Thursday, May 3, 2018

Copper Canyon Day 4 & 5

Breakfast at the Hotel $250 pesos/person!! Crazy! Then Brad went for walk and I worked on Blog. Left at 11:30am and walked up to the train. Brad bought a hat and I a t-shirt, and a few more gifts. Had some more Gorditas before the train came. Train was a bit early 12:54pm, I didn't sleep much so rested on the train. Very low key ride back. Stayed the night at Torres del Fuerte and Love it! very nice Hotel. *NOTE: No bugs here, maybe a couple but not like the other Hotel! There are lots of plants here? 

Dinner at "Orrantia" in the town square and walking distance from the Hotel, we were the only ones there, nice upscale place. 

One glitch, the night clerk said the breakfast started at 6:30am and we got up to get on the road early and found out no breakfast the cook was on Holidays.  So we had McD's when we hit Navajoa. 
Traveled from 7:15am to 5:15pm a couple of coffee stops, 1 gas stop, Home Depot pick up. At the Holiday Inn Express Nogales AZ for the night. 10 hrs good time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Copper Canyon 2018 Day 3

We started the day with a great breakfast at the Hotel La Estación (read previous post). Then we went for a last latte across the street, and back to pick up the bags.  I went to the museum (Brad had already gone there) and Brad waited with the luggage in the sun. Very interesting museum, they had artifacts and the info on the background of the people, they also had a photo display that was very interesting some of a ceremony (1964?) with peyote.

Then we headed for the train station which is right there, for the 11:47am Train.  We got there early thank goodness, the train that day came at 11:20am. I will make a separate post about what we learned taking the train and what to do. Went to get on and the conductor said no turista (lower cost) tickets so we had to pay Ejecutiva prices $620 pesos each to go from Creel to El Divisadero, it's not that far, but we needed to go to keep our already booked Hotels. Arrived at El Divisidero and Brad had been looking for Gorditas that he saw in an advertisement and right off the train they are there.  Blue corn tortillas (small) with your choice of 2 kinds of pork, chicken with cream sauce, napoles with cream, mushrooms with cream, chicharron or plain queso.  Brad had 2 pork and I had chicken and (queso with a tortilla like cornbread), they were very very good! Try them if you go.  Walked to the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas which is right there. Checked in and we had a room with a balcony over looking the Barrancas so they are at the far end in a different building from the reception (Main building).  So beautiful! got settled, admired the view and then went to the Cable Car $250 pesos/each,


The Hotel supplied the guy to take us there and back for $100 pesos/person.  After we returned we went for dinner.  There is nowhere to eat here so the Hotel takes full advantage of that, they charge $290 pesos for dinner which was spaghetti with chicken breast on top in a mustard sauce with some fried zucchini and chocolate cake for desert. Back to the room, watched it get dark and the full moon come out. To bed.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Baja Ferries - La Paz to Mazatlan by Motorcycle

Catching the Ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan

First buying the ticket.  
If you have a vehicle and/or want a cabin you might have already tried to book online. How’d that go for you? Not good I bet, there doesn’t seem to be a place to pick your car (or especially a motorcycle) or a place to pick that you want a cabin.  It is easiest if you go buy the tickets in P_____ where the ferry is located.  If you are not in the area to do this then I’m sorry you are on your own and good luck finding a blog with some help with that. We knew from other people that have done it and from blogs that if you want a cabin you must book ahead of time, they recommend a week ahead.  We were traveling down the Baja and we’re not in any hurry so on Thursday when we hit La Paz we went to Pichilingue to buy tickets.  This Ferry to Mazatlan (at the time of writing this) travels on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  We were trying for Saturday and could get on the ferry but no cabin so we went for the Tuesday with a cabin and then stayed for 2 nights in La Paz, traveled to Los Barilles and stayed two nights and Todos Santos for one night before returning up to the ferry on Tuesday.  

What you need to bring to the office to buy tickets:
  1. Passport
  2. Travelers Visa
  3. Permit for your vehicle
  4. Licence number
  5. email address
  6. Payment - we paid with a Visa                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
If you bring all these in and give them to the clerk you shouldn’t have  a problem and shouldn’t need to speak any Spanish except please and thank you.
It all went quite smoothly for us.
Directions from La Paz to Pichilingue where you buy the tickets.

