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Subject: From Ed and Edith Part III San Carlos & Los Mouches

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Part III - San Carlos & Los Mouches

Well we head south trying to make San Carlos where we know we can get into an RV park and it is getting dark. Obviously I did not add on enough time for Mexican driving conditions and the rule is to never drive at night in Mexico because of livestock on the road and cars with no tail lights or no lights at all. We are on the best highway in Mexico going down the west coast but it is far from an Interstate and there are lots of access, people herding livestock in the ditch, and all kinds of donkey's and horses tethered along the road grazing.

Since we can not find a place to park we settle in behind a truck going about 50 mph and keep a good distance and hope he warns us of any livestock or unlighted cars on the road and we get the benefit of his head lights. It worked Ok and we made the correct choice at the Y north of Guymas and headed in and spotted the San Carlos turn off and headed west and was looking for the trailer park and "BANG" there it was and we turned in a found the night security guard and paid him CASH no credit cards used and get parked. I sent some E-mail and went to bed. The next morning I took a walk and my custom is I talk to people and got into a great conversation with a fellow from BC who has been in Mexico every winter for about 6 years so he told me about some nice places in Mexico and told me about San Carlos as to some places to get breakfast, get to the beaches, the marina's and other RV parks. When I told him where we came from yesterday and where we were going he basically told me in a very nice way I was a traveling fool! I think my wife seconds that sometimes! San Carlos is a nice place and very pretty! It is basically mountains, but the desert with cactus comes right up to the ocean. We were able to do a lot in just 3 hours and had a good time. We had breakfast for 99 cents each. We also got to the bank and got Peso's. You take a number in Mexico banks, really only two banks I think both government and then wait for your number to come up on the sign and what window to go to. The only catch was they were yelling numbers out way ahead of the sign and I missed my turn as I was not sure what she said. Once I figured that out I just went to the window and said par doane and showed her my number and she waited on me. Next based on the recommendation of the fellow from BC we went to Gary's diving shop(where we got maps of the area), three beaches, three marina, the dry dock yard looking for K7RV sail boat a ham friend from Tucson, toured a scenic road and visited 2 other RV parks and talked to a couple from MN who lives there all winter and found out a lot from them. He recommended seeing the inland town of Alomos which other have since. We then hit the road for a short day to Guymas. Based on advice we got in San Carlos we took the city HWY 15. Somehow we go off it and went into the bowels of Guymas, el centro. Edith got another chance to freak out. I finally told her that dealing with her freaking out was as bad as dealing with the traffic; although I will have to say she had good reason. It WAS BAD! We have no lanes, people just sort of wander around and buses everywhere picking people up and barreling back into traffic and I am trying to get Edith to settle down enough to try and read a map we got at Gary's Diving shop. Man without that map and my GPS we probably would still be there trying to get our stuff fixed from getting run into. It was crazy, horn blaring, cars darting here and there, pollution like you would not believe and a mass of people. Edith is trying to show me the map but she does not know where we are at on the map at all. I finally find a street sign. BTW they are almost non-existant in most of the towns we have been in. Again the realization sinks in that you are going to have to call upon all your abilities to get out of this jam as there probably is one in a 10000 in this mass of humanity that speaks enough English to help you and there IS NO PLACE TO STOP or get off. Here is where the GPS was worth its weight in GOLD! I could see HWY 15 on it which we needed to be on. It may have moved but at least at one time Hwy 15 was there. I did my best to get Edith to try and figure out a street to turn on to head toward Hwy 15 as we were paralleling on the map we had from Gary's diving shop which was worth its weight in gold. Thank the Lord my directions were straight as Edith was all mixed up and was holding the map every direction to try and reference it to where I told her we were at. It is not an easy thing to find the streets on a map under this sort of pressure. I get down to where traffic eases up and we are through the bowels of Guymas and it looks like we are going into the gates of a refinery so I decide not to chance it. Remember the RULE is don't get yourself in a place where you get stoppped and can't turn around. I later find out I could of made it but I still did the right thing in turning around. We headed back toward the bowels of Guymas and Edith is giving me a name of a thru street to go north to HWY 15.. We get to it and she freaks out saying it is to narrow and you will never make the turn. I guage it correctly and make it. Thank the Lord for 1000's of miles of experience. It is a narrow cobblestone, pothole, old, bumpy cobblestone street with topes (speed bumps) and we ease north through a really rough section of town and I spot the traffic flying by up ahead which appears the be Hwy 15 and it was! We get on 15 and head on! The leasson to be learned is if a sign says Guymas or any other big city el centro you better not take it unless you are absolutely sure!

