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CARRETERA (HIGHWAY) 200, MEXICO

(Map of Central Mexico.)
Author's note: Map, courtesy of
GUIA MEXICO ROJI

SECTIONS OF CARRETERA 200 - IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

ACAPULCO TO PUERTO ESCONDIDO
PUERTO ANGEL TO HUATULCO
PUERTO ESCONDIDO TO PUERTO ANGEL

PUERTO VALLARTA
NORTH INTO PV
PUERTO VALLARTA TO PLAYA AZUL
PUERTO VALLARTA TO SAYULITA
ZIHUATANEJO TO ACAPULCO

PUNTA MITA, NAYARIT to HUATULCO, OAXACA.

In late February of `06, my wife, Serena, and I, flew to Puerto Vallarta. There we rented a car and drove North around the loop and back to the city.

Not knowing where any car rentals were but realizing there had to be one at the airport, Serena, and I jumped on a bus that said airport and asked the driver, in my broken Spanish, “Caro renta. Renta auto.”

He seemed to understand what I meant and many blocks later he dropped us in front of one I had never heard of.

We went in and asked about prices and I hemmed and hawed, said I wanted to look further.

The lady told me that whatever price I found, come back, and she would match it.

Just a couple of blocks further along the street we found a Dollar rental.

After talking prices for awhile the young lady finally told us that if I went on line I could get a lower price.

That evening I went to an internet cafŽ and booked a car.

I tried Dollar and found it confusing on the types of cars that are available.

I tried National because I have a card with them.

I couldn't get the card number to work though I had confirmed it with them before I left home.

I went back to Dollar and tried to book a compact with no air.

They suggested an upgrade for 50 cents a day more. So I said OK, just to see what I would get.

They gave me an intermediate with automatic and air, so I agreed.

The next morning I took the bus, not quite the right one, as it took a long detour up into the hills. I sat back and enjoyed the scenic tour.

Eventually he returned to the main highway and I got off. Looking around I realized I was only a block from the Dollar rental.

However, I was at the wrong rental.

I was at the one I had been in the day before but it wasn't the one where I had booked the rental over the internet.

There are several Dollars in town and I chose the wrong one from the list on the computer.

`No problemo', as they say in paradise.

They had the car brought over from the other location.

I rented a fairly new Dodge Stratus, with only 78K on the odometer but from the body you would swear it was 780K. There wasn't a panel anywhere that didn't have scratches or dents.

After picking up Serena at the hotel we headed North. We had to stop and get gas, it was only 1/4 full.

In Mexico you don't fill the tank up when you return a car, you fill it to where it was when you got it.

Gas in Mexico was about 1/2 the price of Vancouver.

We had planned to spend a night or two along the way but the car had a warning light on the dash so we went back to have it checked out.

These are some of the pictures I took, through the windshield, along Highway 200.

CARRETERA 200
NORTH FROM
PUERTO VALLARTA

OK, these pictures aren't of Highway 200. They are along the road from Bucerias, West, to Punta Mita.

North West of Puerto Vallarta in the State of Nayarit.

(Trees branching out over the narrow highway.)
SOMEWHERE NEAR PUNTA LAS CARGADAS
(Highway overlooking beach and water.)
NORTHERN COAST OF BAHIA DE BANDERAS

(Highway down a hill, through a cut to a view point.)
VIEW POINT AHEAD.
(Highway down a hill, through a cut to a view point.)
THE SIGN SAYS NO TRESPASSING BUT THE GATE IS OPEN

Just west of Manzanilla we stopped on a point overlooking the ocean. Below us we could see a lovely beach with many people.

Later we went down and walked along the beach.

Just before Sayulita we stopped at a road stand and bought some oranges and Serena had a coconut cut open and she drank all the milk.

Then she had it split open and the meat carved out but the meat was too thin for our liking so we left it.

Back at the start of the loop we returned over the route to the beach we had seen.

(Serena overlooks a beautiful beach full of Canadians.)
SERENA OVERLOOKS A BEAUTIFUL BEACH FULL OF CANADIANS
(Sign over a driveway.)
THE PARKING LOT, WAS ABOUT 1/2 FULL.
18 VEHICLES; PICKUPS, AND 3 MOTORCYCLES WITH
QUEBEC PLATES, 10 VEHICLES WITH ONTARIO
PLATES, ONE PLATE FROM B. C., ONE FROM
ALBERTA, ONE FROM MICHIGAN, ONE FROM WASHINGTON,
AND LOTS OF RENTALS, PROBABLY CANADIANS

There was no hotel or cabanas so we just walked along the beach for awhile then headed back to town.

