Another long day on the southbound four-lane highway–15 B. We’re travelling on toll roads whenever we can, since they are by far the best roads in Mexico. But that’s not always saying a lot. For the last two days, we’ve alternated between rough pavement interrupted by occasional smooth, freshly refinished sections and by detours that took us over to the northbound lanes and around work in progress.
Very soon after we set off this morning, we came to an abrupt stop behind a transport truck that was stopped diagonally across both lanes. We couldn’t see what was going on, so Jack got out and wandered forward—along with several other men who had come to a stop behind us (it was a guy thing)—in time to see two truck drivers fighting. First verbally, and then one began swinging a board at the other. It seems the truck in front was angry with the truck in back, so he stopped askew in the road in order to confront him.
A huge passenger bus coming up several cars behind us lost patience with the delay and drove through the median strip continued driving south in on of the northbound lanes–where at this point there was very little traffic. Others were about to follow when the two truckers resolved their differences and moved on. We saw the bus pull back across the median and onto the southbound lanes about a kilometer farther on.
A few other highway observations: guys with rakes and brooms tidying up the sides of the four-lane; a road painting crew pulling a wheeled contraption with the brush attached; men on horses tending a small herd of cattle grazing in the median.
All of this – and most of the many people and places we passed by today—escaped the camera. I was excited by the photos I was taking of landscape earlier, but that was easy to do from a moving car—some distance from the road, usually, and if there was one interesting cactus, there would likely be another to catch on the camera. Trickier with people, animals, roadside houses, etc. Unless I have my finger on the trigger every moment, I miss most of it. No—the camera misses most of it. And of course when I’m driving, I have to depend on a cameraman who doesn’t always catch what I want, either. But even the few pictures I do have from today aren’t going to make it into this post. The internet connection here is so spotty that I can’t seem to stay connected long enough to upload half a dozen photos. Hopefully, tomorrow–though we’ll be in the same place, so maybe not. (Same story with the map, Carolyn.)
We moved from the state of Senora to the state of Sinaloa—and at about the same time we were travelling through heavily cultivated agricultural land. Irrigated, I think, though this is clearly no longer desert territory. A lot of corn; a lot of some crop that looks like corn but isn’t; grapes, I think; and something that’s grown under huge—like acres huge—white tents.
We are now in Mazatlan, in a wonderfully funky hotel we found on Trip Adviser. It’s in the old part of the city, right on the water. Our corner room has windows and little balconies looking in two directions. There’s not a chance this place would pass a safety audit at home. Uneven steps—we’re on the third (top) floor, no elevator—patched carpet, probably a firetrap. The room is large, but spare. None of the little extras we’ve seen in most places en route—no coffee pot, no little fridge, no microwave, no hair dryer. But the view, the sound of the waves, the two-for-one margaritas downstairs…much better than a microwave! Probably even worth the crummy internet connection!
This evening, we walked along the beach for awhile, then watched the sunset from our little balcony and went downstairs for a shrimp dinner. We’ll spend tomorrow exploring the old city and deciding what’s next. From here, it’s just one long day to Guanajuato. But we have friends staying in a beach town south of here…it’s always been the plan to go there next.