Monthly Archives: December 2013

Feliz Navidad

On a rainy and foggy morning in Tepic we drove down winding mountain roads through dense jungle to get to the beachside town of Sayulita. We’ve been staying here at a sweet little RV park for the holiday season. The warm sunny days and lazy afternoons at the beach make it feel like Christmas back home in Australia.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On Christmas Eve, the campground owners and the long term residents all pitched in to put on a bit of a celebration.  Christmas carols in English and Spanish, nativity scenes, kids in costumes, candles, Christmas lights and hot boozy punch. Luckily for us, the brown bus was parked right in the middle of the action. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The thing that makes it really feel like Christmas is having lots of friends around. We’re lucky enough to have the whole Prodor family here escaping the Canadian winter and we’re really happy to be able to spend a bit of time with them all again.

For Christmas dinner, Ken and Peggy took us all out to a restaurant nearby.  The night started fairly quietly, but after a few cups of festive spirits our table was trading chants and Canadian folk songs with another table.

Our friend Diego tells me he doesn’t drink tequila anymore, because things get out of hand. It’s not long though before he has another round of tequila brought to the table.

Fast forward a few hours and we’re all dancing in the street in front of a bar, shoes optional, as a surf-funk-reggae-jam band rips out hit after hit.  Another pub, another jam band, Armando joins them with his harmonica.  Gradually our numbers dwindle as one by one we make our way from the town square back to our beds.

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To top it off, a huge storm hit us sometime in the night which blew down our canopy, smashing bottles and soaking everything outside the van.  We were woken by the noise and found ourselves trapped in the van by the canopy that was pushed up against the door.  We both went back to sleep and decided to deal with it in the morning.

Needless to say, Boxing Day was a bit rough.  But it was worth it.

Merry Christmas to everyone. And cheers to good times with good friends.

Mazatlan

Mazatlan is part tacky tourist town and part bustling Mexican hub. Camping in cities tends to be expensive for us, so we only stayed for the night. This still gave us plenty of time to explore. Our RV park was located in the Zona Dorada, roughly translated it means, lame resort area.

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The old town in Mazatlan is where it’s at. It almost feels like a totally different world from the hotel zone. We wandered aimlessly down cobblestone streets, through markets and the town square. Of course, snacking along the way.

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Gorditas are quickly becoming one of my favourite foods. They are like delicious little Mexican pizza pockets.

From Mazatlan we headed into the mountains and dropped Julia in Tepic. It was then time to get to Sayulita, where we had planned to meet friends for Christmas. You figure out pretty quickly if you can travel with someone, and with Julia it was a breeze. We’ve also found since getting to Mexico that we’ve started running into the same people repeatedly. Hopefully, we’ll run into Julia again soon.

Castaway Camping in mainland Mexico

The wind that had hounded us for the past week on Baja had also whipped the Sea of Cortez into a choppy mess.  So our ferry ride from La Paz across to Topolobampo wasn’t much fun.  It started out well, we joined the truckers in the on board bar for a few Tecates, and the tv’s were playing ‘Smells like the 90s’ video hits. After we left the port and hit the rough water we both spent most of the 6 hour ride lying down in the cinema room concentrating on not barfing.

But, we made it safe and sound and also picked up a new friend. Julia was also on the ferry and, like us, she didn’t have any plans following our 9pm arrival.  So we split a hotel room for the night and then she joined us in the van for a few days as we slowly made our way down the coast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our first stop was a deserted trailer park in Celestino where we spent the sunset hours chatting in broken Spanish to the campground host, Teo. Topics of conversation included what kind of fish can be caught here, and how all the Canadians he knows are named Ken.

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We spent a couple of days here with the waves all to ourselves, living off the coconuts that were growing all around us.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The dried up old coconuts are edible, but they’re chewy and the water inside is kind of salty.  The green ones are the best, the water is sweet and the flesh is creamy, but we had to climb the trees to get them.

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When we needed a change from coconuts, we strolled down to the beach and bartered for fresh oysters with the local divers as they returned to the beach with the day’s haul. They sat out there for hours with their tire tubes bobbing in the waves as the snorkelled around prying the shells from the rocks. Fried oyster tacos… delicious. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the cool things about camping in Mexico is that we always have a pet.  This time it was a cat that followed us everywhere and was really fussy about her oysters. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next campsite paradise was in Teacapan.  More coconuts. No fish. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA