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

Saturday, April 15, 2006

El Golfo Sonora Mexico - Southwest Vacation - El Capitan

It is true... if you have vacationed in El Golfo, Sonora, Mexico you will be asked if you went to El Capitan.

You will want to say a resounding Yes! Watch for the sign as you drive into El Golfo. You have made it to your desitanation, now it's time to reward yourself with a cool drink and some great Mexico Style food.

If you don't want to while away the day at El Capitan, then at least stop in for a quick bite! Try the Shrimp and Eggs or the Shrimp Tacos. Really, they are very good..

If you don't want beer try out an orange soda. When you order sodas here they come in glass bottles. When was the last time you had a soda from a bottle.

Think of your favorite Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
songs - and you will have a clear vision in your mind of what this place is like. I mean... you could "step on a pop top" just getting in the door.

And... if your not into drinking your way through the hot afternoons, you can sit on the deck and people watch. Be forwarned...if you are from the Yuma area, you will find someone you know at El Capitan at most any time.

Drive up to the door and park in the sand.
The Bar... That is Teresa - the owner and cook - behind the bar

Proof Positive - Margaritaville can be found at El Capitan!
You can camp at El Capitan... Just ask Teresa for a spot!
More camping. This is the view from the deck! (Before Spring Break)
Shopping is available at El Capitan
If your lacking reading material, you will find many tourist stories to read on over 100 t-shirts hanging from the rafters

El Golfo Tour Guide

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

El Golfo Sonora Mexico is Spring Break Destination

El Golfo Mexico TravelEl Golfo, Sonora, Mexico - Travelers cossing at border in San Luis, Arizona

We Survived!!! The adventure of camping in El Golfo Mexico is a new one on me.

Resorts with cabana boys delivering drinks in coconuts was my close encounter with traveling in Mexico.

The adventure started at the border in San Luis, Arizona. I haven't been through this border town since I was a small child. We switched to Algadones border crossing about 30 years ago. After the border crossing (no problems as the guards were on break) we took a hard right at the first street and shot out of town.

San Luis Mexico RoadIt seems this is a secret that is well known by the 'zonies.(Arizona locals) After a short drive - maybe a mile, we turned left. Now... I can't give you instructions as their isn't a sign. The directions might be - "turn left at the road by the line of trees". This road takes you south, skirting the town of San Luis, then we drive down a dirt alley and we're off... charging down the hi-way again. Our leader was traveling at a good clip, so it's pretty much a blur.

Maybe an hour into the drive, we stop at the Pemex station. The idea wasn't to get fuel, but to fuel ourselves. This taco stand is reported to be the best on the road. I can tell you, the shrimp tacos were scrumptious!! Taco Stand MexicoTaco Stand GuyShrimp Taco
Shrimp Tacos!!!

One more hour on the road and after passing the Mexican Federal check point we landed in the town of El Golfo Sonora Mexico. This is a mean looking little town, where the pavement ends and your on your own. We turned at the El Capitan sign... I mean we have to eat!

El Capitan Mexico
Check out the book I found - Visit or Retire to El Golfo Mexico

More about El Capitan and the rest of our trip soon...

El Golfo - San Luis - Algadones Mexico Travel with THAT Painter Lady

Travel to El Golfo Sonora Mexico and the region with
Debra Conrad THAT Painter Lady.

Gosh... another day in paradise.
Yuma Arizona.

Can't get any better than sunny and breezy with the red stuff hitting 82 on the "thermo- meter".

We are in the best time of the year right now... The population in our area has decreased so we can shop with ease and drive with abandon. Not that we don't love our Winter Visitors, but when the tourists are gone... We get to PLAY!

THAT Painter Lady is me... the local muralist. If you are ever in the area, you may see some of my work on the walls.

Check out the RVUnplugged Travel Blog for my work at World Headquarters!

Hey and always remember...
Travel Broadens the Mind... and often the Waistline!

El Golfo Tour Guide