Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shawn's Journey South, Together Again!

Passage: Cotati to Santa Monica, CA to Scottsdale, AZ to San Carlos, Mexico
Total Time: June 1 – June 6, 2010
Total Travel Time: 25.25-hrs (7, 6.75, 11.5-hrs respectively)

After spending the month of May teaching yoga all around the SF Bay Area and tying up loose ends in the States, Shawn finally started her long awaited trek south on the first of June. She didn’t look back as she drove away from her cozy studio apartment and Pepe’s garage; the few items she had accumulated were either sold, given away, or packed into Pepe for the first leg of the southward journey. Floating high from finally being on the way, Shawn and Grizzly enjoyed an uneventful, quick trip to the waiting hugs from Chris’ mom Jane and stepfather Abe in Santa Monica. Two days of tea-time, visiting, yummy home-cooked meals, unloading gear for short-term storage, errand running, seeing Angie’s home improvements, and even a yoga class at the new Bikram World Headquarters flew by.

With nearly all pre-Mexico chores completed, Shawn and Grizzly got in Pepe for the second leg from Santa Monica to Scottsdale (at the north end of Phoenix), AZ on the 4th. They arrived just in time for happy hour and more waiting hugs from long-time family friend Sue Wakefield (who had also graciously housed Chris for a few days on his transit south last October) and new parter Mike. It had been a long time since seeing Sue and it was wonderful to catch up and get to share transitions; Shawn to Mexico and Sue and Mike to a new beautiful house in Gambel Quail. The next day was packed with more final errands; grocery store, Auto Zone (oil for Yannie), etc., an introduction to desert temperatures reaching nearly 110F, and another nice dinner out.

Chomping-at-the-bit to get there and hoping to beat the record highs predicted, Shawn, Grizzly and Pepe were headed south again just after 6 on the morning of June 6th. After a lengthy pitstop in Tucson for gas, a rinse for Pepe, writing and mailing a few thank you notes; they reached the boarder just before noon when the Mexican car insurance was to take effect. After all of the nervousness, the crossing and checking in was relatively easy. Mostly in Spanish, the customs official asked where Shawn was going, what her cat’s name was, to see inside the trunk, and to see the Mexican car insurance, then wished safe travels and waved her on. After driving through Nogales, 21-km or so later, another required stop to check in and pick up a tourist visa. Since the destination, San Carlos, is in the “no-hassle-zone,” importing the car was not required, making entry easy and relatively inexpensive ($20.71-USD for a 180-day tourist visa).

Once in the next big city, Hermosillo, with cell service and after figuring out how to dial to a US phone in Mexico from her US phone now also in Mexico, Shawn called Chris to let him know all was well and their arrival was imminent. Two tolls (at the last second Shawn figured out that “cuota” was a toll and was able to stop at a gas station to change some US dollars into pesos for a much better rate than offered at the border), one gas fill up (also made easy by them taking credit card payment), and an hour and a half more driving and the end of this adventure and the beginning of the next was reached. Chris and Eeyore gallantly motored in to pick Shawn and Grizzly up as the sun was setting behind the mountains in Bahia San Carlos. Next stop, Midriff Islands, Bahia San Francisquito, Bay of LA? We'll let you know...


  1. Hey guys, we're so happy that the crew of Tao is reunited once more! We miss you and hope you have a great time exploring the Sea!
    j & j

  2. you made it! what a trip! so brave, girl, so brave. I couldn't have done that drive alone, Grizzles not withstanding, but what an adventure for you, you rockstar.