Boatless in Boise
|Our home for the next month or so....|
Originally we were going to drive PV to Mazatlan, stay the night, then drive to Guaymas for the night and then across the Mexico border at Nogales and head into Tucson and beyond from there. However, the night before we were to leave, the state of Sinaloa closed all of its hotels, leaving us without a place to stop in Mazatlan. So we decided to make the first day a long 11 hour day and get through Sinaloa state to the town of Novajoa, in Sonora state.
Day 1 (Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit to Novajoa, Sonora) we drove on the CUOTA (Toll Road) and passed through 15 toll booths. Of the 15, only one of them was run by official government employees. The rest had been replaced by locals, each supporting a cause and charging anywhere from spare change up to 100 pesos (@$5 USD). The locals had flyers and posters up at some check points, informing travelers what their cause was. Some were for education reform, others protesting high gas prices. Ironically, many of the collections were protesting the toll booths themselves. Apparently the government put them up all over the highways without any input and it has made it very expensive for locals to travel around. At many booths, there were local law enforcement near by, so the takeovers are, at some level, allowed. On the first day, we spent MX 675 pesos (@$33 USD) at toll booths. At every stop, the people were kind, told us to have a nice day and most were wearing protective gear to avoid spreading infection. We didn't mind paying, and the requested fee was always lower than what would have been collected by government officials.
|Poster: "After 14 years of damages, we demand the fair payment of our plots"|
|Locals waiving us through the toll booths, with signs telling us of their cause.|
|No government workers here!|
Day 2 was another 10 toll booths for a total of MX 521 pesos (@$26 USD). Again most of these were locals who had taken over the booth, however one of these was simply at a speed bump, but we still dropped spare change in the bucket.
We could have saved money by traveling on the . Free roads are less well maintained, single-lanes each way that take longer to travel across. It’s recommended that people don’t take the free roads after dark.
We also drove on a couple of LIBRAMIENTOS (BYPASSES). Sometimes, major free roads that connect big towns and cities will give drivers an option to take the "Libramiento" route. We did this outside of Mazatlan. It was like a toll road which, for a fee, enabled us to by-pass Mazatlan, saving us time, and perhaps the hassle of getting lost.
|The Wall :(|
|I wish it said 'Welcome to the United States', we aren't the only America after all...|
|The US Border Control|
|Passports ready (they didn't need to collect our FMM, which is our 6 month tourist visa. |
Apparently that is only needed when flying out of the country)
|We're not in Mexico anymore!|
|Gilligan made some room for himself at the hotel|
|These two goofballs reunited at Mikayla's as if they had never been apart.|
Since we arrived in Boise, we have been quarantined at the hotel where we are fortunate to have 2 rooms (with more living space than our boat by far!) I bought an instant pot and a hot water kettle so we can cook instead of eating every meal out. The weather has been beautiful and Pat has been able to commute to work.
|Empty streets in Boise|
|Empty hotel lobby. It is mostly just us and airline crew here.|
|We do have a goose who is making her nest up here.|
|Hailey planting flowers for grandma - while keeping her distance.|
|We're tired, but we made it!|
The drive was beautiful! We encountered beachfront, mountain forests, agricultural fields, deserts, small towns and a few bigger cities.
|The further north we drove, the more cactuses we saw|
|Tecate factory in northern Mexico. When we stopped in a market up here, we couldn't find Pacifico or Corona, just the beers of the north.|
|Fields of flowers|
|Many towns have beautiful arches welcoming visitors.|
|Have a nice trip!|
|Never saw any, but that would have been cool!|
|No rules about hauling/tying down loads|
|Beautiful churches are found in every town.|
|The Deer Dancer is seen throughout northern Mexico. He comes from Yaqui mythology. |
Great article here about the Deer Dancer.
|One of the dozens of beautiful cemeteries we passed.|
|Very cool geological formations|
|Welcome to Sonora State (where all hotels were closed)|
|Lots of corn, agave and other produce fields|
|Painting in the hillside|
I researched why dozens of these bridges to nowhere are scattered along the highway in Mexico, but found no answer. They are overpasses that don't necessarily have roads leading up to them on either side. They usually aren't near any towns and there doesn't seem to be a reason for them. If anyone knows, please educate us!