The wind was picking up and though we toured through Bucerias and Manzanilla I wanted to get back to town and question the car rental about a light that was on the dash.

After much searching we were directed to the Dollar out by the airport where their mechanic informed me it was just a light problem, nothing wrong with the brakes.

I didn't believe him but he assured me it was OK to drive it.

I told him, “Ok, I'll drive it, if it falls apart it's not my car”

He and his boss just laughed.

We headed North out of town again.

I had seen a sign when we were coming in and I wanted to check it out. We found the sign again and took a rough dirt road, a long way, down to the beach.

The name of the beach is Playa Boca de Tomates, or Beach of the Mouth of the Tomatos.

We had a lovely supper, on the beach and enjoyed a fantastic sunset. Pictures of the restaurant and beach are in my story of Puerto Vallarta.

We spent the night in PV and then headed South the next day.

CARRETERA 200
SOUTH FROM PUERTO VALLARTA

(A tall apartment upon the rock cliff by the road.)
(highway between trees and buildings with water in the background.)

(Highway goes between lovely green trees.)
( A unique tropical building beside the highway.)

(Large body of water beside the highway.)
(4 lane highway.)
THE TOLL WAY. THE MAN SAID THERE ISN'T A FREE ROAD AROUND IT.

(Water, looking down a steep cliff.)
(Closer look at previous picture.)


`6/3/05

COSTALEGRE MEXICO

I took four pictures of the above cliff,
joined them together to get this.
I sent the 4 pictures to a lab, had them enhanced, darkened and printed,
then had the print framed for my wall.
Cost me a bundle but sure looks nice.

(Sign announcing beach and hotel.)
(view of beach and hotel from cliff top.)

(Sign for a restaurant.)
(Little shack restaurant on side of highway.)
ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT SOPES, ONLY P5

Serena didn't want to eat here, it looked unclean. It took the lady a long time to prepare them but they were excellent and really cheap.

There is no bathroom, you have to climb under the barbwire fence and hide in the tall grass.

(Looking down on buildings along a narrow inlet of water.)
(Highway through trees, going steep downhill.)
THERE ARE SOME SHARP CURVES AND STEEP HILLS ON THIS SECTION.

(Highway through trees truck on its side in corner.)
( Highway through trees truck on its side in corner.)

(Junction of highway.)
I THOUGHT THIS LOOKED FAMILIAR
(Highway connects with smaller road.)
THIS IS THE JUNCTION WHERE THE BUS STOPS
THE ROAD TO THE WEST GOES TO PLAYA AZUL

When I took the bus from Manzanillo to Zhiuatanejo it stopped at this junction rather than take the extra 3 Km. into Playa Azul.

CARRETERA 200
NORTH INTO PUERTO VALLARTA

(Highway, pole fence, overlooking ocean.)
( Highway, pole fence, overlooking ocean.. Large boulders in ocean)

(Close up of large rocks, people and boats in water at base.)
(From highway, looking down cliff at waves on rocks.)

(Highway alongside water, Puerto Vallarta in distance.)
PUERTO VALLARTA IN THE DISTANCE
(Highway, apartments on one side, tall cliffs on the other.)

(Highway, water on one side, tall cliffs on the other.)
(Through trees, downhill, city in the background.)

( Through trees, city in the background.)
(Service Station on side of road.)

In 2007, our wives not wishing to accompany us, Paul and I drove from Zihuatanejo to Huatulco, then East to Oaxaca, West to Taxco, and North and West to Zihuatanejo.

It was a long arduous journey, 2,500 Km. of twisty, steep hills. The ladies would not have enjoyed the hours sitting in the back seat.

These are just a few of the several hundred pictures that I shot out the side window, while Paul was driving.

CARRETERA 200
ZIHUATANEJO TO
ACAPULCO

(Speedbump and roadside vendors.)
WHICH CAME FIRST, THE TOPE OR THE VENDORS?
MOST PLACES IN MEXICO CALL SPEED BUMPS TOPES
(Roadside vendor, children waving.)
(Highway goes between lovely green treesHighway climbs cliffside over ocean.)
(Highway climbs cliffside over ocean.)
(Fields, orchards, waves, and beach beside the highway.)
(Palm trees line the highway.)
(River under bridgbe.)
(Graveyard beside highway.)
(Highway goes between over bridge over  water.)
(Palm trees beside the highway.)
(Barren field beside the highway.)
(Man on horse beside highway.)

