Search This Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Villas Onac RV Park….Teacapan

I got an 8am start out of a very quiet Celestino RV Park yesterday (Sunday)and headed down the expensive Autopista toward Mazatlan.Sunday morning driving can be a double edged sword,less traffic,but among the traffic remaining can be many left over drunks from the night before.

On this warm and muggy morning,it was 74 degrees when I left and into the 80’s by the time I entered the outskirts of Mazatlan an hour later.Traffic was quiet at the north end but a bit of a zoo by the time I reached the southern reaches of the bypass.Much of the traffic on the highway travelling in my direction were the expat Mexican/Americans all loaded down with goodies as they head home for the holiday season.Every year there is a mass migration of them in their pick-up trucks and big shiny SUV’s,with plates from many different Western States of the US.

001 Taking a break just south of Mazatlan at the interchange of Mex-15 going south and the Durango,(Devils Backbone)highway going east.The two toll stops on this day totaled 350 Pesos,just under $30.I had the choice of taking the free road but I have a big dislike for the one south of Mazatlan.

Miss Garmin(GPS) did a pretty good job of directing me,even though I know the way by heart.So far I’m fairly pleased with this Mexico Map SD card that I purchased before leaving home.I still have a little distrust for her as she has tried directing me down a few wrong roads,but maybe she was right and I could go both ways,like in the small city of Esquinapa yesterday,when I preferred to follow the signed route….She goofed up big time on the turnoff to the campground which is a dirt trail….She tried to put me into someone's driveway.She can be excused for that one.

002 I reached the Villas Onac RV Park just after 11am with an high overcast and a muggy 86 degrees.

I had a chance to get the last remaining beach side site that was available for the month of December,so paid for a week then drove down and found it occupied already.Now I was stuck in a difficult area to turn around as you need an empty slot to do this.One of the nice Ontario people next door came to my rescue and drove me back to the office.It seems that the owners were not on the same page that day and need to do some communicating.

So I had the choice of any spot in the next 4 rows except one which was occupied.I have the option of moving over to that beach site when the people leave,but I’m settled in now and it’s less crowded,besides its still only a one minute walk to the beach.

My paved parking pad has like all of them,a great population of Sugar Ants,so the Massacre begins.

015   This is a magnified shot as I picked a spot as far away from the trailer as I could and within seconds of laying down a few trails of the good stuff,it was standing room only.By the way…At Celestino,I won that war as the following day,none were to be seen.I hate killing anything,even ants but its everyone for themselves as I’ve witnessed what a trailer full of sugar ants on mass can do to a pantry and all the food.

005 Here are some of the 9 rental Villas that are here.

008 A closer look at one.Quite nice actually.

006 And the Clubhouse and Swimming Pool.

012 And of course,the beach.I’m told that the ocean water is still quite warm and no sting rays have been seen,so I might set down roots for a while.There is a large estuary in this area here,full of interesting birds,so its time to get the camera into action.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Great Sugar Ant massacre, Among Other Things.

I usually consider myself a bit of an expert on controlling sugar ants when I come to Mexico.(At least I think that's what they are called.)They are very tiny,almost the size of a grain of pepper,and boy! Can they move.Actually I notice that there are two sizes of ant,both very small.

It usually takes a few days for them to enter the RV,sending out the scouts to explore.I then start watching for their point of entry.Many people use powder around all contact points,like Comet,with bleach added,but I find that to be too much of a mess and if you count everything around the RV that touches the ground,including hoses and electrical cables, it become a bit much.

My trick is to use a small bottle of liquid,which is a boric mixture.they love it but it locks their jaw and they starve to death.They take it back to the nest and infect the rest of the colony.

So as soon as I see any activity near the trailer,I set out the liquid and in a matter of hours there are hundreds feeding.I figure if they can be fed out in the open,then they will have no desire to go looking in my trailer for any other food.And so far over the years this trick has worked well for me and within a couple of days they are all gone……Until the other day…..As I stepped out to see how the feeding was going,found myself surrounded by thousands of them on my little palm frond mat,seemingly uninterested in my mixture except for a few So I had to break out the big guns,a can of ant spray that I had purchased the last time I was in Mexico,and within seconds had wiped out most of the colony.

