Saturday, 6 February 2016

La Penita to Melaque (293 Kms)

Left La Penita about 9 am (who knew that we lost an hour in the time zone?????). Honestly people, if you are going to ride along with us, maybe one of you should give us a shout about these important things!!  :-)  (Ha ha ha)

One other smallish problem we had was the cap on our drinking tank broke. Yes, that is correct. Immediately after Doug filled it up with a full 5 gallons, he noticed it dripping and he reached up underneath the van to tighten it. Funny thing about gravity and water. Only one direction for it to go. Needless to say, the grass in that spot will not require any watering for a week or so. We will be going into a ferreteria (hardware) store in Melaque to see if we can find some sort of silicone or epoxy to fix it. Yikes.....

There goes 5 gallons of purified water....
The landscape changes pretty fast as you head further south into Puerto Vallarta. Lush and green. This part of the Mex 200 is pretty good. Busy but good. Most of the drivers are very courteous and we have never had a problem. You go through quite a number of small hamlets, complete with the obligatory topes (speed bumps) so keep your eyes open!!

Road pictures are never that great but you get the idea.....
We did a quick shop at the Mega store in Bucerias. It is easy to find and easy to get into. Plus they have bank machines there as well. These pictures below are for our friends Bill & Carol - they are the kings of finding good cakes....I think someone (ahemmm....Bill) has a bit of a sweet tooth - just like me!!

White Rock water, who knew??!!
See, you are never really very far from home.

Okay, so now we have two excuses for being late on departure. PLUS, we had our quick grocery shop in Bucerias. enough with the excuses, I know.

We followed the Mex 200 south through Puerto Vallarta. It is a very busy route and the GPS busy area. We do not think that there is a bypass route south bound here. Oh well, it just takes a bit longer. 

Lots and lots of old cobblestone streets, even on the busy route.

Looking out the side window as we passed this street. Notice the water?

Nice malecon.

Once you are south of PV, you go through and past some very exclusive hotels and condos. Very lush area with sweeping and spectacular views, Although, once again, it is hard to get good photos. Here are a few examples. Best I could do.

Road is pretty narrow and this is the main north/south route of the Mex 200!

So, on and on it went. Soon we were out of the lushness and into almost dry, arid pine tree forests. Still twisty like you can't believe. At one point, Doug had to pull over as some of our gear on the floor shifted and hit the sliding door so we had to re-arrange. He says, for the most part, it is one of the lousiest roads "we" have driven. Fun at times but the poor driver (Doug) had his hands full once again just keeping us "shiny side up".

Oh yeah, this is the wide part.....
Even further south, we went through miles and miles of heavy road work. After that, near Punta Perula, it was damage from the hurricane that hit in November. Just brutal what it did to the trees. You can see, driving southbound the exact direction those forceful winds were hitting. Just incredible. It will take years and years for the vegetation to get back to normal.

Flagging personnel. I explained to him what happened to
the iguana and he never even moved out of the way!!
Fairly typical transport out in the country areas.....
Not a ton of clearance room here.
Looks more like an unused trail, doesn't it? Not a highway...
Now we were starting to see the trees, tipping over quite a bit. I can
only imagine how this road was nearly covered with tree limbs after the storm.
Sorry, best I could do. Suffice to say, there were miles and miles of this.

We arrived in Melaque at a little RV Park at about 4:30 pm. Jeez, we almost missed happy hour but not quite!! 

We are now happily hanging out with friends, Paula & Jerry from Nova Scotia and Barb & Sal, who ran the Hacienda Contreras campground in Valle de Juarez. So great to see them all again! Here are a few pictures to get you started.

Can't see it in these pics but there is a nice walking path and beautiful lagoon behind us.
No swimming as there are crocodiles in it!! Show you later.

View inside the campground. We are attached to the bungalows
and it is all very lush and pretty.

This is the first annual "HC Reunion"

Lovely little restaurant, right around the corner from the complex.
That's it for now. We are here for at least one week. You will see lots more from us!!
Peace everyone and have a great weekend!!
Thought for the Day: Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go….M. Walker 


  1. Glad to see you made it Don't think I'd want to take the Alfa along there again.

    1. No, I can't imagine taking a big motorhome on that road. But then you have done things like that before!!!

  2. You must be at Villa Xochipilli, we stayed there after our stay at Hacienda Contreras, same spot as you are in now, try getting a 36' M/H in there. Have fun and thanks for the La Penita beach picture, too bad you couldn't stay longer. Salud.

  3. Ah shucks,, wish we could be there with all you guys. Glad that you made it there after a long day on the road! Say hi to everyone for us!

  4. A good trip. Nice to see Jerry and Paula, how's Barney doing? Say Hi from us too!

    1. They are our delightful Nova Scotia friends!! You can't help but enjoy your time with good people like them!! I will send them your best. Barney is doing well Barb and Sal just left this morning to head back to Valle de Juarez.