So back tracking quite a lot to a seemingly different universe and time. In reality it was only 4 months ago that we left Baja California to hack across the 2500kms of Mexico to meet up with Sas’s brother and sister in Tulum.
The journey from La Paz to Mazatlan by ferry was fun, tinged with a little sadness at leaving the Baja peninsula, and landed us in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. We were, back then, very nervous of the warnings that various international, national and local agencies and people had given us regarding travelling safely across Mexico; and Sinaloa was one of the states that had/has warnings of blatant roadside robbery. So we determined to get out of dodge as soon as possible to a state with no warnings of criminal roadside behaviour.
Having 2500kms to travel in as little time as possible it seemed logical (oh how we now know that logic and travelling in Mexico are so unrelated) to try for 500kms per day except on the first day what with getting off the ferry in a new town etc. So the nearest RV park we found was in Tepic – Los Pinos RV Park – a 280km drive on toll roads. Having the very recent experience of travelling up to 600kms per day in Canada and the USA it seemed logical that we would be able to drive 280km on paid roads (because they will be good quality won’t they?) in about 3 hours no? No! Firstly, the toll road system in Mexico is not a system of good roads – they have topes (sleeping policemen) and potholes and dips and bumps that driving at 40kph would be handleable; but at 80kph they just come at you very fast and require an incredible amount of concentration to catch them in time and react accordingly. Then we forgot to plan for the altitude change – Hanna is an incredible machine – and we love her – but she has a climbing hill speed of around 17mph or 25mph depending on the gradient. Tepic is most definitely UP from the coast (duh! aren’t most places? Except in Norfolk). Add to that the sudden reappearance of our overheating problem and the drive became a slog taking nearly 6 hours and shredding nerves along the way.
So to the reason for this post – Tepic is a normal Mexican city. It isn’t pretty but then what work-a-day city is? people we have met have said there is no reason to go there … well it is a city in Mexico, so there is that, it has great motor parts shops – which we needed and it has the Los Pinos Rv Park which is hidden away behind a semi-circle of shops and restaurants there is a height limit of 13 feet – 3.8m – but once you have found it and have driven in you are confronted with this little peaceful oasis of a site with hot showers, decent sites with electric hook up and water. We didn’t need the water and the electric so we paid 150 peso per night. The manager was friendly and helpful and if you need a place to stop 4 or so hours from Mazatlan then this little gem is a good option.
For those that want to know about the mechanical issue of over heating – we bought an electric fan (the biggest we could buy) and some 2×1″ wood batten and I spent a day building a stud wall (yes I know but I can’t describe it any other way) across the front of the radiator to mount the fan in and hooking the fan up to the dash-board with a switch. Probably a great Mexican fix but for a european vehicle it amounted to a necessary bodge.
We stayed 2 days and can’t recommend the RV park enough.