The day of boarding the Ferry:
 They would have told you to arrive 3 hours ahead of boarding, DO do this.  We have heard if you are not checked in early they will sell your cabin to someone else.  This means you have to be there approximately 2pm, the ship leaves at 5pm.
 (Having said that, sometimes you can ask on board and buy a room if you didn’t get one before hand if they have any spares).
Bring water and snacks as it is a long wait with nothing around, no bathrooms either. Have as little as you can to carry on to the ship, it not an easy maneuver to get upstairs with luggage, and certainly no big bags!!!
If you bought your tickets out near the docks you will have seen the Ferry entrance, it is before you turned left where the road splits, it is the Only entrance to the gated dock area, the Big Trucks go through the same gate, go over the same scales and board the same ship.  For the Mazatlan Ferry you drive through the gate, if someone is there tell them Mazatlan and they will direct you, on your right, to the far right lane. There you stop and show the guard your:
  1. Passport
  2. Travelers Visa
  3. Permit for Vehicle
They will check your VIN Number (or they did on the motorcycles). Then you push the button, anyone who has been to Mexico has pushed the button.  If you haven’t there is a red light and a green light, if you get a green light you travel on your way, if you get a red light they search you and your vehicle (depending on the guard to different extents).  We both got a green light so we carried on (follow the truck he said), to the weigh scales.  Here there is another taxing system where we each has to pay $77 pesos for tax for the shipyard? anyway, after I had my few words about that with them and paid they send you off to the left.  What they didn’t say was off to the left and then down the gravel road to the right, then left where the road splits and you take the left lower road to the ship and you drive to the ferry and park against the back fence until it’s time to load.  It is entertaining to watch them load the containers they are wild men on those loaders.  At this time I will tell you the Truck Drivers were more helpful than the workers at the ferry getting us to the right spot.  You load on and then find your own tie downs in boxes around the deck, tie down and proceed into the ship.  hahahaha
Down a steep set of steps but not too many.  Through a corridor up some very steep steps, many of them.  Down a corridor around a corner, someone asking to finally see a ticket, show your ticket, continue dow a corridor up many more steep stairs around a corner to try to find your cabin. Let me make it easier for you than I had it.  In the seating section there is a little office, give him your ID (licence) and he will give you your room key, he keeps your ID until you turn the key in the next day. find your room.  There were 4 bunks in our cabin (I am not sure if all are this way) a bathroom with a shower and a sink.  Our sink leaked and neither of us attempted the shower. The beds were not that bad but for the air-conditioning, you couldn’t turn it off and it was COLD. Really COLD! there is a dial to turn on the ceiling but it didn’t make much of a difference.Dinner (show your ticket) was beans, rice and 2 choices of mixtures, drinks not included. We did get some sleep despite the cold. Although I did think I was going to go through the wall a couple of times with the ship rocking so hard my mattress slid back and forth once. Eye glasses and books went flying through the darkness and I found them in the morning scattered on the floor.  Just put everything on the floor.  
There are movies playing in the seating area and the dinning room and there is an out door area up above and they sell beer up there too. 

In the morning you get breakfast (show your ticket) and then wait.  They will announce when it’s time for the drivers to go and get in their vehicles. Back down the stairs, show your ticket again, down the stairs up the stairs to your vehicle. Drive off, from here on out I can’t help you, my bike was dead from the silent alarm going off for 21 hours, so I has to roll the bike off and wait for Brad to get a tow truck.  They wouldn’t let him in the yard unless we paid $200.00 USD so Brad pushed my bike all the way to the gates, to the tow truck. Then back to ride his through. When leaving the ferry yard stay to your right following the waterfront. With in a few blocks you will see directional signs to show you which way to go to Tepic, Cullican or Durango.  Also when traveling this street you will see signs directing you to the malecon.
We found a bike repair place then they sent us to another bike repair place on the Malecon and we stayed the night while my battery charged next door.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Adventure for Easter this year!

Good Friday April 3, 2015, we are going on an adventure! We are going to explore these small towns. Lot's of History!

The Sonora River Lends it's name to the area of north central Mexico in the Mexican state of Sonora. The river course Begins ITS Continues south of Cananea and south along the western side of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The river is 250 mile (402 kilometers) long and moves south then a south west to the city of Hermosillo and the Abelarado L. Rodriguez Reservoir.
The Rio Sonora's riparian habitat Provides a refuge for many birds and animals making this area's a spectacular place for birding. The desert and the hills are home to javelina, foxes, jaguars and mountain lions. Coatimundi and Their more familiar cousins, raccoons can be found here Along With skunks and other small mammals. Many reptiles snakes and iguanas make Including the area home.
The river That Also Provides irrigation water brought` the Opata, the area's Original inhabitants, and sustains the farming and ranching Communities Today.
But more Than That, the Rio Sonora Creates a special place of mountain peaks, steep canyons and broad valleys.
The Ruta Rio Sonora, Sonora Highway 089 (shown on older maps as Highway 118) from Cananea to Ures is your pathway to this land of magic.
Rio Sonora map

  • Ures - Founded in 1644 was the capital city of Sonoran Between 1838 and 1842, and 1879. Between 1847 and Visit "La Plaza de Armas" With Its four 18th century bronze sculptures, San Miguel Mission and the church bearing the same name With Its legendary mesquite stairway.
  • Baviácora -Founded in 1639 displays colonial architecture and two beautiful churches, the newer build along side the old.
  • Aconchi's - Main attraction is the hot spring pools west of town. The park is nicely developed and easy to get to. There are many furniture factories in town selling Their wares. The San Pedro Church Franciscan features 18th century architecture and a legendary Black Christ.

