Slept really well. The truck stop truly was believe it or not, tranquilo. All motors were off and the six or so truck drivers parked in the lot all went to sleep. I had the magic breeze fan running all night providing a little white noise that covered any road sounds from out on the highway. One truck did pull in at around one a.m. briefly waking me up.
We explored the perimeter of the yard looking for good places to sniff, then stowed our overnight stuff and pulled out at about 8:30. I had to go south about a half mile to find a retorno to make the u-turn and head back north. I was low on pesos, so I needed to find an ATM. I pulled into a gas station complex with an Oxxo just outside of Los Mochis. There was a BanNorte kiosk adjacent to the restrooms with a glassed in ATM. I reloaded the wallet and was ready for the toll booths.
Long drive. Same as always, lots of hours for minimal miles. Today, I think six hours for maybe 240 miles. For much of the time, I was able to go 55 or 60 but there was a lot of construction and we were constantly detoured to the opposite side of the highway to share a single lane of the oncoming two lanes then back to the northbound side where the southbound drivers would be going against traffic in our fast lane. Getting blocked by slow trucks, slowing to a crawl for endless topes, crappy potholed stretches and six toll stops. Oh, and did I mention missing the turn in Ciudad Obregon and roaming around the downtown back streets trying to find my way back.
Crossed into Sonora, a new state to add to the map on Lexis flank. Drove by the giant Yaqui statue near Vicam with the deer headed warrior shaking his maracas. A fire was burning in the fields behind. Couldn’t tell if it was a controlled burn or a brush fire since things have been so dry. Got stuck behind one red semi for so long I started feeling a brotherhood with the guy and was almost sad to leave him when we got back to two lanes so I could pass. Kind of an on the road Stockholm syndrome effect.
I had hoped to hold out for lunch until reaching San Carlos, but it was past one thirty with still a ways to go. I stopped at a chicken stand outside of Vicam and ordered up a half chicken. Brought the dogs in with their water bowl and we sat in the shaded restaurant and took a breather. The lady was drawn to Koda and kept petting her soft coat. Killer chicken at a killer price. Loaded the crew back in the rolling home and continued beating our way down the rugged pavement. Imagine your house experiencing an earthquake for 5 or 6 hours a day then readjusting everything only to sit through another earthquake the next day. That’s what RV living is like. Sometimes things come flying off the shelf. Pick it up and move on.
Soon I saw the telltale outline of the tetas de cabras against the western horizon letting me know that San Carlos was drawing near. Gassed up near the turn off, hopefully for the last time in Mexico at ~$3.25 a gallon. Made it to Totonaka shortly after 3:00 and parked up in spot number 33. Hooked up the electric to cool the dogs then took my time setting up camp. Took the dogs for a walk down to the beach. At first I thought I’d stumbled on the trash dump there was so much garbage. The beach at San Carlos is far from inviting, rocky and pebbly down at the waters edge. The last time I was here was 25 years ago on the way to Costa Rica. I overnighted at the RV park in the big gray truck. I walked down to the water, but didn’t swim. A lot less businesses and no sea wall, but same beach.
We walked along the sidewalk for about a kilometer or so to the west then turned back. I was thinking a swim in the pool, but a local family was swimming with the car pulled up to the pool with the trunk and doors open and the stereo blaring ranchero music at 40,000 decibels. I couldn’t do it after a white knuckle day. Joined the dogs in the A/C and took a nap.
I think in order to survive in San Carlos long term you’d have to drink. Drink heartily and play pickleball otherwise you probably couldn’t hang. The two out of control old guys ripping around the park in the souped up golf cart obviously had the drinking part down, not sure about the pickleball though. There are maybe six RVs camping at Totonaka. Pretty well spaced out in the large mostly empty park. Most of the gringo vehicles here and out on the street are sporting Arizona plates. There are about 20 hotel rooms. About five are occupied by Mexicans. The guy from the pool got done swimming then pulled his car up in front of his room and brought his patio chair outside and set the music blaring for all the neighbors to enjoy.
I went for dinner at the Arbolito out front. Nice second floor patio with open views of the bay. I ordered up shrimp and pulpo cooked up with portobello mushrooms. Decent food, great service and spectacular vistas of the desert meeting the sea. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for the off season. Still lots of Zonies in town for the long weekend and plenty of Mexican out of towners in San Carlos for a beach getaway.
Went back across the street and walked along the beach sidewalk to see if I could see the sunset. Actually caught it back at camp through the high power lines and signs to the back of the park. Walked the dogs around the compound again then holed up inside with the air running to drown out the music from our amigo across the lot.