As we head south the road is better with a little shoulder quite often and not many potlholes. We push on for Los Mouches and we hit Obregon and; we take one Y to the right based again on a tiny, bent up sign and we are congratulatings ourselves on not missing the turn and we are at the next block and we see a sign to turn left and we came in the right lane and there is just no way to get over so we go on by wondering if this was going to be Guymas all over. We manage to get turned two more blocks down the way and get over to the road and spot a truck hauling pigs that we had been following. We are back on HWY 15 and then "I STILL CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED" as we are on the most main road in Mexico for 2000 MILES and there is a semi across the whole road trying to back into a door of a big factory building right along the road. The traffic is backed up and he can't get lined up so he is pulling ahead and backs up, pulls ahead and backs up and the horns are honking and this old beat up truck next to us has a horn that sounded like a cross between an ambulance and a fire truck siren with another noise thrown in and about every 20 seconds he cuts it lose for about 5 seconds. Right there the F-350 dies! I mean it just quits. I have yet to see a car dealership in Mexico so I am not sure how you get things fixed. Anyway I crank it over and it starts. WHAT A RELIEF. The truck has never died on me. I am sure I got some bad fuel as it was just guttless on that tank! Since then I have had all kinds of power. Anyway we roll again and get to another toll road and basically as we go south the road gets better and the tolls get higher! We did spot a Walmart and Sam's club in Orbregon.

We got to Los Mouches and was looking for the RV park on the west side of the road and as we went past a road I thought I spotted the name on a gate but it was on the east side. Again some bad information from a travelogue. Since it was a couple of hours until dark I decided not to turn around and fight the traffic to get back. We kept watching for an RV park and it was just starting to get dusk at Gustave and I spotted a sign for a RV Park down below as we were on an over-pass so I had to go about three miles to get turned around. After several l00 miles of no center island or barrier and being able to turn almost anyplace here there were big cement dividers. I got off and up over the road and back on and headed back. I turned which was apparently to soon for the street I wanted and then realized I was not headed south but on a round about that would take me right back east where I had been but I managed to get on the service road and got a block east and turned south to go back west to get south. NOT A GOOD DEAL. I get west and I can not cross the street, it is divided in the middle with cement barriers and I have to turn and there is a curb on each side. An RVers NIGHTMARE has just happened. I swing as wide as I can and Edith says YOU ARE GOING TO HIT THE CURB. I try to back up and there are cars behind me and in reality I did as good as I could with the room I had so there is no choice but to go over the curb. After having broken a leaf spring in AK I know this is how it happens so I ease the two trailer tires over the curb as slowly as I can and hope for the best. I did bend a plate I have mounted on the bumper but that is not serious. I get down by the HWY and I can't go west and Edith is yelling at me to not go back east where we just were on the service road and I can't say as I blamed her. So we get on HWY 15 headed back toward the USA and have to go about 10 miles before we can get turned around. We head back for Gustave and Edith is threatening me with my life if I try again to get to this trailer park. I think I could of made it as I spotted the correct exit and it ended up on the street I needed to be on to go south and I could of gotten south. Whether I could of found it or not I don't know? I later find it is about 20 km south (12 miles)!

We headed on again doing the no, no driving in the dark. The truck traffic is very, very heavy but the road is good and the access quite limited. We have to stop as soon as possible as it is just not wise to drive in the dark so we decide to try and park at a Pemix station which I read some people have done. I later find out THIS IS THE THING TO DO if it is getting dark and you have not found an RV park! We pull into the Pemex and find a place and are just getting ready to pull in and here comes the security guard and he has a gun and a pad and he does not understand English at all. With our limited Spanish and sign language it appears it is OK for us to pull in and sleep. He has us pull right up to the curb between to 18 wheelers but he still is trying to tell us something. I was wondering if we were supposed to pay or he wanted a tip but I really did not sense that was what was going on. I still don't know what the pad was about other than recording vehicle infformation for security purposes. We are getting ready to settle in and back he comes with a guy that can speak a little English and they want up to move over on the other side where there is more light. We say OK so I have to back out and then a hard turn to my right. Edith is going to get on the hand held and it accidently got left on and the battery is dead. So she takes the flashlight and waves it to motion that I am doing OK and is to wave it sideways when I have to stop. We screw up and we find out how good our Mexican insurance is and get to pay big deductables and stay only knows how long to get things straightend out, The good news is I did it in one shot! Darn tricky as my front end had to be right next to the truck along side to get the trailer to come around hard right to miss the truck that was parked the long way behind us. Edith did absolutely great with the flashlight! We got pulled around and backed into the new spot. I think it was more noisy but the light was good. We talked wtih the guard some more and figured out a few Spanish words and settled in for the night. Now for the bad news, Edith tells me the tail light that has been plagueing us the whole trip and which we finally tore clear off the back of the 5th in Hatachi, NM and cut out a wire clip and twisted the wires together and soldered and put on a wire nut was again not working. I went to check that out and as I opened the door the lights went out and the trailer was dead, no power. Earlier at San Carlos the jacks did not work on the front to lift the trailer to back the truck under so we had to use the crank. I figured the switch went west and I would have to figure out an on the road fix. It now dawned on me that I had a much more major power problem and the very likely it was not the switch. THIS IS WHEN YOU THANK THE LORD YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT ELECTRICITY AND HAVE A METER AND LOTS OF PARTS ALONG. Well I dug around and found a bad fuse holder; and was able to bend it and get contact again. I checked the tail lights and they were working so it is still a dumb intermitent! We will continue tomorrow.

Ed and Edith

[MID: 1311_W0SD Sent Via: W6IM Date: 2002/03/23 04:20:54]