Monday, November 20, 2006

Living in Mexico on a Budget

Barbie Parks has done it again... Another great book and must have if you are a Baby Boomer.

Money Saving Mexico is a downloadable you can get the information now.

Click Here!

Baby Boomers are at the age of retirment or close to it...and we all need to think about how we will live out our golden years in style. Or at least in comfort and afford to do some of the fun things we dreamed about while working at a J.O.B.

-Can you purchase a home in Mexico?
-Can American Citizens work in Mexico?
-Living in Mazatlan with the other "Gringos"
-Getting Married in Mexico.
-Is Mexico Safe?
-Immigration Fees.
-Building a home in Mexico... what does that intail?

These are just a tiny sample of the topics covered in the book.

Some baby boomers will choose to live in the United States very near the border.

Thousands of retired folks cross the border every day to take advantage of the prices.

In Mexico... Dentists are trained at the University. You can get dental work done for a fraction of the cost in the U.S.

In Mexico... Perscription glasses are made in one hour. They are trained as well or better than the one hour places in the states and they have the same selection. Even with a coupon...the Mexico Optical will be about half the price.

In Mexico... Medications are usually less that in the U.S. Sometimes much less.

Algadones Sonora Mexico (near Yuma Arizona) is where we shop. Our once a month treck always includes perscription mediations and shopping for cute Hacienda Style decor. We hit the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and get out glasses once a year.

If you live in the desert Southwest United States this infomation won't be new to you. But...if you need to have all the information for traveling or moving to Mexico, Barbie Parks is your gal.

Her books are informative, personal and she has a great monthly newsletter with photographs and stories about other American's Living in Mexico.

Hey...It's Free to look, so Click Here!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Phoenix Arizona Tour Remodel 50's Ranch Style Home

Every November a Home Tour is sponsored by Phoenix Home and Garden.

The homes are usually old 1920's farmhouses or 1950's Ranch style homes. The remodels are done by professional architects and designers... so you know the ideas are good and sound.

Phoenix RemodelThis home has turned into a Spanish Style Hacienda in North Phoenix Scottsdale area. The gate is anchored by two lion heads and the interior courtyard bosts a cantera stone fountain.

The landscaping is lush desert style outside the courtyard and tons of green grass in the rear. The 2.5 acre lot provided pleanty of room for secret gardens, pool and private patios.

The old guest house is now a billards room with full kitchen and bath. 4 French Door Sets on this tiny structure...give the impression of an outdoor playarea. Great for teenagers and adults alike.

Every outside door, widow and trim is painted this gorgeous turquoise blue and the walls are a pale salmony pink. Perfect for the desert.

Make sure to check out the Phoenix Home and Garden Novemeber Editions for photographs of each of the remodels from this tour. It happens every year and is always an amazing event full of so many ideas.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Creative Zen MicroPhoto 8 Gig Mp3 Player

Travel with Books and Photos Plus All Your Favorite Music.

Maybe you know someone who is longing for a new mp3 player and you want to add one to your Christmas gift shopping list this year and you don't know which one to purchase. Your on a tight budget and you really don't want to break the budget...but you want to buy a great mp3 player and still get a best buy. don't want to buy an Ipod for whatever reason, ( I am going to list a few)

What the experts say about the Creative Zen 8GB Mp3 Player
  • This Player uses "Plays for Sure" Technology ( must have for download books)I listen Audible books as I drive, exercise and work around the house. I like the book variety to listen to wherever I go. Liz Walters

  • 1.5" screen for viewing photos in Color! and all the menu's are visible.

  • Weighs under 4 oz. You can carry a boatload of books, music and pictures in this little guy.

  • It holds up to 10,000 jpeg images or 4,000 songs OR a combination of Both!

  • Plays WMA, Mp3, WAV files and others...but these are the most important.

  • A built in Radio FM radio ( you don't get that with Ipod)

  • A built in Micro-recorder (you don't get that with and Ipod)

  • Works with Microsoft Outlook so you can organize contacts or appointments. (defiantly not available on an Ipod)

  • It has an timer so you can automate shut off times.... (If you go to sleep with your mp3 player, this will save the battery life)

  • An alarm... you can wake up to your mp3 player.

