Navigation Failure

I have it all mapped out… today is our short day on our sprint down the coast to Sayulita. Google maps says it would take just 2.5 hours to get from Celestino Gasca to Teacapán. If we leave at 9, we can fit in a short stop at the petroglyphs at Playa Las Labradas, 30 minutes away, and still be in Teacapán for lunch.


We leave right on time, but first we have to stop and talk with the other couple at the RV park to make sure we can get to the highway by going south instead of north. Then we have to open and close the gates and everyone wants to get out.

The road to the petroglyphs is narrow and bumpy, so when we get there we find that water has spilled on the kids’ books, which spilled on the floor. Matt cleans it up while I take the boys to see the petroglyphs. A guy at the entrance tells us they don’t have any tickets to sell us so it will be free today.

We walk through the jungle down to the beach and there are two tour guides waiting for us. They explain a bit about the petroglyphs and then tell us there are two loops, one to the south that takes 1 hour, and another to the north that takes 45 minutes. It’s already 10am. Matt tries to tell them we only have 30 minutes and they aren’t too pleased about that.

They take us down to the rocks to show us the petroglyphs. We try to follow their explanations as best we can in our rusty Spanish while also trying to keep the boys from hurting themselves on the slippery, wet rocks.


Thirty minutes turns into one hour. It is really interesting, but the boys are starting to deconstruct, and finally we head back to the trailer.

We make a quick snack and then get on the road. I pull up google maps. Two and a half hours! But we already drove a half hour! And somehow it is 11:30! The boys fall asleep soon after we get back on the road and soon we are navigating Mazatlan traffic. The book says to take the free road, but google maps is pointing us toward the toll road. We decide on the free road. It looks about the same distance and it should be more interesting than the toll road.

I check the time to our destination on google maps again. 2.5 hours! Seriously? Have we been standing still all day? We pass through some small towns, slowing down for each speed bump. We get tiny glimpses of how people live and work. Everyone is selling dried shrimp. The vegetation becomes more jungle-like and we see groves of mangoes everywhere.

At some point the boys wake up and we stop for a late lunch in a little town. The boys draw tons of attention with their big blue eyes as we walk in this non-touristy area. A couple of old men light up when they see the boys and try to make friends with them. We find some shrimp and chicken tamales and eat them beside a truck on the sidewalk

When we get back to the car it is mid-afternoon and we still have 40 minutes to go! So much for a short day! We take a smaller road out to Teacapan. The agriculture is a bit different out here with some fields growing 2-3 crops at the same time. Coconut palms with mangoes, peppers with corn. We pass big lagoon areas with tons of birds. The kids are ready to get out of the car, but I am so busy looking at everything that we go past our turnoff. We are all thankful to arrive at our beautiful campsite, 3 hours behind schedule!


Tostadas on the Go

  • One crisp tostada
  • Bagged refried beans
  • Fresh diced tomato
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Cotija (firm Mexican cheese)

Spread beans on the tostada, top with tomato and cheese. Eat and run!



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