Adventures In Mexico #31 – Nayarit Mexico, Town Beach, and RV Parks

Adventures In Mexico #31 - Nayarit Mexico

Lo de Marcos, Nayarit Mexico, Town Beach, and RV Parks

By Malcolm Callister

From our campsite, Linda and I set out one January morning to investigate the small Mexican town of Lo de Marcos on Nayarit’s, Pacific coast.  As always, we are in search of different beaches and new RV Parks.  From La Penita we drove the twenty minutes south to the little coastal town, Lo de Marcos, Nayarit.  Lo de Marcos is about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Ocean.  In the afternoon and evening, you can watch the sunset from its almost deserted beach then drink a Margarita at the Palapa restaurant on the south end of the beach.

My first visit to Lo de Marcos was with a group driving 4X4 off road vehicles.  As a passenger, I had been able to enjoy the drive through the jungle and pineapple fields and mango groves, surrounding the sleepy Mexican town of Lo de Marcos. For lunch, we ate at the Endless Summer, sports bar, owned by a Canadian from British Columbia.

The Town Lo de Marcos

Lo de Marcos, with its big RV size, streets, colorful flowering trees, and pastel painted buildings seems to bridge the contrast between the blue ocean to the west and the greens of the jungle to the east.  The town has several restaurants, a few, and small hotels.  On the roads leading to the beach, fishermen can be seen repairing nets.  The children's playground located just off the town square has a concrete VW camper as a centerpiece for children to climb on. Lo de Marcos is a typical Mexican working town, home to people employed mainly on the plantations and fishing industry.  Tourism is still a secondary industry.

RV Parks

We visited two contrasting RV parks in the town.  Two more RV Parks are further out of town.

El Refugio RV Park

(Open all year) is a new well laid out park on the north edge of town and beach Concrete pad and roads suitable for large motorhomes, it has 30, and 50 Amp service.  Located on the right as you enter the town, just after the Endless Summer restaurant that is to the left.  Call ahead to head to get the gate opened.

Pretty Sunset Trailer Park

(Open all year) direct access to the beach, on the road going south out of town.  Eleven gravel sites, 15 and 30 Amp.  You may have to back in from the gate depending on the size of your rig.  When we visited in January, there was only one RV slot taken.

The Beach

Three kilometers of the crescent beach is a pleasure to walk on.  Both RV parks that we visited have direct access to the beach.
Permanent warning signs are mounted on the beach showing you how to survive if caught in the outflowing rip tide created by the sand bars and underwater currents.  People do swim and boat here, but it is mainly a walking beach.


El Refugio RV Park 327-275-0080 or 333-643-4314
Petty Sunset Trailer Park 327-275-0055 or 327-275-0024



Adventures In Mexico #30 – Safe to Visit RV Parks

Safe To Visit RV Parks

Playa de Rincon de Guayabitos

- Beach, Town and RV Parks

By Malcolm Callister

Two couples walked in the warm water on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, along the long curving beach of Rincon de Guayabitos. They were meeting friends for supper at a restaurant near the far end of the bay. They had walked from their campground at LaPenita through the town, and over the rope bridge and onto this magical beach at low tide. It was late one afternoon in January as the winter sun was going down over the headland, the soft sand made it easy for walking on.

The beach is considered safe for swimming.

Beachside restaurants offer food, drink and music, most of the day and well into the night. Dancing on the beach under the stars, with blue and white fishing boats swaying in the moonlight at the end of a sun-drenched day.

This is a safe town to wander around, but late-night taxis home are advised, they are not expensive, and the restaurants will make the call for you.

The town of Rincon de Guayabitos attracts a lot of vacationers, Mexicans, together with US and Canadian snowbirds and full-time expats. The main road, Avenida del Sol Nuevo that runs parallel to the beach, one block inland. It has many restaurants, gift, and food shops, to suit most tastes and pocketbooks.
There are several trailer parks in the town that back onto the beach, this review looked at two of them, that catering to RVer’s who what to be surrounded by live entertainment, walking distance to the beach and the convenience of many restaurants and shops.

Rincon de Guayabitos –El Oasis, RV Park.

Retorno Ceibas # 28, Rincon de Guayabitos, CP 63727 Nayarit, Mexico
Phone: 327-274-0361


Turn off Highway 200 at km 95. (This is a big Gas station) Then turn left along Avenida de Sol Nuevo until you reach the road called Ceibas. Turn right, and the RV Park is on your left.

RV Park:

Open all year. This is a new Campground with a wholly paved parking and road area. Maneuvering big rigs is tight.


