Phil's Adventures in Mexico
For the story of my work at a YWAM base in Chapala Mexico Click Here
1-27 At 1 pm I left Tucson for Mexico. I drove
down I 19 to Nogales. I followed the highway all the way to the main border
(a big mistake) since you then have to drive thru 5 miles of Nogales narrow
typical Mexican streets. At the border you drive right thru; no sign of any
one caring if you do or not. Within ½ block you go from a beautiful
American city downtown, to a super crowded narrow street where no one speaks
English. Then as I drove out of town I was wondering if ever anyone would
care if I entered Mexico; I even stopped to ask, but I couldn't find anyone
who spoke English. Finally after 20 miles, I came to the spot where you get
the Auto Passes. I also got my personal pass there. At that point there were
many US tourists who knew all the ropes and got me headed in the right direction.
Then I was off. Still no one ever looked in my car. I drove an hour until
sunset and found a nice hotel, El Toro, in Magdelena. That night I found an
Internet café and sent email.
1-28 Up at 8, breakfast in my room with kitchenette. Then went downtown to find an ATM. I put my card in and the PIN number and it said Phil Sauer you have xxx money in your account (and it was right) how much would you like. I choose 2000 pesos, and out came the cash. Just like that, just like I was in Lakeside. There are about 11 pesos to a dollar. Then I went on and got some gas. Cost about $2.40 after all conversions.
Then it was away. Every time you stop in a
crowded area, young boys come out and wash your windows, a few pesos? Whenever
you come into a town or area where the speed limit drops, there are always
speed bumps. You are usually warned about them, but not always; watch out!
Sometimes it is a series of real small bumps spaced closer and closer together,
as if to become more and more annoying if you don't slow down. The speed limit
on the main highways is 55-62, and I would not go any faster than that on
those roads anyway. The highways are not really bad, usually double highways,
but narrow and with no shoulders. But the towns are really slow, narrow, crowded.
People stand by the speed bumps where you will have to come to a near stop,
and try to sell food. I drove all day. I stopped for the night at Navojoa
and got an OK motel for $20. I found another Internet café and sent
messaged. Then had dinner at a local café with a couple who were from
US, but they now live in Mexico at least in the winter.
1-29 Up at 6 and off south. By now the desert country with many tall cactus has left and it is more lush. I have come down from 2500 ft to near sea level. The day gets very hot (85) and I am ready to stop. As I drive along a sign says, Tropic of Cancer. I drive into Mazatlan. It is a vary large crowed town and I get stopped for a parade, but several of us get turned around and I head a few blocks north and I am on the beautiful waterfront row. Beach, swimmers, cool breeze, quite beach tents selling drinks and dinner. I decide I am staying right here. I ask a local and he says that hotel is the best for the money. It is 845 pesos ( about $75). The check in, change clothes and walk the beach in the water, which is about 80 degrees. I spend much of the evening on the water found.
1-30 Up at 7 am and off to roller blade on the long waterfront sidewalk. For 3 miles there is a sandy beach, and above it tent covered eat and drink stands, and above that a wide sidewalk and street. On the other side of the street are mostly hotels. I roller bladed the whole distance and back. Later I found out there was an other 8 miles beyond that that I could not see. This is the Mexican end I found out, but they were all friendly and here, many spoke English. And it is much cheaper here. Next I have brunch in a waterfront café. All afternoon I spent on the beach swimming, snorkeling, and sun bathing. That evening I have dinner at a family pizza parlor with many Mexican kids playing on the play equipment in the establishment. Then I find an Internet café (they are everywhere) and sent many emails.
1-31 Up at 6:30 and off again. I made one stop at a Walmart, which is very much like those in the US. Prices were very similar. Then off to Guadalajara. The roads started out poor, 2 lanes and very slow in the towns. But then I came to the "Caota" (toll) roads and they were the best yet (but with the highest Tolls, $30 for 150 miles). At 3:00 I am in Chapala and soon to the YWAM compound. There was a group of Germans spending their last night (of 30) and a dinner there was a great send off.