Wednesday, February 26, 2020

OUR LAST RV TRIP IN MÉXICO AND WHY! New Travel Plans

Ready to Leave the Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park
     We’ve been RVing in México since early 2000—over 20 years! We loved the adventures we had motorhoming through México!
     So, why are we finished RVing? My Mexican Temporary Residency Visa (Visa de residencia temporal or RT) expires February 28, 2020. That means we had a big decision to make regarding our motorhome. Here were our choices and why:
1.     If we wanted to keep our Arizona registered motorhome and drive it in México, I would need to obtain another Temporary Residency Visa. By law, once I become a Permanent Resident, I can no longer drive a foreign-plated vehicle in México. So, I could let my RT Visa expire, fly to Tucson, AZ and apply at the Mexican Consulate for a new Temporary Residency Visa, good for one year. Before the new RT expired in one year, I would need to apply in México for the next Visa—a 3-year Temporary Residency Visa. All of this requires quite a lot of money, time, and hassle.
2.     We could “nationalize” our motorhome, registering it in México. Then Jon and I, as Permanent Residents could legally drive it in México. This is a very expensive process, including fees of over 10% of the value of the motorhome plus attorney’s fees.
3.     Before my Temporary Residency Visa expired, we could drive the motorhome back to Arizona, sell it, and fly home. This would need to be done quickly if I wanted to apply for my Permanent Residency Visa (Mexican Visa de Residente Permanente), as my application had to be submitted to the Mexican government before February 28, 2020, when my RT expires. (Jon has had his Permanent Residency Visa for four years.)
     We decided on option number 3. A quick trip to the Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park to clean out the motorhome, so we could take the personal items we wanted to keep back home to Sayulita. Then, we each packed a suitcase, Bella, our dachshund, and an extra-large duffle bag to haul our remaining gear home on the airplane. After all, I couldn't leave my sweatshirts and gloves I would use in the cool winter Tucson weather and Jon couldn’t leave his precious air-compressor and toolbox!
RV Kitchen Emptied of Coffee Maker, Towels, Pots and Pans
     On Friday, January 24, we left Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park and drove the 320 miles to Trailer Park Las Jaibas in Mazatlán. We drove by way of Santa Maria del Oro, Nayarit, a little longer route that avoids the town of Xalisco, Nayarit. We have always loved Mazatlán but, WOW, has it changed rapidly in the past five years with condominium and residential construction! San Fernando RV Park and Las Jaibas Trailer Park have sold large sections of their properties to building contractors. New home construction is shrinking these two RV parks until they will eventually close. It appears that we are finishing RVing in Mexico at the right time as there are fewer RV Parks each year.
Sunset at Las Jaibas RV Park in Mazatlán

     This may be the last time we visit Mazatlán, one of our favorite cities! We decided to spend the weekend there and enjoy a visit to a few special hangouts. Saturday night, we bussed to Old Town, then walked through the plaza, admiring historical buildings and gardens. 
Beautiful Wall of Bougainvillea in Old Town Mazatlán
     We were amazed at the gorgeous "bougainvillea wall" we saw and tried to figure out how they had planted it on the back-side of the wall, allowed it to grow over the top and down the front of the wall, then pruned it flush without eliminating its blossoms. We wanted to duplicate it at our home!

     Saturday evening, we planned to listen to music by Rob Lamonica during dinner at Macaw’s Bar and Bistro but, though we arrived early, every table was already reserved. 
      So, we headed to Water’s Edge Bistro and enjoyed romantic tunes by Tanya Carrum Semoloni and a wonderful meal in a cozy atmosphere. Tanya's music at Water's Edge was a pleasant contrast to her lively performances at La Catrina Restaurant and Cantina.
     The next day, lunch at Tony’s on the Beach fulfilled our desire for a view of the ocean, people watching, and a taste of pescado empanizado.
Tanya Carrum at Water's Edge Bistro

