Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving the Coast Another Try

We headed down to the coast again, passing through Autlan de Navarro. It is home to around 60,000 people. Autlan's claim to fame is being the home town of Carlos Santana.  Scott happily took some obligatory photos next to the guitar monument on Carlos Santana Avenue.  We parked for the night at a roadside restaurant, and walked into town.  Scott was hoping to find some musical entertainment in the town square.  No music, just some cool cowboy boots (see below).

Inscribed on the guitar: "Autlan de Navarro de Santana"

As we drove down from 7200 feet, the temperature slowly changed from cool and refreshing to hot and humid. We spent 3 nights at the coast hoping to find some surfing.  The surfing didn't pan out, so we happily started the 6 hour drive back up into the mountains.

Roadside fruit stop

By this time, we had learned our lesson about the toll roads in Mexico.  They are reputed to be the most expensive in the world.  I haven't checked this fact.  After our arrival to Mazatlan, we jumped on the toll road and drove about 130 miles south, only to find the total toll to be $27!  We are not in a hurry.  No matter how bad our gas mileage is, that kind of cost is not justified.  So, we haven't used the toll roads since.  The free roads pass very near the toll roads, but go through the little towns, and sometimes climb up and over the hills rather than passing through them.

We had to pass 6 of these painfully slow trucks.
The price you pay for taking the free roads

Modern lighting at this historical church

Our final destination was Tapalpa.  Tapalpa is a charming little colonial town. There are several well-preserved churches and a lively town square. It's a bit touristy, but the targets are Mexican tourists rather than Gringos. We happened to arrive in the evening of the Dia de la Revolucion. Not aware of that, the booming overnight fireworks (think gunshots) were a bit concerning. The next day, we were treated to the sight of boys dressed up with mustaches and girls with Mexican flag skirts.  Viva la Revolucion!

Dressed up for Dia de la Revolucion

Pictures from November

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