Friday, November 13, 2015

San Carlos, Mexico | Down to the Sea Again

This week I had a long trip from Nogales, Arizona, across the Mexican border to the town of San Carlos, located on the Sea of Cortez.  Being a Florida person and used to the warm weather and the ocean (or Gulf of Mexico) nearby, I was not happy last winter while I was freezing in Arizona.  I decided to do something about it and talked to a couple of my solo women RVer friends who have been wintering in San Carlos. 

Of course, they have been showing me photos and videos about this area and convincing me that although it does get cool down here, it's warmer than Arizona.  After a few nights at temperatures in the 30s, I was ready to leave to go south, even though I hadn't planned on going until December.

I took off from my campsite a few miles north of the border at 5:30 AM (yes, it was still dark at that time).  I had never towed at night before, so this was another first.  While I was heading south the sky started getting lighter and the day began.  The border opens at 6 AM, so I wanted to be there and beat any traffic that might be lined up.  It worked, since I was the only RV at the border and zipped right through.  The woman at the checkpoint only looked into my 5th wheel and said "OK".  No search, no problem! 

A little further down the road I had to stop and get my permit to bring in my 5th wheel and a tourist visa for me.  And of course, to pay fees for all of the above.

Then, I was on my way.  The main road down is a four lane divided highway, similar to US interstates.  However, the road seems narrower and in some places, the shoulder is non-existent, or drops off enough to be unusable. The road was not in great condition in some places, so it resulted in a bumpy drive.  In one area, there was a nice shoulder area and I decided to straddle that white line so that I would be missing most of the bumps.  I noticed that a bus was also doing the same thing, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

At the government fuel stations, an attendant pumps the fuel for you, a totally alien concept for me since it doesn't happen that way in the States.  They also set up the stations for easy in and out for big rigs.  No problem trying to find a station that you can maneuver in without problems.  I like that!

The worst part of the trip is getting through the city of Hermasillo - unfortunately, they have not yet made a bypass for this area.  In one area, the three lane road did not have any lane markers, that was a bit uncomfortable.  The traffic was quite heavy through the city, but I had great, detailed instructions for the whole trip, so I made it through without incident or any wrong turns.

I finally arrived about 1 PM and was so glad to get off the road.  This is by far the longest trip I've had this year!  My friend Allison made dinner and I got to meet some of her neighbors, so we had an enjoyable evening. 

I'll be sharing photos of the area shortly - stay tuned.  In the meantime, here's a shot of tonight's sunset.