Sunday, March 31, 2013

Yuma, Arizona

Sunday March 31, 2013

We pulled into Yuma around 1:30 pm yesterday and are now set up in the Arizona Sands RV park.  This time we signed up for Passport America so it is about $10 a day cheaper.  A good deal if you can figure out each parks exclusions.  This one only offers passport America between March 15th and Dec. 15th but that is usually when we are in Yuma so it works for us.  Whether we will find anywhere else that we want to stay that offers Passport America ….who knows. 

It is very hot here in Yuma already and we had to run the air conditioner yesterday for the first time this winter.  We have a few things to do over the next couple of days before we fly out to Pittsburgh to see daughter Krista and family for a week.  Always something to buy along the way. 

I went up to the crap meet to have a quick look.  Eric opted out!  I did manage to find some new webbing for $8 my reclining patio chair so that is a good thing.  I also found a really nice little beach dress for $24 and it is quite cute.  Then it was off to Wal-Mart to stock up on vitamins for the next 6 months.  I don’t know how much cheaper they are but at least I get them all bought at one time. 

We will just hang out here for the next few days until we get on the plane for Pittsburgh on Wednesday.  Our son in law’s father Bill has kindly offered to drive us to the airport and then off we go to visit.  Bill and his wife Arlie are here in Yuma until Thursday when they will fly home to Terrace.  Well….home for awhile as they are moving to Vernon in the near future. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pitiquita to Why, Arizona

March 28 and 29th, 2013

We arrived at the U.S. border around 1pm after turning in our tourist visa’s at San Emeterio.  When we came up to the border we could see that they had changed the lanes where you cross through into the U.S.  There was a hanging (pipe?) that said height 12’3” and we are over that height.  A border agent came forward and told us that it was plastic pipe and it would lift as we passed under it.  It dragged over our air conditioner as we passed under it and one might ask why they just didn’t make it higher.  No issues at the border and we pulled over to the gas station on the other side of the border for lunch. 

While we were having lunch Eric noticed a low tire on the middle right side of our rig.  When he checked it ….no air….it was flat.  He had checked the tires when we got fuel in Caborca and it was alright then.  Not now. 



He started the generator, plugged in the compressor and aired it up but …..then we could hear it leaking out.



On with the coveralls….out with the jack and….


on with the spare. 

We continued on to Why and and the Hickiwan RV park and then off to Ajo to get the tire fixed. 

Now is when the story gets interesting. 

We took the tire into the Napa tire shop in Ajo for repair and when Mark (tire repair guy) took it off the rim he said the problem was that the patch had failed.  What!!  This is an almost brand new tire that we purchased last year in Bullhead City, Az. on our way home and ….it has never had a flat repair.  So….some creep sold us a new tire that had been repaired with a plug and a patch.  How bad is that.  Mark repaired the flat for $15 and we assumed that all was well.  Well not so much.  By the time we returned to Why and the RV park the tire was already leaking and we could hear the air leaking out.  Swell! 

Tomorrow we will have to go back into Ajo and have it repaired again. 

Friday, March 29 2013

Back to Ajo for some grocery shopping and another flat repair. 

Well the tire turned out to be unrepairable according to Mark so we had to buy a new tire.  Luckily for them and us they had a tire in the right size.  So the flat repair and a new tire cost about $180.  The truck spare also fits the trailer so we did have a back up plan. 

Santa Ana to Why, Arizona

Thursday March 28, 2013

We had our usual nice stay with Edgar and Anna and were ready to hit the road by about 9:30 am.  Not too far to go today so ….no hurry.  I had a nice chat with Edgar and he said he was sorry he didn’t sit with us last night but he was very tired.  He said the last two weeks had been very busy as he’d been helping RVers get repairs done while they stayed in the park.  They are very gracious people who will do anything for you while you stay with them.  As Edgar’s health is not good everything he does is an effort for him but he is happy to help us in any way he can.  Again I will mention how important it is for all of us to stay with them as we pass by.  They depend on us for their income and we make a big difference in their lives when we stop and stay.  I always give them a little more that the 150 peso’s they ask as every little bit helps.  Lovely people. 

