Victor and Joanne's Mexico 2009 Adventure travel blog

A cuota (toll) ... prices range from $1.50 CAD to $10. So...

Lovely countryside on the way from Mazatlan to Tepic. We start to...

Our GPS showing the curving road from Tepic to the coast ......

We started the day with a very easy drive from Mazatlan to Tepic. We LOVE “Gerri” our GPS!! It’s saved us many times from getting off on the wrong track. The only challenges seem to be one-way streets in major cities. In Mazatlan, Gerri kept trying to get Joanne to drive up the same one-way street. We did manage to stay parallel and it turned out fine. I don’t know how we’d manage without it.

The first part of the drive from Mazatlan to Tepic was quite straight forward. Mexican toll highways, called “cuotas” are very good. Speed limits are 100 to 110, and no potholes or uneven pavement. Mostly there are good shoulders, but occasionally we hit a cuota that has very limited shoulder room. So, we slow it right down. Mexicans have a great system for passing. On a two lane, undivided highway, they have a “pull over” lane that is about ¾ of a usual lane. So, when someone comes barreling up behind you, you just move into that “pull over” lane. Drivers in the oncoming lanes do the same thing. So, it makes a 2-lane highway work like a 3-lane highway. The only “glitch” is when two drivers, in opposite directions, try to use the passing option at the same time. There just isn’t enough “pull over” and pass space for 4 cars abroad. Hmm. Makes Victor’s blood pressure go up for sure!!

Apparently we took the wrong route from Tepic to the coast. This road is a series of hairpin turns for about 25 kilometers. We got stuck behind a large truck which was, in hindsight, a very good thing! We were quite comfortable going the posted 40-60km per hour. Had the truck not been 10 cars in front of us, undoubtedly we would have experienced the crazy passing that Mexicans do when they get frustrated with gringos driving too slowly. If you’re driving this route, take the road north of Tepic that goes through San Blas, it is much prettier and not so nauseatingly curvy!

Since today is market day in La Peñita, we stop to get groceries. Our purchase of 6 tomatoes, 3 medium cucumbers, ½ kg strawberries, 4 potatoes, 3 onions, and bag of 10 mandarins cost us about $6CAD. It’s almost 3pm and the best produce is already gone. The market vendors selling everything from clothing to household items is packing up. Next week, we’ll go early!

We roll into El Pequenio Paraiso RV Park and Bungalows close to 4pm. We are greeted by our dear friends Rod and Isabelle (who have been here since end of November) and David and Jan (who arrived in mid-December). It is good to see them and to have such a warm welcome. Jan mixes us a stiff gin and tonic and we settle in for a good catch-up chat at Rod and Isabelle’s RV site. Both couples have fixed up their sites to look immensely homey. Isabelle and Jan have prepared a feast of mahi-mahi, rice, squash and nibblies. It is divine and we feel quite spoiled.

After dinner, we unpack enough to get comfortable knowing that tomorrow we’ll have lot of time to get settled. We’re home for 3 weeks.

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