Our Awesome Travels

Our Awesome Travels
Taken In Quartzsite Arizona Dec 7th 2015

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mazatlan Stone Island

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We are in Mazatlan on Stone Island

If you notice the hit counter above it will be going over 8,000 visits to our site today
in less than 3 years, we would like to thank all of the readers, who are enjoying our travels along with us.

Happy New Year
¡feliz año nuevo!
Thurs. Dec. 31st
The last day of 2009 and what a great year it has been! Our first trip into Mexico and just lovin it. We puttered around a bit in the morning then after lunch Larry And Marilyn invited us to go for a drive along the beach in their 4 wheel drive truck to search for sand dollars and Sea shells. So over the sand dunes and onto the beach hiway about 10 kms where we had to stop for a Sea Turtle Sanctuary. No vehicles allowed. We walked about here checking the tide and Marilyn did find one small sand dollar, that she gave to us a souvenir.  After this hard work we sat on the tailgate for some refreshment to chat and listen to the surf.
        A bit of 4 wheeling in the dunes then back down the beach home for happy hour at a neighbours site. Following this supper was some left over spaghetti casserole and a short nap, before Larry banged on our door at 8:15pm. Time for the New Years Party at Benji's and they were driving, about a mile down the beach, across the bay from the campground. We chatted with Eli the young English speaking guy there and son-in-law on the owner, then joined others as they arrived. When we arrived we were given a piece of paper to mark down what drinks we had and how many, as it was a self serve bar, sure makes a relaxing night, no waiting for the waiter and I gave ourselves excellent service.
         There was about 48 people from our park attending this celebration a real good deal 150 pesos each ($12.00), includes appetizers, snacks, and all you can eat pizza, their signature Garlic Shrimp pizza is to die for!  Beer, pop or water was 15 pesos each($1.20), or bring your own, music was being played for dancing barefoot in the sand, a huge bonfire and a view across the bay of our campground, or the city lights of Mazatlan across the harbour. Chatting with fellow rv'ers we all had a great time.
          We stuck it out until about 11:15 when our driver (Larry) offered us a ride back home. So off we went  and to bed about 3 hours past our usual bedtime. We did fall asleep before midnight, but don't forget that's 2:00 am in Ontario.

Thurs. Pics.

Wed. Dec. 30th
      Last night was a full moon and a higher tide than usual, large puddles a long way from the water. We went for a nice long walk along the beach just watching and listening to the surf. A few vehicles passed us and a couple of groups of tourists from the cruise ships horseback riding along the beach. Aparantly there was 3 cruise ships in port today, good for the local economy.

       After lunch we took a drive into villa Union, a small typical Mexican town for a few groceries, gas for the car and a bank machine, most places do not accept credit cards or bank cards, not even gas stations and grocery stores, so we need to have some pesos on hand.

Wed. Pics                  

Tues. Dec. 29th
        This morning was rainy and overcast, but still about 74f (22c). We puttered around with the internet and did a video call to my daughters' house and saw and chatted to all the kids and Grandkids for a while. It sure was great to see everyone again, especially the young ones who are growing so fast with all their energy and running around. A quick trip to the store in the village and a walk on the beach after the rain stopped. Then we sat and read for a bit out side and waxed some more of our coach.
      At 4.30pm was a Happy-hour 25th wedding anniversary party for Tom & Ginger, (in the  5th wheel behind us). It was supposed to be at someones site, but with the wet weather alternate plans were made. Someone arranged with Cordon's (the restaurant next door) for us to use their covered facility. Roman the waiter agreed to keep the restaurant open (they usually close at 4.00pm). No food service but we could bring our own snacks, appetizers and cake. Roman would serve us drinks only, or bring your own. Everyone had a great time, enjoying the appetizers, cake and wishing them another 25 years! Tom said wow I will be 95!!! 
    We were able to enjoy a nice sunset and 2 cruise ships heading out to sea from here as well. Another beautiful night.

