We crossed the border into Mexico at Nogales early on a Sunday morning without incident, though the contrast between the two sides of the border is always both stunning and stupefying no matter where you cross. Dan was cleared for temporary importation about 20 kilometers south of the border at a major checkpoint heavily guarded by countless Federal Police in body armor with ski masks hiding their faces, each carrying an AK-47 and a pistol as well. This was a familiar sight as we traveled south, though it became less frequent the further we got from the border. Most of the checkpoints were set up for traffic going north toward the U.S., so we just sailed along.
Guaymas/San Carlos was our stop the first night and Mazatlan the next, the second day being a very long hard slog of about eight hours on the twisty coast road. The third day we arrived in the northern outskirts of Puerto Vallarta at a spot called Punta de Mita, famous for its enormous Four Seasons Resort, of which we saw only the main gate as we stopped to ask directions.
We had four wonderful days on Banderas Bay staying in the beautiful beachfront condo of old sailing friends Caren and Sam from San Francisco. While there the remains of the big flotilla of sailboats that comes down from San Diego each November and is called the Baja Ha-Ha showed up anchored offshore directly in front of our building–26 sailboats in all including nine catamarans and reminding us once again of Icarus, our catamaran home on the Mediterranean for six years.
We swam, took long walks along the beach, and ate heaps of seafood after 3000 miles of driving since leaving Santa Fe ten days before.