The journey has begun with a stop at a familiar location. We lived in Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay) Mexico for a few years, so we love returning to say hello to old friends and scenery. We parked at Islandia RV Park in “Old Kino” and enjoyed a few nights of ocean front relaxing. This space cost us about $7.00 per night (no hook ups) and the average meal in town was about $5.00 per person.
After ripping ourselves away from this comfortable spot, we headed down the highway to a colonial village that we had visited a few times before.
Alamos was once a silver town, which was rebuilt by American expats about 15 to 20 years ago. From what we saw, it has returned to more of its Mexican roots. Because the two purported RV parks (motel parking lots) are no longer accepting RV’s; we camped in a dirt lot across from the fire station (with their permission) for free. It was fairly quiet and felt quite safe. And walking around town was a great way to see the buildings. We explored the narrow cobblestone streets and eating from the street vendors.The old mission church was beautiful at night. But due to our parking situation, we decided to move on in the morning.
Driving down MEX15, just outside of Obregon we spotted this huge Yaqui sculpture. This area has a rich history filled with native peoples. The Yaqui remain strong in many villages and towns. Annual festivals are part of their culture and “deer dancers” in full costume are common at street lights in some of the larger cities. The culture struggles to hold on, as so many native peoples do, against a growing society and their dwindling heritage holders.
We pulled in to a roadside stand for lunch. Pollo Asado (grilled chicken) with fresh salsa, corn tortillas and an ice cold Coke. This location had a basic hand washing station made of a 5 gallon bucket on two plastic crates, with a spigot, and a second bucket (on a plastic crate) to catch the water. The meal was prepared outdoors, on a brick work station with a firebrick grill. The cook was an elderly gentlemen, apparently working alone. I could just imagine him finishing out his life dream of owning a pollo asado stand after his wife passed away. It sorely lacked a woman’s touch, but it was clean, and delicious. Then we were back on the highway towards Culiacan, Sinaloa. This would take us to a new state. This would be the 4th Mexican state we have been in since beginning our life on the road. We have a lot more to go! (your assignment….. find out how many state are actually in Mexico!)
Culiacan is a BIG city and traffic was terrible. One way streets, narrow roadways and those crazy city buses that break all laws of logic and reasonable safety. Negotiating the camper was a bit sketchy, but we managed to get through town and see some cool things we wanted to go and explore. We went to the hotel that reportedly had RV parking available; and were again told that they no longer serve RV’s. This was terrible timing, as it was after 5 and the next possible location was about 30 minutes outside of town. If we went there, we would not likely return to explore the big city. But we decided to go for it, and if it came down to impending darkness we would park at a Pemex on the highway for the night. (SOLID RULE: NEVER DRIVE AFTER DARK IN MEXICO)
We found the cuota (toll) road and headed to Jardines de Rinconcito. We were greeted warmly (yes, they were still taking RV’s) and immediately shown a flat parking space. We were the only RV there. The main area on our right was a green, lush lawn with large shade trees, ramadas and several types of swimming pools. The only other guests in the whole compund were renting a cabina on the other side of the swimming pools and splashing with their kids in the cold water.
On the other side of us was a canal with trees and ducks. Zeb was elated. Not only was it his birthday, but he gets to swim and chase ducks! All this for $16. Not bad. Here is a view from the camper window, when I caught him taking a break! We all took an exploratory walk and found a long, swinging bridge (which Seri was not happy about) which led to another section of the water park. We also found tiled pathways around more cabinas and a closed restaurant. This place will be packed full (staff said about 500 people) for Semana Santa. But for tonight, it is quiet. As the sun set over the canal and lake, we realized once again, that everything happens for a reason. We needed to get out of that big, crazy city and relax in this lush oasis for the night. In the morning we head towards Mazatlan. Likely to be explored gingerly, as resort towns are not really our style. We will seek cheap parking on the outskirts of town and venture in for goods and services when it feels right. And then…. off to the mountains!