Mondays awesome supper
Mon. Dec. 28th
        After a good nights sleep, we were up early and puttered around a while then took the water taxi to Mazatlan and a Pulmonia to Walmart at 11:00 a.m. meeting up with Rick and Dorothy from British Columbia. We met them 3 years ago at Picacho Peak Rv resort in Arizona, where we spent the last 3 Christmas's. Into their vehicle and Rick drove us around the city showing us some beautiful sights and scenic lookouts. We stopped for a bit to meet another couple that they know and see the house that they rent. After this we stopped by their place for a snack and refreshments and chatted for a while on the patio watching the turkey vultures claiming territory in the coconut palm trees. Their rental house is situated right on a beautiful 27 hole golf course, within walking distance to many restaurants, shops and bus routes.
         After a while we headed out to Playa Bruja at the northern end of Cerritos. Here was a small collection of shops and restaurants beside an RV park on the beach. First stop was Roy's for supper, a modestly priced, open air seafood restaurant. We each had the special 2 whole lobsters, 4 large shrimp, french fries, and steamed veggies for only $149.00 pesos ($11.96 Canadian !!) and a beer 15 pesos ($1.20 Canadian), what a tasty feast. After this we strolled the colourful shops looking for deals on items that we don't need. Then check out the beach area and the new Punta Cerritos RV park behind the shops.  
        After a short drive back to their house we said our thanks and goodbyes and grabbed a pulmonia back to the embarcaderro for the water taxi to Stone Island then home for the evening. We love riding the pulmonias, like being in the back of a open air dune buggy riding thru town sightseeing for a very reasonable price.  
Mon. Pics  

Sun. Dec. 27th
        Weather more of the same, not too hard to take. Puttering around most of the day, walk the beach, relax and a bit of a drive about the village exploring.
         Tonight a group of us (27) we are going into Mazatlan for  a nice buffet supper at Heather's Place, an outside patio with live entertainment. We got a ride to the Ferrydock with Tim and Cheryl at 5.00 pm where we boarded 2 water taxis to take us across the harbour. Here we got 2 small pickup trucks with a bench seat in the back for the 15 minute ride across Mazatlan to the restaurant for 10 pesos each(.80- cents). What a fun ride at least 12 of use packed in there! We arrived at the restaurant and our reserved tables were waiting us, for Stone Island (Stoned Island as they called us because we are having too much fun).
          Some socializing and entertainment from the local Mexican singer with some Spanish tunes and a Mexican singing John Denver and Johny Cash tunes, he was real good. Then a great buffet supper, with turkey, beef, chicken, shrimp, turnip, veggies, mashed taters, gravy, cranberry sauce, rice, beans and salsa. With a birthday cake for desert for one lady in our group.

          The main entertainment for the evening was a Tina Turner Impersonator from Edmonton Alberta. She did an real fantastic high energy 2 hour show. A really fun evening. After the show we piled into 2 more trucks for a wild night time ride around Mazatlan back to the Embarcadero (ferry dock) to get the water taxi back to Stone Island. Then home to bed.

Sat. Dec. 26th
       The day after Christmas and weather more of the same, A walkabout, chat with neighbours, a dog washer, painter, rv waxer, a computer worker and coffee drinkers, and everybody is outside before 9.00 am. before it gets too warm.
        We puttered around a bit, went to the corner store for a couple of things, and bought a nice hand made blanket from peddler in the park. A stroll on the beach after lunch revealed a wedding in progress, and the reception being held in the palapa where we had our Christmas party last night.
         We stopped by home, got our beach chairs and sat by the surf reading, chatting and watching the people and dogs play. (in Mexico dogs do not need to be on a leash). With a nice cold Corona and lime. Some people walking the beach, surfing the waves, surf fishing, atvs, horses, cars passing by, even a couple of farmers on their tractors with equipment behind. Lifeguards checking things out and still very quiet  here, a bit of background music from the wedding reception right on into the evening. 
          After a tough day in the fresh air, sun and surf, we returned home to a nice supper of fish in garlic butter, rice, beans and garlic bread, then a movie for desert. Does it get any better???             

Dec 25th, Merry Christmas 
       A nice, warm and sunny morning walk on the beach and watch the sailboats and horses moving about. Around the campground wishing people Merry Christmas and chatting. This was an enjoyable relaxing day, reading and a long beach walk. Thank goodness for modern technology we were able to contact our families either Christmas eve or Christmas day.