     The second leg of our trip north was from Mazatlán, Sinaloa to Playa Huatabampito, Sonora, a 360-mile route with some slow country roads. Luckily, we got an early start because we had a dreaded delay on Mexico Hwy 15D north of Culiacán, Sinaloa—a flat tire on an inside back dual. I was driving when the EEZ-Tire pressure indicator started sounding its alarm that we had trouble. I quickly pulled over at the next SOS box, though we never had to test it to call for help.
Jon and His Helpers Changing and Airing Up the RV Tire
         We were a little nervous when three guys on motorcycles stopped--but they just wanted to help Jon change the tire. Jon got a lot of moral support, some good-humored laughter about changing a tire at his age (70 years old!), and some muscle to lift the tires. It only cost us three Diet Cokes and 300 pesos (about $16 US). We were grateful for the company and the help. We've learned the value of keeping the fridge stocked with Coca-Cola while on the road in México. 
El Mirador Hotel Restaurante & RV Park
     We made it to El Mirador Hotel Restaurante & RV Park in Playa Huatabampito just before sunset. The RV Park was the fullest we have ever seen it—we were surprised until we realized we had never been there during the winter. In the past, we were often the only RVers there because we arrived in June or July as we headed to the U.S. for the summer, or in October or November as we headed south to Puerto Vallarta. Apparently, it’s a snowbird destination.

     We decided to bypass our usual stop at Totonaka RV Park in San Carlos in order to overnight closer to the Mexican border. The third leg of our trip was 335 miles to Punta Vista RV Park in Santa Ana. The next day we had an easy 135-mile drive, crossing the México border at Nogales, and arriving in Tucson, AZ in time to buy groceries and settle in at Far Horizons RV Resort.
Tucson Temperature was Below Freezing in February!
     It was time to seriously market our motorhome—we needed to sell it and get home in time for my February 19 appointment to apply for my Permanent Residency Visa. We tried Craig’s List, RV Trader, and window signs. After two weeks of enduring the cool weather in Tucson (it was so cold at night they were covering the plants), we decided to consign our 28’ Diesel Class C Triple E motorhome with RV Arizona Consignment Specialists. Diesel Class C Motorhomes, like ours, are hard to find in the U.S. Made in Canada, it's tough, has a powerful engine, and gets great mileage!
Diesel Triple E Regency 28' Motorhome is Now For Sale 

     After we delivered our beloved motorhome to RV Arizona Consignment Specialists and signed the paperwork, we called Uber to take us to a motel. We felt sad to leave our RV behind—it had been our “on-the-road-home” for many adventures. But we also felt excitement about beginning a new style of travel. First step, flying home to México. February 17, just two days before my appointment to apply for my Mexican Visa de Residente Permanente, we flew from Tucson to Puerto Vallarta.
Bella in Her Pet Carrier Patiently Awaiting Inspection

     Our airport experience with Bella in PV was much easier than the one we had in 2017. Though the new information being disseminated states that a pet Health Certificate is not required to bring a pet into México, I wasn’t taking any chances on a repeat of being held up at the airport the way we were in 2017. The week prior to our departure, I had Bella’s vet in Tucson prepare a Health Certificate exactly as SAGARPA specified to me that year. It worked perfectly—the inspector studied the health certificate, I told him we lived here, and he signed off Bella’s SENASICA Zoosanitario Para Importación Certificate without even examining her!
     So, how will we explore México now? How will we travel now that we don’t have an RV or a car? We can’t get beyond the jungles surrounding Sayulita in our golf cart! That is for travel stories to come. We’ll fly, bus, Uber, boat, taxi, join a tour group... we’re open for suggestions. We have many new travel adventures ahead!
A Novel that Contrasts Life in the U.S. to that in México
     Jake and Lindsay fell in love with each other in Oregon. After years of battling the stress of life in the United States, consequences in the form of health issues and a strain on their relationship resulted in their search for a simpler, healthier life. Moving to México was the beginning of their healing life change.


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Terry L Turrell, Amazon Author

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5 comments:

  1. I highly recommend using the ADO buses to travel in Mexico! Of course, you can fly as well, and should if there are "iffy" areas you'd prefer to avoid by bus, but ADO does a great job, and now that Uber is more common in Mexico, that's a good adjunct if you get off at the ADO station and need a ride to your lodging. We traveled from Chetumal to Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, and other spots when we were living in Belize, all on ADO buses.

    Best of luck with your RV sale. It sounds like a unique unit so should find a buyer soon, with travel season right around the corner in the US!

    OH, and I love that bougainvillea wall as well. So clever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your recommendation about ADO buses. It looks like they travel mostly in southern Mexico.
      I always appreciate your comments, Emily. Hope all is well with you.
      Terry

      Delete
  2. Thanks for your recommendation about ADO buses. It looks like they travel mostly in southern Mexico.
    I always appreciate your comments, Emily. Hope all is well with you.
    Terry

    ReplyDelete