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Old 02-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #50
RexBuck OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 1,089
Day 13 - Jan 30

Short day today distance wise – only went from Los Mochis to Culiacan but did a bit of wandering in the hills. Cuota and Libre combined for awhile, they get a toll and then they split. Headed up a road I had preplaned from the Libre east then south. Paved part of the way then turned into good gravel. Then gravel varied a bit – lots of dry water crossings. Not a lot of scenery but once I got going was nobody around.

Followed the road into a very small town – suddenly realized that virtually all the houses were nice to luxury. Lots of new cars, new ATVs, etc. Lots of construction. Couldn’t find the road I was to continue on so, carried on through the town. Wound up scooting up a driveway to a pretty fancy place to turn around. Got yelled at by some guys in the street. Turned around, shake hands and carry on. Didn’t see any guns - didn't actually expect to. Lets see, we are in Sinaloa State, we are up in the hills a long way from anything, there is a tremendous amount of wealth in town, the place is palatial, there is no apparent active business in the area, mine, farm, nothing, there are a lot of Hombres around giving me the Stink-Eye. Ahhh, probably a just a bunch of the Mexican upper crust wanting to get away from it all . . . could well be.

Of course, I stuck to the Libre roads where I could. The Libre roads are generally the old highway which go through all of the small towns that have been there for a long time. They are free while the Cuota is more of a freeway, hardly any topes, 4 lane but you get to pay a toll for using it. I like the Libres as there is more to see and experience that way. Every once in awhile, they get sneaky. For instance, just before Culiacan, cruising along the Libre, sign pops up, End of the Libre, then another sign, Start of the Cuota then a toll both – all within a half mile. Bastards!

Just to satisfy my farm need and a need for something visual in this post, you see these structures to the right in this brief video every once in awhile on the flat farmland. They are netting and my guess is they are sheltering tomatoes - they are huge.

Decided the afternoon was getting long and I would get a place in Culiacan. What a mistake! I drove around this berg for an hour looking for a hotel lots of motels at the outskirts but I wanted just a regular joint.

Another moment to explain the difference between a motel and hotel. Hotels are what we are used to and many look like what we think of as motels – drive up to the door, etc. although many are the multi-storey inside entrance buildings. However, on the outskirts of most larger towns are numerous Motels. Motels are where you go if you want to discretely rent a room for just a few hours. They are designed with an entrance and exit and you usually can’t see inside the grounds. Each room has a private garage and all transactions are done with cash, no names and in fact the staff wouldn’t even see you if you wanted real discretion. Usually rental is from a few hours to half a day. I wound up in one last year and it actually worked pretty well although I was awakened periodically by garage doors opening and closing. Had a 12 hour stay and had to be out at 6:13AM – worked fine for me. No WiFi though and the TV had a “limited selection” of, um, genre.

So, didn’t want a Motel tonight. Let Garmin drag me around looking mostly for places that didn’t exist finally thought, how about Lonely Planet – they should have a couple of recommendations. Can you believe for a City of 600,000 they don’t recommend one hotel or even a restaurant. Sure backpackers are going to avoid a city if they can (as should bikers) but the odd one must get stuck there. They did mention there were some hotels near the river so, went that way and found a whole wack of fancy places – feast or famine. Finally found the Hotel San Carlos around the corner from the new places. It was basic but just fine – parking inside the courtyard that is secured with a steel gate at night, the best WiFi I’ve had the whole trip – just no AC. Oh, and 300p – about $23.
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