P1040259Our favorite spot overlooking the bluff and the big church.

P1040260  The little rig on the right is from Surrey. 

P1040262 Heading south through Santa Ana.

P1040263  Leaving Santa Ana.

Okay the next thing of interest is the stop at Pitiquito to turn in our vehicle stickers.  We had lots of information and so had a general idea of what we were going to do when we got there.  We have passed through it heading south last and this year. The main highway is under construction and there are only two lanes in operation right now so it should get very interesting when there are four! 


Heading in the wrong entrance (actually exit)

I have done my best with this map to show you where to park.  Dennis’ email said to come in entrance #2 and the one I have marked with arrows is the one that he meant.  There are actually two lanes south of the one I have marked and we came in the second one of them against the traffic.  If you follow the arrows you will come to an area that I have marked as park and there is lots of room to stop and get out to turn in your sticker.  The Banjercito is the closest building and you will have to find someone to come and take off your stickers. 

  We then stopped at San Emeterio and turned in our tourist visa’s.  We pulled over to the left between the cones that stop the south bound traffic and went inside the immigration building.  The Mexican who helped us spoke English and said that we could get our Tourist Visa’s there next year as well.  Well….unless they change something! 

Pitiquita heading north

When you are heading south next fall.

Pitiquita heading south

Do not enter where the red x’s are as that will take you down into a parking lot where you will have to turn around to get out.  Follow the blue line through the gates with arms and pull over to the right and park.  You can now go to the aduana/banjercito and complete your paperwork for importing your vehicles.  You must get your tourist visa’s back at San Emeterio(where you have always got them….or at the border)  When you are finished you can exit south following the blue arrows.  Please remember this is how it is now and with Mexico you can never know what they will change.  If you don’t have your tourist visa ….you can not import your vehicles and will have to return to San Emeterio or the border to get one!!!!

Hope this helps.

PS – I had to draw the letters in Paint and it isn’t very easy! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Playa de Cortez to Santa Ana

Wed March 27, 2013

We spent four nights and three days at the Playa de Cortez and for the most part it was okay.  Saturday night was loud because of a Mexican wedding….no problemo…wax earplugs took care of that.

We usually don’t see many RV’s here at this time of year but with Semana Santa coming people were heading north in a hurry.  We had a couple of groups of rigs stop and only one batch was a problem.  Now before you say we are just being fussy about noise, let me assure you that we are not!  When the people next to you….and by the way there was lots of room and they didn’t have to park next to us…make so much noise at happy hour that you have to go sit in front of the hotel so you can have a conversation…that is too much noise.  Okay….and then when you have your headphones on and you are watching TV with the windows closed….and the volume higher than you would like and….you can still hear them….that is too much noise!!!!!    Rude and ignorant and….they were Canadian….and from B.C. ….what the heck is going on!  Everyone else who stopped was normal and made an average amount of noise. 

While we were stopped we went into San Carlos one day to get a few more peso’s, walk around the marina, stop at Saggitaria for a little shopping and then have lunch.  We met a nice guy on the dock who invited us to come and have a look at his sailboat which was quite interesting.  Eric still hopes to buy a sail boat some day.  Since this guy only started sailing when he was 65 (7 years ago) anything is possible.  He said he didn’t know anything about sailing when he bought the boat and has singlehanded all through the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and up the Pacific side to San Carlos.  During this trip he developed chest pains and went back to the States for quadruple bypass surgery.  As soon as he returned to the boat he had emergency appendix surgery in San Salvador and….he’s still alive.  What a way to start.

We had lunch at Charlie’s Rock and it was quite terrible!  We aren’t fussy about food but the fish taco’s were awful.  I think maybe they fry all their seafood in the same oil so it tasted gamey to me.  An odd taste and I really should have sent them back.  Oh well, they are off our list! 


