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.

Contacts

El Refugio RV Park 327-275-0080 or 333-643-4314
Email: villastlaquepaque@prodigy.net.mex
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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Oasis-Trailer-Park-Rincon-De-Guayabitos/1441249882852253

Location:

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.

Facilities:

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
327-274-0014
paraisodelpescador@hotmail.com
www.guayabitos.com/paraisodelpescador

Location:

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.

Facilities:

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.

Location:

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.”

Facilities:

None

Adventures In Mexico #21 – Ritual Dances

Adventures In Mexico #22 - Ritual Dances

RITUAL DANCES OF THE MEXICAN MAYO INDIANS

By Malcolm Callister
It was March, the end of the dry season. Time for the Mayo to hunt and gain honor. The deer attacked unexpectedly, its face straight into Linda's, she toppled backward. The shaman continued his ritual dance. Our tour guide had made an unplanned stop for lunch at a Mayo Indian settlement to experience a Mayo Indian ritual dance

Traveling to El Fuerte

Our tour group was going to El Fuerte to meet the Copper Canyon train. The stop at a Mayo indigenous community to observe a shaman perform traditional ritual dances of his people was unexpected. After the dances, we were to be fed deer meat and fish tacos, prepared over an outside oven.
On the drive to the town of El Fuerte, our driver left the main highway and drove along dirt roads. The dry ground to the side of the road supported low scrub trees and hash grasses. These grasses became greener as we approached a bend in the El Fuerte river and a small settlement of Mayo indigenous people. The village, on the coastal plans between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range still relies on hunting, fishing, and some agriculture.

A Mayo Shaman Perform their Ritual Dances

Arrangements had been made for us to watch a Mayo shaman perform their ritual dances of war and the deer hunt. The shaman danced in the community’s sacred shelter. The shelter was a roof of brushwood supported on narrow upright and cross poles. Wood is scarce in this area. The floor was bare earth.
The shaman, a grandfather, dressed in traditional white clothing, around his lower legs he wore butterfly cocoons with small pebbles inside. The butterfly cocoons rattle as the shaman dances. The costume and the duties of the shaman are explained to us by the shaman’s grandson (David). It is the Mayo tradition that knowledge is passed on, Grandfather to Grandson. David was learning the role of shaman. Over time the “war dance” and the “deer hunt dance” blended the Christian Religion with traditional values and the dances no longer resulted in actual death.

The “War Dance”

The Mayo are an indigenous people who for two-thousand years have inhabited the Mayo and Fuerte Rivers of the northern Sinaloa and southern Sonora states of Mexico. They waged war between themselves not for land and property but for the honor of taking another warriors life. The dance portrays the combining of two spirits with the facemask initially worn on the side of the dancer's head. The mask is moved slowly over the face as the warrior spirits combine.

The “Deer Hunt Dance”

The shaman danced to the mesmerizing sounds of simulated rain, a heartbeat sound from the gourd floating in a bowl of water. The overriding rhythmic sound was that of the small drum, its skin stretched tight by the warmth of the fire. We watched the shaman copy the actions of a deer as it runs from the hunters, stopped to drink water, listened scared and frightened, exhausted the deer is ultimately killed. This was a moving experience, one that for me anyway did not lead to an enjoyable deer meat taco lunch.

M&L Tip of the Week.

There are times when an RVer can get more out of their travel experience by parking their rig and taking an organized tour.

Adventures In Mexico #20 – Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day

By Malcolm Callister

Just offshore you see the action begin. At sunrise the low angle of the sun’s lights penetrates the Pacific breakers, casting shadows of the fish in the wave. Pelicans and the Frigate birds spot these shadows from great heights and attack. Inshore fishermen follow the birds. Gulls follow the fishermen.

The Beach

As the sun is rising, you are standing on the nearly deserted golden sand beach, below the RV park at LaPenita, Nayarit, Mexico. In front of you is the Pacific Ocean, you smell and taste the salt air. The sun is climbing above the palm trees in the jungle at your back. Just offshore you see the action begin, you are viewing the beginning of one of natures’ natural fishing tournaments. A tournament that relies on the sunrise.
You feel the warming rays on your body, and the sunlight casts your shadow to the water's edge. When the angle of the sun is this low, and the light hits the incoming Pacific Ocean waves, it penetrates the water. The shadowy movements of fish are caught, as if ex-rayed. The birds, pelicans, and frigates, gliding high on the thermals are ready. When the fish are observed, the birds dive.

The Pelican’s

With the sunlight, you see the fish in the wave. Then diving from a great height, wings folded back come the pelicans. Rising to the surface each pelican has a fish held firmly across its beak. The pelicans flick their beaks to the sky and toss the fish so that it is swallowed head first.

The Frigate Birds

The frigate birds and level out with the surface, they attack from the side, wing tips skimming, almost touching the water. Frigate birds with their hooked beak tip are ready for an unsuspecting fish swimming near the water surface. Without going into the sea, each bird takes a fish. Having caught a fish, frigate birds fly high before swallowing it.