Full hookups for 20 rigs with 15, and 30 Amp outlets. A gated sunbathing and an hourglass-shaped pool separate's the campsite form the beach.

Rincon de Guayabitos - Paraiso del Pecola RV park

Retorno Ceibas # 1 & 2, Rincon de Guayabitos, CP 63727 Nayarit, Mexico


Turn off Highway 200 at km 95. (This is a big Gas station) Then turn left along Avenida de Sol Nuevo until you reach the road called Ceibas. Turn right, and the RV Park is on your right.

RV Park:

Open all year. This is a new Campground attached to the hotel with a wholly paved parking and road area. Maneuvering big rigs will be tight.


Full hookups for 30 rigs with 15, and 30 Amp outlets. A gated sunbathing and pool area separate's the campsite and hotel form the beach.

Adventures In Mexico #28 – Review of Chacala on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Chacala on Mexico's Pacific Coast Review

Review of Chacala on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

- Beach, Town and RV Park

by Malcolm Callister

It was January, we had applied sunscreen before leaving the shade of the Palapa restaurant. From the restaurant, we walked across the golden sand of Playa de Chacala, a crescent beach on the Mexican Pacific coast. Today they would swim in the blue waters and rolling surf before lunch.

The restaurant with its palm frond roof, sand floor, plastic tables, and chairs provided a safe place to leave their colorful Mexican beach bags under the watchful eye of Roberto, your waiter, while you play in the water.

Linda and I had spent twenty minutes playing in the safe waters of Chacala beach. Twenty minutes of massage in the warm surf under the tropical sun proved sufficient at any one time, we were now ready for lunch. The walk to the restaurant proved a fun experience. As we left the chest deep water of our ocean playground, the surf broke on our backs, and the undertow dragged at our feet. Two kids having fun.
Roberto, our waiter, greeted us at our table holding the chair for Linda to sit. Five-star treatment with plastic chairs and tables. When we left our beach bags at the table earlier, Roberto had said; "this table is for you all day, just order a drink.”

Playa de Chacala

Two-thirds of the beach backs onto an untamed luxuriantly green tropical jungle growing on the edge of the beach. Near to the town, a few Palapa beach restaurants have been developed. From these restaurants comes the smell of good food and the sound of Mariachi music. Happy Spanish voices carry on the tropical air above the steady beat of the surf, very little English spoken on the beach or in the restaurants.
Out in the bay half-dozen sailing yachts are anchored, an old Panga with a smelly ancient outboard pull’s laughing tourists for rides on an inflatable banana boat.
Adventurous seniors and teenagers swim out into the waves while young children play at the water’s edge, and couples play frisbee on the wet sand.

The Town of Chacala

The Town of Chacala grew up around the commercial inshore fishing industry, on the north side of a rock breakwater. This is a small working harbor complete with a customs post.
Big hotels have not yet arrived. This village and beach are a time capsule of the way Mexico was, it is a hidden Mexican Treasure.


Turn off Highway 200 at km 75. About twenty minutes to either Las Varas to the north or La Penita, to the south. Follow the 7 km of winding but the paved road through the jungle. Take the first turning on the left at the village. The carpark is down the hill 400 meters on your left.

RV Park:

Open all year.
You can dry camp overnight in the carpark.
There are no services.
Overnight safety would be questionable.
A couple of RVer’s, Mike and Stan, from Oregon, said “We paid one-hundred Pecos for three nights dry camping. We have been here two nights with no security problems.”



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Adventures In Mexico #27 – Monarch Butterfly Warning Signs

Monarch Butterfly Warning Signs

Monarch Butterfly Warning Signs

By Malcolm Callister

In Canada, we have roads warning signs for Moose, for Canada geese, and even turtles. Linda and I were in Mexico driving south to our first RV Park in Mexico. It was September. During our drive through the mountains south of Monterey, we saw many road signs that clearly warned drivers about this being the route of the Monarch butterfly migration. Apparently, the Monarch Butterfly migrates south from Canada, USA, and Mexico, in November/December and North in March/April. Cute, I thought but hardly worth that many road signs. A Monarch Butterfly cannot be dangerous? How wrong I was.

