Saturday, January 28, 2023

A ride to El Tigre and a destination change to Teacapan

 Yesterday it was time to go on a ride.  Lots of day to day things come in the way but there's nothing like the motorcycle to clear your head.  Just a reminder I like lots of pictures so be prepared. 

We started off at 10am intending to head to El Tigre which is a restaurant west of El Rosario on the beach.  We headed south on the toll road and then crossed over to the free road at the airport as we wanted to head west at Villa Union. 
Entering the toll road. 

A quick trip and we exit at the Airport and pay a small 21 peso toll for the use of the toll road.  It's totally worth it because the drive through town is always busy and slow.

By the time we'd entered Villa Union Eric had suggested we keep going to Teacapan.  The Teacapan ride is always really hot and yesterday was cloudy and cool so it was a good choice.  If we'd though of it sooner we could have avoided Villa Union and got off at the far end of town.  No matter ...we like Villa Union. 

It's a bustling little town with people on the streets and something for sale everywhere.  The green sign up ahead is where we'd turn left if we were going to El Tigre.  Another day!

If you're hungry there is always a roadside stand with food of all kinds. 
Leaving Villa Union and we head south on the free road towards Tepic.  The map shows us going on the toll road but as it's only two lanes farther up ahead there is no point. 

We've seen lots of Guardia National.  It was formed in 20l9 by the current president AMLO and is formed from the Federal Police, Military Police and Naval Police.  There is a concern in many areas that militarization of the police force is not a good thing.  

Here they have set up a road block but we were waved through. 

Wanna race!

It is very beautiful with the mountains in the distance.  The green means there is irrigation because this is the dry season. 

We are on the south end of El Rosario and we do not pass through the actual town,  This is the Baluarte River.

Looking south. 

Next up Esquinapa.  Here all the traffic going north and south on the free road passes right through the middle of town.  If you are on the toll road you do not.  We want to head inland to Teacapan here. 

Downtown Esquinapa. 

After winding our way through there is a sign and we head left or west towards Teacapan. 

Once again the Guardia National and we are waved through.  Throughout the day we saw quite a few areas where vehicles had been burned in the middle of the day.  Probably on the 6th of January when El Chapo's son " The Mouse" was captured.  Why so far south you ask?  Good question.. 

Here you see the huge concrete power poles that head towards the ocean.  This is part of a tourist development project started by Fonatur, Mexico's national trust for the promotion of tourism.  At this point the development has stalled due to a lack of funds and the inability to sell the project to investors. 

The current government has been raffling off the land.  It is a very controversial project that was to provide jobs but of course environmental destruction was a problem.  If you are interested the link below explains it very well.  

If you look at the map you can see the large bodies of ocean water in this area.  Lots of shrimp farming. 

In the past we've seen them collecting large amounts of sea salt as well. 

Pretty little spot.  

The huge power line continues on to the project that never happened. 

The agriculture in this area is amazing.  Hundreds of acres of every vegetable imaginable.  

Share the road!  This is a tractor that is used between the rows. 

We've just come through the gate into Teacapan.  My camera missed coming in so here it is behind me. 

Lots of newly pained buildings.  Teacapan is one of the towns that was gifted paint by the state in a program called...Coloring Sinaloa and the program was for stately towns.  Teacapan is one of 17 communities in 12 municipalities of Sinaloa that was included.  It was instantly noticible.  
The house on the left had made a huge effort with paint...very nice. 

The malecon.  It was upgraded in 2021 and is a great addition to the town.

We rode its length and turned around to find a restaurant.  Our favorite restaurant here is gone.  For many years we ate at Otto's Japanese restaurant when you enter town.  

We chose restaurant Pelicanos.  Chips and salsa to start. 

You can't hardly see it but there was one of the souped up side by side ATV's roaring up and down the street blaring music.  The driver looked about 12!

The chips were thin, spicy and greasy!  So, of course very tasty. 

A nice cold Tecate.

The chips must be made "in house" because our waitress was filling bags and sealing them with a flat iron for hair.  I pointed at it and said " por pelo" or for hair! She said no and pointed to the chip bags but then realized I was teasing her and had a good laugh.  

