View on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania last February.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tough drive, but worth it!

(Written April 2, 8:00am)

We didn’t really want to leave Delia’s Trailer Park in Etzatlan. But Sherman wanted to test out his new engine battery, so eventually we got things packed up and said goodbye to Bonnie.

Of course Sherman fired right up, and it was just after 10:00am when we pulled out.

A bit of a late start for us, but we figured we only had about 170 kms (105 miles) to do so we would still be parked up before 2:00pm if everything went smoothly.

The first part of the drive brought us through a mountain pass. We had done this part of the route two and a half years ago, (but in the opposite direction) so we knew that it was a bit slow going.

Somebody's not having a great day.

Fields of sugar cane.

Heading towards these hills!

Trucks loaded with sugar cane!

At the other end is the town of Ameca. We were looking for a grocery store, but only if we didn’t have to detour into town to find it. Sure enough, there was a Bodega Aurerra (owned by Walmart) right beside the highway, so we pulled in to stock up on a few things.

Cheap rum!

Deal of the day? A bottle of Mexican made rum. A 1 litre bottle, for 39 pesos ($3.43). We’ve never seen this brand before, but we’re in sugar cane country and thought maybe it’s local. But the label says made in Mexico City, so who knows. For that price, we figured that if it’s no good (how bad can it be?) it’s worth the risk!

The road was like this pretty much the whole way.

A big tree with purple flowers.

View of the town of Mascota.

The highway from Ameca goes all the way to Puerto Vallarta. It’s a twisty windy two lane road with no shoulders, and fortunately it’s not very busy. Overall, the road surface is in pretty good shape too. But it’s still slow going. Pretty tough to go much faster than 60 to 70 km/h (37 to 42 mph). Good thing we were in no rush.

Entering the town of Mascota.

Bumpy cobblestone streets.

We made it into the town of Mascota at 2:30pm. We had stopped for groceries and a lunch break, but that was it. And we still had to figure out a place to park for the night.

I had checked it all out ahead of time, and there was a dam and lake about 4 kms (2.5 miles) outside of town. The route wasn’t well marked, but I asked a guy at a shop and he said we should be okay to make it there in the motorhome and he pointed us in the right direction.

Heading for the dam.

Really slow going on a narrow dirt road, but eventually we made it to the lake. I pulled over  at a convenient spot and walked around trying to find somewhere suitable to stay for the night. One restaurant had a nice looking spot, and I went and spoke to the owner. He said no problem, but the cost would be 100 pesos ($8.80) per night.

Sherman, parked up overlooking the lake.

Ruth, reading her book and enjoying the view from our patio.

View out our front window.

View from our patio.

It took a little bit of work to get Sherman level, but once he was set up it was all worth it. A great view, and our own big shaded patio!

We had a great night’s sleep, peaceful and quiet as can be. We’ll stay at least one more night, maybe two.

Only problem is lack of internet. We have a very weak cell signal that drops out more often than not. Been able to access basic gmail, but that’s about it!

The drive was 170 kms (105 miles).


  1. you find the coolest parking spots...:)

  2. That is a gorgeous view you have. Worth the effort to get there.

  3. Yup, I'm always in awe of some of the spots you find. I'm sure Sherman is happy since y'know, "he wanted to get underway" and all. *snort*.

  4. Glad it is you and not me making this drive to PV....we took this route last year and it qualifies as the worst drive I have ever done.....very pretty scenery, but lots of 30 km/hr driving. Even came upon one section of road where one lane of the "highway" had been washed away.
    Good luck and be safe!!!
    Doug B

  5. I've wondered about this highway so many times as it looks to be a much shorter route to Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara. I'm glad you are writing about it and posting pictures along the road.

  6. Looks like a nice spot! Looking forward to the verdict ion the mexican rum...

  7. That's a great find! Looks great. Enjoy the rum!

  8. 8.80 a night a view and a patio what a deal. wouldnt have liked that road going in though

  9. Sherman should be happy now rolling on down the road. A nice spot you have there, enjoy the view.

  10. The purple tree appears to be a Jacaranda - a harbinger of spring.

    1. Sorry Elaine - I did not see your post before I posted.

  11. The big tree with purple flowers is a Jacaranda tree.


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