Day 2 - Mazatlan
After another late start at about 10 we left Guaymas for Mazatlan. If I had to do this again, I would skip Guaymas, start earlier, and easily make Navajoa the first night. A modern town, many nice but reasonable hotels right on Mexico 15. Then, the second night The (world famoso) Shrimp Bucket in Mazatlan and an ocean front room at the Hotel Siesta (Jack Kerouac slept here). You would arrive early enough to enjoy the long Malecon (or Paseo as it's called). Happy Hour at The Shrimp Bucket from 4 - 9; and then live entertainment (two classical guitars and a base fiddle) starting at 8PM. Not a bad way to end the day..
The drive continued to be effortless and hassle-free, We steadily made speeds of 60-70 and I was rocketing along at 80 per for awhile until Shelley told me to slow down. The toll road is very good, although they had it down to two lanes in places where they were repaving the other side. I even saw a stretch of US -style poured concrete roadway. The posted speed limit is 110 KPH although traffic was flowing closer to 70. There was no police presence on the toll road, and perhaps two road blocks where we were waved through by smiling officers.
The Sinaloa countryside is beautiful now,, some crops coming to harvest, some earth freshly plowed, some new plantings and hundreds of acres of green houses. Rich soil and abundant water. This is an area where they probably get two crops a year. The temp was in the mid 70's, and is still over 70 as I write this. We saw everything from lettuce to soy beans, avocados and citrus, and a LOT of corn and tomatoes. The fields run on as far as the eye can see.
I had one humorous encounter with a gentleman and his wife from Minnesota. We met at the Scotia bank in Navajoa changing money. He was a little disgruntled with his Mexico experience, first; he was put off because the toll roads would not take dollars, only moneda national; and second, that he had to pay over $300 to import his vehicle! I explained to him that the $300 was only a deposit, a hold on the CC, and that the money is refunded when the vehicle leaves Mexico. He was on his way to Puerto Vallarta, but had stopped at Rocky Point (north Sea of Cortez), and had missed KM 21. He was subsequently stopped, and had to backtrack to KM21 to do his paperwork. You can bring your vehicle as far as Guaymas without any paperwork, and can travel without tourist cards to that point as well.
So far, so good. If we can manage to get up tomorrow morning, we will easily make Guadalajara by tomorrow evening.