After a couple weeks in PV, Stacy finds a friend with a truck, picks up her and her friends stuff from her apartment and brings it to my RV. We load it all up in the bathtub. It’s piled 3 feet high in there.
Off we head for Mazatlan with the plan of staying there a couple days then off to the US. This time I decided I’d stay in the newer RV park named Punta Cerritos. It’s a few miles north of the Golden Zone…the tourist area of Maz. The old downtown area is a few miles south of the GZ. So this park is way north of old downtown. Usually I stay at the California RV Park right on the south edge of the Golden Zone but I wanted to try this park. Got to the park after a nice drive from PV in fine weather around 2-3pm. It’s a little pricy but it’s in a pretty nice location, very near a popular beach with large restaurant and bar. The park itself borders a strip mall of several newer business. Small tourist shops, a sports bar, store, and a couple of older seafood restaurants. I’ve taken the bus here many times and other years, when I stayed at the Las Jabias RV park 2-3 miles south, I use to ride my bike up there. The beach nearby usually has a bunch of fishing boats on the beach as the fishermen generally go out very early in the morning and fish till around noon.
There is a beach just past the farthest RV shown in the above picture. And that’s the WiFi tower in the middle of the picture. I couldn’t connect to it for some reason.
Soon as we get here, Stacy calls one of her friends in old town and runs off to visit. That gave me time to work on the computer. I was posting to my blog, and planning the route north. I wanted to stop at a repair place to have someone work on the Genset and that took hours of internet searching.
Problem with the RV park was that the WiFi signal sucked! I hate that. So I walk over to the office, just a few feet behind where I was parked, and talk to the kid that was running the place. He’d been there for a couple years, but as usual, didn’t know anything about the poor signal. While in the office, I noticed that the Modem was placed down on his computer desk behind a cement counter. I talked him into moving it up to the top of the counter and after rearranging the cables, off I went to my RV and check the signal. Viola’, I had 4 bars and a reasonable (for Mexico) connection. There was a tower transmitter in the middle of the park but for some reason, my high-gain system didn’t like to connect to it.
Which brings me to a story. It happened not to long before Stacy and I went to PV. I’d been hungering for a pizza and Stacy suggested a Rin Rin Pizza in the Golden Zone. I just checked their web site, and they have maps for all their outlets in Maz but the one we went to isn’t shown now. So I guess they closed it.
Anyway, we go in the place and check out the menu. I order my half as a combo; beef, olives, peppers, and sausage. I’d seen other pizzas in Mexico that had hot dog slices on them so I asked the waiter if it was real sausage.
“Oh, si, senor, real sausage”, he says.
“We’re not talking about sliced hot dogs are we? But real sausage” I ask?
“Si, senor, real sausage”, he repeats.
There’s a breeze-way running parallel to the main drag outside of the Rin Rin with several tables, right outside a nice bar. There are several groups eating pizzas out there, locals and tourists, the breeze was nice, and it was handy having a bar right there so we ordered a couple drinks. We’re 1/2 block from the main drag through the Golden Zone, the breeze-way has several business catering to tourists and makes a left turn towards the main drag maybe 60 feet from where we’re sitting. Behind us is another street that tees into the main drag and that’s maybe 25 feet from us.
So, we’re enjoying our drinks and the waiter comes out with out pizza. Hot dog slices are all over my side of the damn thing. Damn I hate that. See, you might not notice when you’re eating a hot dog just how sweet they are, but when it’s on a pizza, it’s gag worthy. Simply don’t belong on a pizza. I’m complaining to the waiter about it when suddenly, we hear rapid automatic weapon fire. Then 6 booms from a service pistol. Then another burst of automatic fire. We all look around and notice a tourist cop at the end of the breezeway who has pulled her bike up short and is standing in the street looking around. I’m unfazed for some reason (probably my age has something to do with that) and stay in my seat picking hot dogs off my pizza until the bar staff comes out and starts moving people inside the bar. Stacy follows them, and I don’t blame her as the gunfire was very nearby. I wander into the bar myself and try to help the nervous people hanging around looking up and down the breezeway by telling them it could be a back fire. Didn’t believe it myself, but didn’t want people to go all weird about the situation. And anyway, there was a cop right down there.
