After the constant bombardment of illegals crossing our borders, the last thing anyone wants to hear today is something good about Mexico. And yet I’m like a salmon swimming upstream
Last Thursday I commenced a road trip through Mexico. My girlfriend, who lives in the State of Sinaloa — yes Sinaloa — flew up to Tijuana to meet me where we commenced our journey. I have to admit that after watching the news for two weeks where there was not one good word said of any country south of the United States I was starting to have trepidations.
What is worse of course is that my car has California plates. I felt like I was going to be a sitting duck for any perverse evildoer. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was reminded again that the reports of American deaths in Mexico are half-truths by the American mainstream press. What they don’t tell you is that those Americans are dual citizen Americans involved in the drug trade. If you’re not involved in drugs, no one bothers you. In fact you are treated with the utmost respect and courtesy.
We began by making the drive to Mexicali along the U.S. border. What I saw were steep hills, dry without vegetation, crisscrossed by a serpentine immigration fence. It was a visual and stern warning not to dare cross it. It was actually quite impressive.
The highway was a perfect concrete marvel to drive on, that we had no problems whatsoever reaching Mexicali. From there we proceeded to Rio Colorado San Luis where we spent the night with absolutely no problem. This town was the jumping off point leading to the state of Sonora.
Directly west of the little town was the same serpentine fence. I asked my girlfriend why people didn’t just take a ladder and cross over. It appeared to be a fence for show if nothing else. She said crossing that fence was sure death because it would take a week to walk through the desert to get to Yuma. The Nationals refer to it like the Bataan death march. Few if any can make it through the desert alive.
We continued the next day driving through the remainder of the state of Baja into the Sonoran desert. Now, I love the desert. Yes it is dry and it was hot but there was a real serenity to it. I felt like I was driving the stretch from Yuma to El Paso that I had made many times when my kids were growing up and we made our annual obligatory trip to visit the grandparents living at the southernmost tip of Texas bordering Matamoros.
Eventually we made it into a stretch that more resembled the drive through Texas where the vegetation started becoming more and more green until we entered a stretch of beautiful and majestic outcropped mountains.
We had decided we would drive as far as the seaside town of San Carlos. As we entered San Carlos the ocean was rimmed by the most beautiful and stately mountains rising over a turquoise sea.
The community was gorgeous. It reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of Ipanema in Brazil.
This column would have to be chapters long to fully describe the beauty I witnessed and the congeniality of the native population.
All real estate signs had names like Smith and Jones. The Americans have definitely taken over there. Lavish yet modest ocean view homes that sell for a couple million here start at $125,000 there. No wonder so many Americans live there.
So far, so good. The people were friendly as were the police when we went through numerous checkpoints where police and federali’s were set up to look for drugs and weapons. Because I had California plates they just waved us through.
We eventually reached Culiacan in the state of Sinaloa where vast stretches of lush farmland reach beautiful tree studded and majestic peaks rising to the heavens. I thought everyone would look like Pancho Villa.
What I saw instead were clean little towns with central parks, bustling little stores, kids playing and grandparents sitting under shade trees. Other than the mountains, I could have been in any little town in the U.S., had signs not been in Spanish. The architecture on some of the old buildings was beyond the word impressive. I could picture entrepreneurial developers coming in and rehabbing such ornate historical structures. The ornamental facades were very, very impressive as many of the buildings were built in the mid to late 1800s.
We will be arriving tomorrow to my condo on the Bay of Banderas in Puerto Vallarta. We’ll stay for a day and then head deep into the south of Mexico to see some Pyramids that I’m excited to see.
Joe Moris may be contacted at (760) 500-6755 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org