I always thought that I was smarter than the average ant,but this time they threw a scare into me as I was faced with a superhighway 6 inches wide between the trailer and the nest as they prepared for the attack.Last night a few scouts were found inside so I eliminated them so that they couldn't report back to the queen.So hopefully all will be ok today at Fort Trail-Lite.

001 Yesterday I went into La Cruz,10 miles down the Autopista and stocked up, and of course I forgot to take my camera.The pic above was taken earlier in the week.Its the local Mall,with a nice little supermarket to the left and a big department store front and centre in the photo.

After spending 2 and a half months in this area 2 years ago,I knew my way around pretty good as I got 2 (20 lb-5 gallon)propane bottles filled for 200 pesos,$16.32CDN.Then off to the big “Deposito,”beer warehouse,where I turned in the case of empty bottles from 2 years ago,that I had taken home with me.(talk about cheap huh?)The empties are almost as expensive as the full’s.A case of 20 Corona cost 165 pesos,$13.46CDN.

Then the supermarket where I picked up another ant spray,(the last one in stock)Now I’m packin 2 guns.And some nice “carne molida”,ground beef,that I turned into a batch of what my kids call,GRAMMA GRAVY,which is a ground beef stew with onions, fresh green beans and carrots.I now have 3 containers for the future in the freezer after last nights supper.

The weather cooled a bit yesterday as a fresh ocean breeze carried away the high humidity,so an afternoon of cooking was in order.

I’m playing Mr. nice guy right now as I found that the park wifi is out of order and has been since just after arriving a week ago,so have allowed my neighbors to log onto my satellite system to check their daily e-mails.My signal seems to carry quite well to adjacent lots.

Well its almost time for my morning 40 minuter up the beach as its starting to get light.It feels a little cooler this morning so I may have to wear the famous RED RAG,for those of you who are familiar with it….Its just an old red hoody sweater that I refuse to get rid of. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

A lazy Day Wandering Around With My Camera

The days have been very warm and muggy lately,with the past 2 days in an overcast with no wind but still in the 80’s.These are like the “Lazy Hazy Days Of Summer”except it’s late November.So other than my usual 40 minute fast walk/slow jog up the beach and back every morning at 6:15,I do nothing.I guess its called being all “Beached”out….I love it.

013 As you can see the area around here is quite bushy,so I thought i would see what birding I could do the other morning.

023 Some weird types of trees,this one appears sort of spiny.

014  Plenty of Northern Mockingbirds.

018 019 And this Crested Cara Cara looking for some breakfast.These guys usually hob knob with the Turkey Vultures and can quite often be seen along the roadways,doing what birds of prey do.

024  We are not in jungle country yet,but this shot taken in the campground,sure looks like it.

001-1 yesterday morning I walked down to our patio area hoping to maybe see some dolphins,as they are usually seen every day frolicking just off shore.But no luck,but noticed this fishing boat quite far out,so I zoomed the camera and found it to be just covered with birds.I couldn't see them with the naked eye.

002-1    A little closer reveals quite a few  Frigate Birds soaring around.Probably quite a few Brown Pelicans also.

003 As it swings away,a different view.The Frigate Birds are continually soaring and I’ve only seen them land during nesting season,when several years ago I had a chance to look into a nest full of young,up at Bird Island.

One other time I had one fly down and brush my shoulder as I stood on the beach in front of a net full of fish.They will come down and try to pick up food on the fly.

005 Here’s one flying over.Yesterday many were soaring together in a big circle picking up the draughts on a still day.Its interesting to watch how they use their forked tails to turn.

Today I’ll go into the nearby small city of La Cruz again for some shopping as I prepare to leave Sunday for the Teacapan area,which is further south about 3 hours drive.This hopefully will be the area that I will settle into for the month of December.Then in early January I’ll be doing a lot of travelling,almost every day as I venture further south in this beautiful country.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Little Tour Of Celestino RV,Just North Of Mazatlan.

011 Here is the entrance to our park.Its laid out in a long thin line from this roadway,all the way down to the ocean front,which is the better part of a kilometer.At least it seems that way.

