Our Next Trip South 2007
Spending time in and around the Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico area.
Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico - There was a checkpoint when entering Nayarit but again we just got waved through. The road between Mazatlan and Tepic was part autopista and part old road. Luckily the final miles from the San Blas turnoff to Tepic heading south was now all new autopista. The northbound lanes were still the old road. Lots of curves and steep grades. We remembered it vividly; itís where our motorhome stalled right in the middle of a curve in í78. So we were only too glad to not be on it. In Tepic we found the campground without problems. We stayed at Los Pinos RV. I highly recommend it. It is a small place but right off the autopista and easy to get into and to park. Spaces are back-in but there is plenty of room to maneuver. Only 15amps so running air conditioning is iffy. Water and sewer worked great. Very nice people run the place and they are making improvements daily. Before we left the 15amp service was improved and air conditioning was working fine. After settling in we took Willie and drove into downtown Tepic, Tepic also has changed a lot it has grown to over 335,000 people. But the coffin store is still on the main street. Went to the Tourist Bureau right off the main plaza and got lots of information on things to do around here.
The next day we took Willie and drove into San Blas. The northbound road from Tepic to the San Blas turnoff is the old road that we took in 1978. We even recognized the curve we stalled on. From the autopista there is a brand new off ramp but the road into the town is pretty much the same - narrow, no shoulders and twisty. Now there are several little towns between the highway and the coast. They werenít there. And a lot of the jungle has been cut away and mango trees planted. San Blas itself has GROWN. No longer a two street town. The street we took to the beach is still cobblestone and dirt but the beach is now restaurant row. There are about 15 stretching along the beach. We stopped and ate breakfast at one and talked to the waitress about the town. She said that after the 1989 hurricane wiped it out and aid poured in from everywhere San Blas really grew. And now is quite a vacation destination. The campground we in stayed, Los Cocos, is still there. But now there is a fence surrounding it and no cows wander through it. The jejenes are still around in force. The Naval Station has grown and is quite modern looking from the outside. After eating we went into town and parked and walked around some. Went in the old church (1760ís) - they are building a new one right next door. It had quite a bit of damage from the hurricane but is still in use. Then walked around the central market and shopping area. Interesting. We bought some pan de plantana, banana bread -we remembered it from last time. Delicious. Drove a different way out and back to Tepic. Down the coast to Santa Cruz then 45kilometers to the highway. I think that if the road had been straight it would have only been 10 kilometers long. I have never seen so many curves in my life. It took well over an hour - up and down, around and around, and over topes and more topes.
To read Henry Wadsworth Longfellows Poem "The Bells of San Blas" click here
The next day we had breakfast and got on the road again in the car. This time south east. First we went to a little town called Santa Maria del Oro to look at a lagoon that has formed in the crater of a volcano. Very pretty setting. I took movies of us driving through the town. Again cobblestone streets and blind corners. If there was a car parked at the curb only one vehicle could just squeeze by. From there we went further south - taking the autopista we will take to go to Guadalajara. Very nice road, newly built. We stopped at Jala to visit the Volcano El Ceboruco. The way to the volcano was very well marked. All through Jala the signs pointed the way to the volcano, but fortunately they did not say how far it was. We came across some men putting out a fire and asked to make sure we were on the right road. "Si, derecho" (straight ahead), he replied motioning down the road with his arm. "Gracias" So off we went six miles up the mountain and of course six miles back down. But we got there right into the crater. There fumaroles all around - quite impressive. We could walk right up to them. It was fascinating to see all the different kinds and colors of moss and other plant life growing in the steam. When we touched the earth it was HOT. I expected warm but not HOT.
Back on to the autopista and a little further south to see some ruins - Los Toriles. But after we paid to get into see them (102Pesos for 3 of us) we found out they were reconstructed ruins. The actual ruins were piles of stones here and there. The area was lived in from around 400 A.D. until the arrival of the Spaniards. Kind of a disappointment. Back up the autopista to Tepic - going south we passed two toll booths one for 41 pesos the next for 59 pesos. On the way back there was only one booth but they got the 100 pesos all at once.
The next day we went to Wal*Mart and Office Depot in Tepic to get a couple of things we needed. Very nice and Wal*Mart had covered parking. On the way home we went back down to the center of the city and walked around some more. It is so interesting to watch the Huichol Indians do their bead work. Their clothing is amazing. The men wear loose white shirts over loose white pants. The shirts and pants are embroidered in colorful designs around their waists are brightly colored sashes. Completing the outfit are wide brimmed hats again embroidered with colorful designs and sandals. The women wear white skirts and blouses embroidered with flowers and butterflies. Both men and women do bead work which consists of elaborate necklaces and bracelets and earrings. They also take figurines; cover them with a coating of beeswax and press beads, one by one into the wax to form designs. Amazing!
In Tepic and all the towns and cities we have been in so far the street signs are either non existent or very hard to find. The big, major streets are marked the rest of them might have the name of the street painted on the side of a building. A lot of the streets are one-way and on the side of a building is also where the arrows showing the direction of traffic are painted. And not always in big letters. Sometimes it is a challange to make sure you are where you want to be AND going the right direction.
When we got back to the motorhome we discovered we had Wi-fi good fast Wi-fi. The manager just had it installed.
We are now 25 days and 1800 miles into our journey. A very lazy day just hung around and relaxed. Next we go to the state of Jalisco through Guadalajara to Lake Chapala. We spent some time there in 1978 too. We will camp in Chapala and drive the jeep to Guadalajara and there abouts.
Did I mention our cell phone with Verizon worked in Tepic.