Once we were across the boarder, and all of our paperwork was in line, our next step was to find a place to stay for the night. We didn't want to have to search too hard for camping the first night out of the country, so we did our research beforehand, and had a pretty good idea where we were headed. Using google maps, we chose to head for a small town in the "Reserva Especial de la Biosfera Cajón del Diablo" (Devil's Canyon Special Biosphere Reserve). As We drove south from Nogales, our next town was Hermosillo. We tried to find a bank or an ATM to get some pesos to start contributing to the local economy, but we were unsuccessful after coming across a couple out-of-service ATMs. We ended up eating food we had brought with us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that first day. South of Hermosillo, we turned off the highway, onto another paved road, then a dirt road, then a smaller dirt road.
The village we chose as our destination was smaller than we anticipated, and did not offer any services, but the sunset there was beautiful! As expected, no one bothered us, and we slept very well.
Our first night of free beach camping in Mexico was a success. However there was a large amount of garbage on the beach, and the ocean wasn't that inviting for a swim due to loads of "sea grass," floating garbage and an occasional dead bird. Luckily, there were much more beautiful beaches ahead!
Let's talk a bit about driving in Mexico...
Everyone will tell you, "Don't drive at night in Mexico." They're right! It can be very dangerous, but not for the reasons one might expect. The assumption is that it's because of the "banditos" or "Federales", that is not the case. Mexico is largely a free range country, meaning, there are no fences on the side of the road to keep livestock or other animals off the road. These large animals sometimes like to hang out on the roadways for one reason or another, and they are very difficult to see at night. (Pictured below: Wayne and a "night-colored" cow)
In the morning, we hit the road, and found ourselves in San Carlos around lunch time. San Carlos (also called San Carlos Nueva Guaymas) is a beautiful beach town near Guaymas on the Sea of Cortez. (Pictured below: Donde parked at our free campsite on the beach with views of San Carlos' iconic Mt. Tetakawi in the background)
San Carlos is popular resort town for US citizens, due to its proximity to the Arizona border and the fact that it still lays within the "No-Hassle Zone." There are lots of restaurants and bars along the ocean with live music most nights, and many dentists and doctors offering their services at a fraction of the costs in the US. In San Carlos we found a bank, made sure our ATM and credit cards functioned, and started work on the website/blog. We also stumbled upon a beautiful place to camp along the ocean, which was a secluded beach just 5 minutes from town center. (Pictured below: Wayne setting the anchors for the Rhino-Rack Sunseeker awning)
We were able to swim right out front of our campsite and watched pods of dolphins go by several times a day. The water was turquoise and warm, with a sandy bottom, although it wasn't the ideal spot for snorkeling due to a lack of coral or rock features. But we couldn't beat this spot as a place to relax, swim in the ocean, cook outdoors, and enjoy beach life! And the sunsets were not bad either...