Well, I finally made it. I did the move from Colorado to Vallarta. I arrived last Wed. No internet for a while. The trip down was good, but not without a few incidents that, in hind site made it rememberable. I had WAY to much weight in and on the the back of the Car. I drove a Nissan Murano and had a cargo rack attached to hitch on the back. It was just to tempting to cram last minute things into every nook and cranny available, plus I had 2 dogs and a cat.
Day 1 & 2 - Colorado to Nogales were pretty straight forward.
Day 3 - The border Crossing went well, maybe 40 minutes for paperwork, with car and air conditioner running for animals. Got the red light, didn't get waived through and had to unwrap the trap and explain what was in each box. Had them marked in both English and spanish. I have driven in Vallarta for years, and I do speak and read limited spanish. But I must admit it was a very different feeling being suddenly immersed in a world of Spanish in an unfamiliar city. I had a GPS, though I didn't really need it, signage was very good, but it did provide a sense of comfort. The first 375 miles or so was constant construction, switching from one side of the highway to the other constantly. Stopped Day 1 in Navohoa and was anxious to do so. Found a great taco stand/restaurant, next to the Hotel and met a great waiter that was excited to talk about my trip. Never once felt as though I was in any danger, the people I met were very hospitable, just like here. Laughing, the only danger I felt was if I blew a tire and went off the road, 1 to 2 foot drop offs with no shoulders on the road.
Day 4 - broke a shock about 15 miles out of Culiacan, (too much weight in the car) and in less than 3 minutes luxury bus passed me (now driving slower) with a cargo door open and flapping and flew up , dented the side of the car and took out my drivers side mirror. The car was packed to the ceiling inside, so now driving blind. That made me pretty nervous. Arriving in Mazatlan, I looked for a mechanic to replace the shock. Driving the town, not be familiar at all, was nerve racking without the mirror. But found a suspension shop, unmarked of course, and found it would take 2 days to get the shock. So being Mexico he welded it for me and charged $10. I tipped him well, and bought I'm and his crew a 12 pack. Stopped by Walmart and bought a 12 inch octagon wall mirror and a roll of electrical tap and taped the mirror to my side view mirror housing. Ok, Back in business.
SPent the night in Mazatlan though.
Day 5 - got a very early start driving slow to nurse the shock. Took it very easy Tepic to PV and arrived about 3.
I guess without the weight, and no car issues it could be done in 2 days, Nogales to PV. But at my limited speed, 3 days was just right. I was anxious to get here, but fought the urge to push it, and decided I did not want to have another car issue.
PD: had it not been for the issues with my car, the trip would have been just like any other pleasurable road trip. I was cautious, but never once felt any concerns for safety.