Saturday, November 26, 2022

First ride of the season for El Quelite for lunch.

 In most years  we haven't started riding until January because it's usually too hot inland.  Not this year!  Eric suggested a short ride to El Quelite for lunch.

First off we had to take an alternate route because the El Quelite bridge was washed out in August of 2021 by hurricane Nora. The small town of El Quelite also sustained damage.  The new bridge is under construction and supposedly about 3/4 finished. It is part of an important north south route commonly called the free road in contrast to the toll road.

We had to take the grey route which Google maps show as taking only 6 minutes longer.  Just above where it says 49 minutes we left the toll road on the detour which took us back to Marmol and then the free road and on to El Quelite.  The detour road is not meant for the heavy traffic that has occurred over the last year and except for a few related areas is in terrible condition.  Many, many potholes.  Needless to say it was more than 6 minutes longer!! 

Above you can see what happened to the bridge.  Local people are driving through dry areas of the river to get south but not us on a motorcycle!

I did not take any pictures on the road as I was hanging on and lifting off the seat where necessary!  When we arrived in El Quelite it was packed with tour buses and tourists which was not good for us.  The street is rough cobblestones with a smooth center strip which we could not get to with all the traffic.  The bike is heavy at 900 lbs and with me on the back and a slow speed Eric had his hands full.  Very easy to drop the bike in those conditions.   Once again too rough for pictures.

Here we have arrived at the very quiet Los Arrieos restaurant at the far end of town over a small bridge.


We always eat here if we come to El Quelite. It is quiet and lovely outside.  There are small motorcycles zipping by and the odd horse too.

They provide many extras here..tortilla chips, fresh cheeses, salsa and small round gorditas which are tortilla like with cheese.  First we each had a cerveza and snacks and then we ordered lunch.  The same waitress served us and she has been here for at least 10 years.  She stands outside aways away in case you need anything.

Eric ordered camrones (shrimp) rancheros or in tomato with peppers. Refried beans and tortillas.

For me..tortilla soup.
When we finished eating the waitress brought us a small sweet pudding....again complimentary.  Total bill including a 20% tip 400 pesos and well worth it.

A passing visitor in a hurry to get somewhere!

Very speedy and eating bugs as he went.

The restaurant.  It is very large inside with many interesting features.  At this point it was time to retrace our route.  Luckily the main street had cleared out and was quiet.  We got to go straight down the center where it's smooth.  We got home about 2:30 and we were beat. A good but not very relaxing ride!

The link below is to Carol's blog who does a superb job of covering Mazatlan and it's small surrounding towns such as El Quelite.  Take a look and you can see all the pictures I didn't take😁

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

November is a month of birthdays in our family!


In these photos Eric is cutting cedar on his bandsaw mill.  Right now cedar us $25,000. for a logging truck load.  That makes these boards pretty pricey!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

One week in in Mazatlan


It's been a busy week!  Boxes of stuff everywhere.  Outside stuff still inside and everything covered up when we arrived.

That said, the pumps had been replaced (one out on the patio and one on the roof) so the the water was running, The propane was running and the water heater was back in position.  The tinaco or water storage tank had been cleaned as well.  We pay our good friend Rafael to take the house systems apart and put them back together.  He also checks the house once a week and does any repairs that need doing.

At this point the boxes are unloaded, all the washing is caught up (all the sheets that covered the furniture) and anything that smelled musty like towels , groceries bought and next a general cleaning will happen.

Boxes waiting to be unpacked.
The motorcycle trailer is stored at the RV park and the motorcycle is at the house.  
I was on the bus to head to centro this morning at about 8:45 and it was almost full which is really unusual for that early in the morning.   Revolution Day is this week so maybe it turned into a holiday week.  Here I am just off the bus at the Mercado or main market in centro. 
One of the many stands surrounding the market. 
The Plaza Repulica by the church.  Need your shoes shined?

I started my shopping trip by getting bread.  However the close bakery Artisana was closed as there was construction out front so I had to head farther to my alternative bakery.  I bought one huge loaf of sourdough fruitbread and two multi grain that was still warm.  
Then it was back to the market for seafood.  Next time I'll take pictures of the seafood stall in the market but today my hands were full of bread.  
I always buy from the same lady and it helps because she does speak English.  I bought a kilo of shrimp, a kilo of sole, one and a half kilo's of dorado and about 1/2 a kilo of smoked marlin.  All fresh and on ice.  Cost 612 pesos or about $42 dollars Canadian.  Yesterday I bought over priced shrimp from the vegetable truck so next time I'll be more careful.  
By 10 am I was loaded and heading home on the bus.
Lots to see out the bus windows. 
I was home by about 10:30 and now it was time to cut up the fish and vacuum seal it all.  
Dorado first.  
Next the sole.
Now for the shrimp.  They need their heads and shells removed.  Those heads have a beak on them and they are sharp. Next time I'll wear gloves for that part.  Next the shells and I have a nifty tool that you slide under the back of the shell and it takes the vein and then your squeeze the handle and the shell pops off.  A quick squeeze of the tail and out pops the shrimp.  In the past I used to do it with my thumbnail but this gadget works. 
I rinse the fish and the shrimp in clean salted water and then dry it a bit before packing. 
Next up the bread.  The fruit one is so huge we split it down the center and then slice it before freezing.  Eric helps me with this part because it's a lot of slicing!

This is Eric in the kitchen slicing bread....doesn't he look happy!
Half done. 
Its been a busy week...well actually only six days as we arrived last Friday afternoon.  Tonight I'll head off to bingo with the Marilyn's and Sandi....wish me luck.  

