Friday, November 19, 2010

Where the Heck IS Teacapan?

Once again we are trotting along Highway 15 and optimistic, although not feeling our very best after last night. I'm poking thru the "Mexican Camping" book and notice a site that is along the ocean offering several RV campsites to choose from. I mention it to Ro, who got nearly no sleep and we both decide it would be nice to stop early and recover by the beach for a day (or, I'm envisioning two). The map in the book looks very simple, right?

We take the exit to Escuinapa (GIANT trees en route) and once there find, following the "main" drag isn't that easy. We cross this bridge taking us up a hill then, into tiny village streets. Ro is concerned we can't make the turn and what if there is no turn-around space once we get there. Half way up the hill he tries to back up . . . I'm outside and see the wheels in the PT Cruiser freeze up (remember the braking system we have on it can only go forward). Ro stops.

We get directions from a young man for Teacapan and continue ~ thru the tiny streets. We can peer into dirt-floored homes from out our high vantage point and wide eyes stare out at us. Probably not the most frequent site on their street. In a few blocks, we watch a family with four children carrying home the wood, probably for their evening fire. But this road is confusing and once on it, stop at the Federal Police's Office for better directions.

Both the police man and the office secretary draw us a map, but they seem to be guessing at the count of streets, "was it five or six?" Ok, we follow the map and end up at a narrowing dirt road going past a school house. Luckily, there is a turn around circle in front of the school ~ we're turnin' around. A gentleman, nicely dressed, has watched our antics and walks over, asking where we are trying to go. He offers to drive us "there to the correct road" in English. Once he goes back, we approach a paved highway, one direction goes back towards Escinapa, the other God only knows. We're not wanting another adventure, so we turn back to town and follow the GPS (who evidently does NOT know what streets are one way) back to Highway 15. Where is Teacapan? We really can't tell you . . .

On we go towards Tepic. Its a big industrial feeling city and we're pleased to get thru it. At this point, I'm aware we are going all the way to Lake Chapala tonight and need relief from the "caffine-withdrawl" headache I'm experiencing! Ro pulls off the highway (and this part I LOVE about being in an RV), I put water on to boil and make myself a freshly brewed cup of my favorite coffee!!! Whew.

Here's the route we look forward to, going into the mountains above Guadalajara. I have to say, for me, this was the most alluring
part of the country so far. Most of you know I'm a mountain lady at heart, so even vast beach spances don't touch me the way mountains do. The scenery just got better and better! I'm so excited I'm taking photos at every turn! I'm imagining us Plein Air painters actually savoring putting paint on our paper and depicting the feelings of this area!! We also finally see the "Green Angels" mentioned online. These are Mexican helpers in white and green trucks that stop to assist anyone in need on the highway ~ it's the first time we've seen them since we crossed into Mexico.

The terrain changes continually. First, lovely wide valleys with meadows either dotted with cows grazing or verigated with a colorful patchwork of agricultural fields. Coming down one slope we spot an old caldera, obviously denoting volcanic activity here in these mountains sometime in the history. One of the curves has a warning sign about possible fog in the area. None today, just clear blue skies!!

We seem to be heading down one of the final downslopes and we're nearing a quaint town, nearly all of rich, red brick named Magadalena. There's 'sposed to be a Pemex gas station in town so we pull off our beloved Highway 15D (toll road) and cross the overpass. When we get to town, the Pemex station is closed/out of business - argh. And after further investigation, we realize there is no entrance ramp back onto 15D. Double ARGH!

We're off on another adventure, meandering the 2-lane curvey backroads Highway 15 nearing sunset. The countryside remains lush, rolling and I begin to see fields of beautiful blue agave interspersed with the yellow greens of the fields. This is the road that will lead us into Guadalajara and beyond, to Lake Chapala.

Here goes . . . trusting . . . breathing . . .

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