  • The manufacturer says it will play up to 15 hours. ( I found it to be more like 5 or 6 before I had to recharge.

  • It glows like a neon blue light while in use ( not a big feature...but very cool at night)
Why I bought the Creative Zen 8GB Mp3 Player
  • I record seminars and teleseminars...Now I can listen to them over and over.
  • I love audio books while I travel. So soothing on the beach with your eyes closed and a nice mystery novel in one ear and the waves in the other.
  • I need a portable photo album. One I always had with me for clients. I carry my Creative Zen with me everywhere. (Oh... and it works for taking photos to grandma's house.. You can download the whole bunch to her computer.)
  • Music my way... any time. And, no more fights about stations in the car. Everyone wins.
  • I have a ton of accessories to go with my Creative Zen Mp3 player... they are easy to find and usually less expensive that the Ipod Accessories.
  • I do audio recordings of my older relatives ( oh yes, the kids also get recorded) and save them to CD. I can pop them in a sleeve and add them to my scrapbooks for future generations to hear.

  • I could go on and on describing all the things I do with my Creative Zen 8GB Mp3 Player

Canon Elura 100 Digital Camcorder - Best for Budget

Best Rated Digital Camcorder for Budget Consumer by Computer Shopper Magazine November 2006.

A new camcorder is on your Christmas gift shopping list this year and you don't know which one to purchase. Your on a tight budget and you really don't want to break the budget...but you want to buy a great camcorder and still get a best buy.

What the experts say about the Canon Elura 100:
  • 20x Zoom lens has a longer reach than some of the high priced camcorders.
  • Image Stabilization to help keep footage steady.
  • True wide-screen shooting to view on your wide screen monitor or tv.
  • 2.7 inch LCD
  • A wide variety of advanced - easy to use - functions
  • Good still image capability
  • Mode for capturing fast action footage
  • Auto Exposure for those tricky lighting conditions (Great Feature! - camera's usually capture birthday cake candles lit and no other lighting - so you get footage of candles and not faces)
  • Bridging so you can email or post your footage online.
Why I bought the Canon Elura 100:

  • This camera is small and easy to load up and go.
  • Learning to use a camcorder can be scary...this one was easy to get started with.
  • Our business websites are adding video tutorials to the mix. We needed an inexpensive video camera to get started. We actually purchased a few and tried them. This was the best choice for us.
  • This camera has a microphone jack. You can't believe how had that is to find. The mic. jack allows you to plug in a microphone. The external microphone on this camera isn't fact it's pretty good, but for close up and teaching ability a plug in microphone (extra purchase) is the way to go
  • The tapes are cheap and you pop one in and never see it again. Just download all the video to your computer and you can save it to DVD. Then send all those precious memories captured on your new video camera to grandma. She can view them on her DVD player...How cool is that?
  • The ability to easily record family memories is a big bonus. I love to scrapbook and video doesn't lend itself to scrapbooking. Now I load up some video on a DVD ...add a pretty CD label and stick it in a protective sleeve. The birthday footage is now saved on the birthday scrapbook page. Oh...and another copy is stored with the DVD's and I sent one to mom.
Can't say enough good about the Canon Elura 100... for the price we are very happy with the quality and all the great functions.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Travel in Luxury - Guide for Cheapskate Travelers

"Attention all Cheapskates... You Have Found Your Luxury Travel Guide!"

If you think you know everything about getting the best luxury traveler deals...think again. Until you read this book you won't know the half of it. This is a must have guide for all travel buffs.

Here are a few tips from this guide for Passport to Luxury:

  • Upgrade opportunities"If you are wait-listed for an upgrade to first class (with or without an upgrade certificate) or for a seat on a flight using a free ticked, keep calling the airlines prior to the date of departure to check on your status. If you are still wait-listed on your departure date, enlist the aid of ticket agents, gate agents, and first-class lounge agents."
  • Airline Programs"When signing up for any credit card with a mileage program, be aware that the rewards structure and value of the points or miles you accumulate is subject to change at any time, at the sole discretion of the financial institution, and sometimes without even prior notice. It all depends on what's written in the fine print of your cardmember agreement, so be sure to read it and any updates or changes to it that arrive in the mail."
  • "Bona Fide Deals : Senior Discounts - Senior citizen airline discounts or books of discount airline coupons that can be bought at discounted rates. These rates and discounts are offered by most of the major air carriers."
See what I mean... this book is full of information like this...

