Pushing for the Coast


We spent a long few days making our way across the country. It’s a surprisingly long way from Mexico City to the Pacific Coast. After San Miguel we made the short fifty mile hop on over to Guanajuato. From there it was 200 miles to Guadalajara, which has, quite frankly, the worst campground in Mexico. But with zero other options in the area, what else is a man to do?

Somehow we rolled into Guadalajara without incident, which is saying something considering we were coming from a direction we’d never come in from before. I also hadn’t had internet for two days, so no google maps. The Pereferico, which is the loop highway around the outskirts of the city has a giant missing section in the southeast of the city, right where we were coming in. And it’s just a generally really crazy humongous city. Sailing into a squall is nothing compared to charging head on into that city behind the wheel of a fifty year-old motorhome.

From Guadalajara it was about another two hundred miles to the coast over towering mountains. After negotiating 10,000 or so turns I was happy to pull into the first town to come along. Rincon de Guayabitos has like seven RV parks. Turns out they are all utter crap. They give Guadalajara a run for its money. The only moderately decent one wanted 630 pesos for a night, which is pure insanity by Mexico and even all States other than California’s standards. I opted for the crappy parking lot next door for 300, much to the chagrin of my wife. My principles sometimes get me in trouble.

But hey, it was on the beach, and we did get to go for a warm ocean swim again. So it wasn’t a total bust.

Anyway, after days of mostly unenjoyable driving and unexceptional RV parks we were happy to roll into Puerto Vallarta again. Even if the pool was green.

Whatever, we made it in time for Dia de los Muertos.

Oct27-1The Guanajuato campground. We still feel like we are the only RVers in Mexico. We haven’t seen anyone else in many months.

Oct27-2Lowe’s Car Store. He is big into setting up stores and selling you stuff for cheap. He often pulls every toy out of his room and lines the hallway for customers to peruse.

Oct28-1 Oct28-2Guadalajara. Well, they did have their ancient—and humongous—pool filled up for the first time in memory. Lowe lasted five minutes in the chilly water. Ouest stuck it out for the camera, but by the time she threw in the towel she was trembling uncontrollably. It was a place to swim, but it was no Pacific.

Oct28-3 Oct28-4 Oct28-5 Oct28-6It’s not very often that we find ourselves stuck in traffic. Leaving Guadalajara was mayhem, but the nice thing about driving an old RV down the road is that it’s very difficult to get impatient. There’s no choice but to just sit back and wait. Six miles and one hour later we were cruising out of the city. It’s nice to get these reminders once in a while that I never want to be a commuter. I’d lose my mind.

Oct30-1Rincon de Guayabitos. We checked out four campgrounds before settling on this. I don’t know what the deal was with this town. On the plus side, the ocean was right on the other side of the building. We did get a salty swim in.

Oct30-2 Oct30-3Puerto Vallarta. The place these kids were born.

I haven’t got a picture of him in action yet, but Lowe has taken to flipping Ouest’s bike over and spinning the back tire because he is “the knife sharpener guy.” I get my knife out and give it a good sharpening on the spinning tire, then pay him five pesos. Everyone is happy.

Oct30-5Our kids’ great joy in life is a rental car. They play taxi for hours whenever we get one. Here in PV we almost always rent a car because FOX rents them for insanely cheap. We paid $1.19 per day for this one! Granted, you get stuck for $14.99 per day in liability insurance. But still, you can’t beat that deal. Well, actually you can. In Oaxaca I rented a car for $8.00 a day, and I got them to waive the insurance by getting my credit card company to e-mail them my rental liability coverage. We kept that car two weeks.

Oct30-6Another store. “Would you like to buy something, Papa? Pretend you have a little boy who wants something.”



13 Comments on “Pushing for the Coast”

  1. Aaaahhh, his own auto dealership. $$$$$ Nice! You’ll always get a good deal. (And you’ll always have sharp knives, too.)

    I can’t believe that RV “park.” At least with Wal-Mart overnighters I can go in a do my shopping – and it’s FREE. But I guess we take what’s available, and usually the next place is better, right?

  2. Hey Pat. We spent a whole summer driving the Mexican Pacific coast highway 200. We rarely stayed in the so-called RV parks. We opted instead to stay in the parking lots of the middle priced hotels. Just simply walked into the lobby and inquired about the price of a room for the night. When we informed them that we couldn’t afford it we asked to stay in the parking lot for a small fee. Never paid more than 10 dollars a night and many times we ran an extension cord into the lobby for the camper A/C. A couple of extra dollars got us into the pool or sometimes for no extra charge. Most of the time they had an armed security guard. I think the staff just pocketed the money for themselves and kept it on the down low. Another option when just spending 1 night in transit was the Pemex gas stations when it was cool enough or even restaurant parking lots after eating dinner and breakfast of course.

      1. i checked out my first boat today. islander 36. disappointing. the owner and the broker both asked how much experience i had. i chuckled hard on the inside after i said ive never sailed a day in my life. their looks were priceless.

  3. Hola! So that was me, the crazy lady in the back of the cab waving like an idiot when you were leaving PV today. My husband looks over and says isn’t that your friends? So excited to finally see you – we have been in La Paz when you were there, missed you. Our boat was (and still is) in Paradise Village while you were reliving the horrors of monohull living and we were in San Diego when you were driving through. All this to say I’m trying to justify letting the eejit out for a brief moment. Love your blog (the reason for the love symbol, btw, sorry to probably creep you out) and would love to see you guys somewhere to buy you a cerveza.

    1. Ha. I didn’t think you were crazy. We get those sorts of reactions daily driving down the road. Although, usually they are for the bus, not for us. 🙂 Thanks for showing us the love!

      We’re up in Sayulita for a bit. If you’re looking to get out of Paradise some afternoon, come on up and we’ll gladly drink those cervezas.

  4. It was great to finally meet you guys after following the blog for several years. Your kids are probably used to total strangers approaching them and knowing their names, but I know more about your family than I do most of my relatives. Maybe I’ll see you somewhere up the coast on one of my fishing expeditions.

    1. It was nice meeting you too. Funny how much Puerto Vallarta can feel like a small town. We just run into each other while watching a “parade.” Congrats on the move. Enjoy your new life down here. See you next time.

  5. “Would you like to buy something, Papa? Pretend you have a little boy who wants something.” May just be the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard a little boy say. Simply wonderful!

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