Guaymas & Friends

On Sunday, we unhooked, dumped, and headed over to Guaymas just on the other side of the bay. On the way, we picked up the microwave, which, thanks to a fellow Oregon native named Ron, appears to have a second lease on life.

On Over to Guaymas

Today, we’re meeting up with some cruising friends from New Zealand that we met in La Paz last year. There haven’t been a lot of other kids along our route so far, so Noe and Riley are fired up to get to play with one of their buddies again. They were also eager to show him their room.

We met up with Marea, Rendt, and Nico at the boatyard they’ve called home off and on for the past few months while working hard to prep S/V New Life to cross the Pacific.

Nico was also eager to show them his home (and toys, of course). Noe and Riley have played in a lot of playrooms over the years, but this one might have taken the cake.

We spent the rest of the day poking around Guaymas. While we enjoy exploring new places on our own, it’s a treat these days to have friends who can take us around to the town’s top sights.

It’s Promo Tenis, people. What were you thinking it said?

Ice cream! Just when our boys thought this day couldn’t get any better.

There’s not a whole lot to see and do in Guaymas. Granted, we’re here midday on a Sunday, so things are probably extra subdued. There’s a nice malecon and a lot of history here, and it’s nice to be in a real town after having spent the past week in neighboring San Carlos.

San Carlos (also known as Nuevo Guaymas) is actually not its own city, but the tourist zone neighborhood of Guaymas. You’d never know it, because they are separated by some mountains and five miles of a whole lot of nothing.

Marea tells us that Carnival here is the oldest and one of the largest in Mexico, dating back to 1888 and attracting tens of thousands of visitors and participants. It’s hard to imagine that many people on a day like this. Muy tranquilo.

One thing that stood out about Guaymas were these cactus covered islands dotting the inner harbor, which are nothing short of otherworldly.

Kids in a boatyard. To our kids, this is better than being in a candy shop. So many things to see. And Noe, of course, had many questions. Fortunately, Marea’s educator background was more than up to the task.

Pretty relaxed Palm Sunday in Mexico on the beach. If you’re looking for a place to lay low during Semana Santa in Coastal Mexico, seems like Guaymas might be a good bet. They’ve got hotels and the boatyard, but unfortunately for us, no RV park.

RV Projects

Back in San Carlos, Emerald Ranch has been a great place to get projects done. Dry, quiet, not dusty, and the weather has been pretty pleasant for most of the day.

Yesterday, I disassembled and lubed the lock assembly on the side door. It was getting finicky to the point that Lori could no longer get it unlocked (not good). Now, it works perfectly. I know a lot of people are going to the keyless locks, but I still prefer the old-fashioned mechanical version.

The big project right now is to tackle the headlights. On our way down to Mexico, we noticed pretty early on that they were pretty dim. I suspect it’s a combination of not very powerful stock headlights, poor aiming, and the lenses being a bit fogged up. LED lights are all the rave, but I have no desire to go to the trouble of sourcing them and properly installing them (which is a lot more complicated). I also have no interest in unnecessarily blinding oncoming drivers.

So, I’m swapping out the old ones for a pair of Sylvania Silver Star Ultras. To do so, I have to completely remove the lenses on this rig. I’ve replaced a lot of headlights over the years but haven’t had to do that. While I have the lenses removed, I figure I’ll go ahead and restore them. I did this last summer with our Montero headlights and was very happy with the results.

Above is the before. Not nearly as bad as the Montero was, but bad enough. I went with a cheaper kit this time and opted to hand sand rather than power sand. Any decent ceramic restoration kit will do, but I used Griot’s Garage Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit, in case you’re curious. Here’s the result…

Good as new. They’ll look a whole lot better once I’m able to wash the coach. After doing this with three different vehicles now, I can safely say that the trick is in the wet sanding and applying the ceramic sealant at the end.

The kit came with 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 grit sand paper. I’ve found that it pays to start with 800 (all wet sanding) for best results, then work up through the paper. I think hand sanding gives better results, but it’s a lot more work. You need to sand with the 800 and the 1,000 until the surface coating is completely even. If there’s a partial coating pealing off, it needs to be removed so it’s all uniform.

The ceramic sealant will help prevent it from yellowing after a few months (and shine it all up nice).

On a sad note, the microwave fuse blew again. Our fix-it guy had taken the thing apart, cleaned the contacts and didn’t find any other reason why it would be doing that. He upgraded the fuse and tried 20 times or so to make it blow in his workshop. I’ll replace the fuse one more time, but if it goes again, we’re just going to have to replace it with a household unit of some sort. Can’t say we didn’t try.

Around San Carlos

Away from the crowds, San Carlos is growing on me. It’s a different world up here near the foothills, and I can see how it wouldn’t be a bad place to live with a car or bikes to get around, particularly out of season.

Lori and Riley joined us on another loop hike. It’s busy in town, but not another soul on the trail today.

Not exactly sure what this is. It’s not listed on the map. At one point or another it seems like it was a hotel. Here during Semana Santa, there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on. Lots of mystery buildings on the Mexican coast.

It’s a long, hot walk back from the beach, but the boys seem to think it’s worth it.

In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d do something a bit different tonight and break out the grill. Lori’s been reading the boys Sarah Plain and Tall (which they’ve been surprisingly captivated by) while I try my best to make something resembling food.

One thing about ground beef in Mexico is, even if it’s 80/20 it still doesn’t guarantee it’s going to stick together. I’ve found that pre-forming then freezing the patties beforehand ups the chances of success dramatically. Still, on this particularly night, the res molida was just a bit too molida and I watched in horror as the first two patties were unwillingly sacrificed to the carbon gods.

Fortunately, I had some German sausages on the ready (I was going to do tomorrow’s dinner too), so no one was the wiser.

Though the roasted marshmallows may have had a unique beefy flavor to them…

It’s going to be hard to tear the boys away from this place. They’ve got a friend to play with every day (the owners’ daughter and namesake of the ranch), and wide open spaces to explore. But we’ve still got some time here before moving on.

Afternoon “Quiet Time”.

More fun at the beach with friends.

Easter Sunday in San Carlos

Given that Easter is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, we thought we’d try and catch Easter mass at the church down the street. We geared up for standing room only, but when we got there, the place was deserted.

Turns out the schedule posted on the front door was for their sister-church two miles away. Guess that just means beach time.

The last couple of days have been cloudy and cool, with more in the forecast. Makes leaving tomorrow all the easier. After two weeks in San Carlos, it’s time to hit the road and head south along the coast.

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