  • Who to talk to get upgrades and preferential service and who to talk to when you don't get what you want.
  • Which credit cards are right for your travel situation.
  • What defines good and exceptional service and how do you know if your getting bad service. Who do you talk to about it.
  • Hotel discount, Hotel loyalty and Hotel credit cards...which is best for you.
This guide just goes on and on... lots of stuff packed into 300+ pages.

This is the second edition but it was published in 2004. I think the information is right on and will be useful for many years.

Arizona Guidebook - Roadside Sites - Book Review

Have you ever found a book that you couldn't stop telling people about? I found so much cool information in this one little Arizona Guidebook that I find myself sharing it with all my friends...and we live in Arizona!

Arizona is a really interesting place, lots of beautiful scenic views and interesting history. This guidebook to the natural and human history of Arizona's highways is just what you need to find this information.

Arizona Roadside Discoveries
A Guidebook to the Natural and Human History of Arizona's Roadways
by Terry Hutchins

As you drive on these well traveled byways, you will learn about plant life and animal life along the way. You will also get some history into the people who added to the history of this great state.

This Arizona guidebook is intended for a two person trip. One reads the guide and narrates the trip for the driver. This guide features eight driving tours, and they all start in Phoenix, Arizona. Each tour description contains a series of geological aerial photos with numbered mileposts referenced. Points of interest are marked on the maps with a code that indicates the page of the description in the guide.

Some of the interesting information I found:

  • #38 Since 1859, the rapid progress in transportation has changed the function of this place. When the name of this location was Antelope Hills, it was a stagecoach stop. After the arrival of the railroad, it became Tacna, the site of a railroad siding. After the name Tacna was given to another location, this highway stop became Noah, after Max Noah. Highway travelers of the 1920s might have stopped here to visit with Max under a shady tree while he pumped gas from a barrel.
  • #28 Notice the floodplain of the heavily cultivated Gila River in the aerial photo. Contrast the dark rectangles of farmland to the natural terrain. Crops of the Wellton-Mohawk District include alfalfa for dairy animals, cotton, Bermuda grass seed, melons and lettuce.
  • #25.5 The Muggins Mountains are seen three miles to the right. A prospector named them after his companion and confidant, a burro named Muggins. Most of the mountains are made of hardened lava, sand and gravel. The Muggins Mountains are currently shared by a wilderness area to the south and military proving grounds to the north.
I keep this Arizona guide book in the car... whenever we drive anywhere in Arizona, I have narrated some of the sights to the driver as we go. It is a really fun way to pass the time and the kids also have learned a little along the way...That is always a plus!

A Guidebook to the Natural and Human History of Arizona's Roadways

Arizona Roadside Discoveries: A Guidebook to the National and Human History of Arizona's Roadways.

Click here to get a copy.

Southwest USA Travel Guide - Book Review

The Southwest USA Guide is pocketbook size but a huge amount of Southwest travel information is packed into the 480 + pages. Covering Utah, Arizona and New Mexico only... you're going to use this book until it is shred's while you're traveling the roads of America's Southwest.

If you like your guide books on point and
without a ton of fluff...this is the one for you.

  • Tips on all the areas skiing, hiking, mountain biking and rafting.
  • Where to find the best local food and drink
  • The best lodging ( You can book your stay in a wigwam!)
  • If you looking for strange and bizarre travel sites...all the info included.
  • Include some of Route 66 in your trip... What a kick! Don't miss doing a side trip on Route will regret it.
If you like lots of will be disappointed. This guide isn't about pictures. But...if you want to know where all the cool detours have come to the right place.

You won't believe this but I found 2 pages in this guide the best! They are itineraries or "tailored trips".
  • Old West - A listing of all the Old West tourist attractions in the Southwest. (included a few in Southwest Colorado) - The list is scant and the sites are great distances from each other...but if it's your first time to the area, you should check a few of them out.
  • Parks and Natural Attractions - Some great places are listed, again... not all my favorites are listed.
  • Southwest for Kids - Everything listed here is a great idea for kids...including River Rafting.
  • You just knew I would add the one about Route 66. Seriously... I recommend that you visit this stretch of road at least for a short span. I have friends who have taken the entire trip and had a blast. So many great little towns and the people are very cool.
You just can't go wrong with this little guide.. If you know someone who is taking a trip to the Southwest USA soon...stick this in their Christmas stocking.