Mike and Mary Story

Just before Christmas, we met Mike and Mary at the local gringo morning hangout, the “Black Coffee” in San Antonio Mexico. They had driven the same route down as we had.
“That was a crazy drive.” Said Mike over coffee. “I don’t want to have to do that drive again.”
Mary added with a shiver. “Millions of butterflies were flying in a dark snake-like cloud at the side of the highway. It was a long heaving fog of insects. Mike drove the car slowly because we had seen what happens when they cross the path of the traffic. Your wipers just can’t keep up. They leave a greasy film over the window and get stuck under the wipers; it was difficult to see.”
"That was the good part," Mike added. "Cars that got caught in the dense center of the cloud started to overheat because their radiators got blocked.”
Smiling, Mary commented, “It also gave an economic boost to the area. Each gas station had cleaning crews ready to wash radiator’s, engine compartments and windows.”

El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary

A visit to the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary near Morelia was a safe butterfly encounter if you discount the crazy house ride up the last 2000 ft of the mountainside to the sanctuary itself from the carpark. The Monarch Butterfly hibernates in the millions on a few acres of pine forest at an elevation 10000 ft. They huddle together like lager bunches of grapes. Because you only see the outside tips of their wings, these bunches are a dark gray in color, not the vibrant color we expect from Monarchs in flight.
The day we were there in late March, it was cloudy and cold. Very few butterflies took exercise fights. Our guide at the sanctuary, Maria, told us, "on sunny days we sometimes see thousands of butterflies chasing the sunbeams. The butterflies seek exercise and warmth from the sun before going back to their colony. One day soon they will all leave over two days, an incredible sight.”

The Migrations

In the fall the arrival of the Monarchs takes place over two months, but the return start is condensed into a few days. Millions of butterflies moving to their summer breeding grounds is a road hazard.
Do not ignore the road signs.

Mexican Road Signs to Look For:

“Obedezca las señales” (Obey the signs)
“Mariposa Monarca union de tres Naciones” (Monarch Butterfly Union of three nations)
“Ruta de la Mariposa Monarca” (Route of the Monarch Butterfly)
“60 km/h En Presencia de Mariposa” (60 km/ h In the Presence of the Butterfly)

M&L Tip of the Week:

“Obedezca las señales” (Obey the signs)

Epic Bus & Van Conversions

Epic Bus & Van Conversions

Post Shared from

Have you ever dreamed of upcycling a bus...or van...or trailer?   Well, that's exactly what these people did!

Check out some of the most epic bus and van conversions ever!



Picture your ideal backyard and magnify it into a vast valley of wildflowers or transform it into a serene beach with crashing waves - that is the oasis some people have created for themselves by taking their homes on the open road. Van life is a growing lifestyle among adventurers who convert old buses and vans into whimsical mobile homes ready for wherever the wind takes them.

Founder of 'Van Clan', - an online community and content page for campervan lovers and travel addicts - Brandon Saltalamacchia, told Bored Panda that the first allure of van life is the freedom it gives, "People want freedom to escape the ever daunting bills, stress and constraints of “real life”. The thought of having a minimalist lifestyle for a little while is certainly an aspect of van life that intrigues many newcomers, and it’s certainly true." These custom mini houses utilize economical space design to fit all the necessities one would find in a normal sized home. Ovens, closets, beds, and fold-out desks they all fit in these gorgeous mobile dwellings that would make Marie Kondo proud. The other obvious benefit according to Saltalamacchia - cost. "All you need to sort is insurance, food and gas, and then you can go anywhere your heart desires, all while taking in the ever-changing world around you," he said, adding that cost is the most common question they receive on their page. Scroll down below to see some of these inspired van life designs and don't forget to upvote your favs!

More Info: Instagram | Facebook

#1 We Expect That It Will Take About 2 Years Give Or Take To Complete Our Trip Across The U.S. And Canada

We Expect That It Will Take About 2 Years Give Or Take To Complete Our Trip Across The U.S. And Canada

We are so excited to finally be on the road after first purchasing our bus 2 years ago! Our build took a year and a half to complete.


Not sure if life on the road is right for you? According to the Van Clan founder people from all walks of life are jumping on board with this new trend, the only qualification - an adventurous soul. "It’s your typical adventurous human who just wants to live a little, you could be 18 years of age straight out of school, or freshly retired, there’s no real type of person who takes on this lifestyle, but you can bet your money, that each one who does has an adventurous streak in them that wants to discover new places and meet new people," said Saltalamacchia.

#2 This Is The Coolest Bus Ever

This Is The Coolest Bus Ever

To answer everyone’s concern how do we keep everything still while we are moving - we use Velcro tape! Thus, after a few attempts of driving the bus, surprisingly everything stayed as it is without taping it. Gotta thank the soft air suspension of the bus


Getting started on your van life journey may seem daunting but Saltalamacchia has some words of advice for newcomers before they purchase a van or throw down money on construction supplies."If you’re looking at taking on the van life we really suggest you think about it hard. Is living in a tiny box really what you want? Do you want someone knocking on your vehicle at 2am in the morning one day because you’ve parked in the wrong spot? Do you want to pee in bushes now and then? These are some of the things that will most likely happen, but you’ll be rewarded with many incredible experiences along the way."

#3 One Of Our Favorite Parts Of The Bus Is Her Fully-Functioning Kitchen

One Of Our Favorite Parts Of The Bus Is Her Fully-Functioning Kitchen

If you think you have what it takes to tough it out in the great outdoors, the Van Clan founder says there are some logistics to consider while planning, "Firstly, if you’re buying an already converted van, you may have to redesign it to your style if not, then you’ll have to do a conversion that has multiple uses, for example, your seating will convert into a bed, and then convert into a desk, and while all that’s going on, it’s storage space at the same time. Secondly, do you want a toilet and/or a shower? If so, again, prepare to somehow fit it in to your vehicle, for smaller vehicles this might not be an option. And thirdly, test drive it. Find a rental, and rent it for a weekend, see if you can deal with the space, does it drive well? And is it something you can LIVE in."

#4 Our Sweet Bus Is Starting To Look More And More Like A Home!

Our Sweet Bus Is Starting To Look More And More Like A Home!

Our sweet bus is starting to look more and more like a home! We are almost at the finish line. We absolutely cannot wait to move in


Downsizing is cost efficient in the long term, but how much does a van conversion set you back? "Van conversions vary in price, you can go as cheap as $1,000 if you really want the bare bones and fancy finding scrap wood, or you can go all out and have conversions well over the $10,000 mark, " explained , "It all depends on the size of your van, and how deep you want to go with the conversion, we recommend doing it yourself with a budget, it makes every inch feel more YOU." As for monthly expenses the cost is very little, he said, "Your biggest outgoing is gas, then food, then insurance. You can do it all on as little as $250 a month, but your average van lifers is most likely spending around $300-$600 per month living in a van, and that’s including gas."

#5 School Bus Coversion

School Bus Coversion

I really enjoy designing alternative spaces and giving them a new feel and life. When I first got my bus it was an old yellow bus just like the one most of us probably took to school. With some planning and imagination, I turned it into my home. Most of the time, I forget that ‘I live in a bus.’ It just feels like home to me


One hesitation people have about a smaller home is not just missing the larger luxuries but basic hygiene, however this expert said that the idea that van life people don't shower is probably the biggest misconception about this lifestyle. "This could not be further from the truth, yes, there’s times where you don’t shower for a couple of days, but getting to a water source, or using a portable shower bag is very common with van lifers. Most of them are very clean!"

#6 I Won’t Say I Don’t Love The Escape And The Pleasantries Of Traditional Accommodation. But I Can Say That For Now Vanna The Van Is Home

I Won’t Say I Don’t Love The Escape And The Pleasantries Of Traditional Accommodation. But I Can Say That For Now Vanna The Van Is Home


But who has the time and resources to just take off for a year? "Many people think you have to do van life for years, no, you could be doing it for a year, a few months, or even a couple of weeks, hell, you could be a weekend warrior, someone who likes to do it on the weeks only. Van life can be a day, or a lifetime, it’s your path, you can choose how long it lasts."

#7 Everyone Meet Atlas (Sprinter Lwb High Roof). He Is My New Home

Everyone Meet Atlas (Sprinter Lwb High Roof). He Is My New Home

It's been a long time getting to this point and I am super happy with how it turned out


It's hard not to daydream about traveling around and spending the night with breathtaking views in the background, but just like with anything on social media Saltalamacchia warns to take these #VanLife instagram pics with a grain of salt. "Van life is one of the most glamorized lifestyles on social media, not everyone eats strawberries on top of their van, looking at the sunset with their cute dog but I think knowing this will let you take each picture with a grain of salt. These moments can happen, but trust us, it’s not every weekend, some weekends you’ll be stuck in a shopping mall car park, but then some weekends you’ll be on a beach with a cold beer, reading a book with no care in the world."

#8 This Is Our First Van We Ever

This Is Our First Van We Ever

This is our first van we ever had in Australia, we had to cook outside rain or shine, you couldn't stand up inside and we shared a single bed for a whole year! This tiny little home started our love affair with life on the road, it gave us a crash course in alternative living and the kind of freedom that tasted bloody beautiful! We discovered a life which was possible if we put our minds to it, one which was at times.. really hard but worth it every damn time! A life we had been dreaming of


However, if you weigh the pros and cons and think you have what it takes to be one of these van explorers, the van life enthusiast says it is well worth it, "The most rewarding part about this lifestyle is the peace of mind you get when you’re on the road. You have very little outgoings, you have the choice to go wherever your heart desires and you get to meet a lot of incredible people. The lifestyle is the rewarding part, it all comes together to be a relaxing, slow yet eventful way of living that many can’t wait to start. Time slows down when you live the van life."

#9 We Were Living In A 5000 Sq Ft House Sick Of Living The “Normal” Life That Everyone Thought We Should So We Packed Our 4 Kids Into A 250 Sq Ft Converted School Bus And Headed West And We’re Loving It

We Were Living In A 5000 Sq Ft House Sick Of Living The “Normal” Life That Everyone Thought We Should So We Packed Our 4 Kids Into A 250 Sq Ft Converted School Bus And Headed West And We’re Loving It

The house is a blessing to stay in but there are so many things about our bus that we miss! Beyond the obvious… the fact that it is “our” space… cleaning 250 sq ft is NOTHING compared to a normal sized house! It takes the family 30 mins to pic up our whole bus versus a few hours getting a home nice and clean…I feel like I can’t keep up!

Gabriel and DebbieReport

#10 We Converted A 1966 Greyhound Commuter Bus Into A Cute Mobile Home

We Converted A 1966 Greyhound Commuter Bus Into A Cute Mobile Home


#11 How I Converted A Rusty Cargo Van Into A Unique Mobile Studio

How I Converted A Rusty Cargo Van Into A Unique Mobile Studio

It cost me $12k and took 10 months on and off. All together about 3 months straight work


#12 First Project - Volkswagen T3

First Project - Volkswagen T3


#13 Somedrifters


This build has been quite a process. Most of the time it’s excitement, dreams and drawings, but there have been countless moments of extreme frustration and major setbacks. A 6 month project has turned into two years. We have sold our home, lived in our parents house, just sorta circled around looking for things to do while expecting the bus to be finished just around the corner.

Sometimes it’s felt like the worst idea I’ve ever had, like a never ending problem machine that’s going to take me down with it…like something I shouldn’t have tried… …and then there’s days like these.

Where the fog breaks, and I get a glimpse of the future, of the bus finished. Of my lil’ lady and I’s life on this beautiful dream machine.


#14 My Cozy Adventure Rig

My Cozy Adventure Rig

Note: fireplace is a low heat electrical and is at a safe distance from curtain - no threat to start a fire


#15 This Build Was Done For A Firefighter Out Of Toronto

This Build Was Done For A Firefighter Out Of Toronto


#16 My New Home

My New Home

Carl’s conversion is in full swing. I can’t believe it’s actually happening! Can’t wait to start exploring


#17 Living The Van Life And Inspiring Everyone To Get Outdoors

Living The Van Life And Inspiring Everyone To Get Outdoors


#18 This Car Means Everything To Me And It’s Crazy How Happy I Get Putting All My Money And Effort Into This Home

This Car Means Everything To Me And It’s Crazy How Happy I Get Putting All My Money And Effort Into This Home

Whenever I look at my van, it’s like falling in love over and over again. Sometimes I just can't believe that I built it


#19 A Couple Late Nights And A Few Too Many Mcdonald’s Runs And We Have A Cabin On Wheels Complete

A Couple Late Nights And A Few Too Many Mcdonald’s Runs And We Have A Cabin On Wheels Complete


#20 Room With A View

Room With A View


#21 Our Home On Wheels

Our Home On Wheels

We are definitely not experts, we’ve been working it out as we go (eg. when we hit the road the only tools we packed were a hammer and a tiny screwdriver - which I don’t recommend doing if you plan to drive any car, let alone a vintage Kombi, around Australia


#22 It Feels So Good To Finally Be Done With It. Now It's Time For The Best Part, Seeing The World In It And Decorate It With Bits And Pieces From All Over The Place

It Feels So Good To Finally Be Done With It. Now It's Time For The Best Part, Seeing The World In It And Decorate It With Bits And Pieces From All Over The Place


#23 We Transformed This Camper Van In 6 Weeks With Only £1000

We Transformed This Camper Van In 6 Weeks With Only £1000

The van rebuild was a real labour of love, they wanted to create a relaxing and happy environment. A place where they could really feel at home. They had no idea what an arduous task it would be. They worked tirelessly night and day, for 6 weeks. With very little spare money, they had to learn new skills and become resourceful. Building everything themselves from scratch. Scott became a carpenter, plumber and electrician and Ellie a seamstress, painter and decorator.

