Our first Caravan
We are part of a mini Mexican Caravan leaving San Carlos today! George, Donna and their dog Walter (a super cute terrier) will lead the pack. We get to be the creamy center and Kerry and Tracey will bring up the rear. George has led caravans before. He asked if we had walkie talkies. Nope! Luckily he had an extra one, brand new in the plastic package for us to use! We talked about being ready by 8am and we were. George had some final little things to do to his rig. He had to load his 4 wheel Razor on the trailer. So while we waited, Larry and I walked down the road to a sweet coffee spot. We had visited it a few times in the last week. They had familiar coffees like in the states and canada. Coffee isn’t that big of a deal in Mexico, we have learned.
Eventually, everyone was ready to take off. We left at 10am. Since we were staying at a gas station for the night, there was no rush to leave. We tested our walkie talkies and we were good to go. The drive to Los Mochis should take around 4 and ½ hours down HIghway 15D.
This is the trucker toll road and is in better condition than the regular highway 15. Tolls range from 55 pesos ($2.90us) to 268 pesos($14.11us). We had to buy more pesos with us dollars from George as we didn’t anticipate so many tolls. It’s not that much but it seems like they were everywhere and if they were closed, the locals would stand at the toll booths and ask for money. We generally gave what they asked for as we had heard they might key your truck or trailer if you refused to give them money.
George loved to talk on the walkie talkies. Kerry announced that he had over 100,000 miles on his girl. George asked if he was talking about Tracey or his motorhome!!! They were cracking jokes the whole drive and it was quite entertaining. George had a few jokes that were hilarious and I appreciated his comic relief. We made a potty stop about 1 hour 30 minutes into the drive and another one for lunch around 2pm. I made Larry and I peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, of course! The others ate in their motorhomes as well. It was pretty hot inside and out so we ate and got back on the road. We appreciate the air conditioning while driving. The scenery was mostly flat semi-desert and not that exciting. I did see an amazing cemetary on the side of the road. They really have some spectacular cemeteries here. George was a careful driver and we probably drove slower than if Larry was on his own. We got better gas mileage! Bonus!
We found our gas station campground around 4:30pm. It wasn’t a Pemex but it had a secured lot in the back where the truckers park. We asked the security if we could stay the night and tipped him. He didn’t want money but accepted it. It was a locked lot and felt safe. There was a small restaurant by the gas station. Kerry and Tracey asked us to eat with them. I wasn’t feeling so well so we declined. Larry sat outside and had a beer with the group while I rested. George and Donna ate in their motorhome too. Larry made some yummy soup for us and I went to bed early. We planned on leaving at 8am. No reason to hang out in the dirt lot any longer than we needed to.
We slept great at the truck stop. Got coffee and snacks at the convenience store at the gas station before we headed out. We all filled up with gas and washed our windows. We were heading toward La Cruz. Donna had found a few RV parks right on the coast from IOverlander. IOverlander is a camping app she uses to find campsites. Their final destination was La Penita close to Puerto Vallarta. Both George/Donna and Kerry/Tracey spend the winter in La Penita. They usually leave at the end of March. George and Donna are from Vancouver and Kerry and Tracey are from Alberta. They are Snowbirds. A lot of Canadians winter in La Penita, we found out. We were happy to tag along to La Cruz with them and grateful to have a destination on the beach.
Driving to Elota near La Cruz was only a little over 4 hours with stops. We took an exit which was a dirt road to find the 2 campsites we were looking for. Drove through the little town of Elota with a few paved narrow streets. After we went under the train tracks, we turned down another dirt road. We figured it was safe and the right place as we were following George and Donna, the navigators. It was only about a half a mile and we found the first one. We weren’t sure if Kerry’s rig would fit. It was a very small RV park. Kerry had a large motorhome and was trailering his Razor and dirtbike. We went to the other RV park down the road to see if it was any bigger. When we found it, it was closed. A nice Canadian man said he had a key and we could stay for free if we wanted but no water, electricity or anything. We all decided to go back to the first campsite and see if we could get Kerry in there.
Noe was the owner and came to help us all get situated. The name of the place was Villa Celeste Hotel Boutique and Rv Park. We had to drop Kerry’s trailer and then park his big rig. It worked out fine. We parked next to George and Donna. We said we would probably stay 3 nights as that was what the group wanted to do. It would be a nice spot. We watched a beautiful sunset on our new beach home…..for a few days!