I ordered coconut shrimp which came with salad and rice.  I haven't ordered coconut shrimp in many years as I find them too sweet.  They were too sweet for me...more like dessert but still very tasty.  Off my list for the future. 

Eric ordered pescado empanizado or breaded fish and got a whopping plate full.  Rice and salad as well.  He ate it all!  I couldn't quite manage mine but I came close.  Dinner last night...nada!


Eric's fish was Corvina which is similar to sea bass.  Very tasty.  The boats pull up just across the street below the malecon so the fish is fresh!  There was a lady shelling oysters and preparing fish across the street. 

The men were relaxing in the sunshine discussing " important stuff!"

Lunch is over, the bill was paid and up ahead Big Red waits to take us home.  Eric said he was so full he needed a nap!

A lovely afternoon and far out there are huge breakers rolling in through the break in the estuary. 

  It is a very ecologically diversified area which could easily be destroyed by over development.  Originally the Fonatur development called for 40,000 hotel rooms and making the area the new Cancun.  It was downgraded to 10,000 rooms due to environmental concerns but I wonder if anything will ever happen in the end.  Could be good, could be bad...not my call!

Up above the frigate birds are flying.

The break at the south end of the estuary. By the way I learned a lot about all of this development and area from Mr. Google. 

Right on the malecon...someone has lots of money.  

More new paint. 

Otto's eco tourism restaurant is gone.  I wonder if it had anything to do with the failure of the development project.  

Bye bye Teacapan. 

A motorcycle trailer with useful stuff. 

A chili dehydrating plant.  We usually smell roasting chilies as we travel through here but not many today. 

See those piles of wood.  That's to for fire under the chili bins. 

Guess who?

All lush and green.  Some people picking today but not many.  

There used to be huge coconut plantations in this area and now hardly any. 

From field to table.  I wonder how many North Americans would do that for a living?

Someone is setting up for a wedding. 

Coming back into Esquinapa.  The traffic coming in from from Teacapan was ferocious!  Lots of high speed and little care with passing.  One truck passed us and narrowly missed a small motorcycle in the oncoming lane.  Have I mentioned the driving in Mexico...!!!

We wiggle our way through Esquinapa and at one point the left turn sign to Mazatlan was gone.  One time we ended up lost across the river.  Very hairy coming through with bicycles, motorcycle and cars coming at you from every direction.  The bike is very heavy and not easy to stop at slow speed without dropping it especially on cobblestones. 

And we're out!

Well...almost out. 

All the big trucks have to come this way unless they are on the toll road. 

Heading north for home. 

It really opens up here. 

We saw huge cement irrigation ditches being put in and huge pipes by the side of the road.  It turns out it's part of the project to bring water from the Santa Maria Dam project. 

At this point the Santa Maria dam on the Buluarte river is 78% complete.  It will supply irrigation water, power and drinking water to the El Rosario, Escuinapa area.  A huge project.

Here we are coming into the south end of Villa Union where we will get on the toll road to head back to Mazatlan.  There are no signs of any kind that direct you to the toll road.  We have figured this out by trial and error.  

Turn right off the free road and head toward Concordia over the toll road.  Return around the round about on the other side and head turn right or north on the toll road.  Clear as mud!

First up the toll booth.  25pesos for this one as we traveled on the toll road from the south end of Villa Union 

Two lanes, concrete and 110 km per hour.  We do 100 but everyone can pass. 

On the left in the distance the ocean and the towers of Mazatlan. 

We exit at Playa Cerritos at the north end of town. 

Way up ahead the ever distinctive Riu hotel. 

We were home just after 4pm and both pretty tired  Eric more than me because he has to wrestle the bike around and be alert for any impending mishap.  Not for the faint of heart!  It was a good day for a couple of geezers and a ride and destination we really like. 

Later in the evening we were treated to a beautiful sunset.  I just about missed it.  The best sunsets we have ever seen were when we stayed in Kino Bay in February of 2008. It was always a bit cloudy and the sunsets were spectacular.