Would you look at this cute little travel pack I found??? I love it. Click on the picture to find out how you can get one also!
This travel pack provides deluxe wine and cheese service that includes a miniature cutting board and cheese knife, a corkscrew, two forks, two knives, and two spoons.
Wine & Cheese Travel Pack

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Las Vegas Insiders Guide - Book Review

The Las Vegas Insiders Guide is written by locals and real insiders who offer personal, practical information as well as in-depth lowdown on Vegas. You know about all the fountains on the strip and where to see the statues and the pirates. But do you know where....

* The best food is found?
* To find great shopping...both high end and bargain basement?
* Where to find attractions off the strip?
* What to do with the kids?

Oh yeah...another travel guide for the Las Vegas strip . I know...what a bore!
Wait..I think this one is a good guide to have on hand.

We travel to Las Vegas 2 or 3 and sometimes 4 times a year and want to see or do something new every time we go. You know... we all have our favorites, but it's gets boring if you have a
routine and never try anything different.

Learn to navigate an area full of diverse opportunities full of fun and adventure. Find the scarlet red rock formations in the Valley of Fire and visit the cool depths of the Hoover Dam.

Listings in this great guide also include:

* Day trips and weekend adventures... all from the strip
* Where to Golf with the big boys and on a budget
* Parks and Recreation
* Arts and Culture
* Nightlife
* Nightclubs
* Lodging
* Gaming Guide

This Guide is also designed to be extreameley useful for those Relocating to Las Vegas. You will find tips and useful places and people to contact. Also information on:

* Places of worship
* Retirement information
* Health care information
* School information
* Relocation help

Weather you're planning a vacation, or looking to relocate... The Insiders' Guide to Las Vegas will help you with everything you need to know.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Travel the American Southwest - Travel Guide

You know how cool the Discovery Channel is...right? Well now they have teamed up with Insight Guides to bring us a really great tool. What an interesting guide this is. Different than your regular map and where to eat guide. It's full of very neat stuff - and it's good.

So easy to read and find the information you need. Isn't that the kind of guide book you need?
Well...I have to say it's not the only guide book you need...but a good one to have on the stack.

The first thing I noticed was how heavy this book is. It's over 1.5 lbs and unusually heavy for a paperback book. The reason is the heavy weight paper. The thick and heavy paper is beautifully printed with easy to read text, photos and maps.

The next thing I found so cool is the photographs. These quality photographs are large and beautiful. No tiny little thumbprint photos in this book...oh no. It's like a small version of a coffee table book.

Huge sections include chapters on history, people, places and features of the American Southwest.

And then I got to the back 25 pages. Travel Tips.
  • Climate
  • Customes and Passport/Visa information
  • Getting to the area by train, air, bus or car
  • A few recommended places to stay for each state.
  • A few listed places to eat per state.
  • Calendar of Events - small listings for each state.
This book is a nice guide with unusual and interesting information. And of course the pictures!

I purchased it as an accompaniment to my other guide books, not as my only guide book for the American Southwest.
  • History: What happened in ancient times up to contemporary times. Migrations of people and events captured in petroglyphs. Cowboys and buckaroos are born. Barbed wire shapes the land and Native American lands are changed and relocated. It's all covered in the first 50 pages.
  • People: The Native Americans... the Navajo, the Hopi, the Tohono O'Odham and Pima people. The Hispanics and the Anglos. All have plenty of discussions about family and home life as well as the struggles in the next 60 pages.
  • The Art in the Southwest as well as the cuisine and topics covering the film industry and the flora and fauna have about 50 pages devoted.
  • Places: The next 150 pages cover Places. What's so perfect is that every place seems so interesting. Of course their aren't any personal experiences or recommendations about best time of year to travel and when to avoid the crowds.
  • This guide covers the famous sites and then tells you about interesting little side trips to take in. Like a beautiful Jewish Cemetery just down the way from the Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona. Almost every page has a tip for sightseeing, or a map location and every page has those gorgeous photographs...I just can't get enough of them.

I purchased this guide to use with my other guides... not as my only guide to the American Southwest.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Southwest Travel Tips - Cut the Stress and See the Best

Simple Tips (that make a big difference) for Travel in the Southwest and other Western States covers travels in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and includes 400 photographs plus bonus information for California and Nevada.

Any vacation can be stressful. Imaging all the things that can go wrong with any vacation and then double it. If a you could find one thing that might help cut the stress of any part of your vacation...would you jump at the chance?

Walnut Canyon, Flagstaff Arizona Area

Don't you love to get a few little recommendations from someone in the know? You only have so much time to see "stuff" and you don't want to waste your time driving to some tourist destination that is going to be disappointing.

Just imagine that you are driving for a few hours to get to some quaint little ghost town and it turns out to be a bustling shopping area and way to much traffic and noise. Wouldn't you just love to do all that driving and arrive at your destination knowing full well what all the deterrents will look like and where to turn to get to the good places?

I love to find a great local eating joint or nice place to have a picnic lunch. The problem is... It's a hit or miss proposition if I just use the tourist guidebooks. They usually try to lead us to the most expensive and very crowded destinations.

So... what's the answer? I found this great little eBook.

This neat little guide is written by Dale & Estelle Moritz of Pittsburgh, PA. They have traveled the Southwest United States and now you are going to benefit from those experiences.

What is so special about this little guide?
  • It's an eBook so you get it within 5 minutes of purchase.
  • This information you want is easy to find...quick and you can print out the guide to pack in the car for quick reference
  • The tips are for anyone who just wants to have a nice easy trip without anything fancy.
  • Each destination is rated. Some are not rated - except to tell you to avoid the place altogether and why. How cool is that?
  • The dates of travel are recorded so you know what time of year this travel was taking place. This can make a huge difference in your travel planning.
  • Which are the must do hikes in any area...and which are just ho-hum.
  • This little gem is really a good price.
Here is the link to a page with a sample from the book... Check out this Southwest Travel Guide
I recommend that you use this guide in addition to other travel guides and maps.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Podcast - Drive to Grand Canyon

This Podcast website is actually full of travel podcasts to places around the world. He covers subjects such as
  • when to travel
  • why travel
  • how to travel (planning, learning languages, how much to pay)
  • who they have met along the way
  • traveling with children
  • a forum is available to answer you questions
I will be reviewing specific podcasts that relate to Southwest Travel and Mexico Travel.

The Drive to Grand Canyon Podcast is over 45 minutes of travel tips and driving information for travel to the North and South Rim Grand Canyon from San Jose via Las Vegas.

Once you get to the web site scroll down about half way until you see a title labeled [Songs]...just under that label you will find the download link for this podcast.

Information covered on podcast: (starts about 20 min. into podcast)
  • radio station availability
  • cell phone availability
  • internet connections
  • sites to see on the road
  • where to stay
  • camping by tent
  • weather
  • internet resourses

Information available from the site:

  • Maps
  • Gallery of photographs
  • Guides
  • Park Information
The Amateur Traveler Podcast is produced and audio by Chris Christensen. The voice is mellow and easy to listen to. You won't find roudy commercials or raw language. Just interesting stories and information about the trips he has taken.

Even if you aren't planning to travel to the Grand Canyon, a trip to his web site will lead to some interesting and entertaining informtion that will be useful to any travel you have planned.

Have a great time with Chris on the Amateur Traveler Web Site.
Amateur Traveler Web Site

Crossing the Border Into Mexico - What Do I Need to Know?

Do you want informating before you start crossing the border into Mexico? Are you checking out the options before you choose a retirement location? When you travel to Mexico do you feel like you being ripped off? I found a new book that is just for you.

Current and easy to read information published in 2006. If your driving or flying into Mexico anytime soon you should have an updated compilation of important points you must know. This guide has well over 50 things and tips you should be aware of before you step one toe over the border.

