Our Next Trip South 2007
A campground in paradise, Maurata, Michoacan, Mexico.
Click Here for some photos of Michoacan
Through two toll booths before we got off toll road at Tecoman. About US$23 each. At Tecoman we missed the sign for the road that circles the town. For anyone traveling that way the sign is right at the circle with the big green sculpture. I saw it but only read the Tecoman and Colima parts - didn’t see the L. Cardenas between the other two. Also it was behind a tree. So we ended up driving right past the turn and through the town. It would have been okay if we weren’t quite so tall and it would have made me feel better if we were skinnier and shorter too. So any way that said….We made it about four blocks when we took out someone’s line down don’t know if it was power or telephone (didn’t ask). Couldn’t stop though as traffic was backed up way behind us. Once on Mexico 200 headed south we questioned our wisdom in coming this way. The road surface was terrible for a ways then it was brand new for a ways. But…the whole highway was up and down hills and round and round curves. Took us eight hours to go 225 miles. And the scary part is that the other drivers will pass you any where it doesn’t matter if they can see what is coming or not. The Driver had to put on the brakes more than once so some maniac could slide in front of us before he was or we were road kill. Lots more crosses and shrines along this stretch of the road. Of course also had to watch out for usual topes, burros, cows and chunks of missing pavement. By now we had passed out of Jalisco and through the state of Colima and were into Michoacan. We had planned on going all the way to Playa Azul but stopped 90 miles north of there. The drive had just been too long and tiring. The update to the “Camping in Mexico” book talked about a little campground right on the beach in Maruata. And the woman Lupe, who baked cinnamon rolls, who owned it. We set out sights for there - and what a good decision.
We turned off the highway and down a short road into the village of Maruata. Passed over the runway(?) through town and on to a dirt road that headed for the beach. After crossing a little river on a narrow dirt bridge we went straight instead of veering left. Ended up kind of at a dead end nose up to a bunch of palapas. Can’t be right. Both Jeff and I got out to look into the situation. The Driver didn’t have to say anything. As I determined there was no way around the palapas and Jeff studied a little opening through a fence a tall, skinny man with a beard walked up to us. He spoke no English, we spoke no Spanish. He did understand Lupe though. “Tia Lupe?” he asked. Jeff and I nodded yes, yes. Then we pointed him towards Bill. Bill called out the window, “Get in, Carlos is going to take us to Lupe’s beach.” First the jeep had to be unhooked, the opening in the fence had to be widened and a wire had to be lifted. Then Carlos guided Bill through the opening and over another dirt road until we finally came out on the beach. (Lesson learned - when in doubt unhook the jeep and check things out first. - you would think we would know that by now.)
And what a beach it was. We parked right up next to some palapas that provided shade on the sand. After walking under them we got to the top of the rise of sand and were struck dumb. The sight was right out of a tropical movie. A little bay with towering rocks on both sides. The waves thundering in and crashing on the sand. And to top it off a great blow hole. When you sat under the palapa right at the edge of the dry sand there was a great breeze all the time. There were baños and regaderas (toilets and showers) available for 15 pesos if you needed them. Within walking distance were several restaurants and a little store. In town was a larger store that sold produce and delicious fresh baked bread and a tortilleria where we bought handmade warm tortillas.
There were no utilities of any kind. No problem. We could boondock - dry camp - exist without utilities for a few days. The price was right 50 pesos- a little under US$5 per night.
An ocean breeze was always blowing and kept us cool as long as we were in the shade of the palapas. Where the motorhomes were parked it got pretty warm, but by evening the breeze blew there too and with the windows open they cooled off enough for comfortable sleep. We were assured that the area was safe. It certainty was off the beaten path.
We reluctantly left paradise the next morning. Continuing south on Mexico 200. The pavement had improved. There was even some pavement to the right of the solid white line in places. Again it was up and down hills and round and round curves. In places I would swear the jeep was still on the last curve and the motorhome had already started around the next one. Some of the curves were more like left and right turns than “curves.” Very slow driving about 20 mph. At one point it took us 1 ¼ hours to do 40 kilometers.
Here in this state there is a very noticeable presence of soldiers. By the side of the road and riding around in stake bed trucks. In fact for the first time we were stopped at an inspection point in Tizupan. The soldier waved us over to the dirt along the road, but Bill didn’t want to go off the pavement and have to try to get back on so he just pulled over a little and stopped. We were in effect blocking southbound traffic. I put up the floor and opened the door and the soldier leaned in. He asked where we were going, where were we from and how many of us were traveling. Satisfied with the answers he got he wished us a good trip and closed the door. Linda following behind us in her motorhome was just waved through. Another place we saw what appeared to be a marijuana patch with a soldier standing guard and a young man trussed to a post. He didn’t even glance at us.
The countryside was getting greener again. Lots of palm, mango and banana trees, some corn fields and other orchards. And the flowering trees - wow - red, orange, purple, yellow and white flowers. Don’t know what they were except beautiful. Passed over several rivers. I like the bridges they were all wider than the regular road with shoulders even!
Made it through Lazaro Cardenas and stayed on the free road south towards the state of Guerrero.