View from Charlie’s Rock.

We picked up a few groceries and some beer at Wal-Mart and we were ready to hit the road on Wednesday. 

We left the Playa de Cortez around 9:30 am as we didn’t have too far to go to get to Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park in Santa Ana.  We stay there coming into and leaving Mexico. 


The Palo Verde is in bloom!


Huge Vineyards.


Long line of trucks coming up to the Military Check point. 

The army didn’t come into our vehicle but were very concerned that we left the check point without hitting the top of our rig on a low hanging light. 

No issues from Guaymas to Santa Ana and we pulled in around 2pm.  One other small motor home pulled in as well and that was it for the night.  Edgar and Anna had  a bunch of rigs the night before and a little party as well.  A couple of the people in the band who played for our Chili Cook Off in Las Jaibas were there as well as Sam/Rita and Gary/Darlene (from Las Jaibas) and a few more people.  They had a little music party on Edgar and Anna’s patio and Edgar said they even made him get up and sing.  Wish we’d been there!  

We had a nice chat with Anna ( she can talk the hind legs off a dog!!) and the couple from the small Class C but Edgar was sitting up by the road waiting for RV’s to show up.  I took him a cold Pacifico so that cheered him up.  We had a quiet night and were in bed early and again earplugs are in order here as the trucks make a lot of noise on the hill.  No problemo. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Los Mochis to Playa de Cortez

Saturday March 23, 2013

We got an okay nights sleep last night with not much truck noise and not much dust.  Bueno!

A light breakfast and on the road by 8:30 am.  Quite a bit of road construction between Los Mochis and Navojoa but nothing unusual for Mexico.  We are as used to Mexican roads as we are going to get and pretty much anything goes! 


A little pile of iguanas where we made a pit stop at a toll booth. 


Coming back into Sonora. 


Navojoa…McPollo at McDonald’s….funny!


Downtown Navojoa…a pretty Mexican town.


Driving through Ciudad Obregon Eric spotted this sign with a night of tribute to AC DC.  Must be old rockers in Mexico too!




That is the edge of the Maxipista and a farmer watching his cows and hopefully keeping them of the highway.  Anything goes!  He is between the highway and the railroad. 

P1040230 Coming into a toll booth….you know….where you pay and pay and pay. 


And for this you get a road with….do you see a shoulder….no shoulder and you could easily put a wheel over the edge. 


A school bus with “Jefferson County” on the side and …..


Playboy bunnies on the back.  What’s up with that!


At every toll both there was a sweet Mexican senorita collecting for the Red Cross.  This is one of them.  We gave each one some peso’s and they gave us a sticker. 

We arrived at the Playa de Cortez RV park in Miramar around 3pm and are now safely tucked in and this is how we got here…..

When you get just south of Guaymas there will be a choice to bypass Guaymas by going over an overpass and onto 15D….stay to the right on 15 and head to Guaymas and Empalme.  You will pass along the right hand side of the overpass below it and head into Empalme.  The road will be very narrow with no shoulder.  You will pass over a long causeway …..


This is the causeway….

At the north end of the causeway (you are still south of Guaymas) you will see a road heading off to the right (east) and up the hill and it will say…..



that it goes to San Jose and the Aeropuerto….turn right here. 

Continue on this road up around the mountain ….you are bypassing downtown Guaymas until you see a sign that says…..

Hermisillo and Aeropuerto. Turn left here and you are now heading west to the north end of Guaymas.  Keep going until see a traffic light and turn left back towards Guaymas.  You will pass through two traffic lights (at the second one you will see WalMart on your left and then you will see a sign on your right that says turn right for Miramar.  Don’t turn until you get to the overpass.  You will turn right at the bottom of the overpass and it is NOT marked.  Don’t miss it or you will be in downtown Guaymas.  You are now on the road to Miramar.  Follow it until you see…..

