Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sorry for the short update yesterday! I have a few minutes to spend telling the whole story (for you unlucky enough to be following our journey!) of the last five days.

As I mentioned, we reached Mazatlan early Thursday so felt we had enough time to carry on further. Our intention was to stay in one of the NO TELL MOTELS’S which are on the outskirts of the major Mexican cities. I had heard that these were great, SAFE, and cheap places to stay while researching this trip. They are part of the Mexican culture….hotels that have the bare basics: a bed and bathroom-nothing else. The appeal to the gringos who know about them is that each room has it’s own garage which locks as you enter and you then proceed into your room. The reality is that they are meant to be places of…..how can I say it politely…hooker joints!!! The reason for the individual garages? Privacy!

In any event, they are well known to frequent travelers to Mexico and the huge appeal to the tourists is the security and cheap rates (and maybe more, but I have no personal knowledge!!)

We then found out from others we met that they are fabulous places if you are ready to settle in for the night. You are directed to your room by a security guard, given no key, and once you leave the “room” “garage” you have “checked out”. We were not interested in being locked inside, unable even to go out on foot for dinner, so we eliminated that choice. If we were stopping rather late and had plenty of picnic food to eat in the room, it may have been different!!

We did find a rather nice hotel on the outskirts of Tepic. Always, the main concern for us travelling in both the USA and Mexico was security of the car at night. The better places have guards patrolling the parking lots after dark as we had had the previous night. This place was even better! Three police vehicles with at least five policemen were parked in the lot constantly (as far as we know, all night long) because we were situated right at the point that the highway entered the city. They must have been there to chase and ticket speeders, but for us, it was like having the best security possible! So, other than the power quitting twice that night, it was a perfect place to stop.

The next morning, I was the most stressed that I had been on the entire trip, as I had been told that the route into Bucerias on Highway 200 was treacherous and very scary. I was completely expecting roads like I drove on the Canary Islands (very high, no guard rails and steep, shear drops hundreds of meters). It was a piece of cake if you have ever driven a logging road on a switchback in British Columbia!!

Other than the long line of traffic into Bucerias on a one-lane road delaying us more than we thought it would, we arrived home at noon. I do not know what is wrong with the lovely Mexican people; I guess they did not receive my email, as there were NO MARGARITAS WAITING AT OUR DOOR. No problema, we had our blender in the car and cold cervezas in the car cooler, so were able to celebrate the end of our long, long road trip with Corona road rockets! The odometer when we pulled into our driveway was exactly 4,550 km door to door!

Since then we have done a lot of cleaning and unpacking. The only shopping we’ve managed so far is for groceries and essentials that we forgot. We’ve met some of our neighbours as every day more and more people from NOTB (north of the border) are arriving.

Sunday we went for dinner with Linda, our property manager, at Claudio’s Meson Bay. It’s a fantastic, laid back restaurant right on the beach, sand floors, plastic tables and chairs, wonderful service and great food.

It’s still pretty much a construction zone around here but the changes and improvements are so much better than we expected! The mountain of dirt behind the pool and the high-tension electric lines are gone. We now have a view of the ocean from both floors, not just upstairs like we had in the spring. We also face west so have a perfect view of the sunset every night from our house. I took this picture last night.

The temperature is great. It’s currently 9am and it is 30C. Yesterday afternoon we were in the pool for at least two hours chatting with neighbours and cooling down!

We've been promised out internet connection the first week of November. I am desperate to have it connected! Going to the internet cafe is just not the same as being at home!


Allan B. said...

Hola amiga, como estas? I am so happy for both of you, that you guys got there safe and already enjoying every minute. Cheers... with that temperature I will have a margarita 24/7 jajaja.. I like to read your blog, I have been following your journey since the beginning. Ok.. Saludes, sigan disfrutando. Hasta pronto!

Dale said...

Hola............great to hear all is well!!! Sound like your all settled in and as for the weather it is sunny but cold here so I am jealous. Just being getting ready for Halloween wish you were here, no wait wish we were there. Keep those margaritas cold and have one for me. talk to you soon love Dale

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