Adios Mexico!

We spent our last week in Mexico collecting sea glass and enjoying the beach.

Ted and Dona took us hunting for seashells in a neighbouring village.

We were treated to a very low tide and full moon. We walked really far out into the Sea.  These pictures are taken from the Sea, looking back toward the little hotel beside the campground.  Too bad it was night. It would have been wonderful to see all the creatures in the tide pools.  I spied this little crab.

We left Mexico on March 4, 2018 with Ted and Dona.   Donna Dee didn’t travel with us. She had to leave a week earlier because she was meeting friends in Why, AZ. Unfortunately, she was robbed by police near Sonoyta. They prey on lone vehicles and set up a common trap.

They had a girl stand on the highway with a stop sign. There was no construction work and no reason to stop, but there were 2 marked police cars nearby. This trap gave the police a chance to scout out the driver and check that there were no witnesses. Donna gestured to ask if she could go on. The girl nodded and motioned for her to go. One of the police officers started following her and then came up beside her as if he wanted to pass, so she stopped. He gestured for her to go on. The speed limit was 40 kph, so she was careful and went 38 kph. The vehicle followed her a bit more and then pulled her over and showed her the radar gun and said she was going 67 kph. Right. They made her pay up in cash. It’s robbery, no matter how you want to dress it up.

After her experience, we talked to others who travel frequently, and some had experienced it too. When we told Mexicans, they acted so surprised.

We did our research online and left Puerto Peñasco armed as best we could.

  1. We put the word “Sindicatura” and phone number on Paul’s driver’s license. The Sindicatura is the public works union that investigates and dismisses corrupt officials. Often just mentioning the word or seeing it in print is like sprinkling salt on a slug.
  2. If we really had a traffic violation, we would insist on going to the police station, and say that we wanted to talk to a Juez Califvador. This is a judge who determines if there was a violation and what the fine should be.
  3. We travelled with another vehicle.
  4. We stopped for the “ambulance” kids and gave them money.  They put a sticker on your windshield.  The corrupt police will look for that sticker and may leave you alone if you donated.
  5. I watched for speed limit signs like a hawk and photographed each one. Unfortunately, our dash cam died while we were in Mexico. What bad timing!

It was a stressful trip back to the border. Here are the ambulance kids.  Give them money!


“Safety Corridor”.  HA!  And “End Hassle Free Vehicle Zone”.  Look, our first peddler!

At the end of the Hassle Zone, we bought fresh tortillas and then went through our border inspection.  It went well.  We had to throw away some food, but we were expecting that.  The guards were pleasant young guys.

We spent the next few nights camping on BLM land near Why.  Ted and Dona drove us on the Ajo Mountain Drive in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.


Out of the Desert and onto the Beach


We crossed into Mexico on February 15, 2018. We were told by the border guard that she couldn’t stamp our passports and that I had to go into the office. Paul pulled over and waited. And waited. And waited. I was in the office for such a long time, and a young man kept coming to check on me and was apologetic. I think the only person who could stamp our passports was involved in a deep game of Candy Crush and refused to stamp them. He was going to show me! So, we never got our passports stamped.

Paul went to the insurance office, which was only a matter of meters from the border. I stayed in the Chinook and I staved off window washers. Those guys don’t take “no” for an answer. The insurance office had to call the office in Puerto Peñasco to get the price that Ted negotiated for on our behalf, and it all went smoothly. However, we only got the policy, but not the receipt, which we need to give to our Canadian insurance company for a refund when we return. Something else to do.

Ted and Dona are staying at a full-service park, Playa Bonita, but we stayed just down the beach at Concha del Mar. It is family owned and operated. It is dry-camping, but the showers are hot and free, and for $11/night, we were satisfied. Yes, we were satisfied — until night came.

There is a nearby nightclub that blasts music starting at 10 pm on weekends. That first night (Thursday), it went on until 3:30. However, the next night (Friday), it was much worse. A mariachi band, complete with several trumpets, played from 10 pm – 5:15 am. Then, from 5:15-6 am, it was “open mike”. At that point, I was so delirious from lack of sleep that I couldn’t stop laughing. This one man could only play the low E-string on his guitar while he did some sort of Mexican yodeling.