         At 5.30pm we gathered with a few friends and walked to the Playa Sur restaurant next door for our Christmas party. There was about 100 of us from the campground there for happy hour at 6:00 pm with a nice traditional turkey dinner served at 7:00 pm.(for 200 pesos each $16.31including dinner and 2 drinks!)  This is a nice large Palapa , no walls and on the beach. There was Christmas Carol singing and greetings from various people.
      Following dinner was the fun gift exchange for everyone there, and then the Pinata , a Mexican tradition for the children. This was fun to watch and soon on the ground with lotsa of candies for the small ones. A few more christmas carols, some dancing then time to go home to bed, after a nice Christmas day with new friends.  

 Fri. Pics

Thurs. Dec. 24th
      Another day in paradise. Sunshine with a bit of a breeze about 75f (23c) most of the day. After the veggie truck came (we bought fresh fruit, veggies, buns and eggs), we did a walkabout on the beach and village and bit of a car tour. Mostly the streets are dirt, and different living conditions. We drove a few blocks into the colony where the real poor people live, some pretty sad conditions there. But locals have some boats lining the shore and the taxis wait buy the dock for tourists from the cruise ship. Most of these taxis are small pickup trucks, that seat 6 to 8 people on benches in the back, our some large  horse drawn wagons. 
      Back home we walked the neighbours dogs on the beach and checked out some of the vendors selling their wares. Then back to relax a bit and Happy With Larry and Marylin, celebrating Christmas Eve with a cranberry beer he transported from the Eastern United States. We walked to the beach to catch a sunset again, and waved to a bunch of rowdy seniors piling onto an ATV to be transported for supper somewhere up the beach. We returned home for a supper of roast pork, gravy, egg noodles and carrots and desert some Kahlua icecream with fresh strawberries. Then a walkabout checking some of the Christmas lights in the park.
Thurs. Pics

Wed. Dec. 23rd 
     A little cooler today but comfortable 75f (25c) and overcast with a light breeze. A day to relax and putter around, do some waxing on our coach, walkabout and chat with a few neighbours. Mid afternoon we had small rain shower that lasted about 10 minutes then the skies cleared up. Supper tonight was BBQ'd chicken and baked potatoes. 
     Now for a good list of complaints and hardships that we have here check out Larrys Bog here. They are right beside us we are suffering the same.            

Tues. Dec 22nd
     Another day in paradise, warm and sunny on the beach. With a short walk I noticed two cruise ships had arrived across the bay. So it will be a busy day here and in Mazatlan with all the tourists. The locals are getting the horses saddled, the atv's ready, the restaurants prepared and the pulmonias fueled up. These cruise ships arrive in port three days a week. 
     We had our water delivered early and a nice gift from the young couple, wishing us Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas).
      Today we are going to venture into the city. We took the other water taxi, 10 pesos (.82 cents) that arrives closer to the ships and the bus routes. Suzie had researched the buses and we flagged down the green route bus that says centro. (this an air conditioned bus, also known as the tourist buses cost 9 pesos each (.73cents) It will take us where we want to go, the north end of the city near the Golden Zone. This was a fun bus ride right thru the centre of the city past markets, the cathedral, along the beaches a really relaxing ride enjoying the sights. 
     We got off the bus at the Dairy Queen and crossed the road to the office of Pacific Pearl to pick up their free monthly magazine and purchase our own copy of Mazatlan's visitor guide. We watched some street dancers here for a bit then walked enjoying more sights. We stopped at Mc Donalds for a quick breakfast, Mc Burritos mexican style with juice and hash browns. We also walked by a Starbucks, Burger King, Senors Frogs, Home Depot, Bank of Nova Scotia stopped at the Office Depot for some supplies, then next door to Soriana Plus, a huge store that sells pretty well everything from computers, appliances, motor scooters, clothing, fresh meat and vegetables and liquor all at good prices. After a a bit of shopping we took a pulmonia (open air taxi) back to the water taxi about 20 minutes thru town for 70 pesos ($5.70). 
     Then the water taxi back home to unpack and relax. Happy hour with the neighbours then a BBQ'd pork roast, boiled new potatoes and a fresh tossed salad for supper. And desert was a special Kahlua homemade ice cream, delivered by a local resident, so creamy and tasty. 
Tues. Pics     