What they achieved is a touching tribute to their Florence, a dream that never came true. Sometimes the dreams that do come true are the ones we never even knew we had.

Ellie MorganReport

#24 Think We’re Nearly There

Think We’re Nearly There


#25 I Had So Many Requests For A Room Tour Of Our Build, So Here It Is

I Had So Many Requests For A Room Tour Of Our Build, So Here It Is

Kick off is the view from the sleeping/living space including our loved „entertainment area“ the cubic mini. The burning fire adds so much warmth to the whole place and makes it super cozy. It was important for us to keep our build spacious. There is a real cabin feeling inside. On the left is our kitchen counter with sink and quite a bit of storage space underneath. Since we wanted to use a portable gas stove to be able to cook outside as well, we didn’t build a fixed one into the kitchen area. In the drawers, we have dishes, food supplies as well as our freshwater tank, our compost toilet, and our 200ah batteries. The whole build is done by ourselves, and you probably can tell we are not carpenters, so we just call it style


#26 Then And Now. It’s 2 Years To The Day Since We Picked Up Our Little Van. Looks A Wee Bit Different Now

Then And Now. It’s 2 Years To The Day Since We Picked Up Our Little Van. Looks A Wee Bit Different Now


#27 Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

We have finally hit the road! After 5 days of non stop designing and renovating we finally have our new home for the next 3 months 😻🚐 Can't wait to share the interior with you guys and our months of adventures 👌🏼❤️ The first night at this beautiful spot was a success and I'm already in love with the states and this van ... (and yes, this home will be up for sale at the end of our stay)


#28 Our Firetruck. Dwelling Through Europe With My Sister For Over 8 Months

Our Firetruck. Dwelling Through Europe With My Sister For Over 8 Months

Well, we don't have a toilet. Sometimes that makes things a bit complicated. But it also makes us really creative, and we have a funny reason to ask people for help. So at the end that is working out fine. We did some isolating, but during the winter it still gets pretty cold. We have a heater only after an hour or two it is too much for the batteries. Besides that, I'm pleased with the setup


#29 In Two Weeks We’ll Be Setting Out For Our Journey To Alaska. We’ve Added A Few Finishing Touches To Our Little Home

In Two Weeks We’ll Be Setting Out For Our Journey To Alaska. We’ve Added A Few Finishing Touches To Our Little Home


#30 A Little Glimpse Into The Home We Tuck Ourselves Into Each Night

A Little Glimpse Into The Home We Tuck Ourselves Into Each Night


Adventures IN Mexico #26 – Morelia’s Mercado de Dulce

Morelia’s Mercado de Dulce

By Malcolm Callister

There should be a warning “Don’t enter this Marcado unless you can say No.”

In Morelia's, Mercado de Dulce, (The Candy Market), late in the afternoon, you are surrounded by the sounds of happy smiling Spanish speaking people. You experience the crush and push, of a Mexican Market place. Mouthwatering fragrances drift on the air. Your sense of smell is guiding you to one of the many Dulce stalls. Dulce manufactured from mainly local ingredients, is produced in a kaleidoscope of tastes and colors. It has been produced in the area, to supplement local farming, since the days of the Conquistadors.

How it began

Five-hundred years ago the Spanish Franciscan priests introduced the art of making candy (dulce) to villages around Morelia. The women and children could gather the local natural ingredients; honey, coconut, and sugarcane blended with the fruits and spices, grown here in the tropics. This produced additional family income. A typical conquistador clearly had a sweet tooth. Individual villages specialized in different candies. Morelia farming market evidently sold Dulce from the beginning. Dulce is now an international industry.


The pink stone colonial buildings of Morelia contrast with the dark limestone walkways giving this five-hundred-year-old city a distinctly Mediterranean feel.
Many colonial buildings are still used as churches and government buildings. Other colonial buildings, have kept their elegant outer façade with the arched colonnade and walkways, but have undergone significant interior reservations, converted into modern offices, shops, restaurants, and “The Dulce Market.”

Mercado de Dulce

Located separately there is a Museo del Dulce, where you can see how dulce was made 125 years ago using the machinery of the industrial revolution. However, five-hundred years ago the sweet candy known as dulce was made by hand, by the village women. In the Mercado de Dulce, you will not see dulce being made. You will, however, experience the Mercado, meet the Mexican people, listen to their language, smell and taste dulce in the authentic atmosphere. The hustle and bustle of todays marketplace will not be far removed how the conquistadors would have experienced it. Dulce, offered for sale by the smiling women, to men whos willpower was failing.