The next morning, we walked over to Ted and Dona’s park to see if other people had heard it. Yes, it was audible there too. Ted and Dona drove us around to find a new park far from the madding nightclub.

So, on Saturday, we moved to Playa de Oro. It is a full-service park, and more expensive ($22/night), but quiet. Also, the beach is more picturesque and accessible. We stayed there Saturday night and returned to Concha del Mar on Sunday. What a difference a good sleep makes!

Of course, there was still a nearby party Sunday night, but the wind was so fierce that it drowned it out. We stayed from Sunday-Thursday at that park. There are things we liked about that park (the owners and workers and the fact that it was open parking), but it was like staying at a drydock. There was a crew of workers that repaired, washed & waxed, and painted RVs and cars. Most of the work was done on-site, but sometimes they took vehicles to a shop.  For example, Donna Dee had the side of her truck painted ($450 US). They took it to a shop, but most RVs are just done at the park. They actually turn out quite well, considering all the dust and sand.  I was very impressed by the speed and care taken.

One day, Paul asked the owner where he gets his hair cut. The owner said, “My wife. She can do yours too, but she’s up a ladder waxing an RV right now.” Yup. They do it all! The next day, Paul got his $3-hair cut.

Our neighbour had his graphics removed and painted.  It turned out better than new.

On Thursday February 22, 2017, we moved back to Playa de Oro to avoid the nightclub madness (and to get wifi — glorious wifi!). We decided to stay at this park until we leave. It is really cutting into our budget (yes, Mexico is proving to be more expensive than the US for us), but it is quieter and we can walk to more places (and I have wifi to update the blog). The malecon is only a 35-minute walk.

Unfortunately, where there is a beach, there are fireworks.  Also, it was an American long weekend.  Luckily, there weren’t many fireworks, and people called it a night by 9 pm, but still Poppy has to wear her Thundershirt on weekends.


Nevertheless, both girls love the beach.  Poppy chases seagulls and bites the waves.  Daisy just likes a soft landing when she loses her balance.


About Poppy and her slender body — One man asked us if we got her here in Mexico.  No, she just looks like a homeless dog.  A Mexican woman who came to our RV selling snacks told Poppy to “Eat! Eat!” in Spanish.  So funny!

There is an excellent rescue organization here: Barb’s Dog Rescue.  I had read about it a few years ago on a blog.  We met people here in this park who go there to volunteer and they are also fostering a dog in their RV.  They invited us to join them.  I really want to; however, with Daisy’s weakened immune system, we can’t this year.  We will definitely help out if we are back this way next year.  For this year, we can only make food donations.  Thank you to Barb and all the volunteers.

We plan to stay one more week, and then we are heading back north. It’s hard to believe that it will be March on Thursday. Many RVers are already heading back to their home States and Provinces. We won’t be heading back that quickly.

Don’t Feed the Coyotes

After we left the Chinook rally, we headed to Ajo and Why, Arizona. Our plan was to meet Ted and Dona in Why and cross the border together on February 11, 2018.

At the Chinook rally, Karen and Kenny told us about a vintage trailer rally that was happening in Why at Coyote Howls East campground. We made it on Saturday evening, but everyone pulled out on Sunday morning, so we didn’t meet anyone, but we did see some beautiful units (too dark for pictures).

Here is one that stuck around after the event:


We set out early Sunday afternoon to buy our Mexican vehicle insurance. At the Why gas station (insurance provider), we were told our Chinook was too old (It’s a 2002, and I guess, in the Mexican world, that’s vintage), so we had to go back to Ajo to buy insurance. Off we went.

In Ajo, we found the insurance company, but the cost for 2 weeks would be almost $400 US! This was way out of our budget. We had until 4:30 to decide before the office closed. However, we couldn’t contact Ted and Dona or Donna Dee to say we would be backing out. We tried to find wifi all over town. There was a campground across from the IGA, so we asked if we could log in briefly because we were getting desperate. They refused!

The IGA helped us out, and gave us their password. Paul tried and tried to contact Ted and Dona, but they were out of range too, so they didn’t get any of our messages. It just so happened that we looked up and saw the “Party Bus” (Ted and Dona’s Airstream motorhome) carrying all our friends that they had picked up at the airport: Joe & Carla, Jane & Garry, Susan & Chris. Off we were, down the highway trying to catch up!