Mon. Dec. 21st
       While checking email with our morning coffee about 7.00am we heard the loud horn of a ship. A few steps over to the beach and we could see the Baja Ferries pulling into port. This is a 12 hour boat ride from La Paz on the Baja Peninsula to Mazatlan.
        A little later we here the veggies truck driving thru the park so picked up some fruit and veggies. There is 2 of these that come here everyday as well as 2 trucks delivering purified drinking water. The fruit and veggies are very fresh and inexpensive as is the water 12 pesos (.98 cents) for 5 gallons. delivered. 
       We puttered around, a beach walkabout and chat with some neighbours today and relaxed with a nice lunch of fresh fruit and veggies. Later in the afternoon 2 young Mexicans came to wash and polish our coach after the dirt and travel to get here it was filthy. About 2 hours later they were complete and for $300.00 pesos ($27.00 dollars) did an awesome job!!!
       Then we strolled to the beach to watch our first amazing sunset on Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra), we returned home for a nice supper of chicken wings, fries and some fresh veggies. Then retire to watch a movie.
Mon Pics.

Sun. Dec 20th
       Nice warm morning as usual. At about 8.00am we went for a long morning walk along the beach, enjoying the warm sun and water with the waves lapping at our feet. The dogs running and playing enjoying it all as well. There was a family camped on the beach and a local bringing a bunch of horses down the beach as well. We found another restaurant quite a distance from everyone. Spotted a starfish and stingray washed up on the beach. And even a couple of tractors moving a long from one place to another. This made me think of my brother in law, he would probably really enjoy farming this close to the beach. 
     Back home we chatted with a few neighbours and sat outside reading and waiting for the vegetable truck to pick up some veggies and fruit. (they come around the campground every day).
      Then time to make our first adventure to Mazatlan. Into the village about one kilometre away we park in the town square and purchase our tickets for the water taxi to the city $5.00 pesos per person ( .41 cents Canadian). A few minutes later we  arrived at the dock in town also a fish market with hundreds of huge pelicans hanging around waiting for fish scraps.
       Suzie flagged down a taxi to take us the 10 minute ride to Walmart $35.00 pesos ($2.90 Canadian) a very good price. We purchased a few items here and used the bank machine for some more cash. Walmart is Walmart pretty much the same every where, except all in Spanish, they even sell motorcyles here as well. While there if we don't run into a couple from British Columbia, that we met at Picacho peak in Arizona the last 3 years, Rick & Dorothy what a small world. They are here for a month every winter renting a house, we chatted for a bit and promised to get together before they leave at the end of the month.
      Leaving Walmart we got a palmonera? (open air, golf cart type of taxi) back to the dock. He wanted $100.00 pesos but we negotiated $60.00 pesos ($4.97 Canadian) for a fun ride back to the water taxi. We passed by a cruise ship in harbour as well, apparently about 3 per week.
       Back at our site we chatted with a few people about and excursion tonight for supper and a music show. We decided to stay here and go to the palapa restaurant next door for lunch. On our way over we stopped to play with an Iguana (Franklin) and take pictures with him, he even gave Suzie a hi 5. We sat on the beach in the shade with our toes in the sand, 4 cold beer, and very tasty lunch of nachos, dips, coconut shrimp, (I craved some fries), Shrimp casadia, rice, beans and salad for $236.00 pesos ($19.57 canadian). Music in the background and the waves on the shore. Does it get any better than this????    check out this song , says it all.       song No  shoes no shirt no problem      (Thanks Dot)
       We walked back home, and relaxed and read for a while in the shade and chatted with a few neighbours. We were invited to tour the hotel next to the campground that is about to open, very nice clean and basic with all rooms having a view of the water. No supper tonight after such a great lunch. At 6.00pm we went to the Vanstones rig to watch the 3 hour season finallie of Survivor on their outdoor televison. Here six of us sat in outside enjoying the fresh air a tv show and conversation, then a bit of a movie for us and to bed.  

