Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Mazatlan January 27 - 29 2016

Mazatlan   Jan. 27 – 29, 2016

We have been to Mazatlan before, but many years have passed since our last visit.  The population and size of the city has more than doubled.  On our first evening we were bussed over to the El Cid Hotel to enjoy a Mexican Fiesta dinner and show.  The food was delicious and the entertainment great.
Our next day Larry joined 8 others for a morning of deep sea fishing and the balance of our group had a city tour. The drivers were very knowledgeable and entertaining.   Following our tour we lunched at the Playa Bruja .

The next morning we had a full day country bus tour to La Noria and  El Quelite including a stop at an artisan leather shop.  Following lunch was a stop at a rooster breeder of cock fighters.  This was not a highlight for Anne (see pic). That evening we joined our good friends Paul and Gwen Ysselmuiden for dinner on the beach.

Group gathering with Gabriel (tour organizer)

Saying farewell to Charlie (partial tour Wagon Master)

Bob's Tequila "tasting"

Paul's Tequila "tasting"

Fiesta Show

Early morning fishing launch

Red Snapper fish for the "pot"

Gabriel was tour guide for our Mazatlan country tour

John feeding his finger to a bird

Fighting roosters accomadations

Roosters "sparring" demonstration. No birds hurt this time!?

2 spectators are not impressed!

Zacatecas February 2 - 4, 2016

Zacatecas  Feb 2 – 4 2016

Our stay in Zacatecas is at the Hotel Baruk.  The main parking area of the hotel also has triple hook up for the RV’s.  Our caravan nearly filled the lot to overflow status but we all managed to get in. 

We had a wonderful tour of the city.  A tour to the top of Cerro de la Bufa (Bufa Hill) at an altitude of 8,770 feet, provided a spectacular view of the city!  We were bussed to the top and came down via the tram. Waiting for the next tram to arrive we spotted a worker on the top of the unit doing some inspection or repairs.  A short walk from the tram was the El Eden silver mine.  We opted out of this part of the tour and met up with the group at the exit of the mine a few blocks away.   Our tour continued with lunch at a Brazilian BBQ. The day continued with a walking tour of the Centro and an open air bus tour to some of the beautiful areas of the city.

Largest Corona brewery in Mexico

Tram worker's view!

Centro architecture

Obsolete aqueduct offers great scenery

                                               Later afternoon driver's meeting/happy hour

Durango January 30 - February 1, 2016

Durango   Jan 30 – Feb 1 2016

Our group is now down to 11 RV’s.  After saying our goodbye’s we were on the road to Durango.  Our travel is along the newly completed toll highway consisting of 63 tunnels, one being the 2.7 km Sinaloense Tunnel, and a massive engineering project of the 4 lane Puente Baluarte which is the world’s second tallest highway bridge, spanning the Baluarte River at a dizzying height of 1322 feet!

Our campsite area is a field adjacent to a water park and included dry camping for the 3 nights.  Strong winds created issues parking with the blowing dust!!  The water park has natural hot springs and during the summer months the pools and slides are filled with the water from the springs.  Currently off-season there was only two pools in use, one with the “hot” water and the second pool with the cooler water.

Our city tour began with a downtown walking tour, including a stop at a restaurant that serves grilled scorpions on nachos! A bus tour followed at the Plaza de Armas, with stops at the Government Palace featuring murals illustrating Durango state history and a city park with replicas of Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Following our tour we enjoyed a Brazilian BBQ lunch.  We have been treated to many delicious meals while on tours.  Evening meals are not necessary!! After lunch we were bussed to the outskirts of Durango and watched a “wild west” show where the dialogue was in Spanish and the locals laughed quite often.

Colleen & Stan had to replace their air mattress for their bed.  A shopping trip for Stan was in order to find a replacement mattress for their motorhome.  Who would have thought, a Sears department store was nearby and a replacement was found!

One of many tunnels

One of many tunnels

Stopped for a photo op

Local "delicacy"

Paul and John partaking on "scorpions on tacos" 

I had to sample one also. (acquired taste)!!

Government Palace Murals

Government Palace

Some of our caravan group with a balcony view of the Wild West Show

Teacapan January 24 - 26 2016

From El Fuerte we moved on to Teacapan (130 km south east of Mazatlan).  With the long distance involved we had an overnight at Los Mochis.  The Teacapan RV park experienced major electrical power fluctuations (one of many on the tour) and our satellite receiver was "smoked"!  We enjoyed 3 days of beach and a some “down” time. On our last day we had a potluck breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausages and fruit trays.  It would be our last chance for a get together with our friends who had signed up for the short tour and are leaving us in Mazatlan.

Sunrise through the fog leaving Los Mochis.

Beach RV park pool and clubhouse.

Copper Canyon & Creel January 19 - 22 2016

Copper Canyon

We were awake early for a short bus ride to board our train to the Copper Canyon.  The travelling time was 7 hours from El Fuerte to Creel.  The views from the train were absolutely spectacular.  We were treated to 3 days of touring the Copper Canyon and surrounding areas.   The main tourist area of the canyon has a tram crossing over to the other side of the canyon and two separate zip lines, one has 7 shorter zip lines with 2 suspension bridges to connect to the other side of the canyon and other is a 2.4 kilometre line with a vertical drop of 450 meters and a 17% grade to the other side.  We opted to ride the single zip line.  What an exhilarating experience it was.  The "gate" opens to launch you on your ride with a max speed at about 130 km/h and lasts around 2 minutes. It is recorded as the longest zip line in the world. After a short bus ride to an overnight stay at Posada Barranca we caught the afternoon train back to El Fuerte. Definitely a highlite of the tour so far!

After an overnight in El Fuerte we enjoyed a sunrise bird watching tour along the El Fuerte River in an inflatable boat followed by an amazing breakfast at the El Zorro Hotel.

Native Cave Home

Natives in colorful dresses

One of many "Mushroom" rocks

2 Km zip line "launch"

Zip line landing 

Survived :)!

Waiting for the train back to El Fuerte

Sunrise river cruise

Local Petroglyphs

Zorro "want to be" - Clark