  • Huépac -Founded in 1644 features the old mission of San Lorenzo de Huepac dating from the 18th century.The city hall displays what is purported to be an Original copy of the Mexican Declaration of Independence. Also on display is a jawbone from a woolly mammoth That was found nearby
  • Banámichi - Founded in 1639, Banamichi is home to a growing movement to revive and restore the original Adobe Colonial buildings in the town. The beautiful temple of Our Lady of Loreto Temple faces the central plaza. A large petroglyph carved by the Opata Indians is held aloft by Opata statues of warriors in the town park. Banamichi Brings to mind a feeling of colonial times.
  • Arizpe - Founded in 1646. Here, the landscape Becomes more mountainous. Filled with the history of northern Mexico and the southwest, Arizpe was the capital city of Northern New Spain Which took in all of the Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California and Texas. Interred in under glass in the floor of the Assumption church you will see the Remains of Juan de Anza, Governor of Northern New Spain and founder of San Francisco, California
Photos to follow, hopefully in a few days :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

15 months later...

We have gone home to Canada and back again to Mexico since the last post and are close to going home again.
It is nearing the end of February and we have again had a nice winter in the warmth.  I (Dar) have had some issues this season, my knee has caused all kinds of problems and pain, down for aprox 5 weeks. Then I got Salmonella and down for another 5 weeks. I am better now but my knee is still a problem.

We had some really nice people from Hawaii, stop at the park for a week (and then another week) :) Maggie and Joni and Star.  We are happy to say they are our good friends now and hope to keep in touch with them and visit where ever they land when they're finished their adventure of driving Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. Their set up for the trip is excellent!

Close up ;)

Star freshly bathed for the trip.

Stop, Drop and Rub my Belly!

Last night dinner at the restaurante Avenida for Pozole, my favorite!

In a few days some more friends are coming, we will pick them up at the airport and drive to Melaque to visit even more friends ;) back on March 1st to spend the last month here before we pack up and leave for another season. Leaving April 1st this year, should be fun Semana Santa starts on March 29th this year. Oh well, we'll take it slow and keep movin.

Will try to post more. Try to.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Interesting Tree


Cornus florida urbiniana

a.k.a. Magic Dogwood
An exotic Mexican variant of the more common Flowering Dogwood. The variety is noted for its flower bracts, which are fused together, resulting in an amazing display of spirals and shapes. No two flowers would seem to look exactly alike. When in bloom the tree can be covered with hundreds of the beautiful white flowers in an ornamental display like no other.


A deciduous tree usually growing to 10-20 feet. Date of leaf drop varies depending on the climate, but leaves tend to stay on the tree longer than its more common cousin.


Mature trees are hardy to some frost, probably to at least 10F and possible lower. Said to be hardy to zone 6-7. Younger trees should be protected from hard freezes or long frosts.

Growing Environment

Grows best in filtered sun, as it is a naturally occurring understory tree. Can be container grown. Shield from strong afternoon sun. Grow in fairly moist, acidic soil as trees have low tolerance of alkaline conditions.


Can be propagated by seeds or by rooted cuttings. Seeds are best sprouted after cold stratification at 38-42F for up to 90-120 days.


Planted as an ornamental. When in bloom it is often considered one of the prettiest flowering trees.

Native Range

Native to Eastern Mexico from Nuevo Leon through Veracruz.

Friday, November 8, 2013

3 weeks here

After being here for three weeks we have accomplished a lot. Outside bathroom tiled, curtains hung
 ( to be reviewed next year), 5 fans installed, RV. clean inside and out. Ready to settle in now.
We have gone twice on the bikes to PV. We are going to Guadalajara in the middle of December to see Carlos Santana, Gloria Estafan and many more bands. We will ride there and sight see then go to the concert and maybe stop in at a few other places on the way back? Leon for leather goods?  Friday woman's darts is in full swing, many women there today. Nice to see everyone again. I still haven't gone to see about Spanish classes again, but. I will soon, I think :/