’t sure what they were so I showed the picture to a guy in Miramar and he told us they were called “yacas”.  Some were as big as a 10-lb sack of flour although most were closer in size the a 5-lb. sack.

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Once we got into town, well, “town” might be pushing it a little, we found a tienda where we bought a couple of 8 liter jugs of water.  Since we’d braved the highway, we felt like we deserved a reward.  Along the beach were at least 4 or 5 fairly large palapa restaurants.  We walked in to one and ordered a couple of Tecates.  

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We also had some shrimp and fish empenadas just to tide us over for the walk home.  We decided to walk along the beach on the way back so we could see how far it was and where the entrance was from the RV park.

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We walked past the lined up pangas and, just past the last one, there it was: the opening into the RV park.  Our 2-mile trip to town could have been a 1/4 mile trip if we’d only known.  Of course, then we’d have never seen the banana and yaca trees.


Mazatlán to Teacapán: 93 miles

Teacapán to Miramar, Nayarit: 175 miles.

Total to-date: 6,971 miles.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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One Response to 12/20/2104 – We’re not in the Sonoran Desert anymore

  1. Elli Bogden S/V Cada Dia Mas says:

    yacas are excellent–kind of like a cross between banana and strawberry flavor….but very sticky inside so try to get a local to cut the first one open for you…bill touched the inner “goo” and glued his lips shut on our first try-lol

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