Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Madness of Mazatlan

We left San Blas at around 1030 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th, and headed, scratching all the way, towards our next stop of Mazatlan. The road was very windy and narrow, with a lot of trees and shrubbery closely bordering it. Unfortunately, the trailer suffered a few long scratches as a result.

We passed through a number of small towns, and at each there was a battery of girls selling large sliced fruit cups. We bought one for $15 pesos and it fed the two of us and more. We passed a car that had a small, rolled up mattress tied down on top, and Terry noticed that there was a little boy peeking out from inside the mattress! Wild ride.

Once we hit the Mex 15 quota (toll highway), we made time. It was such a treat to hit a real highway that had speed limits of 110 km. Woo hoo! It was also comforting to travel roads that you recognized.
We did, however, experience our first ‘check-point Charlie’. Just after we went through a toll station, there was a military checkpoint. It was just a bunch of young kids in uniform and toting big rifles. They insisted on coming in to look at things. Of course none of them spoke a lick of English. I had to hold on to two of the cats while one of the young men poked around inside the motor home, opening every cupboard and drawer. Meanwhile, Terry was outside opening the trailer and all of the storage compartments. It was fairly obvious they just wanted to see what we had. I wasn’t thrilled with the whole experience, but realize this may be the first of many, as we saw a lot of northbound checkpoints on our way down.

We drove into the city of Mazatlan around 4:00 p.m., and promptly got lost. Fortunately, we were able to right ourselves fairly quickly, and made our way to the same RV park we had stayed at on the way down (that comfort thing). We even ran into a couple that we met the first time we had stayed there. Wade and his girlfriend were making their way back from Melaque.

My Uncle Curtis spent a number of years wintering in Mazatlan, but was unable to do so this year. He always stayed at the Hotel San Diego, and there was quite a regular crowd of sunbirds that he had befriended over the years. I had e-mailed him a few days earlier and asked if he would like me to look anyone up while we were in Mazatlan. He sent an e-mail back to the affirmative, and so we took a car ride down to pass on his hellos. Fortunately, his buddy Frank from Terrace, B.C. was there, so we had a nice visit with him before we went on to supper uptown.

There were fewer RVs at the park than had been there on our way south. However, we noticed a big difference in the number of people on the streets and in the restaurants since our last trip. It was definitely busier. We even got to see an accident (ATV ran into the back of a truck – police just drove on by), and a fight. After coming from the tranquility of San Blas, this was a little wild for us!

We were only staying one night in Mazatlan, so planned on getting up early the next morning to head north towards Los Mochis.

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