002 All sites are on one side of the road,and are back-ins set on an angle.Chris the owner has done a nice job of laying out plenty of nice shrubbery for privacy between the sites.To exit this park because of the narrowness,there is an exit road further down that puts you into the next property behind the sites,and a road takes you back out.

010 This shot was taken from that property,as you can see my back yard.

005 Further down the road toward the beach,is the combination laundry room,showers,and toilets.

004 Then the last section,which used to be the dry camping area,but is now fully serviced also.The property next door still has dry camping by the beach.Beyond the trees on the right.

006 And finally the beach end with a grassy area and patio.This is where I enjoyed Xmas dinner 2 years ago with a great bunch of people.And of course last but not least…The beach.

007 Not as nice as the last stop at Hautabampito.Its a bit rocky just in this area.If you go 100 yards in either direction,you get nice sand.

So that's my little tour of the place I called home for 2 and a half months,in the winter of 07/08,and have again returned to, and this time for just a short visit.  I will try to get my location to work this time.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Celestino RV Park…On the Beach again.

Yesterday was a long hot 300 miles of Autopista (Toll Road) driving.Thank goodness for air conditioning as the temperature peeked at 86 degrees.

The start out of Hautabampito was a bit frustrating as I wanted to get an early 7am start, and the entry way to the park was blocked by the company vehicle parked sideways, I guess to keep out the Saturday night drunken kids that roar up and down the beach all night.And that they did……..All night.A little thing about ole Mex. that I had forgotten.

Blowing my horn in frustration didn’t do any good as no one seemed to be around on this fine sunny Sunday morning,so I knocked down a post and moved a garbage container and squeezed through a small opening against the hotel building with a little guidance from a lady camper friend parked nearby.001  This is a pull off spot just north of Los Mochis,where you climb a small mountain range before dropping down into the Farmland that runs all the way to Culiacan.We have probably all eaten vegetables from this area.

002 003 A couple more shots from the same area.The other half of the 4 lane Autopista,is behind me and above.

I had originally planned on only going to Mr.Moro’s Hotel and RV Park,near Los Mochis,the home of the cartoon figure on my trailer,but decided at the last minute to bypass it this time as its an hour each way off the main route.

004 Just north of Culiacan.It was difficult to take (out the window) shots,because I was always looking into the sun with my southward direction.

005 My 2 Pemex stops were like they always were, as I kept a close watch at the pumps.And for the first time that I can remember,the same attendant even cleaned my windshield on the last stop,for which he got a pretty good tip.More than I usually give.

006 I arrived here at Celestino,just 48 miles north of Mazatlan,about mid afternoon.Its quiet here with just a handful of people so far,so I had a chance to select the site I wanted.

The cost is 150 pesos (or $12.14 cdn per day)full hookup with metered electric at 4 pesos a KWH.Chris the owner,an American from Alaska,has the lowest rates on Mexico’s west coast.The weekly is 900 pesos or($72.86 cdn) This is based on today's exchange rate.

The overnight is warm with all the windows open and sleeping on top of the covers is more comfortable.Soon a bit of a cool down will start in this area.At least the roar of the ocean is a little further away.Instead I get to hear trains all night.And roosters,and dogs,…sigh!… Its Mexico.

I will spend at least a week here.This is where I spent 2 and a half months,two years ago,starting at about this time,so its sort of old home week,just with different neighbors.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just a Lazy Day At The Beach

The overnight temps are staying close to 70 which is exactly what it is outside right now as I write this at 5:10 on Saturday morning.You can feel the humidity,but its not overwhelming at these temperatures.All windows are open.This morning will be like yesterday morning,when at 7am and sunrise,I’ll take my usual fast walk/slow jog for exactly 40 minutes,on the beach.002   That’s west,I went that way yesterday,and in my bare feet.The water was warm,the sand was cold in the morning air.

001 This morning I will go this way wearing my shoes as my feet are not acclimatized to the abrasive sand yet.

Those 2 directions culminate into 8 uninterrupted miles of beautiful beach.005    Here’s one of the nice beachfront homes,near by.

So my day was spent just relaxing and taking a few snaps along the waters edge,like my little buddies,the brown pelicans,taking a mid day rest.004 The one on the left has its head straight up in the air with the bill open.Looks like a scissor head.Here’s a little Picasa fix below.