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the big gate and the sign for the Hotel Playa de Cortez.  The RV park is on your left as you enter. 

Nice place to stay and we like it here. 

The hotel is very busy and it looks like there will be a couple of weddings tonight.  There was a very beautiful bride in a gold dress but when I got my camera ….she was gone.  Likely it will be very loud tonight but no problemo as we have our was earplugs. 

We have the internet hooked up but it required the Yagi to get a decent signal even though we are parked right in front of the lobby. 

Tomorrow we will relax. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Made it to Los Mochis

Friday Mar. 22, 2013


Pulling out ready to hit the road.

Left the Las Jaibas RV park in Mazatlan about 9:30 am and are now safely tucked in between two 50ft trailers in Pemex 4925 just south of Los Mochis on the south bound side of the highway.  It is 3:30 so a short but usual day for us.  We retournoed just north of the Pemex and came back to it.  We are far back in the lot so we shouldn’t get too much dust.  There is a fifth wheel and motor home (both from California parked here as well.  Eric said they asked if we knew Manny when he said we’d been parked in Las Jaibas.  Small world.  We are too tired to chat when we are on the road so that’s all I know! 

We travelled the toll road all the way from Maz. to Mochis even though I told everyone we were taking the free road from Mazatlan to Culiacan.  Eric said there was too much brush between the entrance to the toll road and the free road (scratches the rig) so he decided to take the toll road.  Fast, easy and lots of tolls to pay.  Oh well, just a cost of doing business.  Tomorrow we will head out early for Guaymas and the Playa de Cortez hotel in Marimar. 

We had a few beers and then were off for  dinner in the restaurant.  They didn’t have pescado empanizado (breaded fish fillets) so we had chile relleno and fresh lemondade and it was fine.  It is gas station food so we don’t expect upscale cuisine and we are NOT fussy!  We watched a Mexican soap opera while we ate and as I have mentioned before you don’t need to understand Spanish to get what is going on.  Big boobs, big hair, big dresses, lots of crying and drama….funny as heck!   Even the waitress laughed when Eric gestured that he was wiping up his tears!  

Back to the rig for a short relax before bed. 


Tucked in between two empty trailers in the back corner. 


Should be nice and quiet over night.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We are leaving tomorrow.

March 21, 2013

Well it’s time to hit the dusty trail!  The sad thing is that it has finally warmed up.  Really hot the last few days and Eric even managed to get a few swims in.  We went to the beach this afternoon after we finished all our cleaning and packing and it was just lovely.  Unfortunately the swell was so big (the waves are still pounding as I type this) there was no swim for Eric. 

We have been packing up and cleaning since Tuesday and we are ready to go.  You always think there isn’t that much to do…but it takes time.  A final grocery shop, laundry, washing the rig, washing the bike….etc. etc. etc. 

Today it was a bit quieter in the park as a few more rigs left.  Usually it is quite quiet by this time of year but with the French Canadian caravan here until Monday and lots of overnighters heading north…not so much! 

So what is our plan?   Well tomorrow we will go to Los Mochis and the Pemex on the south end of town where we usually stay.  Then…on to the Playa de Cortez in Guaymas for a few nights.  Then…Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park in Santa Anna for one night and…..then over the border to Why, Arizona.  We will then move the rig up to the Arizona Sands RV park in Yuma just before Easter.  

For those of you crossing at Lukeville and who are concerned about turning in your vehicle stickers and Tourist Visa’s here is a very good email from Dennis……

Hi Guys;

Left SC at 7:00 and crossed the border at 16:30. Allot of driving and flat asses. Now safely parked at Ajo.

Use Google earth map in conjunction with the following explanation, the outer ring is for big truck traffic and the inner ring is for light vehicles.

1. there are four entrance/exits for the complex from the highway, coming from the south call them #1, 2, 3, 4.

2. enter #2 and depart through # 1.

3. after entering # 2, stop just before the first first overhead shelter, park and get one of the young ladies to record and remove the sticker. There will be a dirt or unpaved island on your left.

