Inspired by so much canine joy, I opened a bottle of Pacifico beer and attempted to take a pre-smartphone selfie by using my camera’s ten-second timer. For better or worse, the shutter opened split seconds after I had slipped off the wet rocks. Note the beer bottle’s fate… I got away with a bloody bruise on my elbow and the realization that ‘pretty good’ sometimes is good enough.
We were the only tourists aboard the San Jorge; everyone else drove large commercial lorries. We also were lucky to be directed to a spot covered by the ship’s bridge. The sun was burning down, and I wouldn’t have known how to keep Harry and la bestia cool otherwise.
Noticing that many of the truckers were drinking beer even though the galley didn’t sell any, I asked one of the guys where they got it from. I was instantly invited to join two of them in their air-conditioned cab where we enjoyed Tecate, smoked cigars and discussed politics and–of course–soccer.
The sun set soon after we had passed La Paz. Unfortunately, what had initially been a blessing turned out to be curse: covered by the ship’s superstructure and surrounded by massive trucks–several of which had their engines running to power their ACs–la bestia stayed so warm that it was impossible to sleep inside. I eventually took out Harry’s crate, repositioned it on the ship’s forward deck, and put my air mattress right next to it. We managed to fall asleep after getting used to the movement and noise.
Despite the one-hour delay, we arrived in Mazatlan almost on schedule and drove right into the foggy and steamy city. I immediately noticed the Chihuahua-style pick-up trucks with heavily armed and fully cloaked police officers driving up and down the Malecon. I understand that they are part of a show of force by the state, but for some reason they did not really make me feel safer…
We had a good breakfast (chilaquiles verdes with two fried eggs, fruit salad and fresh orange juice), filled up the tank and then drove southeast on the cuota (toll) highway. We were stopped once by a federal police unit but, to my relief, merely got complimented (chingon!) on my Spanish.
As I wasn’t sure where to find a campground for the night, I decided to leave the highway mid-afternoon to look for one. It so happened that we were near the town of Tequila, famous for the agave liquor that was reputedly first produced here.
We reached Delia’s Trailer Park before sunset. It really isn’t a trailer park but rather a well cared-for grassy lot with lots of trees. The bathroom is tiled and has a clean shower, and there’s WiFi. Most important: since Etzatlan is at 4,600ft (1.400m), there are barely any mosquitoes, and the temperature went down to a blissful 55F (13C). Finally a good night’s sleep!
… the owners have four rescue dogs: two adorable Weimaraners (pictured), one tiny German Shepherd — and “Three-Legs,” a recently adopted mutt who, following a car accident, had to get one of his front legs amputated. He’s happily hopping around on his remaining three. Watching the dogs play and doze in the shade together has been a wonderful afternoon “activity.”