Ruth, with granddaughter Sadie at the St. Lawrence River looking across to New York State.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England October 11th, connecting to Berlin, Germany.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Mazatlan to Tepic

We had an 8:30am start from Isla de la Piedra near Mazatlan yesterday. It was about a 300 km (182 mile) drive, and we planned to take the free road the entire way.

Mexico has a toll highway system, but where there is a toll highway, there is almost always a corresponding free route. Most of the toll highways are very expensive, but they usually save you driving time. The toll highway fees also include break down assistance should you have any trouble.

But we have driven a lot of miles in Mexico, and we normally know when it is better to take the free road and save some money. A lot of people believe that the toll roads are "safer" than the free roads, and I guess that's true to a certain extent. But it is also true that the free roads are usually more interesting. You get to drive through towns and villages and see the people going about their day.

Leaving Isla de la Piedra.

Mango trees.

Lots of mango trees. Odd how the tops appear to have been manicured flat.

Scenery along the way.

In the town of Escuinapa.

Heading home with a Christmas tree!

Selling shrimp empenadas and dried shrimp.

Looking in Ruth's rear view mirror.


Sometimes you can see the toll road from the free road.

Welcome to the state of Nayarit.

Scenery along the way.

The road surface was in overall great condition.

Many sections of the free road between Mazatlan and Tepic have been freshly paved. Compared to the 875 peso ($60 CAD, $46 USD)  fee that it would have been for our motorhome on the toll road, this is one of those decisions that made sense for us. Sometimes the cuota makes sense, but sometimes it does not. I'm guessing the drive took us 45 minutes longer than the toll road, but for us it was a more enjoyable route.

We arrived at the Los Pinos RV Park at about 2:30pm. You have to drive into the city of Tepic and then enter a strip mall with an OXXO store. But then you enter through an opening in the strip mall to find a grassy, treed lots with RV sites. It's really quite pretty considering it's located in the city itself.

The entrance to the RV Park.


Once inside, it is beautiful and green.

Most sites have a nice patio.

We are here in Tepic simply to break up the drive to Etzatlan. There isn't really a lot to see here, it's a working class city. But, they have a good market so we'll go out and do some shopping and wandering around with the group. And we'll probably find somewhere to have lunch.

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20 comments:

  1. To me Mexican markets are an attraction in itself. Looks like a lovely park - have you stayed there before?

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  2. I remember following Tioga and George from Mazatlán to Tepic. George has been all over Mexico boondocking mostly. I believe he stayed near a empty lot near a family in Tepic. He made a rock garden, planted flowers and hung hummingbird feeders. He also had friends there who built their own home. The home was gorgeous.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we remember reading about Tioga George coming here a long ago.

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  3. A good driving day ending in this oasis. What could be better?

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    Replies
    1. You are correct, it couldn't get much better! :-)

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  4. Great pix yet again. I was puckered up when I turned into that shopping center in our then 35' Class A, towing a Jeep, but made it in and out with no issues. Unbeknownst to me the CG staff blocked parking in the shopping center when we started getting ready to leave so we could swing out easier. Then (2016) a half dozen Federale vehicles parked in the CG everyday for lunch.

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    1. Thank you!

      Yes, I think I might have been a bit nervous the first time if we were pulling in here with a big unit and an archway, luckily most Class A's are under 13' in height. It was really nice of them to hold the traffic back for you when you left. I guess the Federales don't do that anymore, or at least we didn't see any come in.

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  5. There is a lot of green scenery along the road. Quite beautiful. Beautiful Christmas tree already decorated. Can't beat that. I love the RV park you're staying at for the night. If you and Ruth do this again next winter maybe Dolly will want to go. About time we got passports.

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    1. Yes, there was a lot of greenery, especially in the way of agriculture. Lol, seeing that Christmas tree in the back of the truck is why we love going through some of these small towns on the free road, you just never know what you might see.

      We never know what we are going to do in a year's time, we have proven that before! But if we do, you need to have a rig that is 28' or under, be active, love boondocking and have a huge sense of adventure. :-)

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Lorne and Sue, we did wave to you guys from here in Tepic! No, we really aren't all that far away from you guys.

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  7. I suspect that yes those mango trees are heavily primed every year as are most fruit trees. Keeps the fruit low, easy to pick and dense. Probably also keeps the trees energy in fruit production rather than tree production.

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    1. It is funny to see though because we have never seen mango trees pruned like that before and we have traveled to Mexico for many years and seen lots of mango trees over that time.

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  8. Ugh. Pruned. Not primed.
    And I don’t know why google ya me signed in as unknown. Shrug.

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    1. We knew what you meant! ;-)

      Not sure why google is doing that either but you can always sign off with your name at the end of your comment.

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  9. "The toll highway fees also include break down assistance should you have any trouble."

    Is this something beyond the Green Angels program? How exactly does it work or is there a website somewhere with information on that?

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    1. Yes, this is beyond the Green Angels program. If you are to break down while on a toll road then you will be towed to the nearest mechanical shop that can fix your vehicle or possibly have it fixed on the road if the problem is a smaller one. Also, the toll fee includes insurance should there be an accident. Here are a couple of the links to the program. You will need to copy and paste it and then use google translate.

      https://www.gob.mx/capufe/documentos/seguro-del-usuario?idiom=es

      https://www.gob.mx/capufe/documentos/servicios-carreteros?idiom=es

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    2. Thanks much for the links. I have been considering a long (six month) trip to the Yucatan in my 2015 Renegade QRS (Class C) and among the items stopping me was 1) I'm 75 and don't do mechanical any more, 2) wife does not drive the Class C, 3) Don't pull a toad and 4) no good place for a spare. Flat tire in the middle of nowhere could be a pain with those handicaps. Good to know that 074 links to roadside assistance. Again thanks.

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    3. Yes, it sounds like taking the toll road would work out best for you. Even on the other main roads though you can get hold of the Green Angels to help you out.

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