Mazatlán to Guadalajara

After spending some more time in Mazatlan, I hit the road on my way to Mexico D.F.  I spent a few hours on the beach on the way in Teacapan, drinking some coconut water from one I picked up in the supermercado.

The road to San Blas definitely reminded me that I am now in the tropics.  There were palms, bright flowers, colorful birds, banana plants, cocoa plantations, and I think I saw a dead monkey on the side of the road. The road signs around San Blas seem to be in need of saving from being overrun by the jungle.

I arrived in San Blas just in time for the sunset.  After enjoying it, I found a cheap hotel, cooked a quesadilla, and then wandered around the town.  There was a migratory bird festival going on, which happened to feature a really bad ‘rock’ band from Guadalajara.

In the morning, I wandered around the beach and then hit the road out of town to see the mangroves and other beaches.  I decided to take a boat tour through the mangroves to see birds, crocodiles, and a spring.  When we arrived at the spring, I saw that it was actually a place to swim–it even was fenced off to prevent crocodiles from entering.  I didn’t bring my bathing suit, but I couldn’t resist the crystal clear water…. and rope swing.  I decided to go for it and just swim in my boxers.  It was definitely worth it.

After the boat trip, I wandered around a different beach and decided to go for one last swim in the ocean–probably won’t be able to do it in Europe for the next month or so.  After my swim, I found out that my watch isn’t really waterproof to 50 meters–not even to 5 centimeters.

After drying off, I hit the road and soon found a 3rd great road.  So far, I’ve enjoyed driving from the redwoods to the ocean in California, driving through the desert oasis in Baja, and now driving through the jungle in Nayarit.  The road was in great shape and had plenty of great views and amazing vegetation.  In the middle of my enjoyment, it dumped me into the middle of a small town. Only in Mexico!

The corrupt policeman at the anti corrupción checkpoint in Tepic.

On the way to Guadalajara, I came across yet another police checkpoint.  This one was called anti corrupción.  Funny, because this was the first time any police officer tried to hustle me into paying a bribe.  The reason?  My windows are tinted.  Apparently, it is prohibited.  He gave me two options; remove the film or pay a big fine.  But he acted very strange, so I knew that there was a third ‘option’-pay him off.  I played along and told him that it is required in Arizona because of the intense sun, and that if I were to remove it here in Nayarit, I would be required to re-install it once I return to Arizona.  I could tell he didn’t like my answer or my unwillingness to pay him off.  After about 5 minutes of back and forth ‘discussion,’ he let me go, I could tell he was frustrated that I didn’t pay him off.

I started toward Guadalajara on the ‘free’ road, as opposed to the toll road.  I haven’t had any bad experience on the free roads, but this one was different–we went through lots of hills and often times I was barely doing 40mph.  At that rate, I wouldn’t make it to Guadalajara until well into the night.  At the next opportunity, I took the toll road.  I got there quicker, but it was costly.  I paid about 250 pesos in fares.