I know you have all been coming to our blog, anxious to get a taste of our Mexican adventure. I apologize for not updating since our first entry in San Carlos. You are probably wondering what we have been doing. Well unless you count sleeping and coughing, not much of anything.
We spent a week in San Carlos, but it wasn't until the last day or so that we got out at all to see or do anything. We were just that sick. Since I got sick first, I started getting better first and was able to manage a walk on the beach with our traveling partners, while Fred continued to languish back at the rig. Doug, JoAnn, Ellie and I took our four dogs for a walk on the beach. Fillmore surprised Doug and JoAnn by showing an interest in the water. I understand he usually doesn't want anything to do with it.
Boo Boo has been enjoying her new friends. Her favorite seems to be Jasmine, who is super friendly and closer to her size. Bo Jangles always wants to be an alpha dog. And Fillmore, while friendly, is just a little big for Boo Boo.
We set up the bird feeders next to our rig, but didn't get many takers. Daily we had Cactus Wrens and Gila Woodpeckers, but only a few of each. There was a trio of Inca Doves who seemed to like either perching on the wall behind us, or crouching on the ground under the rig next to us.
One day when I felt a little adventurous, I drove into town, had fish tacos at JJ's Taco Stand, found Tony's (a produce stand hidden down a little street behind Rosa's Cantina), where I bought some produce, some giant shrimp and a couple Sonoran ribeye steaks. Both of us still feeling under the weather, we didn't cook any of it that day, but saved the shrimp for the next day when the other two couples would get shrimp from Tony's too. Each of us marinated our shrimp differently and Jim did an expert job of grilling them all. We all added some side dishes and had a shrimp feast. Fred stayed home and slept, although I brought leftover shrimp home, which he enjoyed when he woke up.
Saturday, I was feeling a little better, so joined Ellie and JoAnn on a Geocaching adventure. Ellie is quite experienced with Geocaching, and I've wanted to try it, but we can never figure out how to use our handheld GPS. So the three of us "girls" took a little ride to find the cache that Ellie had programmed into her GPS. It was located on the grounds of ruins from the filming of the movie "Catch 22". It was a nice little walk at the site, and I found the cache under a pile of rubble, just like the directions said it would be.
On Sunday, our last day in San Carlos, I got Fred to go for a ride with me into town, where we found Barracuda Bob's, a little café with American bakery, coffee and internet, right at the main marina. And on our way back, we took the road up to the Mirador scenic overlook. At the overlook at the top, there were several Mexican vendors selling chotchkes, but one vendor selling raw oysters and clams, which they dug out of their shell and served in some kind of large fruit shell. That was extremely popular with the locals; we were the only gringos I saw up there that day.
I still wasn't up to cooking, so we decided to head over to La Palapa, a Greek restaurant nearby for an early dinner. I invited the others to join us, and even though they both had other plans for their evening meal, it didn't take much arm twisting for them to come along. It was a nice meal, eaten on the patio where we could see the water, and some of us even saw whales in the distance.
The only thing this flu has been good for is weight control. Neither of us has eaten much. Fred lost a little over 10 pounds already, and I've lost just under that. I wouldn't recommend that method, since the accompanying weakness and lethargy, coughing and headaches, has really been a drag. San Carlos was a lovely location on the Sea of Cortez, but frankly, other than extremely beautiful warm weather, we could have been anywhere.
After a week, the loose plan had been to try another Mexican location. Two under consideration were Alamos, which was further south and inland, and Bahia de Kino, north and west, and also on the Sea of Cortez. We understood Alamos was more of the "real Mexico" and less American/Canadian touristy, and there was quite a bit of interest in trying that, but it was also a greater distance and in the opposite direction of eventually heading back home. So we opted for Bahia Kino.
It might have been nice to stay a little longer in San Carlos, but there wasn't really that much to do there, and the others had been exploring all week, so we were ok with moving on. And besides, we had heard good things about Bahia Kino. Laid back, charming, on the water, and smaller than San Carlos, although many American and Canadian Rvers had been coming for years and loved it.
Let me say now, that there is no comparison with the roads in the US and the roads in Mexico. Don't base your time estimate on how long it would take you to drive the same distance in the US. Even when the guide books say "good four lane highway", that just distinguishes it from narrow back roads. On the way down from the US, we had found the quality of the roads to be somewhat lacking until we got to Hermosillo. From there to San Carlos, the road was actually pretty nice. So we were pretty optimistic that going back that way from San Carlos to Hermosillo would be pretty smooth. Wrong! The road going south must be newer than the road going north, as we once again hit every pothole known to man.
The smaller highway from Hermosillo west to Bahia Kino, on the other hand was very smooth. It was only two lanes, but the quality was better. It's 66 miles from Hermosillo to Bahia Kino, and halfway between is a little farming town of Miguel Aleman. It was here that we stopped after about two and a half hours of grueling driving, to stretch our legs, walk the dogs and find something to eat. When we got out of the vehicles in Miguel Aleman, we knew we were in Mexico. A very real Mexican town, with nary a tourist in sight. It might have been a more pleasant experience if it were not for the intense wind that had come up by then, and constantly blew the dirt and dust of the road in your face.
It was a pretty intense day of driving. Although Fred had woken up feeling so much better than previous, by the time we got to Bahia Kino, he was whipped. There were 10 RV parks listed in the Church's book, although we knew from their website that two of those had since closed. Quite a few of them were very small with only 10 or 20 sites. So at the edge of town, Jim unhooked their tow vehicle, and the "girls" were assigned to drive through town and find a place to stay.
The smaller parks right on the water were, of course, full. The quaint park in "old Kino" was also full. The newest park, La Playa, had some open spots, but is built strangely on terraced levels with very little maneuvering room, and absolutely no view from the few sites they had open. Most of the sites have permanent structures built on them for patios with almost no room for your rig. There is no way we could have gotten in there. So we settled on the biggest park, which had a lot of open sites, but still not a lot of maneuvering room.
We made the best of it. Actually getting into the sites, between the strange covered patios, required a lot of assistance from each other. As I sit here writing this now, I'm uneasy about how we are going to extricate ourselves from here when we leave. And the wind was still blowing fiercely making us all around unhappy campers. No one felt like cooking, so we all walked across the street to a little restaurant, Jorge's, after which we settled in for the night. By the time we got on the road that morning at San Carlos, it was 11:00am, and we pulled into this campground just before 5:00pm. Another long driving day.
There is even less to do in Bahia Kino than there was in San Carlos. About 90% of the inhabited property is on the side of the road lining the beach (of course), but it's nothing to look at, as all the properties have walls and garages at the street. You can see from the tops of them sticking up, that some of them are quite pretty Mexican villa architecture, but it is a very uninviting wave of facades.
The wind had died down over night, and this morning we were optimistic that the day would be pleasant. But it picked up again this afternoon, and the sound of the wind is wearing on me. We had planned on a week here, but so far we only paid for a couple days while we reconsider our options.