So many of us cross the border to vacation in Mexico and we all need to know about the cultural differences that we will encounter. The authors of this book are giving you the benefit of all their experience so that you will enjoy your time in Mexico and avoid cultural battles and emotional turmoil. I know you want your memorable experiences of Mexico to be positive.

The contents of the book are divided into sections:
  • Financial Issues
    • How to exchange money for pesos and get the best rates
    • Beware of "Casas de Cambio"
    • Don't wait in line for to exchange money
    • How to get travel cash before you leave home?
    • What you need to know about Credit/Debit Cards in Mexico
    • Can you use Checks and Travlers Checks in Mexico?
    • many more tips
  • Communications Issues
    • How to make International long distance phone calls for free
    • How to use Mexican pay phones
    • What you should know about cell phone service in Mexico
    • How to dial phones in Mexico
    • Internet service in Mexico
    • many more tips
  • Personal Safety/Protection Issues
    • Petty theft and fraud
    • Avoid being a victim
    • Dealing with police and authorities
    • Travel insurance
    • Vehicle insurance
    • Property insurance
    • Mexican medical system
    • many more tips
  • Cultural Differences and Issues
    • Understanding meanings of words and gestures
    • Recommendations regarding cultural issues
    • What to expect in typical situations
    • Take time to learn the language
    • many more tips
  • Legal Issues
    • How to get into and out of the country
    • Mexican laws
    • Recommendations regarding legal issues
    • many more tips
Each section has information, author commentary and a list of recommendations.

The recommendations for each section include things you should do before you start your travel and refrecnces you should have on hand during your Mexico visit. Much of the information is found through lists of clickable links for the resources, so you will need to keep a copy of this book on your computer.

This handy eBook is downloaded right away. Print out a copy and get started with your research now. Many of the resource links are only available to subscribers of their web site.

Updated information and new resources are posted often according to the author.

Click here to check out the authors web site for tons of information you should know before you Travel Mexico.

Live in Mexico - Can I Retire in El Golfo Mexico? can retire anywhere in Mexico and live in luxury. El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico might be an option among other Mexican retirement choices for Americans.

Are you close to retirement age or just wish you were? Have you been thinking of retirement for a few years? Do you think you just can't afford to retire? These are all questions the baby-boomer age group are asking themselves and others. Where can I go to retire? Can I Retire in Mexico?

Researching everything you want to know about Mexico and learning about retirement in Mexico is so easy now that the computers and the internet is available to just about everyone. Did you find this page with a search about Vacationing in Mexico or Retirement in Mexico? See??? It is easy... oh and it can be frustrating also.

So much information is available and not always in one place. So you spend hours and days online printing and compiling information about how to retire in Mexico, into stacks and binders. Then you cross refrence and check all the information to find the tidbits that reference to your particular situation or circumstances.

Think about it??? How do you search out all the information about living internationally? Does the information come from tourist sites trying to lure you to purchase a time share? Did you find useful information from a Mexican site or an American site? Which would serve to answer your questions logically?

Wouldn't the best information come from someone who has been in your shoes and now lives the life you dream of?

I found out about this gal that has written a book for us! Her name is Barbie Parks and she is amazing. Her and her hubby Dick have done all the investigative work for us. She keeps this book updated fairly regularly so the information is current. And best of all...she has a newsletter and it's full of current information that we will all need to retire in Mexico.

Even if you only plan an extended visit or become a winter resident this guide will be of so helpful. She covers among other topics
  • Social Security Concerns
  • International Drivers License
  • Health Care
  • Tourist Card
  • Non-Immigrant Visa requirements
  • Passports
  • Automobile Fuel
  • What About the Water?
  • Perscription Drugs
  • Real Estate
Can you believe that she does all this work about retirement? Isn't she retired? Well yes she and her husband are retired, but keep so busy with all kinds of projects...the Retire in Luxury book and newsletter being just one of them.

Check out her site now and see if this information isn't just what you are looking for.

Retire in Mexico Book - Click Here

It's a download eBook which means you get it right now. In less than 5 minutes you can have all the information you need to get started on your Mexican retirement research. You will always need to finish up the investigation with your personal requirements, but this guide is an amazing wealth of information all in one place.

Can you retire in El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico or retire anywhere in Mexico? Maybe. Just think of the choices and opportunities that await you in this land of beauty and sunshine. NO SNOW!

