From Mazatlán we left our campsite on the beach at Mar Rosa RV at 7:00 AM. Larry and Linda had interrogated all the resident campers at the RV stop and could not get a definitive answer as to how to get out of Mazatlán and on to the autopista. The autopista is also called the quota or the toll road. With Larry in the lead we headed north in the direction of the marinas. We made good progress for a while and then we could see Larry hanging out his window asking directions about every six blocks. The people are real nice, so nice that they almost always try to give you directions, even if they don’t know what they are talking about. We got farther north and deeper into the neighborhood section of the newer part of Mazatlán. Finally after 50 minutes Larry asks a fellow who was friends with a taxi driver, who lead us through some tight streets and onto the autopista.
Mazatlán was in our mirrors and we were heading through Tepic over the mountains past Guadalajara and to a campground in Villa Corona. That sounds so easy, drive over the mountains and into Villa Corona. I have found that things that you think are going to be easy never really turn out that way. You always have something added to the mix that makes your travels exciting.
The highway over the mountains was four lanes, no shoulder, 60 mile per hour asphalt. They were steep and winding. Then you add lots of tourist busses, heavy car traffic and finally the coup de grau; sugar cane harvest trucks. Have you ever seen a sugar cane harvest truck? Visualize a huge Mack truck with a flatbed on back the size of a football field. Add racks that extend up twelve feet. Then cram as much sugar cane into the back that it bulge’s the rack and extends another five feet into the air above them. That my friend, is a classic diesel spewing cane truck. It is the middle of harvest and there were a million of them.
Imagine driving with all the traffic mentioned above and then add the Mexico factor and that is a great description of our trip from Tepic to Guadalajara. Driving the outskirts of Guadalajara was a picnic once we had raced over the mountains!
We arrived in Villa Corona and found the Chimolcu RV and thermal pool resort. This little hideaway was very pretty and quiet. Everyone there came by and welcomed us. The only downer was that the thermal pools were closed for the night when we got there and set up, that would have to wait until the morning.
We had our meal under the stars and then took hot showers. The entire hot water system of this resort is siphoned off the thermal springs. You could stay in the shower for hours and no one would yell at you.
The last chore of the night was to take Kobi out so that he could do his duty before bedtime. During the evening there had been quite a bit of fireworks booming throughout the city of Villa Corona. This week, all over Mexico, the people are celebrating Guadalupe. As part of these festivities loud booming rockets are set off every evening and early morning. This is a call to worship for the Catholic Mexicans and an annoyance to everyone else. Needless to say, Kobi hates this and spent the evening under our little dinner table.
The evening had quieted down and Linda and I took Kobi over to an area that he had relieved himself earlier in hopes that he would relieve himself quickly so we could go to bed. We stood there and Linda looked at me and said, “I’m going to let him off.” As she said and did that, I swung the flashlight to the left and caught some movement out of the corner of the light. Kobi saw the movement too and the second Linda released him, he shot that direction and was gone. I shouted “SKUNK” and Linda ran directly at the poor critter and Kobi. Our dog has a problem with judging his attacks and he shot past the skunk. He turned and as he did I whistled. For some reason he came running back where I could grab him. The skunk had rolled right and headed for a tree. Linda came up a bit short of the commotion and scrambled back towards me. We could smell skunk but did not know at that point whether Linda or Kobi was hit.
Linda ran to the camper and grabbed anything she could think of to naturalize the skunk spray. I dragged Kobi directly to a water hose and started washing him. I used hand soap from a nearby bathroom and suds him up good. By the way, the water from the outside hose was warm thermal spring’s water so Kobi got a warm bath that night too!
Once everything had calmed down and we were able to assess the damage we found that neither Linda nor Kobi had been hit directly by the skunk. In fact Kobi had not been hit at all. Linda must have gotten a drop or two on her pants because when we returned to the camper we could smell it and she had to put her pants in a bag outside. We were so lucky! We use so much karma on that one encounter that for the rest of the drive I let people pass me and cut in front of me all they wanted.
I would like to say we fell asleep right away that night but it took al long time to unwind and get past the skunk incident. Our final leg of the journey awaited us in the morning.