After a pleasant 2 days in Mazatlán where we got a chance to reconnect with the Bumfuzzles, we were ready to press on. Home is calling.
We drove from Mazatlán to Los Mochis yesterday, a distance of a little over 400 km. A fellow Oregonian at the Mar Rosa RV Park in Mazatlán said it usually takes him about 5 hours to drive it in his GMC step-van. He likes to keep his speed to about 45 mph. However, he always drives on the toll roads (cuotas). We decided to take the libres as much as possible to save some money.
The main problem with taking the libre was that it put us quite a bit east of the direct route. We were able to drive plenty fast enough although not as fast as the 100-110 km/hr limit on most of the cuota. However, it was a good road and passed through very few towns. What really screwed us up and added an extra hour to an hour and a half to the trip was a.) getting stuck behind a slow semi in an area that it was hard to find a place to pass and b.) Culiacán. The cuota passes well to the west of the city of Culiacán proper but the libre passes right through it. We did our best to follow the signs but Mexico has a long ways to go to make their traffic signs really helpful. We followed the signs for “Los Mochis – libre” but then, at a crucial Y in the road, were left with no information as to which leg to take. Dora tried to help but she seemed to get confused, too. Needless to say, I took the wrong leg and we ended up driving clear across the city and still came out on the cuota! Too bad, I’m not going to drive back across the city just to save some money. We’d already wasted a good half-hour what with all the wrong turns, traffic, etc. Fortunately, the tolls for the rest of the trip were not as bad as the ones going from Guadalajara to Mazatlán. Still they cost us a little over $14US for what was really fairly short piece of road.
In Los Mochis we stopped at Los Mochis Copper Canyon RV Park, the only RV park still in operation in the area. This place is a big parking lot designed primarily for caravans to leave their rigs while they take side trips up to Copper Canyon. It has nothing to recommend it other than its location.
The place cost $270/night (~$18US) and for that you got your hook-ups, wifi, a locked gate at night, and bathrooms/showers. The description in the Church book made us think they might be OK. After all they described it thus: “Restrooms are older ones with separate rooms each having stool, sink, and hot shower.” Sounds good. We like the kind of bathrooms where everything is in one lockable room. But, there was NO WAY we were going to take showers in these little rooms. They were filthy and everything was covered with broken bits of plaster and dried drips of plaster.
We’ll be vacating this place right after breakfast. Next stop, El Mirador in Huatabampito. At least we know what to expect there. The bathroom (singular) may not be pristine but at least they try to keep it clean and most of the “dirt” is just sand from the beach that we all drag in on our feet.
Mazatlán to Los Mochis: 176 miles
Total to-date: 7,858 miles