For the journal of our adventure day 1 through 5 see my earlier posting made in Culiacan.
Day 1 Union City to Escondido, California – 491 miles
Day 2 in Escondido
Day 3 Escondido to Tucson, Arizona – today 461 miles – total 952 miles
Day 4 Tucson to San Carlos, Sonora – today 354 miles – total 1306 miles
Day 5 San Carlos to Culiacan, Sinaloa – today 376 miles – total 1682 miles
Day 6 Culiacan to San Blas, Nayarit – Jan 1 -315 miles – total 1997 miles
After Culiacan we drove out of the desert into lots and lots of farm land, especially corn. 15 is the highway or carretera that goes from Nogales (where we entered Mexico) to Mexico City. It has been almost all good four lane road with not very much traffic. In many places we had a choice between Carretera Libre or Carretera Cuoto (the toll road and the free road). besides the cost the big difference is what you see. It is very much like the difference between what you see on our interstate and what you see when you get off the interstate. Because of the distance we need to cover each day we have mainly stayed on the Carretera Cuoto.
To get to San Blas where we stayed on Monday night we turned off la carretera and descended about 30 miles on a good two lane road to the coast. It was our first night without a reservation so we checked out a couple of places and ended up staying at the Hotel Posada del Rey. It was pretty basic but very clean, old, and traditional. The red tile floors in the courtyard and the room were polished to a high shine. The ceiling of the room was arched red brick. We kept the ceiling fan on all night and were quite comfortable. It cost about $45.
After checking in we walked down to the beach. The guide book said that hoards of sand flies come out at dusk. That was Duke’s experience last time he was in San Blas. We were lucky and saw virtually no bugs. The beach was lined with restaurants that were really just a thatched roof built in the sand with plastic tables and chairs. We ordered beer, ceviche and quesodillas, enjoyed the cool breeze and watched the sunset. There were lots of people probably because it was the New Year’s holiday and we saw very few Americans. It was the kind of warm beautiful night that makes you want to sit outside and just enjoy. Later we walked up to the the square in front of the church (la Zocalo) and people watched.
San Blas seemed like a village right out of the past. It appeared to be quite prosperous but all the streets were either paved with paving stones or were dirt and rock. The houses and stores all opened right onto the street. I would call it picturesque but it was too real for that. I really liked it.
Day 7 San Blas to Ocotlan, Jalisco – Jan 2 -260 miles – total 2257 miles
Tuesday we drove to Ocotlan on Lake Chapala just south of Guadalajara. We found a nice motel (La Cabana de Yeyo) and then went to the Zocalo. We met up with Duke’s girls and a friend In front of the cathedral. They had been staying with relatives in Ocotlan.
I briefly visited Lake Chapala about 20 years ago and remember that the lake was so low that I couldn’t even see the water from the shore. This trip the lake was full and much more beautiful.
Day 8 – Jan 3 – Ocotlan to Manzanillo, Colima – 290 miles – total 2547 miles
Wednesday all five us drove from Ocotlan to Manzanillo. We had so much luggage that we had to tie the trunk closed. The scenery and weather have become much more hot, humid and tropical. We saw enormous coconut palm tree orchards and banana tree orchards. (is orchard the right word?) along the sides of the roads. We also drove through some stunning mountains and canyons on the way to the coast.
We have rented a condo for a week in Club Santiago on Bahia de Santiago just north of Manzanillo. It is a big condo with white tile floors, wood stairs with blue and white tile accents going up to the three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The high ceilings, arches, ceiling fans and several balconies add to making it perfect.
After unloading we walked down to the restaurant on the beach and had dinner out in the open overlooking the bay and the beach with Manzanillo in the distance.
Day 9 – Jan 4 – in Manzanillo, Colima
I am writing this on my laptop in our condo. There is no internet here so eventually we will find an internet cafe and I will post it. The beauty of a vacation like this is that you don’t have to do much of anything if you don’t want to. I spent much of today sitting on our balcony reading. There is a cool breeze. The balcony is at the same level as the coconuts in the palm trees on the grounds and I can hear the children in the pool below.
Day 10 – January 5 – in Manzanillo, Colima
We ate lunch today at what is supposed to be the best taco stand in Colima, Tacos Sonrisa. She made the tortillas with a wooden press and an outside grill as we watched. They were delicious, hot, and fresh. Her restaurant was open to the street. We parked at the curb and sat at a table just inside out of the sun.
For dinner we ate Spanish food at El Marinero. It was our first inside meal since we have been here. In between we went swimming in the ocean at the beach a block or so from the condo.