About 10 minutes passed without any more gun fire so we head back out to finish enjoying the good parts of the pizza. The bar staff had been calling around and let us know that the danger was over. After we finished and left, we walked to the corner and flagged down a pulmonia on the main drag. We passed the scene of the altercation and initially thought it was a bank robbery…since there were a couple cops standing outside of the bank. Turned out that it was a kidnapping of a woman that owned a hair salon that catered mostly to tourists. The salon was actually in the breezeway where we had the pizza, but up around the corner from where we were. It is right on the main drag too. What happened was that two guys had grabbed her and a tourist cop had seen it go down. They saw him and opened fire with an automatic weapon. He returned fire (the six shots of the revolver), but the bad guys hit him with their second barrage of bullets. He died on the way to the hospital. Watching & listening for news for the next several days, we never did learn of the woman’s fate. It didn’t look good for her at the time. There were some that said she was probably the relative or wife of a local drug dealer but there was never any proof of that in the papers. Kidnapping of relatively affluent business owners is happening all over Mexico these days. Sadly, a couple years ago, in Las Palomas, my dentist was kidnapped a couple hours after I left his clinic. Never heard from again. It was a year later that I read they’d found a mass burial spot outside of the town, and I think he was in there. So, I’ve been ‘this close’ to two kidnappings in Mexico now. Not fun.
Anyway, that wasn’t the reason I came clear out to the north end of the Golden Zone to park this time. Basically, it was because I’d known about the RV park out here for a couple years and wanted to try it out. Nice location and good bus service to downtown if I wanted to go. Nice bars here too. Great beaches and several great places to eat.
We had thought that we’d only be here for one night, but we ended up staying 3 nights. Soon we headed north with the thought of staying in San Carlos a night or two. Stacy had never been and it’s one of my favorite places when I enter Mexico.
As you can see, it’s not very crowded. Same thing in nearly all of Mexico these days. No trouble finding a RV parking space.
After a couple days here, we head north again on Mex15 towards Hermosillo. With a plan and a back up plan. The plan was to stop at what on the internet was called an Onan repair center and I wanted some advice about my genset. It would start and run but would stall out after just a couple seconds, or sometimes hours. And it was hot driving through the desert. But the day before we traveled to San Carlos, the damn thing ran for 6 hours. I run the roof air conditioning with it while on the road so it was nice an comfy most of the trip. Anyway, we get to Hermosillo and stop for fuel. Try to start the engine and it won’t turn over. Damnit! Since I’m parked on a slope, I put it into neutral and am able to navigate the rig backwards into a nice spot where I’m not blocking traffic. The station attendant speaks some English so we had some help there. There is an auto shop right across the street. So I wander over and using sign language get the tech to come over and test my starting motor for me. It’s new, I’d replaced it a year ago in Alaska but I didn’t know what was wrong. He removes it and takes it to his shop. An hour later the tech comes back and says that it’s all better now. Puts it back in and she starts right up. Great! Cost was around $60. Turned out that there wasn’t anything wrong with it, he’d just tested it I guess, since I had the same problem a month later. If I just let it sit, or work the shift lever back and forth it’ll start right up so it’s an electrical problem between the dash and the starting motor.
After that little adventure, and 2-3 miles later, we find & pull into the supposed Onan repair place and lucky for us, there’s a guy right there that speaks perfect English. I tell him I want them to look at it for me and since it’s so unusual for them to see an Onan in an RV pretty soon there’s a crowd of techs all gathered around. Turned out that they didn’t even know they were listed as an Onan repair outlet. They don’t work on them. Especially powered by propane. But we all had fun talking about it.
After that, we head for the boarder and make it later that day. The back up plan was that if the Onan shop needed to keep the genset over night, we’d stay at a nice little RV park just outside of town, but since they didn’t, I didn’t have a reason to stop and try that little park.
Since it was still early, and after we crossed the border, we head on to the San Tan Valley…south of Phoenix. Stacy’s Aunt and cousin live there so I dropped her off for an extended visit and I head off to an RV park. By the time I left, it was dark and my mapping program took me on a very stupid route that looped me around over gravel roads right to within shouting distance of where I should have turned. Stupid thing. Anyway, the RV park had a nasty locked gate and while I’m standing there looking at it, some people drive up and kindly let me in. Settle in and start enjoying US television shows. Ahh.