CARRETERA 200
ACAPULCO TO
PUERTO ESCONDIDO

(Tree lined freeway.)
ONCE OUT OF ACAPULCO YOU WILL HIT A TOLL BOOTH
I BELIEVE YOU COULD MISS THE TOLL BY GOING STRAIGHT SOUTH, PAST THE AIRPORT, THEN CONNECT TO THE FREEWAY
(Water under a bridge.)
THE WOODEN ROOFS UNDER THE BRIDGE ARE DRYING SHEDS FOR LAUNDRY
(Highway goes between trees, lots of garbage beside road.)
THE STATE OF GURRERO IS NOTED FOR THE AMOUNT OF GARBAGE ALONG SIDE THEIR HIGHWAYS
(Highway goes between businesses.)
SAN MARCOS
(Archway over a side street, San Marcos.)
(Lady entering a restaurant.)
WHERE WE HAD AN EXCELLENT LUNCH, ON THE HIGHWAY, JUST NORTH OF THE ARCHWAY
(Road between trees.)
(Road side memorial.)
(Houses beside road.)
(2 young senoritas beside the highway.)
REMINDS ME OF CHINA, WHEN THE SUN COMES OUT, SO DOES THE LAUNDRY
(River under highway.)
THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF RIVERS SOUTH OF ACAPULCO
MOST OF THEM SEEM TO SUPPORT A LAUNDRY BUSINESS
(Fields and a lake beside highway.)
(Lake beside road.)
(Bales of hay in a filed  beside highway.)
FARMERS NEAR PRINCE GEORGE WISH THEY COULD GET THAT MANY BALES PER ACRE
(Cattle amongst trees, beside highway.)
(Highway goes under a sign, leaving Guerrero, entering Oaxaca.)
LEAVING GUERRERO, ENTERING OAXACA
JUST LIKE IN CANADA, WHEN THE HIGHWAY GOES FROM ONE PROVINCE TO THE NEXT THE ROAD SURFACE CHANGES
(Highway goes between trees, NO of garbage beside road.)
THE STATE OF OAXACA IS NOTED FOR THE LACK OF GARBAGE ALONG SIDE THEIR HIGHWAYS
(Speed bump and sign.)
MOST PLACES IN MEXICO CALL SPEED BUMPS `TOPES'
IN OAXACA THEY CALL THEM `REDUCTORS'
(Tree hanging over the road.)
(Big church beside highway.)
LA CIUDAD DE PINOTEDA NACIONAL (I BELIEVE)
(Shrine beside highway.)
ONE OF THE MORE ELABORATE ROADSIDE MEMORIALS
I OFTEN WONDER, HOW MANY PEOPLE GET KILLED, STOPPING ALONG A BUSY HIGHWAY TO PUT UP A MEMORIAL FOR THEIR LOVED ONES.
MAYBE THAT IS WHY SOME LOCATIONS HAVE MORE THAN ONE CROSS
(River under the highway.)
Trees beside the highway.)
(Orchard beside highway.)
(River beside the highway.)
(Laguna beside highway.)
WE HAD PLANNED TO SPEND THE NIGHT HERE
WE FOUND LAGUNA MANIALTEPEC, BUT NOT THE RESORT, THAT WE HAD READ ABOUT ON THE INTERNET

So we carried on to Puerto Escondido for the night.

CARRETERA 200
PUERTO ESCONDIDO TO PUERTO ANGEL

(Highway goes over bridge, over river.)
(An orchard.)
(Carnival rides.)
IT SEEMED THAT EVERY TOWN WE WENT THROUGH HAD A LEAST ONE CARNIVAL RIDE
(River.)
(Church on hill.)
SAN ISIDRO
(Close up of church on hill.)
(Highway.)
(House beside highway.)
(Houses beside the highway.)
(Sign pointing to Puerto Angel.)

I have no pictures, for the next few kilometers, of Hwy. 200 becasue we took the loop through Puerto Angel.

CARRETERA 200
PUERTO ANGEL TO HUATULCO

(Mileage sign to Huatulco.)
(House beside highway.)
(Store beside highway.)
(Highway goes up a cliff.)
(New condos beside the highway.)
(Dry country beside highway.)
(Houses beside the highway.)
(Intersection to Huataulco.)
HERE WE LEAVE CARRETERA 200 TO GO TO THE BEACHES OF HUATULCO

END

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