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Mexico Roadtrip in Photos: Mexico Northbound

We did our first overnight on the northbound leg in Los Mochis. We did not have an AirBnB or a hotel in mind. Instead, we used the internet to find a few places that allowed dogs…but when we got there, we discovered they were all located in the heart of a concrete jungle with at least a dozen dogs running around in the streets. The thought of dealing with a middle-of-the-night bathroom emergency immediately made us veto those options. We instead decided to try out a ‘love motel’ near the freeway.

These motels are typically along the highway, have high walls surrounding them and individual garages (per room) for security and privacy. Their role in Mexican society is two-fold: Provide a place for young married couples (who often live in households with big extended families) a place to go for privacy; and enable people to have affairs with discretion. We LOVED our love motel. We pulled into our garage, shut it behind us, unpacked the dogs and their gear and SPREAD out. Look at how much room we had! When we showered the next morning, we were pleased to discover hot, high pressure water and luxurious bath towels. In terms of modern amenities, this room was better than any of our AirBnBs. If we could find one with a kitchenette and a small yard, maybe we would use these exclusively next time. Cost – about $10.

Dinner – My soup was fantastic!

And Brian enjoyed his meal as well.

And of course, dessert! Okay United States, time to get your act together. This is a generalization, but the pastries in Mexico were largely superior to what we have in the states. And way more affordable too.

During our second morning on the road, we stopped at a small coffee shop and ordered coffees and breakfast.

The coffee was pretty bad, but Brian enjoyed his sandwich. I was thrilled to order a bagel with cream cheese.

Until I opened my container…hahahaha.

We stopped along the highway for lunch. We had learned our lesson on the drive down – no more starving ourselves until we hit a major city. We stopped at a small establishment along the road that had two buses parked at it and was PACKED. Nobody spoke English. We managed to order three tacos each.

Perhaps the staff sensed our discomfort in sitting at the overstuffed communal tables. They opened a side door and invited us to dine in the adjoining dining room – apparently a space reserved for the bus drivers and staff. The two drivers were eating together and watching a soap opera. We definitely got the sense that the people working the restaurant saw white people…..just about never.

After arriving in Hermosillo, we used Google maps to find a green space where we could walk and feed the dogs. There was a tall mountain/hillside in the center of the city that had a lookout at the top. About halfway up, we parked the car, and kind of scaled down the cliff at the edge of the road. It kind of appeared that the area was off limits but we also got the sense that nobody cared. 

Hilltop photo time!

Some beautiful clouds

We ate dinner at the fanciest restaurant ever. Maybe even fancier than the one in Tepic. More high ceilings with liquor and wine. Another example of 3-4 staff members per table.

The food was AMAZING. After discovering how small the calamari came out, we realized we probably should have ordered a second steak. Oh well, more room for dessert. This rib eye was the best steak we had ever had. The black sauce was to die for. Cost for just the stake – $300 pesos or about $17.

Once again, the flan was amazing. The brownie thing was good. My ONLY problem with this place was the bottled water thing. I ordered a ‘water in glass’ and we were give two GLASS bottles of water. Damn it! Also, each bottle was only eight ounces and they appeared on the bill as $3 (American dollars) each! What! Who pays $6 for 16 ounces of water. (We decided that one thing we would do on our next trip was speak to a semi-English speaking local and learn how to order regular, ‘tap’ water.) SIX DOLLARS!

We stayed at another love motel. This one was not quite as roomy but it had a much larger garage AND a private grass yard inside the garage (perfect for dogs). We had two beds, a big bathroom and a large walk-in shower. The AC was strong and there was plenty of room to stretch out. I think we spent about $20 at this one – possibly because we were in a major city.

If you look back to our first love motel, you may notice a small laminated ‘menu’ in the first picture. These menus list ‘objects’ you can purchase that the main office will then deliver to your door. They present your purchase to you on little spin-dial wall devices (as shown here) so that they cannot see who you are and you cannot see them. I know it seems a little far out, but these establishments are actually pretty cool. They’re clean, secure and allow pets. If you have kids, then the rooms give you more space to spread out. And they accept credit cards.

We were at the border a little later than desired – largely due to leaving late and then needing more time than expected at the aduana station. The officer had to scape off the sticker and go through some paperwork with us. Then the other office – where we got our visitor cards – had its own process. By the time we reached the border, the wait was about 15-20 minutes. Not too bad. Once again, nobody asked about dogs and we did not have to present our paperwork. Here is a grasshopper we found shortly after.

And FINALLY, the last photo. We stopped at Game Management Unit 34B again, coming full circle, and had a lovely walk. The first half of the trip seemed to pass in slow motion and the second half flew by in the blink of an eye. The food was delightful, the Spanish practice fun and the people gracious and kind. It was a wonderful trip and we plan on roadtripping in Mexico again.
(And now that we are finally caught up, more than two months after our return, I can finally start posting about what we have recently been up to.)

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