Thursday, November 29, 2012


The first thing we had to do our second day in Mexico was to get gas. We were pretty much riding on fumes when we arrived into Santa Ana. Not one of our better moments. Not having picked up pesos and not driving through many towns meant that we didn't get gas along the way. Something to do much differently next time.

Anyway, getting gas is no big deal - usually - but in Mexico at the Pemex stations we had been warned about the possibility of the station attendant finding a way to make a bit of extra cash. They MIGHT do this by either not zeroing the pump or claiming you didn't give them the amount of pesos that you did. 

The trouble for us is that Derek is easily distracted - VERY EASILY distracted. A PERFECT target. So, we decided that our plan would be for both of us to get out - lock our doors of course - and both stand watch at the pump. 

I know, it sounds like a bit of an ordeal - right?! Well, the first time went just fine and so have the times since. In the end it was all about getting over the hurdle of the FIRST Pemex station visit. 

Nothing special about a Pemex station they are everywhere down here - this just happened to be the first one we visited on this here our first trip to Mexico.

Of course we were thrilled with the price of gas! 82 cents a litre! That's about $3.10 a gallon.

The plan for our second day in Mexico was continuing our trek south. At Santa Ana we got on the number 15 south - a toll highway. Our destination was San Carlos - approximately 310 kms (193 miles).

Much of this stretch is under construction making the roads at times fairly dicey and VERY narrow. Hard to see - so I added lines for you - but for about 100 kms Derek had to make very sure that he didn't go to far to the right - the drop offs were HUGE!

We went through our second toll booth just north of Hermosillo - the cost for us - thankfully treated as an automobile, was 65 pesos, so about $5.00.

Sorry! Only one picture going through Hermosillo. 

Since this was our first large city to drive through we were holding our breaths a bit. I didn't take many pictures as I was navigating. Thankfully we also have the Bell's West Coast Road Log from On the Road in Mexico - it gives step by step directions on how to get around the city. 

The only problem was ME - I'll tell you that before Derek does. At one point I had my head so far into the road log and not reading the signs that I almost sent us right into the downtown!!! Thankfully Derek was still reading the signs and expertly maneuvered us into the lane we needed.

Note to Self: Look UP once in a while!

We did it!!! Now south of Hermosillo continuing towards Guaymas and San Carlos.

A crash course on driving on narrow roads.  Not much room to spare! 
And everyone says that Baja roads are narrow!

Now it's our turn to pass.

Just before Guaymas we turned off at the 133 km marker heading west. 

We had decided to spend the night at the Totonaka RV Park. It seems to be THE place to overnight on the way south. Thankfully the Church's Mexican Camping book also provides directions to the RV parks listed in their book.

Sorry - I forgot to take a picture of the entrance!

We were parked towards the back....

..... and right beside the washrooms and SHOWERS! yaaaaa for showers!

The park was still fairly quiet but quite a few large rigs. Funny - we are small but fairly intimidated driving through Mexico. But you drive into an RV Park such as this and see all the LARGE rigs and you wonder what are WE worried about!

It was a fairly overcast day but warm. Our site at Totonaka was 300 pesos - about $24.00. A bit steep but we knew that going in, at least it was only for one night. 

It didn't take us long to get to the beach! Our first beach walk since last January in Texas. 

Unfortunately the beach is fairly rocky and the flies were the worst!

Cassia still managed to have some beach fun.

Obviously I have to work on my picture taking. I realize now that I missed some stuff. We decided to go out for dinner that night at the restaurant beside the park. The words - free margaritas - MAY have had something to do with that. We enjoyed a nice dinner listening to music - three fellows singing and playing their instruments. Derek had marlin tostadas and I had the chile rellenos. 

It was a good day - we were starting to settle in a bit on the roads and were again happy with ourselves and each other that we had managed to reach our destination once again. 

Totonaka RV Park is located before San Carlos, which we didn't actually visit. After the long drive we were happy to be parked and the next morning we headed straight back to the toll road. I suppose we should have toured a bit but in the end we didn't. Itchy feet I guess.

Hasta luego!


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: We don't have a house nor can we collect stuff, but that doesn't mean I don't like to look! For all you home bodies at there and those that LOVE to look at super cool stuff - Brit + Co is for you! 


  1. Beach flies and sand fleas are said to be at their worst on the coast between Mazatlan and San Blas. Keep vigilant about the Pemex guys and you won't have a problem. The vast majority will not try and take you for anything extra, but the odd one will...

    1. Is there bug spray for Pemex guys - ha ha just joking. Actually the other day it was Pemex gals - more about that in an up coming post.

  2. Thanks to K&R I now follow your blog. Someday Shelagh and I will share your experiences.
    Keep posting, good travels to you...

    1. Hi Peter! Of course we LOVE new followers! Welcome!

      I sure do hope you are able to travel in the future. Trouble is - you may get hooked! :)

  3. Narrow roads are a nightmare for me!! Heading south Saturday morning for Cedar Key, FL....plan to stay till mid January....

    Safe Travels.......

    1. For us too! But definitely pulling a trailer!

      I bet you'll love that area of Florida - hopefully the temps are a little warmer than last year.

      Micanopy, Micanopy, Micanopy! Have a cuban for us at the little cafe!

  4. We enjoyed Totonaka a couple of times and ended up staying there for a week, in a very Americanized Mexican town. Travel safe and enjoy the sights.

    1. It's a good park - albeit a bit pricey. That's how I should have phrased my description about San Carlos - I wasn't quite sure how to say it - so I left it out - that would have worked.

  5. Wow, what a wild road...I felt like I right there in the back seat! Good job on the navigation...even if the pilot had to participate a little too :O) And loved the gas stop plan...two heads always better than one they say!

    1. Definitely a wild road but I bet it's going to be the norm! Yikes!

      Oh the pilot has saved this navigators skin on more then one occasion - I really should be going to navigation school......

  6. Very interested in your journey. Looking forward to more posts!

  7. We have been cheated twice at Pemex stations. Once when they had "no change" ans ended up with a much larger tip than I intended. The other time I ordered $1000 pesos and when I went to the cab window to talk to Norma I heard the pump shut off way too soon. I was told he mistakenly started giving me Extra when I asked for regular. He had a figure like 748 written on his hand and said he owed me the rest in regular gas. There was little I could do but I could tell by the gas gauge that I had been ripped off for at least 300 pesos.

    I always order a specific number of pesos worth (1000 for the motorhome, 200 for the car) and stand there watching. I never say, "Fill it up" as it makes it too easy for them to confuse you with the change.

    It is very nice to read of your adventures. You have fresh eyes for Mexico, something we had six years ago!

    1. Always good to hear about other's methods at Pemex. We are going to ask for the fixed amount also - seems like the best way to go about it.

      Thanks for visiting our blog! Yours is such a great resource for us newbies!

  8. Like Kevin says, the beach flies and fleas only get worse as you move south. Bug repellents work and the Mexican brands are just as good as the more expensive "Off". Just remember to spray before you expose yourself. Some of these insects pack a vicious bite and long term sores and swelling can result until your body develops an immunity.

    1. Ahhh the bugs. Yup - we are just going to have to get used to them! We were introduced to all the ants last night. We'll definitely be stocking up on bug spray!

  9. With over years of experience pairing clients with their perfect Cab Service, san carlos cab has a flair for satisfying those with the most selective of tastes.


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