by Senor JJ
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The worst being the 15 hour trip in the back of the Mazda 232 with Tim. Sure, we were heading for the Sea of Cortez; sun and surf, but I'm not sure that mode of travel will be employed on our next trip South of the Border.
It all started around the end of July. Shannon Wells, Cary Collett and I were eating a particularly cheesy Beer and Cheese Fondue and watching a video, as I recall, when the topic of taking off for more friendly climes came up. Of course since Mexico, in particular Guaymas-where Cary and his girlfriend vacationed earlier in the year, was just a ways South of us, we decided that would be our destination. So Cary got out his map and we decided that the trip would be short-only 15 hours. But well worth it, since we would be partaking of the ocean and sun that we could only dream of in Los Alamos.
We headed South, our travel papers in order, after work Thursday. We were ready for adventure. However, when we got to Albuquerque and found Shannon's storage locker padlocked by the management, we found we had no camp stove. So we tried the all-night places in town, but they didn't have what we needed. Luckily, Cary's roommate in Albuquerque had a small gas stove. It was about 1 A.M. and we were back on the highway.
We traveled all night through the mountains and arrived at Nogales the following morning. Shannon got insurance for her car, and we traded in our U.S. currency for the funny colored stuff they use in Mexico. Cary and Shannon bought a better stove, then we headed to the border.
We had no problem crossing into Mexico. "American touristos with manyana? Go right ahead." Several hours later we found San Carlos, where we camped out for the night. Did I mention we arrived on the opening day of "Monsoon Season"? Did I also mention we didn't have a rain fly that fit our rental tent? The car was almost comfortable that night.
The ocean was great and we did a lot of sunning and snorkeling. On Saturday we also headed into the metropolis of Guaymas. There we did some shopping for groceries and tourist stuff (pancho, wood carvings, T-shirts...). We did some more swimming and complained about the heat and then hit the sack. Cary, Shannon and (later on) Tim decided to sleep in the tent. I opted for the relative coolness of the car. Yes I got bitten by flies, but I couldn't take the heat. The next day I offered to pay for a hotel room. We stayed at a nice AIR CONDITIONED motel in San Carlos. Even though they were forced to stay in such modern accommodations they sure seemed to like the AC and the fresh shower!
Sunday we found a gringo from Arizona who ran a local dive shop and got instructions to Fisherman's Cove. Sure there was no floating green schmeg to throw at each other, like at the beach where we camped, but we found the swimming there much better. Thanks again to the little blue Mazda 232 that got us there, despite the terrain. That night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant and enjoyed some seafood and drinks. Tim had squid genitals and complained a lot, and Shannon and Cary (after a few beers) started getting silly, but we avoided being thrown in a Mexican prison, so it wasn't a bad night.
Monday we decided to get in some swimming out by Club Med before leaving. We had run across little jellyfish elsewhere, but there were a lot there. After everyone was satisfactorily stung we left, showered at the hotel, and drove back to Los Alamos. We almost got full body searched at the border when a U.S. guard thought Shannon was German (of course the main way Germans sneak into the U.S. is through Mexico...) Shannon replied in her sweet southern accent and since we threatened Tim to keep on his Beaver Cleaver face we passed through in no time. Again the trip home was barely bearable (I do not sleep well in the back seat of little cars-but at least no one hurled!). But we had a great time in Mexico and returned refreshed and ready work.
Last Updated 04/13/95.© 1996 PPSA