We met up at the Why gas station, where Ted just put liability on the motorhome. It truly is vintage, and insurance is astronomical. Joe had picked up Daisy’s medications in Saskatoon, and delivered them to us. We honestly didn’t think she’d live this long, but as I’ve said before, Arizona has been good to her. We were so thankful to Joe!


At the gas station, you’ll find this “don’t feed the coyotes” sign. We were mocking it because we hadn’t heard any coyotes the previous night. In Saskatchewan, you aren’t camping if you don’t hear coyotes. Well, I learned my lesson about mocking signs. When I went to put the girls back in the motorhome, there was a coyote lurking! He was stalking us. Donna Dee had just let little Tonto scamper about, and the coyote had been watching and salivating. He kept creeping closer to the motorhome, and then backing away. He was so skinny and mangy. He didn’t look like a healthy Saskatchewan coyote. No one would want his fur on a winter parka hood.

Coyote Howls East campground is dry-camping only but there are water spigots and shower houses.  The price was reasonable — $9/night.


Early that evening, a coyote walked past our campsite while we were preparing dinner.  That night, things picked up!  There were coyotes yipping everywhere!  The campground was alive!  Coyotes are bilingual, and one was trying to mimic a dog to lure the girls out.  I made them hold “it” until morning.

I was not going to feed the coyotes.

Make a Run for the Border!

On January 2, Jim and Marietta dropped by around noon to see if we wanted to run into Los Algondones, Mexico.  Heck, yeah!

Los Algodones is really close to Yuma, and it is a destination for medical tourism.  There are lots of advertisements for doctors and dentists here in Yuma, but they are located in Los Algodones.  Jim needed new lenses for his glasses and an eye exam.  The eye exam is free when you get new lenses or a whole new set of glasses and lenses.  Deal!

We drove to the parking lot at the border (Winterhaven, CA) and just walked across.  How simple is that?  The parking lot is run by the Quechan tribe, and it costs $6/day for cars to park, and I think around $12/day for RVs.  On any given day, the parking lot is pretty full.  The Quechan tribe also has a nearby casino which allows overnight parking for RVs.


The streets are lined with offices of dentists, physicians, optometrists, and pharmacies.  Also, you have to navigate the street vendors peddling their wares — their many many wares.  I must admit that if I had more room, one or two pottery bowls might have made their way into my bag.  Instead, we settled on my practical items, like tequila and fresh shrimp packed in ice from Puerto Peñasco.


There aren’t many street dogs in Los Algodones.  I saw this little cutie sunning herself, but as soon as I took out my camera, she toddled over.  Then, her buddy saw and joined her.  I don’t think they were street dogs.  They were just highly trained snack hounds.

Medical tourism is for the dogs, too.  We met a man on a bench holding his little dog as the anaesthetic wore off.  The dog had just had his teeth cleaned.  He said his two girl-dogs’ teeth stay clean with bones, but his boy-dog’s teeth don’t.  The cleaning was about $90.

A dentist recommended a good restaurant to us, but when we saw that the prices were what we would pay in the US or Canada, we opted for street food.  We had seen one vendor earlier, and went back.  It was a great choice.  We each had 2 tacos and a drink for a total of $4.50.  That’s what I’m talking about!


We cooked up the shrimp for dinner.  Look at the size!


In addition to tequila, Paul also bought this bottle of mystery alcohol.  A local told him that they add it to a concoction of unpasteurized milk, coffee and hot chocolate.  A 1/2 liter only costs $0.68!  Well, how does it taste?  According to Paul, “Not bad.”  He doesn’t think it is very high in alcohol, even though the bottle says 24%.


We are leaving Yuma today and heading to Quartzite for the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR).  It is an event organized by Bob Wells.  Bob has an informative YouTube channel on how to live full-time on the road.  His website is  A few days ago, we were pulling into Wal-Mart, and we saw a van that looked like Bob’s.  It was Bob’s van, and he was lashing his bike to his carrier.  We got to meet him and talk to him briefly.  I was so happy.  We don’t think we will get to talk to him at the RTR because about 1000 units are expected.

We will be boondocking on the desert for about 2 weeks, so I won’t be able to update my blog until after the event.