Monday, 22 September 2008


Van, Trains, Buses, and Taxis. The title of a new comedy staring Barrie and Sandra Letts.

Day1: Our trip started with the Marina Real van to San Carlos, the kamikaze local bus to Guaymas (talk about white knuckles), two intercity buses to Los Mochis, arrived at 5 pm, taxi to train station to pick up tickets; station closed at 12:30 pm as it was Saturday; train station in middle of NOWWHERE; taxi back to Los Mochis; took intercity bus to El Forte.

Day 2: Taxi to train station (again in the middle of NOWHERE); wait 1.5 hours for train; wonderful, but slow due to washouts from TS Lowell, train trip to Chihuahua; taxi to hotel (driver rips us off for an extra $20 US).

The return trip was slightly better, but the first taxi in Los Mochis dropped us off at the wrong bus station, requiring another taxi ride at an extra cost of $5 US. The bus on the way back from Los Mochis to Guaymas was stopped by 3 (yes three) road blocks, two for army searches for drugs and one for controlled agricultural products.

Local travel in Mexico is an adventure. We later read our guide book and found that we could have avoided the extra taxi rides by reading it first. Go figure. We always, always read our Marine Cruising Guides before going. I guess we will start reading the land ones before we go as well.

The route and train.

Sandra and Barrie on the way to Chihuahua. Sandra and her mom Loretta on the return trip.

A few of the spectacular views.

Local natives selling their crafts. We bought two baskets from this woman, for the asking price of $2.50 US each.

The Canyon views at the summit.

Full moon rising as on the way to Chihuahua.

September 8th to 12th, 2008 - SAN CARLOS

The Tetas de Cabra (Goat's Tits) mountain welcomes us to San Carlos. The harbour is full and busy. The only "low rent" type of waterfront dwelling I saw in San Carlos. Tropical Storm "Lowell" is on the way so we moved to Marina Real.

The storm center went south of San Carlos (to Los Mochis) so all we got was a bit of rain. The rain brought out all the desert flowers.

Barracuda Bob's, the cruiser's meeting place in San Carlos. Coffee,light meals, laundry and Internet all in one place! There is a God.

September 5th to 7th, 2008 - PUNTA CHIVATO & SANA ROSALIA

Chivato Bay. We arrived in the early evening and left in the early morning. I slept on deck and awoke just in time to catch the sun rise. The resort in the pictures appeared to be closed, as we only saw what looked like security persons on site.

We pass the gypsum mining operations on Isla San Marcos.

The mining town of Santa Rosalia. Views of the marina and harbour. (Passat II is the first boat, in the sun, on the left.) This was a major copper mining town, owned for years by a french company. The french influence includes wood buildings and a metal church, designed by Gustav Eiffel (as in the Eiffel Tower Eiffel), built in France for an international exposition, then and shipped to the town from France. A Rotary bench caught my eye. We took a guided sunset tour of the graveyard.

Note: A Canadian mining company, Baja Mining Corp, is planning to reopen the mine starting this year. They are at on the web.

August 31st to September 4th, 2008 - BAHA CONCEPTION

Bahia Conception is the largest anchorage on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja. We power sail into the bay, with beauty on the bow. We are greeted by a pod of porpoises as we enter the bay. The anchorages are ideal for most weather conditions. The bay is home to Gaery the weather guru on the HAM net. With Don (the Guru on the Marine nets) they are the most reliable sources of weather information for the Mexican coast. Geary allowed us access to his satellite Internet (thx again). Geary lost a part of his palapa sand floor in TS Julio, but it did not "dampen" his spirit for long. All was "ship shape" by the time we arrived.