When I'm walking the beach in the morning these poor little guys below, are trying to get breakfast,but I keep interrupting them and they keep running ahead of me.Then after awhile they smarten up and go behind me.

009 Then I turn around to come back and the whole cycle starts again.

The rest of the day was taken up by creating a vegetative state of mind,and getting a few rays.The reddening begins.

013 this is a photo of the back of a motorhome from France.I took the photo to get a copy of their website,written on the back, and have a look at their site.They left just after I took this,and I never got a chance to meet them,but they are a young family with 2 boys, and their final destination is in South America.Check out the and use the translation in your browser.The motor home is based on a Fiat diesel.

003 That's it,2nd on the left next to my little dwarf of a trailer.So,along with an enjoyable happy hour over at the restaurant with my  next door neighbors from Williams Lake.(the 2 rigs to my right), that was my day. We lost one rig and gained 4 more,so we will see what today brings.Life is a beach…isn't it? It doesn’t take long to forget Pemex rip-offs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

El Mirador RV Park…Huatabampito Sonora

I arrived here yesterday about 2 pm at this little off the beaten track,jewel of an RV Park and Restaurant, on a warm, humid,82 degree day.


I want to go back to yesterdays drive a bit and cover the trip from the City of Hermosillo.I got an early start and travelled through the morning rush hour of the city with the rising sun shinning in my eyes most of the way.As many know,just driving through that city under the best of conditions is trying.I always have scary memories of the very first time when we were swept down into the city centre after missing a turn,and having a heck of a time finding our way back.And 2 years ago I drove through under cover of real early morning darkness and found out just how inadequate the signage lighting is.I had miscalculated how soon it would get light that day and got too early a start.

001   004 Here are 2 shots from my first day on highway 2 just a few hours after crossing the border.The one on the left is a small rest area.I can remember on my first Mexican visit back around 2000,that these were non existent, and even a place to pull off was difficult because of the large drop off from the pavement.And you never ever saw a trash container back then.Garbage would be all over the ground.Now you see roadside trash barrels everywhere.Still lots of trash on the ground but the peoples aim is improving.

I wanted to see just how good my $60.00 Garmin 2009 Mexico SD card would do.So knowing my way through Hermosillo pretty well now,put it to the test, and she wanted me to turn when I knew I shouldn't,so didn't.I could have been wrong but wasn’t going to chance it.Later in the day in the city of Hautabamo,I ignored her again and paid the price dearly as I found myself on crowded,narrow back streets,even narrow dirt lanes,blocked by a garbage truck as I patiently waited for each of its stops.Finally she guided me back to where I should have turned,if I had listened to her in the first place.Good old Miss Garmin.

Re Wednesdays little Pemex ripoff,Yesterday I waited until my gauge read exactly the same as the day before and made my next Pemex stop.I watched the pump,never taking my eyes off,and to my expectations,found a big difference.The cost was 530 pesos compared with 650 and the liter amount was 68 compared to 84.And this time I got a full tank instead of a 3/4 full tank.So that's 16 liters difference plus a quarter tank of 25 liters for a total of a 41 liter ripoff at 7.72 pesos a liter=316 pesos,which is by today's rate of exchange $25.72 CDN.Thank goodness gas down here is only .62 cents a liter CDN.Although the difference is made up in highway tolls….So my rant is over and I’m getting on with enjoying this beautiful country.008 Look at that beautiful beach!It goes for miles in both directions without anyone in sight.And the water is still warm enough for swimming, as My neighbors,a family from France in their motor home,were doing.

006 Here’s the very nice restaurant.009 The sites,on sand,are all 30 ft wide,giving a person some space.Both parks so far where $20.US per night with full hookups.There were only 5 of us here last night with room for many more.Other than the French family,all from BC. WE ROOL!

I just have to show my UN-PICASO-ED shots of last nights sunset into the Sea of Cortez.Just point and shoot.

010 011

012 013

014 015 Some zoom,some not.

As soon as that sun hits the horizon this morning,I’m barefoot on the beach for a long brisk walk before breaky.