Our trek to Mazatlan and Celestino RV park


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-12-2008

Our next destination was Mazatlan, a whopping 430 miles south. Ken studied various websites and it seemed we could make the trek in 7 ½ hours. So we decided to go for it and drive it in one day. This plan would have worked well except for the fact that it was the Sunday before Christmas and thousands of Mexican/Americans were heading down south for the holidays along with us. We took the toll roads whenever available and these toll plazas are plentiful. Instead of moving swiftly through these toll plazas, it took us over an HOUR at some of them due to the high volume of travelers. It was like following Santa and his sleigh full of presents from the states. Each car and truck was packed to the HILT (and I mean UP and OVER the top) with bikes, remote control cars and just about anything else they could stuff into their small spaces, living little breathing room for passengers. The lines were so long at the tolls that people were getting out of their cars to stretch and chat with people in other vehicles. It was something else!

Obviously our hopes for a 7 ½ hour trek evaporated and we found ourselves driving PAST sunset, something we really didn’t want to do. As we closed in on Mazatlan, we missed the turn for the toll road (me bad!) and headed onto the “libre” road (free road). Oh my gosh. It was like someone turned off the lights (and I mean our headlights weren’t helping much either) and put us onto a road with craters. People were freely walking across the highway and we knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore! Ken managed to make his way over to a turn lane and we did a big U turn, heading quickly back to the toll road. It was a disarming experience and we now know, first hand, why everyone tells us to stay on the toll road, at least at night!

When we hopped back on the toll road, I was a very vigilant co pilot for the rest of the way. When we finally reach KM 78 (the exit for the RV park), we were SO happy. It was so darn dark (where is that moonlight when you need it!?) and we manuvered off the DIRT off ramp, driving through the very small town of Celestino and past a very festive event.  Seemed some twin girls (we were later to find out their identities) were celebrating their 15thbirthday, a big event in Mexico. After we passed the party and turned onto the 2.3 KM dirt road to our RV park. We arrived about 8PM and we were immediately greeted by several people. They were SO friendly and helpful and we really appreciated a kind English speaking face after the 13 hour haul. They helped us get settled and we all fell asleep quickly!

When we awoke, we knew we had reached paradise. We had NO idea of our surroundings, having arrived in the dark. People from the various camp spots came out to greet us and we felt like we were home. Ken and I walked down to the beach with our coffee mugs, something which would become our morning routine. The kids were so happy to reach a beach with water warm enough to swim in. We all just laid around all day on the sand, happy to have made a safe journey to this heavenly place.

 A daily routine in the RV park was to gather at the gazebo area to watch the sunset over the ocean each evening.  The sunset was a great excuse for a happy hour and we fully embraced this new routine! The people at this RV park, many of whom are Canadians, are some of the neatest people we have ever met. . .very friendly, open and just good people. Anyone willing to make the trek and step outside their comfort zone to head south the Mexico interests us and we find all these wonderful people to be very engaging.  Many have lived in other countries, including Africa and have travelled to places such as Thailand and Panama. 

We were all quite excited about the idea of spending Christmas in Mexico.  Poohnut was concerned how Santa would find us but I assured her that, when I mailed her Christmas wish list, I informed Santa of our address for delivery.  We opened the doors of the advent calendar each night and each night the kids found a piece of chocolate.  As Christmas approached, the doors included notes with a clue where to find a little present in the RV.  It was a lot of fun. 

While we were still in the States, the kids each spent $10 of their  own money to buy little presents for the children in Mexico.  On Christmas eve day, we set out to the small town of Celestino in search for recipients of these gifts.  We found many children running throughout the dirt streets.  Our kids each wore a Santa hat and jumped out when they saw a child.  One little boy, about 4 years old, was SO happy and RAN back to show his mother.  So cute!    There were more children than presents so we came back to the RV searching for other goodies to hand out.  It was great for the kids to see that not everyone has an IPOD and that many have VERY little.  They also saw that these children were very happy, showing them that “stuff” isn’t where happiness is found. 

The kids made a beautiful gingerbread house and it was amazing they didn’t eat all the parts.  It was tempting!   We watched the Santa tracker on the internet and the kids went to sleep on Christmas eve with visions of sugar cane dancing in their heads!

We awoke Christmas morning to find the stockings filled to the brim and a big white bag outside, tied with a red ribbon.  Oh the excitement and joy!!  The unwrapping process was paced nicely as the kids each wanted to open one present at a time (unlike the mayhem of years gone by!).  They got lots of fun things, including games for their various techno gadgets and other fun stuff.

At 2PM, we all walked down to the gazebo on the beach for a Christmas pot luck.   We bought a big yummy ham in the States and Ken prepared it nicely for the potluck.  There was so many delicious dishes and the kids were in food heaven!  Nikki exclaimed, “This is the best Christmas ever!” which really warmed my heart.  This, from the girl who also speaks of moving back into a “stick house”  on a weekly basis.  Her actions speak louder than her words! 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! 

Comments (1)

I sure do miss those Celestino Sunset gatherings and Ken’s delicious hors d’oeuvres!!

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