500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A nine hour driving marathon!

Holy cow, what a day we had yesterday.

We knew it might be a long day, because we were going to try to get to Hermosillo. It was going to be a 433 km (268 miles) drive, and part of it was through the mountains. What we didn't realize was how slow going that would be!

We actually got on the road at 8:10am. A nice early start. I figured that we would be there by 3:00pm.

Wrong!

On the bright side, we had a clear blue sky all day!

And beautiful scenery!

After almost two hours of driving, we arrived at the Sonora border. We had only driven 75 kms (47 miles)!!

It was really slow going. I don't mind doing a couple of hours of slow twisty windy uphill and downhill driving. But this never seemed to stop.We stopped for lunch at 1:00pm, and after driving non-stop for almost five hours, we had completed exactly 200 kms (125 miles).

The road surface was okay. But you had to watch for the odd rock slide.

And the cattle on the road.

Guardrails? Nope.

We've driven the famed "Devil's Backbone" highway twice. Well it's nothing compared to this road!

Again, the scenery was beautiful.

But we had to keep our eyes on the road!

By this point, the GPS was giving an indication that we might arrive around 5:00pm. It doesn't get dark until close to 6:00pm, so that would be okay. In hindsight, there were a couple of places that we could have probably overnighted, but they weren't ideal.

It turns out that the Sonora RV Park just north of Hermosillo is far from ideal as well. We drove around the city of Hermosillo (pop 700,000) at just after 5:00pm. Made it to the RV Park, which it turns out is just a gravel parking lot for a landscaping business which has installed a row of RV hookups.

They asked for $20 USD. Huh? "This is Mexico", I say..."we use pesos here"!

The guy just shrugged his shoulders and says "$20 USD or 300 pesos". Nope, no discount for not needing their electricity. Pretty expensive parking spot.

If it hadn't been getting dark, I would have driven away.

To make matters worse, they didn't even supply a place to have a shower! "RV park" was a pretty lose term for this place. "Parking lot for RV's" would be more accurate.

And, right beside a busy highway. Never again.

But, we slept okay, and we're now only 287 kms (178 miles) from the Arizona border. We'll cross either today or tomorrow. There's another RV park I want to check out along the way. 

Yesterday's drive, 433 kms (268 miles).



21 comments:

  1. Sometimes you have to "take your lumps" when it comes to RV parks. That was twenty bucks down the drain. The sign saying "dangerous curve" had my imagination going, but I don't want to get banned or flamed, so I won't go there.
    Happy Motoring! :)

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    1. Considering that most of the places we have stayed lately have been fantastic and for little or no money, I guess we were due to have a dud! In hindsight we would have done things a little differently but hindsight is always 20/20.

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  2. Any time you stay at an RV park, that's money down the drain. I know you don't like them---but this is why God invented Walmart parking lots!

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    1. They are not always money down the drain, we have had some great ones that we worth the money but yes, for the most part we would rather stay somewhere else. We prefer Home Depot to Walmart and only then if we are in a pinch.

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  3. Mountain road driving is very tiring, glad you made it ok and didn't try out one of those guard railless turns! :cO

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    1. Yes, it can be very tiring but it sure isn't boring and the scenery is spectacular. The really bad spots actually had a small stone wall built and when you saw that you KNEW that there was NOTHING but air on the other side!

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  4. Sometimes the places in Mexico can get you , but like you said at that time of day, just do it.
    We stopped in Santa Ana in Edgar and Anna's small rv park 7 sites, close enough to Nogales to make a pretty early crossing and she gave us so great tips for crossing the border.
    Travel safe and enjoy the drive.

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    1. Had we had good internet then Kevin could have researched this better and we would have found an alternative but we didn't have the internet so we just had to bit the bullet for this one. Guaranteed we won't be back there again!

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  5. We hate days like this. Every time we do one we swear we will never do another.

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    1. Totally agree with you! I would have been happy to have stopped earlier but Kevin really wanted to make it to Hermosillo so that our driving day the next day would have been shorter for when we crossed the border.

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  6. You gotta take the good with the bad right? You have had some seriously excellent luck lately with places to stay, it had to happen :( sorry it was so awful though.
    Next one will be better I hope!
    karyn

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    1. You are right Karen, at least we know that we don't ever want to stay there again and will find an alternative overnight spot somewhere else in the area.

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  7. "another RV park I want to check out"? Punta Vista in Santa Ana? Not much of an RV park but great people running it. It is always our first night's stop.

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    1. Yes, we thought of stopping there today or another one the sounded good in the Magdalena area but instead just decided to cross the border today. Perhaps we check one or other of them out the next time. Magdalena looked like a real pretty town.

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  8. Yep, that's not much for 300 pesos. Great drive getting there though, fantastic pics.

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    1. We thought it was highway robbery, but when it is late you don't really have much choice. We will know better next time.

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  9. Love that road! Makes me want to borrow Contessa's roadster!

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    1. Yep, it would have been a fun ride in a car or a motorcycle!

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    2. Peter you can borrow my car anytime:)

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  10. Actually best you stayed in the RV park if you were overnighting. Hermosillo's transitos really harass RVers and for usually nothing at all. So all in all it a safe choice for the town. Another time and another place you would have found good overnight spot.

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    1. Because we had rotten internet at Basaseachi we couldn't research any alternatives to the Hermosillo's RV Park but in hindsight we should have stayed somewhere along the route that we took to Hermosillo and then the next day just gone on to Santa Ana or Magdalena. Also because we arrived at sundown it didn't give us time to find an alternative so sometimes we just have to suck it up. :-)

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