Information about El Golfo Mexico

Monday, May 22, 2006

Vacation in Mexico via San Luis Sonora Mexico

So...Our friends invited us down to El Golfo again and so we are off on another adventure. You might be thinking.. ho hum.. another trip to El Golfo. Same song, second verse... but you would be a missing some great new trip information. Heading across to San Luis Mexico on a Friday afternoon, we have slow and go traffic.

The reason for the delay??? School is out and the children are lined up to cross over to Mexico.

They wear school uniforms and carry large backpack just like all kids in American schools. Wait, they are from the American schools crossing back to their homes in Mexico. They walk in small packs, and the teenage girls have the same haunting "get lost" stare that all girls that age have.

The walk from the schools crosses right in front of a modern United States Post Office. This American institution looks out of place. It is a huge modern building with a large parking lot. The area is surrounded with the old San Luis shopping district and boarded up offices.

The postal building is larger, cleaner and much more modern than the U.S.P.S. in Yuma. Very strange for such a small town, though it serves a much larger community coming across the border.

When we crossed over to San Luis, I snapped this shot of the shopping district in San Luis, Sonora. It reminds me of the old downtown shopping areas in America. They even have diagonal parking.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Best Book about El Golfo de Santa Clara Mexico

El Golfo Tour Guide's the only El Golfo Book I can find. ...And this El Golfo Guide has maps and driving instructions to get to El Golfo.

Its an E-book which means, you pay for it online and download it. ( it's only 10 bucks) Then print and before you can say... chili peppers, you got a great little tour guide to the area.

If you're a winter visitor or 'zonie visitor and you're going it alone, Get This Book!

This book has a huge amount of facts and information. The author keeps it fairly up to date. (last revision was August 2005). If your El Golfo information comes from your "buddy" or a "I heard this guy telling someone about..." then you probably have some misinformation.

Traveling in Mexico is just like any other foreign tourist destination. The biggest reasons for getting into trouble in another country are:
  • You're just silly if you don't follow the law.
  • And your very silly if you think you are above the law.
  • You don't practice common sense caution. (If your gut is telling you it may not be safe, gee... maybe it's not).
Anyway, back to the book. You will find this book to be fact filled and slightly defensive. The author has lived in this area for a very long time, and finds the treatment of "Mexicans" less than desirable. He has included a chapter covering the history of the area and also a chapter about the law and how it affects you, including advice on insurance, tourist cards and visas, permits and other required certificates.

If you are misinformed about the U. S. and Mexican customs you may find yourself in a world of trouble. Also he explains in great detail about mordita (little bits) or in English...the bribe.

If you need a map and need to know the best routes to get to El Golfo, comprehensive driving directions and many maps of the area are included.

All of the local hotels, motels and rv parks are listed as well as telephone numbers. Of course these are international calls, but the dialing instructions are included. The Colorado River Adventures R. V. Parks has a place in El Golfo. This book lists much more information than the web site. Very helpful.

Many tips are listed about driving in the sand. This is very important, as the area is mostly unpaved.

What to do in El Golfo? Clam Digging, Water Activities, Fishing and Touring to name a few. All listed with helpful information.

There is a Spanglish Tutorial - which will help you communicate with the locals. You don't need to become bi-lingual, as most of the locals want to talk to you. If you show some effort, they will reciprocate in kind. Besides, its fun to learn new stuff!

P.S. After you download the book, you will also receive an e-mail with a link to another report about Purchasing Property in the Mexican State of Sonora.

If you have every considered retiring to Mexico, get this book. It is a valuable tool and a real eye opener!

El Golfo Tour Guide It's less than 10 bucks!

The link will take you to a pink page. Look for the link on the left "Guide Book"

El Golfo de Santa Clara Mexico Grunion Run

Want to fish with out a pole? I found this video showing all the action. The date shown is March 2006, about 3 weeks before our trip. I guess I'll have to go back and see the grunion run for myself.

See the Big triangle in the middle of the screen? Click to play!

El Golfo Tour Guide

Algadones Mexico - The Road Home

Every vacation must come to an end. This day wasn't so bad.