Friday, November 11, 2022

Navojoa to Mazatlan

 We made to follow in the next day or two!

The Fiesta Motel in Navojo at 3:30 on Thursday. 
Big lot so we have room to park. 
Not a deluxe room but adequate and cheap at $68. Canadian. 
For dinner we walked up the street to the Los Arcos restaurant where we ate the last time through.  Chips and salsa to start.
Its a big restaurant and these ladies were playing a game like bingo but with pictures instead of numbers.
The first Pacifico of the season and Tecate for Eric. 
Dinner was not cheap and a little odd this time.  Eric's fish came with rice and was supposed to have green beans but there was nothing.  I called the waitress and she took the dinner back as I asked for at least a little salad.  Mine had three green beans with the fish!
Walking home back to the motel. 
We were up early and managed to get a light continental breakfast before we left. Toast, yogurt, coffee and a banana.  The Mexican men were having toasted with processed ham in between.  Didn't look too appetizing to us. 
Leaving town and there appeared to be agave growing. 
Out in the middle of nowhere on the highway unmarked topes..!!
And....our first toll booth of the day...many more will follow.
The road is so so as the concrete is starting to get holes in it. 
In some places we drove in the fast lane.  We have not seen even one RV in our travels. 
Up ahead is Estacion Luis and there are the police of some sort up ahead. 
When we got closer they asked us to stop.  They explained they were looking for guns and drugs.  I said" We're Canadians we don't have guns!'  He smiled and asked us to pull over to the side to be checked.  This would be a horror because we have so many rubbermaid tubs jammed into the back of the truck.  We pulled over and stopped and the young man who spoke to us was the translator and he went to check with the guys who were eating lunch.  He came back and said" It's your lucky day theyre eating lunch so you can go!"  Eric laughed about that for miles. 
Agricultural inspection on the other side and ours will show up soon. 
Good-bye Sonora and your good concrete highways. 
Hello Sinaloa and crappy roads. 

And...another toll. 
Ag inspection and we were waved through. 
Crummy pavement starts.
Road to El Fuerte. 
A very small town with a huge walkway that I would guess will never be used. 
Hills before Los Mochis. 

And...another toll booth.  This one had very aggressive window washers who didn't take no for an answer.  They just make a mess and slop stuff all over so we don't let them clean.  At all toll booths people are selling stuff. 
Strange green river with floating algae or vegetation.
Downtown Los Mochis or straight through. 
Agribusiness in this area.  Chemical plants and silos. 
Smart gas which used to be Pemex at the south end of Los Mochis where we used to park in our RV.
Most major highways don't have cattle at the in edge but.... Mexico they do!
Then there was a huge swap meet market at the edge of the highway at km 134 and it was huge. 
And ...another toll booth.
A National National (previously the Federal Police) check point.  We were waved through.  

Looks like a load of hay of some kind. 
Lunch time!
Pemex 4999 and lunch for us.  Had to wait a bit for fuel as they only had a couple of diesel pumps open. Fuel is way up in Mexico too.  Now. 24.99 pesos per liter and when we started to coming in 2009 it was just over 9 pesos a liter.  When they pump diesel into a small vehicle here in Mexico they always try to fill it right to the top and slop it all over.  1668 liters.  We pulled out back and ate our sandwich and yogurt and onward. 
Here they're paving the northbound lane.  They do this in little pieces but never get both side done at the same time.  The road base is just dirt and it is always collapsing. 
Just crummy and you spend all your time switching back and forth to avoid the holes in the road.  If you're following a big truck you can follow their lead.  If they hit the brakes there's a tope and if they change lanes the road is bad.  If they stay in the fast lane for a long ways the road is really bad.  Some times both lanes are bad. 
A dust devil.
Coming up to the first toll both on the Culiacan bypass. 
First toll booth but it's a small one.  At this point Eric was exhausted from dodging potholes so we were hoping the road was better. 
On the bypass road there is lots of agriculture.  Something is growing under this!
This is all staked ...tomatoes....peppers?
Hard to get a picture of this truck hauling a huge brand new combine.  He was really motoring and Eric said he had a huge amount of axles. 
This is the toll booth on the Culliacan to Mazatlan toll road.  Not so long ago it used to be in really good shape.  This is a huge toll at 252 pesos or about $18 Canadian.  The woman gave a big yawn as we arrived and we all had a laugh.  A boring job. 
For the first part the roads were pretty good but the last half it was the same old dodge the pothole driving.  Exhausting. 
In some areas there are trees lining the edge of the road.  
This is where all those nice fresh winter vegetables come from.  
Look how straight those rows are. 
North of Mazatlan is La Cruz. 
A row of perfect trees. 
I see the ocean!
The pavement is bad in both lanes here.  
Rio El Quelite I think. 
Look at that!
And...another toll booth for the privilege of driving on these fine roads!! This one $251 pesos and the last one.
Oh look...they're paving. 
If they'd just start at the beginning and go to the end!
Mazatlan playas. 
Heading toward the ocean with the Riu hotel in the distance. 
More apartments at the north end of Cerritos.  Rampant building everywhere. 
Avineda Sabalo Cerritos. 

We hit a lone, umarked, new tope here and the trailer was airborn.  Just ridiculous. 

So after an exhausting 8 hour drive we arrived at the Las Jaibas trailer park where we will store the motorcycle trailer for the winter.  We said hello to our friends Frank and Sandi who arrived about an hour before us, Hal, Sam and Papa John were there too.  We had a quick beer and were off to the house for the evening.  Saturday and Sunday were new days and I'll update you tomorrow.