4.after permit removal take a hard left around the dirt island and enter #1, you will now be pointed as if going back to Santa Ana. You will also now be along side of the truck exit.

5. Upon reaching the highway turn a hard left and carry on to the border.

Entrance # 3 is for inspections of through traffic from the North. It also has half moon shaped metal rafters which are very low.

Both female inspectors speak English.

The facility at Km. 20 [old site] is where you drop of tourist visa. Take in your passport, tourist visa and receipt.

In the event you you bypass #2 and enter #3 be careful of the low over head rafters, there is plenty of paint missing already. [ As Betty Ford said "don't do it']

Someone please pass this on to Bill and Janette.

Safe travels.


no job, no phone, no worries

Pull up Google Earth and read the email….Very clear….thanks Dennis!

We are flying to Pittsburgh on the 3rd of April for one week (back on the 11th of April) to visit daughter Krista, son in law Jeff and grandchildren Ava and Shane.  This is a long overdue trip but it is finally going to happen.  I wasn’t sure if my health would hold out but so far….so good. 

I am now down to 10mg of prednisone and although I have low level pain it is okay so far.  I am taking the Immunocal and although I don’t know if is is helping I am going to continue and reassess that as time passes. 

I have enjoyed my winter (Eric too!) and am just glad I made it to Mazatlan.  I’m sure I am much better than I would have been at home in the cold and the dark. 

My Everyday Walk

March 21, 2013

I have walked the same route every day (well almost every day…unless I was too tired) and I thought I would show you where I went.  2.4 miles each way …so almost 5 miles every morning as fast as I could go.  Then weights every other day or…at least twice a week. 

So….here it is…

First things first.  Here is a picture of Martine and Geraldo (spelling? we say Henado) but in any case these are the two guys that take care of us all winter and they are great guys.  Martine keeps the pool clean as well as the washrooms and does general clean up of the plants and sites in the park.  At this point Henado comes every day at 4pm and picks up all the garbage and then stays all night (opening the locked gate if we need to get in) before he leaves around 8am the next morning.  A really long day.  We crush our beer cans and save them for Henado and yes we do give them both a bunch of peso’s when we leave.  They are both in their late fifties so they are not that much younger that some of us. 


Neither of them are very tall but…they have great big hearts! 


The walk….heading south out of the park.


Along the bougainvillea's in front of Torres.

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Coming along by El Rancho


This is the entrance to the 360 Tower and I just love their entrance. 


P1040212 P1040180

The colors are much more vibrant than the photo shows. 





Really nice plantings as I walk along… have I mentioned I’m a gardener…if not…I am and I really appreciate the plants here. 



Another nicely done complex but look at this part of the walk.  Really uneven and slanted to the road.  You’d break your ankle unless you were really careful!   Wouldn’t be allowed in North America.  Ah….Mexico!

P1040188 P1040189

Just to the right before I turn to head towards the first bridge there is an older complex.  Brightly painted and very pretty and then signs that announce Marina Mazatlan.

P1040192 P1040190

This older building must have been really pretty in it’s day.  I still like the way it looks.  P1040193

Heading towards the bridge.  P1040194

I like the concrete and pavers along the way.


The race is on as the buses head up onto the bridge.  Neither one will give an inch and usually there will be a bicycle on the right for them to run over.    Moments late there is …..P1040196

A closed right lane….did they know about it….of course they did. 



Top of the bridge looking south to Mazatlan.

P1040198 P1040199

Heading down to the other side of the bridge and coming back up!


Back to where I came from.




A pretty walk.


Torres Mazatlan complex across the street.  They keep a large part of the sidewalk and plantings very pristine.  A nice low level complex. 



That’s Las Jaibas across the street and I’m home….well until tomorrow when we hit the road. 


The last happy hour…on the road tomorrow.  Only a few rigs left in the park and Dick/Val and Hal/Helene will close the door at the end of April.