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Friday, March 20, 2015

Los Mochis to San Carlos an Interesting Day

We arrived in San Carlos just before noon. Left the truck stop in Los Mochis about 6:30 after getting diesel. 234 miles in a little over 5 1/2 hours. Five toll stops costing US $49. This is important. 
We got up when the trucks started to come to life just before 6:00. I title this picture "Sun Rising over Trucks."
Today's drive is not one Mexico can be proud of. The worst roads we've been on all year. Mostly in the state of Sonora. The worst part of it is two weeks ago the news said the Governor of Sonora is under investigation for stealing 20 million dollars that was supposed to go to help children. He and his family all bought homes in the US with that money. I wonder what he did with the money given to the state to fix the roads. Really sad. This is the main road heading north - the one the tourists must take and will for sure remember. 
For years we have been one of Mexico's biggest fans - but today really left a bad taste in our mouths. I mentioned we got diesel in the Pemex where we stayed overnight. We got 3755.10 pesos or about 250 US dollars worth of fuel. The attendant finished filling the tank and swiped our credit card for the amount. As he was handing the slip to Bill to sign we noticed the numbers on the fuel pump were going up again - from the 3755.10 we bought. There was a truck filling on the other side of the pump. Bill said something to the effect of "Hey you didn't clear the pump. I better not be getting charged for that." 
The attendant said, "Don't worry you're not getting charged. See here is your receipt," as he handed it to Bill.
"But then the truck is getting charged for my diesel."
"That's okay - we have a deal." replied the attendant as he wiggled his hand back and forth. 
No we did not go back inside and tell anyone. The truck driver knew it was happening. This was at Pemex 7407 on the east side of the highway just south of Los Mochis. Kind of makes you sad. Especially when I think of all the times I've told people - "They don't do that any more. We've never had a problem at a Pemex." 
Leaving Los Mochis - fog? smog? smoke? don't know but it soon passed. 
 A bunch of topes just past Los Mochis then the first toll booth. 118 pesos - 8 bucks. Then the road got rough. 
For a while after the toll [K 30 - 39]  the road was full of patches which makes for a rather rough ride. But no holes or deteriorated pavement.  Then we got behind this guy. No getting around him. Luckily we came to some kind of inspection, that we were waved through, and he had a place to pull over. 
After crossing the border into Sonora there is an agricultural inspection - checking for fruit. Once again we were stopped and the inspector this time came in and opened the refrigerator. As he came in he asked about fruit then said, "Do you have any candy?" I thought WHAT? then he added, "For me" and laughed. I gave him a Hershey bar after he looked in the refrig and found nothing. 
Once into the state of Sonora the road got worse. Just across the state line - this is the road - the sign say to follow the speed limit. You couldn't speed if you wanted to!
Just another picture of the highway. Bill tried to miss the biggest of the holes so he drove on the right, on the left and sometimes down the middle. 
But they are working on it. This part must have been REALLY BAD!
Right after the new paving.  Most of the way it was like this. Not so bad, horrid and new paving - repeat repeat. But Bill just drove slower and more careful. Didn't see any parts from RVs laying around and no wreckers waiting to rescue anyone. 
Some of these were pretty deep too. 
No idea what this was for. Just made everyone slow down. Most everyone we saw was just waved through. 
This is part of the highway leading up to a toll booth! How dare they charge for this - 175 pesos! And there was a tope there too. 
More work on the highway. The big sign is proclaiming how the roads are being improved for the public's safety. 
Going through Navojoa the road is good. But again we managed to find most of the signal lights red. From Navojoa to Cuidad Obregon the highway is concrete and Wonderful. Going through the city though the road could use some help. 
North of Obregon is Vicam - the people are still pulling the trucks over. All other traffic can go by.
The biggest share of the road today was not good. Some of it was VERY bad. Each day they manage to pave a little more of it. 
It is a shame this is the last impression of Mexico on many tourists. 
We are now in San Carlos and going to stay here until Saturday. Let the driver and the rig rest for a while. Went out for lunch and for dinner, now just relaxing. Tomorrow some cleaning and getting together all the stuff we need to cross the border and use in the US.
We might be staying here longer than we planned on. Need a mechanic to check something out. Ever since we've had the Alfa - over 12 years - we've had a ticking sound in the left front wheel/brake. Had it checked several times and no problem was ever found. Well yesterday it went from a ticking to a clacking sound. Bill wants to get it checked before going any further. 
So Recalculate again. 


  1. Thanks so much for the detailed update. I figure if we leave the Isla at 6AM we should get to San Carlos by 5 - 6 PM. Sorry to hear about the wheel problem with the RV.