Mexico in 6 Months in a Ford Explorer 4×4 Sport

Can’t believe I spent 6 months in Mexico – traveled slower than I ever had, and it WASN’T slow enough.

After visiting my bro and sis-in-law in Congress, AZ. I headed down the west coast of Mexico. Reminded me a lot of the CA. coast back in the 70’s, even still has that “hippie” vibe, in some of the smaller towns.

Visa was close to running out, so zipped through relatively quickly.

Spent a night or two in some towns, their names lost in the unused brain cells of my mind. These things happen, as some portions of travel blur along into other portions, towns go unremembered, events come to mind if one is lucky.

A town that sticks out is Puerto Vallarta.

Looked like a town that could be in Fl. or Ca.

All enclosed buildings, walls surrounding all hotels and houses along the coast. You ain’t a guest at the hotel or a property owner, you’re going to have a tough time getting to the beach here.


In Mexico, there’s always street vendors, trash along the roads, usually potholes in the streets, unkept walls in front of homes.

Not so in Puerto Vallarta – all clean, no one selling anything in the streets. Looks like it was picked up in a big scoop from the u.s., and plopped down into Mexico. Only town in my travels that I’ve seen like this.

From Mazatlan all the way down to the border of Guatemala, it’s all surfer based and touristy stuff. Trips to Mayan ruins, boat rides to sees whales in some places.

Secluded, small towns where americans are trying to hustle up real estate business to keep themselves financed.

Locals doing what the locals do – getting by on a day to day bases – never thinking of making a place “excelente!” to make it stand out from the other places that sell the same stuff, have the same menus, the same decor……..

LOL – typical Latin American.

Mexico Beaches

You’ll see beaches like this along the western coast of Mexico

The slow season when I went through, winter coming to an end in the states and Canada.

Though, still enough tourists to help the local economy get by until the next wither season.


Rain or starry night, vendors line the streets of a small town, selling their wares.

Road along the coast was surprisingly good.

Always seem to be the slowest vehicle on the road. Those that drive down here will attest to the fact that Latin Americans have only one speed – as fast as the damn car/truck will go without killing anyone.

Screw the scenery, the animals and people, it’s the only thing they do fast! (Unless you’re with a hooker, who thinks the same way as the driver – get the job done quickly and be done with it!)

Moving right along……

Mountainous terrain, lots of farms.

Lots of areas to develop – which really kind of surprised me. I thought most of the land would have been bought and built on by now, but not so.

I thought Acapulco would be nicer than what it was. Just a typical, big town that’s old. Divorces done for the movies stars in the distant past.

They’re trying to put some charm into it, but it’s like putting lipstick on a pig – it just doesn’t quite get it.

Acapulco bay

The bay heading into the town of Acapulco.

According to the news, the rest of the area, heading into Guatemala, is dicey.

This is where 43 students have gone missing, presumed killed by the local police, per instructions from the Mayor of a small town.

The Mayor and his wife are now fugitives, the police chief fired and arrested. The whole police force relieved of duty, and the policing now in the hands of the Federal Military.

All the human rights groups talk about human trafficking along this route, along with the drugs that are headed to the u.s.

Highly active cartel activity, if you’re to believe what’s reported on the web by the u.s. government and human rights groups.

Myself, no problems at all.

I like traveling this way. Cruising in my beater – the ol’ reliable Explorer 4×4. – just looking at the stuff passing me by as a drive along the coast and through the towns.

In my view, an enjoyable way of viewing things, without working up a sweat! :)

Gal’ darn A/C still works, marvelously well!

Tooled into Tapachula.

Now this town is supposed be the hub bub of corruption – trafficking in humans, drugs, you name it.

What I saw is what I’ve seen all over Mexico – a midsize Mexican town, a transportation hub for products moving in and out of Mexico. People carrying on like normal people do. Just hung out for a few days, enjoyed the hotel, and ate some decent local food.

So, Tapachula is the last place I stayed in Mexico.

Missed the Mayan ruins and the jungles.

Will have to backtrack to catch those. Time will tell when that happens.

Overall view of Mexico – nice country, great people.

Like most of the world these days, political turmoil in areas, corruption more obvious than other areas of the world (u.s. citizens – hint, hint) – dangerous places one should be aware of. Eyes open, awareness of your surrounding and what’s going on. All wise things.

I should know better – awareness, eyes open.

I’ve done border crossing dozens of times.

But, next up is my first.

The robbery at the Guatemalan border!

About John Wilson

Traveler, writer and photographer. No home now, just traveling the world in search of the lost chord.
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5 Responses to Mexico in 6 Months in a Ford Explorer 4×4 Sport

  1. Rob says:

    Nice write-up, John. I, too, enjoy traveling that way, with a bit of time to explore points of interest. Some very good photos to go with your writing; well done! Enjoyed reading.

  2. John Wilson says:

    Thanks, Rob.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
    Be safe in your travels, too!

  3. Bob G says:

    Great read John. Only have ever been to Cancun and Cozimel. A friend of mine has a place in Tijuana that he invited me to visit “one day.” What’s Tijuana like compared to the typical town there?

  4. John Wilson says:

    Thanks for your comment, Bob.
    Never been to Tijuana – but I imagine it’s like all the other border towns – little charm, warehouses, lots of bars (now shut down because of lack of tourists), strip clubs, prostitutes.
    Border towns are usually pretty ugly.
    But, then again, could be wrong.
    Glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. Ron/Professor Marvel says:


    Came across your web site after a long while. I’m still in ATL hoping to get to GDL this year. Still can’t sell the damn house. If you get to town say hi.

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