M A Z A T L A N.
Our original itinerary didn't even come CLOSE to including Mazatlan. Big, busy and touristy would have been our thoughts on stopping in Mazatlan.
Which is where Bill and Carol come in. They KNOW the spots.
They are going to Mazatlan - we are going to Mazatlan.
THE ROUTE: The 23 from El Fuerte to Los Mochis. The 15 and 15D south bypassing Culiacan down to Mazatlan.
THE DISTANCE: 465 km (289 miles)
THE TIME: 5 to 6 hours
Unlike the road into El Fuerte - the road out was very good.
We passed through a few towns along the way - one had very large and obviously very old trees lining the highway.
Once we hit Los Mochis we were back on the toll roads.
What country are we in?
McDonalds, Walmart, Burger King!
Is that a good thing? hmmmmm
The view from the van for most of the day. An unbelievable amount of agriculture land.
Over 200 miles, 2 Pemex refuelling stops, and 6 toll booths later we had reached our turn off.
Headed down the Sabalo Cerritos towards Las Jaibas RV Park.
It was a long - hot - day. When we drove in we were surprised to see a swimming pool right at the front entrance. This park is a favourite of Bill and Carol's, it is very peaceful being out of the main tourist area. But it doesn't have a swimming pool - or didn't anyway. Something new for this year.
Derek and I made the mistake of commenting on it as we went by. Barely parked and we were making promises to head to the pool.
Now cooled off and heading back to our van.
Our spot - at the back. For us - with a van - the cost per night at Las Jaibas is $20 for full hookups with showers, the pool and wifi. We decided to pay for 1 month. The Owner is nice enough to allow that to be broken up - so we will stop back here on our way north in March. One month is $400 so that brings the cost per night down to $13.33.
Looking back towards the pool. The beach is at the end of this road and on the other side of Sabalo Cerritos. It's a fairly easy walk.
That was Friday, Saturday we all headed into Mazatlan to look around the historic district and pick up some much needed supplies.
The Central Mazatlan Cathedral - Basilica de La Immaculate Concepcion.
The Mercado Municipal. Due to the excitement of it all, I TOTALLY forgot to take pictures of Derek buying two cotton shirts. He's barely taken them off since then so you'll definitely see them in future pictures. The sales people are fairly aggressive at this market - it was a bit overwhelming.
Our first chance to bargain in Mexico - we thought we'd gotten a good deal with the final price of 570 pesos - $44.00.
A tour through the meat section - we lasted - oh about 2 minutes. Have you smelled meat exposed to air before?
Slabs of beef, whole chicken and what?!
Are you looking at me?!
And then we decided we were hungry and went for lunch!
The Panama is a favourite of Bill and Carols - and now ours too! Yum.
I know - I know - how did we get through the menu - right?! Well, actually our waitress brought us the English version. We felt a bit bad but we might have been there all afternoon going this route. We DID refer back to the Spanish menu to order.
Derek's Monte Cristo -- I had the Panama Sandwish and Cassia had the Banana and Pineapple Yogurt Shake - and some of ours of course.
While we were eating Derek decided that he just HAD TO HAVE one of the Panama hats he saw at the market. After all - the wardrobe has to be complete - right Derek?
This time I was on the ball with the camera. Derek trying the hats on - ALL the Panama Hats on. He definitely chose the right one. How did I end up being the one to bargain for it?! I was good with the final price of 120 pesos, so just over $9.
While Derek was trying on the hats I took another picture of the market.
With all the eating and shopping behind us we headed back to the Jeep.
Cassia got a ride from Dad.
We stopped in a very FINE shirt shop. Dare to dream Derek, dare to dream!
From the Centro Historico we drove back to the Zona Dorada area. I took some pictures during the ride.
View along the Malecon - a 13 mile sea front walkway - one of the longest in the world - by the way.
The Cliff Divers launch pad.
While in El Fuerte, Bill told us about MEGA - the mega store - there's nothing you can't get at MEGA he promised. And he was right - it's HUGE - what country are we in?
Time for grocery shopping.
After all that we headed back to the RV Park.
Then to the beach. Having arrived in the late afternoon the day before we had yet to see Mazatlan's beach.
Just as the sun was setting. A wedding couple being photographed. I guess that happens a lot here.
The view to the left .....
..... the view to the right.
Derek in his new hat and shirt. Looking pretty swanky there D!
Everyone getting some running time in.
We visited with a group of beach walkers who had stopped to visit with Roofous. Imagine Cassia's surprise when one of the men pulled out and blew up a balloon for her!
So, there you have it. Two long days squeezed into one short (ish) post.
Here are some stats regarding our Mexico adventure thus far.
+ Since crossing the border, we have driven 1,474 km - that's 916 miles. In the USA we average 31¢ per mile while here in Mexico it is nicely down to 25¢.
+ We have stopped for gas 5 times - paying 82¢ per litre - that's $3.10 per gallon.
+ We have passed through 11 toll booths with a combined cost of $55.45. The most expensive just south of the city of Culiacan at 112 pesos - $8.62 and the least expensive south of Guasave at 20 pesos - $1.54. Thankfully we pay the same price as a car - not an RV.
+ We have spent 14 nights in Mexico with a total cost of $200 that's just over $14 per night.
So far we are LOVING Mexico if you haven't figured that out already. Two weeks down - four months to go....
BRING IT ON!
Remember to check out Carol's Blog for more about our trip into Mazatlan.
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: This is our first time in Mazatlan and we are happy we came. For a large tourist area it still has some charm - especially the Centro Historico. Have you been? If you want to read more about this fine city head over to Mazatlan Today for all the facts.