We decided to check out the actual town of El Fuerte before heading back to the coast. We were going through “beach withdrawal”!. The town is very clean and seems well organized. We walked around for about a half hour checking ou the town square and the side streets. It was early so not much was open but we did find a tienda (local corner store) where we bought some bread and bananas.
We then headed west back towards Los Mochis where we intercepted the coastal highway and went south towards Mazatlán. It was a bit much to do in one day but the weather was still dreary and there was not much see enroute. We tried to not take the toll highway but it seems both the MEX15 and the MEX15D are both tolled (the latter for at least some sections anyway). Weird thing was both times that we paid a toll, the road got worse before it got better.
We stopped in Guasave to get a few things at the Walmart as well as get in a some walking and then made it to the beach of Playa Cueta near La Cruz for the night. There is an RV park here called Villa Celeste, run by a Mexican who actually lived in Saskatchewan for a bit! His name was Noe and he was very friendly and helpful. We hooked up and spent the night here after a dusk stroll on the beach with a Corona. Weather was still not clear but pretty muggy here on the water. Noe had a washer and dryer on premises so we took advantage and did two loads of laundry.
Next morning we each did some exercise, did a few housekeeping chores, had brekkie and got back on the road for the last 120 km to Mazatlán. Our “sources” (iOverlander app, Mexico Camping Book and a Pacific Coast guide to Mexico) made it seem like there were a number of choices for camping in Mazatlán. As our books are not up to date, it seems that many parks have closed down. We chose Mar Rosa which is in town but not really close to the malecon but it is right on the beach. It has full hook ups and hot showers and has a locked gate at night. There is a palapa in the back corner to sit in the shade to enjoy the view and an opening in the fence to get onto the beach. Wi-Fi is available at an additional cost but we managed to get the free Wi-Fi from the hotel next door!
This is our first time to Mazatlán and we quite like it and enjoyed our time there. We kept adding a day. It is touristy, of course, but not as much as Cabo and the beach is much nice. There is a very long malecon and an old historic centro district.
Sunday afternoon we walked the beach for quite a ways; Monday we walked to the malecon and almost to the end of it (it was very humid on Monday and overcast most of the morning). It has many monuments and lookouts, beach restaurants and vendors. It’s very well maintained (in that we didn’t have a lot of broken sidewalk or hazards while walking) and much of it is along the waterfront after you get to a certain point. We explored the historic district a bit where we encountered a school parade going to the cathedral. We took a Pulmonia back to the campsite (we walked about nine miles in the heat!). A Pulmonia is a kind of taxi/buggy that looks like an open air golf cart. They apparently charge slight more than a taxi but they are fun.
That afternoon we went in the water. The surf is not really high but there was a bit of a drop off by our campground so we stuck near the shore but wandered up the beach a ways in the direction away from town which is opposite to what we did on Sunday. We met a few of our neighbours in the campground. Apparently this place used to be quite popular and they had to use an overflow lot across the street at times but seems less popular now. One guy, Hank from Illinois, told us he’s been coming for twenty years for six months each winter. He is a local character. There was three other snowbird RV’s here as well. Hank told us about Diego’s on the beach on Tuesday afternoons. They have a “beach fiesta” with live music and a set price (275 pesos) for the cover charge and all you can drink so we had to stay another day for that.
Monday night we watched the sunset with a Swiss couple who now live in Mexico, sitting on the sand right outside the campground on the beach. It was quite lovely.
Tuesday morning it was clear and sunny and hot. We took a walk along the street side in the direction opposite town and checked out where Diego’s was located and beyond.
After doing some work and chores, we put on our bathing suits and outwear and headed down to the party. The singer was very good and the beer was cold (margaritas were not great so we got buckets of beer). There was dancing on the sand and we had a great time. It started at two and went until six, just after the sunset which again was beautiful. We walked back along the beach to the park and ended up crashing early (darn afternoon drinking!).
Wednesday, we ran some errands, enjoyed the beach and sunset before packing up and leaving (very reluctantly) on Thursday.