The title of this blog post is nothing clever. Instead it’s a summary of my arrival to mainland Mexico. While we were sharing beers with the orange delivery trucker on the ferry to Mazatlán I felt weird. Not weird because it’s kinda odd to drink with a trucker on a cargo ship headed for Sinaloa, Mexico. Weird because my stomach was about to send me on a night to remember. I spent that evening pouring sweat with a belly that looked like I’d won a man-vs-food challenge; and after six hours of shooting pains I decided it was time for my date with the floor of our camper and a bag full of chemical powder. To clarify, we don’t have a toilet in our camper. Instead we have a small emergency bucket with a toilet seat lid, and zip-locks that are affectionately named “double-doodie” bags…full of powder. So, for the remainder of the night I counted the minutes as the cargo ferry rocked back-n-forth, sending sweat in zig-zags down my face. It’s safe to say I was feelin’ real peachy when we reached the port. I was delirious from the lack of food & water, lack of sleep and whatever beast what eating my insides. At day break trucks were starting their engines to prepare for departure, but I needed a bathroom.
In a haze I duck-walked under some semis and worked my way to the upper deck. They don’t see too many gringos on these ships, but I think it was the first time they had seen a vampire judging by the stares. I hurried to the first baño and found it locked…*expletive*. The second appeared to be in a private staff room but I didn’t give a $hit (foreshadowing?). Time running out, I slammed the door behind me and turned around to find the water/pump/whatever had been turned off. How do I know?…let’s just say the truckers didn’t care whether it worked or not when they showed up for their morning ritual.
I made it back to the truck without passing out, took down the camper top and hopped behind the wheel. I can’t tell you how stoked I was to be driving out of a port and into mainland Mexico for the first time, in such a chipper condition. Each small movement caused shooting pain in my stomach when I remembered what our friend Cameron told us about the camp spot…”the road out there is terrible!” Welcome to mainland!
Don’t you worry…I hated my life for a day or two but pulled through, put on my big boy pants, cracked a beer and finally started to explore the real Mexico.
Isla de las Piedras
Our first camp was a place on Isla de Las Piedras, or Stone Island (actually a peninsula). Based on a tip from our FollowTheWind peeps we searched for Pizza Benjis? We got lost, asked some people, drove down some dirt roads and found some structures. I never saw a sign indicating I had reached a pizza establishment but asked a nice gal and received confirmation that indeed we were “aqui!” More often than not, when asking where you can camp or park, the response will be “wherever you like.” This sounds nice, but is a bit stressful for a northerner like me…”wait, anywhere???” They usually mean just that, and I’m pretty sure we could have parked on the patio if we wanted.
Instead we drove our eyesore rigs across their public beach, parked on the sand and set up camp right in front of the “restaurant”….never did see customers, pizza or food at Pizza Benjis. Curious place if ya ask me. We (TravelAmateurs, TheGlobeTrol & HereUntilThere) settled in to our new “home is where you park it” location and toasted to the mainland. A little swimming here, some spear fishing there, dinner potlucks and even a tour of Mazatlan.
One day a few young guys walked passed our camp and into the palms behind us. Within the hour they had thrown together a drift wood and palm frond lean-to. We hadn’t a clue what they planned to do with the shelter but found them around our campfire later that night. Apparently, they’ve watched an episode or two of the TV series “Survivorman” and decided to give their skills a test by building a lean-to, and camping for a night with nothing more than a bottle of brandy, bottle of coke and a giant bag of chips…I like their style! The language barrier was no match for good people, cold beverages and a shared fire.
We found a way to share stories and laughs and raised a beer to what we couldn’t understand. I turned on a playlist and they knew nearly every song. Some songs struck a particular chord inciting dance moves in the light of the fire. Occasionally someone would call out “coco locos on da beach!” and we’d cheers. It’s hard to recapture such a night in words and I often wonder how the story is told from their end. What of these weird gringos camping on the beach? Were we the coco locos?? Maybe it’s better that we don’t know.
Inspiration at its best.
Thank you Mark! And onward we shall go… ?
These photos are breath taking! I am so jealous right now….oh….except for the part about the ferry ride…..yea…..you can keep those moments. Actually, my stomach is grumbling now just thinking about it. You guys continue to have fun and stay safe.
Just wait! I think the scenery just gets better and better…we’ll try to get the next post out soon!
Breathtaking pics, such vibrant colors and textures. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures
Thank you for your sweet comments Lynne!
Hey I think its awesome you guys are doing this trip and even better you are writing about it so we know what to expect when when we do something similar. We’re thinking of doing a four month trip next winter but one question I did have is about finances. I saw the one post on saving for the trip but I was wondering how much you guys saved and how much you budgeted per month or… If its too personal for the blog I understand, we are just trying to figure out how much we need to do something similar!
Hi Tor. Our spending varies quite a bit depending on which country we’re in, how much we drive, and whether there are big expenses like a ferry or splurges on adventures. Overall we’ve averaged about $40-$50/day for our travels which includes the larger costs. We’ve met people spending $20/day and couples at $100/day so it all depends on how you like to explore. We haven’t spent anything on hotels since we have points but take a big hit when we drive since our MPG isn’t great. We also cook a lot of our meals which saves money. Overall, we feel that our daily budget is plenty to live comfortably and enjoy this type of travel.
Haha.. good stories and I like your style. I’m preparing for a reverse trip from Isla Mujeres back home to Washington state. I came down in January via Nogales, AZ to Sayulita and now here on my HD Softail. Love this country. Smooth sailing to you two.
Thank you! We loved that area and even debated getting hitched in San Poncho! Maybe next time…we’ll definitely be back. Enjoy!