The Inshore Fishermen

An open inshore fishing boat with three men in it, have spotted the activity of the birds and are heading into the center of the shoal. With the boat engine off, the men drift silently towards the fish. Fish identified for them by the birds. Two men stand in the bow, fishing nets ready to heave over the side. One good catch of the day and their days' work is done.

The Gulls

With nets full, the men haul their catch in. But their fish are to be shared. The gulls have been waiting for an opportunity to take fish from the nets. As the fishermen pull their fishing nets into the boat, the gulls scream and dive, chase and fight to get a fish.

A Fishy Tale

That evening as you tell your story, during Happy Hour, you are told: "we get a display like that often during the winter season."
And you thought that what you had seen was unique.

M&L Tip of the week

Be prepared for an invite to happy hour. Always have a bottle of something ready, and a tale or two to tell. It makes for a fun evening, laughing with new friends.

Adventures In Mexico #19 – SkyMed

SkyMed Helps Prostate Cancer Patient Make Decisions

By Malcolm Callister

SkyMed Member: Call1289

For those of my family and friends who do not yet know, in December 2018, during the fourth month of our planned Two-Year RV adventure in Mexico I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  The cancer was identified during a routine medical insurance blood test. SkyMed my emergency travel evacuation insurance flew my wife Linda and I back to Canada to confirm the diagnosis and develop a plan for treatment.

Sitting in the Sun

Sitting in the sun with a glass of wine on the table overlooking Lake Chapala, Mexico, in January.  I opened my email. “Yes,” confirmed my Canadian Family doctor “after reviewing your Mexican test results it appears that you have a low to intermediate level of prostate cancer.”
I took a deep breath, and read on, “I have spoken with the head of our prostate cancer team at Kingston Teaching Hospital, here in Ontario,” She said, “you have an appointment for consultation in February.  I recommend that you speak with them before you decide on a path forward.  Let me know what you want to do?"

Another deep breath, I felt sorry for myself, but action, not procrastination was required.

For our RV adventure in Mexico, we had taken the optional two years Out of Province extension for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).  This entitled me to Canadian Medical treatment.
As a Recreational Vehicle traveler, Linda and I carry SkyMed emergency travel evacuation insurance.  This independent insurance gets you and a caregiver, the RV, and the dogs, back home in the event of a life-threatening illness or accident.

But what would they do about an appointment to develop a treatment plan?

My wife Linda and I took an hour discussing what we wanted to do, then telephoned SkyMed.  I could not have asked for a more caring, supportive, jovial, and professional team, they treated us like family members with a problem.  With a copy of the email from my doctor in their hands, they agreed instantly that their service covered this consultative visit (Mexico to Canada and back), two hours later we had electronic tickets in our hands, and I finished my glass of wine.

Kingston Teaching Hospital

I had been diagnosed in Mexico with prostate cancer as part of a routine medical insurance test.
A subsequent biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.  Further testing demonstrated the cancer was contained in the prostate and had not spread to other soft tissue or bone.
Specialist in Mexico wanted to perform surgery.
The Canadian prostate cancer medical consultation turned into two discussions on different days with top cancer specialists at Kingston Hospital, and a fun afternoon having a pre-op examination by the Brachytherapy treatment team.  This examination confirmed that I was a suitable candidate for HDR Brachytherapy.
OHIP gets lots of criticism, but my experience during this event in my life is that in an urgent situation they are outstanding doctors and nurses working within the system.
I am back in Mexico now, with an appointment for the HDR Brachytherapy procedure followed by beam therapy for 15 days, set for June/July in Kingston.

Why did I decide on HDR Brachytherapy?

The Canadian Kingston Hospital Cancer Team agreed that I was a good candidate for Brachytherapy.
I could wait until June with no additional risk.
HDR Brachytherapy is not as invasive as surgical removal of the prostate.
HDR Brachytherapy is reputed to be equally as successful as surgery when dealing with early stages of prostate cancer. When combined with the fifteen-day post-op radiation beam treatment, HDR Brachytherapy has a higher success rate than surgery.
There is an equal or lower risk of side effects HDR Brachytherapy, than for surgery.
HDR Brachytherapy is generally performed as an outpatient procedure.
People have asked if I had considered Stem-cell Therapy. My answer is “yes,…”

SkyMed

Skymed took all the stress out of making the decision to fly back to Canada from Mexico.  That is the service that I had paid for over the years, they were excellent.  I believe that the decision to be treated in Canada and not Mexico was the correct choice for me and SkyMed enabled me to make that decision.
https://www.skymed.com/

I am a confirmed believer in the value of SkyMed and will extend my membership when the time comes. However, in the name of complete disclosure if you decide to enroll will SkyMed, please use my name as a reference.  If you do use my name as a reference, I will get one free month membership.

Explore SkyMed Emergency Travel Membership Services.