The Purchase

Many stores display the candy, still made to recipes provided by the Franciscan fathers. Sold in new packaging to compliment the naturally colored candy, making it almost irresistible, but I had willpower.
The willpower battle was lost when I was approached by a young woman. She offered a tray of assorted colored dulce delicacies for my taste testing. I avoided the hot chili pepper candy but still made several purchases.
A man it seems only has so much willpower.

Getting There

As RVer’s staying near Lake Chapala, we had chosen to travel by bus to Morelia city center, for convenience. Big trucks and narrow Mexican streets do not go together.

M&L Tip of the Week:

Some Mexican cities and towns ban big trucks. Cark parks if they exist are not designed for them either. Check before you set out.

Adventures In Mexico #25 – Port Topolobampo

Relaxing at Port Topolobampo


Relaxation is Easy at Port Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico

By Malcolm Callister

Most tourist guides would neglect to mention Port Topolobampo, in the state of Sinaloa. But they are wrong. You should plan on spending a few hours there, at any time of the year. Walk the Malecon, take a tourist boat out, relax. See this attractive town on a hill from the water, a picture waiting to be painted. Experience the pure pleasure demonstrated by the bay dolphins that swim up to greet your tour boat.

Relax and Enjoy

Enjoy a casual stroll along the Malecon, past the blue and white inshore fishing boats with their bamboo booms, past tour boats with their blue canvas canopies designed to protect the tourist from the sun. This is a picture-postcard setting. Coupling the visual sensation with the fresh smell of salt sea air, helps you relax. It was worth the twenty-five-minute drive from Los Mochis.
To sit on a bench, while the warm sun, from a clear blue sky, fills you with that primeval feeling of wellbeing. You can watch a giant ocean-going freighter being pushed and pulled by tug boats through the narrow channel and onto its dockside mooring. This is an act of seamanship that most people have not witnessed. Appreciate, contemplate the skill involved. Alternatively, you can mimic the pelicans, just enjoying the sun.
Take a tour boat, and you see the town for a new perspective. In the clear tropical sea-air, you can see the harbor as an artist would. You experience for a moment the artists' pleasure.
Then, just as you are relaxing, there is a splash beside your boat, the Dolphins have arrived. Splash the water with your hand, and the Dolphins will circle around. In groups of two or more, they play in the bow wave and wake of the boat. Real, uncomplicated fun. You laugh and point at the next dolphin to surface.

The Small but Mighty Topolobampo

Port Topolobampo is dwarfed by the neighboring city of Los Mochis. But the giant of Los Mochis, with its population of 230,000 cannot survive without this little town of only 6,500 people. Its secret is that Port Topolobampo is a deep-water harbor, on the Mexican mainland coast of the Sea of Cortes. The port is also at the end of the Chihuahua-Pacific Railroad (El Chepe). A railroad that connects Mexico's farm produce of the northern interior states and the fertile “Valle del Fuerte,” to the shipping lanes of the world.


After a day and relaxing day, complete your stay with lunch or dinner at one of the many fish restaurants in town. Or get your taxi to take you one of the beach restaurants located just out of town, for a fish meal to be remembered.

M&L Tip of the Week:

There is no RV parking in the port, but most Tour companies will arrange for you to spend a few hours in Topolobampo, but you will have to request it. Then again, you can just hire a taxi for the day. Fix the price before you leave Los Mochis.

Adventures in Mexico #24 – Tarahumara Basket Weavers

Tarahumara Basket Weavers

By Malcolm Callister

We were in Mexico’s Copper Canyon, it was late March, yesterday it had snowed on this mountain top. Rosie our guide was leading us to a village of the Tarahumara indigenous people. She led the way on foot from the carpark across course mountain grass and the carpet of pine needles. When Rosie stopped, it was in a quiet clearing. Around us women sat on rocks or by tables surrounded by small children, dogs and goats, they were weaving baskets.
But if this was the village? Where were the homes?
We wanted to know why they weave these baskets. Baskets that have now been recognized as an indigenous art form.

The Village Shaman

These women in their colorful skirts and tops talked to each other in their native language. At the sight of strangers, the small children pulled fretfully on the women's long quilted skirts and watched us with sideways glances
Walking past snow sculptures created by children during yesterday's snowfall, Rosie introduced us to the village Shaman, Catalina.

