25 Mar

Arrival to Mexico

We left home!  Marking the date:  March 14, 2015.  Bruno puts on his first few hundred miles traveling through the Sonoran Desert in southeast California and into Arizona.  Lunch was had on the road, wherever we could find a nice place to stop.


We spent two nights in Apache Junction, just outside Phoenix. We stayed with my uncle and aunt, Hans & Anna. Their home on Paradiso Lane was paradise indeed: homemade gnocchi, fish tacos and lessons playing Pickleball. Comfort that felt just like home was a great kickoff to this trip.

We kept Travis from his desires to hug the giant Saguaro cacti.



One night at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, east of Tucson.  To Travis’ excitement, Bruno’s 4WD was put to the test on some of the rocky roads leading to a very secluded camp site.  We’re still working out the kinks, like the fact that I need to grow an extra foot taller.


The drive south from Tucson to the border was full of anticipation, as well as some apprehension.  Why didn’t we learn more Spanish than we did? 60 Pimsleur audio lessons felt like enough at the time!  Do we have everything we need?  Passing more and more U.S. border patrol cars, Travis is untrusting, quote: I think we’ll be safer in Mexico.

Everything went as well as it could have.  The paperwork I thought we needed was useless.  Fill out this form instead.  O.K.  Very friendly border guard in a very tiny room listened to our broken Spanish and spoke very good English.  Pay 295 pesos each, done.  Now drive to kilometer 21 and find the Bajercito to pay for your temporary vehicle import.  A few stops in the wrong places (Bruno reads in miles!  Our gauge of how long kilometers are is a forgotten Canadian skill), we find it.  Photocopies of everything, another friendly, hardworking Mexican to help us through – no English this time – we do very well!  All in all, super smooth and we’re on our way.

Three separate nights to get to our first destination of Puerto Vallarta:  San Carlos, Los Mochis and Mazatlan, all on the coast of the Sea of Cortez.  Colorful RV parks, filled with mucho Snow Birds and friendly cats.  We’ve had some good sleeps in Bruno!  Getting into our routine.  Latte’s in the morning, episodes of House of Cards at night – we’re really roughing it.





  • Lydia

    Love reading you blog and seeing the beautiful pictures of your trip… keep them coming and have an amazing journey!

    • Amanda

      Always happy to have you reading, Lydia. I hope we can swing through the Toronto area next year (I think I’ve been promising a visit for a few years now…)!

  • Kate

    Sounds fun!! Maybe you’ll find a soccer team down there so you can play! Stay safe! xoxo

    • Amanda

      Can’t replace the Dawgs! Best I could substitute is going for a run on the beach and kicking coconuts. Excited to find another league in the next town we settle in.

  • Looks like an awesome trip so far! We just booked tickets to Mexico City to kick off a 7 week trek through Mexico (ending up in Cancun). So I’ll be following you guys on your journey south and living vicariously until June when we get to Mexico ourselves. Buena suerte!

    • Amanda

      We’ll be reading back through your blog posts about Mexico, as we start heading back north tomorrow. Somos muy tarde en hacer comentarios!

      • Awesome. Enjoy! Let me know if you need any pointers along the way. Looking at your route back, we’ve visited a lot of places along your route. Tulum, Cancun, Puebla, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo (those last 3 places were 15 years ago).

        Along your way back but not directly on your route is Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende/Guanajuato. Guanajuato is a cool spot for a day or two, though probably 3-4+ hours of a detour off your route. Mexico City is also a really neat place to visit for a day or a month, though a car might be more of a hindrance than an asset in much of the city (great cheap subway). Very close to your route back is Teotihuacan pyramids just north of Mexico City. Most impressive ruins we’ve ever been to. Having a car to get there is a big asset.
        I also have some posts on the Raleigh to Montreal drive from summer of 2014. We stopped in DC, Philadelphia, NYC (sweet cheap really really nice Super 8 just across the river from Manhattan).

      • After looking at your older posts, I realized you guys already visited San Miguel, Guanajuato and Puebla. So yeah I guess you won’t need to detour off the route for SMA or Guanajuato. 🙂

        • Amanda

          I loved all three of those spots! I can see us going back to spend more time in Guanajuato or Puebla in the future. I’ll catch up on the Raleigh to Montreal posts over the holidays and take some notes!

  • Rachelle

    This is awesome guys!! Keep sending the updates and the pictures!!! Glad Tucson treated you well 🙂

    • Amanda

      I can’t believe we’ve been gone for 8 months! Have a great Thanksgiving, Rachelle!

  • Victor

    Tough life… I love hearing you rough it. I also want to hear a recording of your spanish skills! Oh and hug a cactus!! Do it for SCIENCE!!!

    • Amanda

      Podemos hablar en espanol via Skype, Victor! Let’s see if we can meet up in the US somewhere, as I know you’re often on the move!

  • Dany Guimond-Valcourt

    Your blog is awesome! It’s great to read you 🙂 The pictures make us travelling with you, which is nice!!!!

    OMGGG the little sweet cats!!!!!! Love them!

    I love the big white bowl, James’ size!!!! ahahah

    Enjoy your trip guys, travelling is simply the best!


    • Amanda

      We can’t wait to see more cats on our travels back north! Hope you’re well, Dany!

  • Frank Hinde

    Cool.. I had lost the link to your blog since I commented on the need to make sure your timing belt change was up to date.. I was wondering how you guys were getting on…All the best.. Frank

    • Amanda

      We’re doing well, Frank – about to head back north from Costa Rica!