Sat. Dec. 19th
A nice warm night about 65f (17c). We can sleep with our windows open and the sound of the surf not more than 100 yards away. Early morning the temperature climbs to about 90f (30c) sunny and stays that way all day. A morning walk on the beach to explore and locate Warren the Manager so he could set up our computers for the internet. Back home we waited for him and chatted with neighbours outside and moved out coach over a bit to make more room on our site. Very small cozy sites here. After lunch we walked along the beach and with quite a few Palapa restaurants and bars, people playing in the sand and in the water. A few atvs on the beach as well as people riding horses. This is such a beautiful warm sandy beach that is not crowded.
      We returned back home to grab the car and drive about the village, to check where the water taxi is and see some real Mexico living. A real culture shock. And such friendly helpful people. Back home we chatted with more neighbours and enjoyed happy hour with Larry, Marilyn, and Roy & Kathie (we met in Ontario last summer at 50 Point). Then a nice supper of BBQ'd chicken and potatoes.
     You may want to check out Larry & Marylin's blog as a different view point of the same place and different experiences.

Sat. Pics  

Fri. Dec. 18th
275 miles (443 kms) today
      Los Mochis campground is secure with the gates locked and an attendant on duty all night. The rooster roaming there woke us in the morning and we were off to an early start 7:15 am. We were back on the cuota (toll road) and heading south.
     It is real amazing to be driving these 4 lane divided highways with 100 kmh (60 mph) speed limits and see so much pedestrian traffic and bicycles. The centre barriers do have openings in places so people don't have to always climb over them. Another thing to is if  the shoulders of a 4 lane road are paved it becomes a 6 lane road, a little confusing for us at first.
     The scenery was becoming more lush and lots of green fields , crops and some very huge farm operations along the way. Many fields were covered in a tent like white material, probably green houses. We did take note that we crossed the Tropic of Cancer now entering the tropics.
     Todays drive was very good and with only a few  toll stops, I fuel stop and a nice picnic area for lunch just before Mazatlan we made good time. Arriving at the RV park at 3:00pm
     Fuel costs from Nogales Arizona were $284.00 Canadian for 768 miles (1238 kms) and $158.00 for the quota (toll road). Now we could have avoided the cuota (tolls) by taking the narrow secondary roads, thru the towns and villages with a lot more traffic and many more topes (speed bumps). We will probably do some of that on the way home.
      After navigating thru Mazatlan to the south end we turned right on the air port road and drove to the end of the pavement. Now from here we travelled a gravel  road for about 55 minutes at 6mph (10 kph) very rough and dusty but  worth it once we arrived at Tres Amigos RV park  on Stone Island, (its actually a Peninsula). We found the manager and got set up on our site. Everybody stopped to say hello and we met many new people in a short time, about half of these people from Canada the rest from the USA.
       We relaxed for a few minutes then decided to take the 10 minute walked down the beach, just barely missing the sunset.  Stopping at Carmelitas for a delicious supper of fresh fish with rice, beans, steamed veggies and fresh tortillas. pretty healthy eating habits these Mexcians have.
       Then a nice walk back to our site to meet a few more people, before turning in for the night.
Fri. Pics.

On the Road Again, south to Mazatlan!!!!
Thurs. Dec. 18th 
228 miles today
       We were up early and on the road by at 7:20 am stopping in Los Mochis RV Park at 2:30pm. The first part of our adventure was trying to get back on the toll road. With some construction and improper signs, we ended up with 2 coaches towing 2 vehicles about to go the wrong way on the highway. Unable to turn around we removed a snow fence on a closed road and back thru a Pemex station with the help and directions from a friendly local Mexican that spoke pretty good english.
    Then the roads are good but traveling in Mexico takes a while. Top speed limits are 100 kph but with a lot of areas with topes (speed bumps), small towns, like Ciudad Obregon traveling thru cites, a fuel stop, rest stops, toll booths, even a detour in a down around a parade on the main highway, you get there when you get there.  
      We went thru some mountains and past many miles of rich green crops in the fields. We noticed in a few areas horses tied in the median grazing on the long grass and When you slow down or line up for topes or toll booths there is always an array of taco stands and vendors at the side of the road  even walking between the cars selling their wares, quite fun. Also farmers actually bring their cattle right to the edge of the 4 lane highway to graze on the long grass and some even harvest the long grass in median, and load on horse drawn carts. Then we drive thru a large town and see a hug Walmart Supercentre and Sam's club. 
      It was a good days drive and very warm around 90f (30c). We stopped at Los Mochis, Copper Canyon Rv park for the night. Here we relax a bit chat with some new people, plan a bit for tomorrow, have a nice supper chicken breast cooked in salsa and some chinese noodles watch a movie and relax.