The Cave Homes

Catalina was a short, sturdy woman. She wore a flowing yellow skirt and a type of woolen hoody. Her long black hair was in a single braid. Her dark eyes sparkled in her weather-beaten intelligent face. It was easy to see how she could lead her village.
“The Shaman” Rosie explained: “is the village spiritual leader, and doctor. We will start Our tour must start with her.”
Catalina leads the way to her cave house. A nerve shaking experience, we followed her over the rim of the canyon, then along a fifteen-foot-wide ledge, with a four-thousand feet drop that was far too close.
Continuing interpreting what Catalina was saying, Rosie explained, the baskets and bowls are made of local grasses and pine needles dyed to the required colors. The women weave the different inside and outside surface patterns simultaneously. A highly complex double wall form of weaving that is recognized as an indigenous Mexican art form.

Tarahumara Women

Catalina maintained that Tarahumara women are born with the skill, but the process is passed from grandmother to granddaughter; it has always been like that.”
These women are the backbone of their community, and their fierce independence can be seen in their intricate and colorful baskets and bowls. Weaving and the sale of these baskets help these women support their families and a lifestyle that is literally on the edge of our world.

M&L Tip of the Week.

When using 1LB gas bottles obtain a hose to enable you to refill your empty bottles. It saves land fill space, and it is not always possible to purchase refills.

Adventures In Mexico #23- Copper Canyon

Tour of the Copper Canyon, Mexico

Spending 2 years in a Travel Trailer in Mexico!

My Malcolm Callister


Linda and I left our RV Travel Trailer behind, there are no RV parks at the top of these 10000 ft Mountains. It is March, we have just arrived by the historic El Chepe express train. At Divisadero, we stepped down from the train, not onto a platform but directly onto the tracks. Divisadero station is in the dry, rough country of the Sierra Madre Occidental, at over 8000 ft. We are here to experience the beauty of the Barrancas del Cobre, or the Copper Canyon, in Mexico. For two nights we will stay at the luxury Hotel Mirador while taking walking and Cable-car tours of the Canyons.


It is a crisp, clear early spring day, as we walked across the light brown gravel carpark. A shuttle bus had brought us from the railway station to the hotel Mirador. The low, dry-stone wall, of the hotel entrance, formed a backdrop for three Tarahumara Indian women, dressed in their traditional costumes of colored skirts, and blouses, blowing in the wind. They also wore woolen hoodies for warmth. The day before we arrived they had snow. Their heads were covered in a cotton headscarf’s, long black ponytails hanging down their backs. These women sat on the wall weaving baskets out of grass and pine needles.

The First Panoramic View of the Copper Canyon

We followed Rossie of tour guide, from Charter Tours, into the hotel. There a smiling waiter in a black and white barman uniform offers a tray of complimentary drinks and ushers us onto the patio while our luggage is delivered to your room. We see the vast panoramic view of the Copper Canyon under a clear pale blue sky. Linda uses binoculars to examine natures sculptures. Our eyes feast on the dramatic display of colorful rocky peaks, mesas and massive granite walls that stretch to the horizon in every direction. Then my stomach lurched as my eyes first look down, and I realize that I am standing on a patio that is hung out over the edge of the Canyon with the valley floor over four thousand feet below me.
Mountain climbers start to be concerned about the effects of altitude sickness above 5000 ft. We are spending the next two days exploring at over 8000ft.

Exploring the Mountains and Meeting the Indigenous People

Each day started with the stunning views of sunrise from the balcony and our hotel room. We watch the start of regular daily activity of the distant cave homes of some of the Tarahumara Indians. These Indians live in caves with a log cabin-like front and corrugated steel roofs.
Later we took a cable-car ride, and walking tours along the mountain trails, seeing the lifestyles of the Tarahumara. Tarahumara, the indigenous people of these high Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, live by hunting, and farming. Tourism provides a limited income supplement.


Our two days exploring from the hotel that hangs on the edge of the Copper Canyon were a spectacular series of experiences. The Tarahumara Indians are keeping their mountain home in its natural condition, out of respect for the mountain spirit. Not driven by a pang of modern world guilt to preserve the present for future generations.
We followed their trails, saw their landscapes, and we learned of their culture. We were given a fantastic insight.

M&L Tip of the Week:

Ford’s 6.0L Power Stroke EGR cooler. When replacing the EGR cooler also replace the oil cooler at the same time. In 90 percent of cases, the 6.0L EGR cooler fails because the coolant side of the oil cooler, which is located under the oil/fuel filter housing, is plugged.