The weather was still holding and we were looking forward to the adventure home. The road back to the States was going to be a little different than the road down to El Golfo. We crossed into Mexico through San Luis and we were going to cross back through Algadones. The reasoning for this, according to our well traveled friends, the lines are shorter and the shopping is better.
We had never crossed the border in a car, so this also proved to be entertaining.

The 30 minute back to the town of El Golfo was beautiful and more to see than the drive down. The beach had filled with campers and RV's. The beginning of the week leading up to Easter had begun, and this area loads in over 45,000 visitors for the week. Time for us to leave.

We had a short stop at El Capitan, for a bite to eat. This would be our last shrimp taco stop, and I was not going to pass on the chance. When you have eaten huge fresh gulf shrimp, you wont be happy with Red Lobster shrimp again. So tasty and the price is outstanding.

The road out of town had changed. Both sides were now lined with vendors. We were expecting to see hats, jewelry and pots for sale. What we found were many stands that sold air.... for the tires! It's a family affair, with the kids and dad filling the tires and they will wash your windshield if needed.

The only other highly sought after item??? Showers.. Many families had built shower stalls and bathrooms in their yards and charged for a shower! All these enterprise's were making money on the spot. Some even had mom cooking on an outdoor grill, so you could get a bite to eat while waiting in line.
We drove the same road back to just outside San Luis. Then turned west and headed for the Algadones port of entry.

In Arizona, we don't have toll roads, so it was a surprise to find one so close to home. Mexico is full of them. We have learned that while traveling in Mexico, stick to the toll roads. Your car will thank you for this.

This store caught my eye because of the color. We didn't get to stop. :(
Getting close to home now. We crossed the "dry" Colorado River and headed north to the border.

El Golfo Mexico - The Old Man in the Sea

We met this character down the way. The walk on the beach was short and I wanted to meet Pedro.

Pedro, who is the master to the beach dogs, is well known in the area. He has lived here for many years and apparently used to be one of the local fishermen. His new vocation is artist. The shell art he creates is wonderful. It always surprises me when I find someone so creative with glue.

His home is not easily described.

One of the beach dogs had 9 puppies, just on the verge of weaning. I'm sure she will be thankful, if you catch my drift.

El Golfo Tour Guide

Monday, April 17, 2006

El Golfo Mexico | Camping on the Beach

El Golfo Tour Guide

To get where the Mexico beach camping is good... You have to drive on the beach. I was aghast at the thought. I mean...Where is the road? It's true, the road between El Golfo and Rocky Point is still under construction. So to get away from town, you have to get dirty.

Not realizing the next 30 minutes would be like driving at the Sand Dunes... we didn't "air down" enough. Finally, getting to the correct tire pressure threshold, we were off.

I mean off to the races, hell bent for destinations unknown. When your beer (glass bottles no less) is packed with block ice... this drive has brought tears to a grown man's eye. Trust me...I saw them.

The beach is beautiful. White sand and clear blue water, and only a few campers for miles. Where will you find that in the States? And, it gets better - the camping is FREE!

Sitting on the beach... all day with your umbrella, a book and cool drinks. This is living! I did forgot the sunscreen so behind the truck would be some glowing pink legs.

The trick to driving on the sand is to stay off anything that looks wet. If the tide comes in before you make it down the beach to your camping destination, the locals will tell you to "just wait the tide out". Don't drive in the water, it takes a mighty big truck and large amounts of American Cash to get you unstuck.

We spied some interesting critters on our journey across the sand to the water. "Watch out"... for the jellyfish and the little green worms. No problem, if you leave them alone.

If your very lucky, you will be camping near the fishing cabins, and then you will know the meaning of
luxury. You gals know what I mean.
Banos is Spanglish for Bathroom

When you are in this area you will be joined by a few scrawny dogs. They belong to a local fisherman, Pedro, but when the Americans are nearby these guys get real friendly. I'm guessing they don't get table scraps like ours.
Good Doggie!

Beach sunsets are the best. We enjoyed them on the deck of this old fishing cabin with good friends and good drinks.

Next post will show Pedro, the fisherman, at his Beach Estate and the art he creates. Oh and I'll also try to get you home safe.

'till manana. (my Spanglish for ...maybe tomorrow.)

El Golfo Tour Guide