Scenic Drive in the Tropical Jungle

  Hwy 200 problemScenic Drive in the Tropical Jungle – Bucerias to Guayabitos

Means extra Caution  

By Tara A. Spears

On my recent drive on the infamous highway (carretera) 200 from Bucerias to Guayabitos, I encountered more than the usual jungle scenery.  Although I am a resident of the Riviera Nayarit that regularly navigates this common route, it is always an experience. Yesterday had decent driving conditions in spite of it being the late summer rainy season. In the 40 minute trip I avoided the following:

Hwy 200 problem 1Two mudslides: Traffic swerved around each one without any accidents- hooray.    Next up in the stay alert category were feral pigs.  Wild hogs (sus scrofa) are large, dense animals with a heavy body mass and low center of gravity. They can weigh up to 700 lbs! Because of their low, thick body statue, they are difficult to see when darting across a highway and can inflict considerable damage to a moving vehicle.  Lucky for me, a motorist previously hit and killed the 1.5 meter long ugly porker.  When I was driving north of Bucerias- the real jungle part with twisty turns- the pig was on the highway edge.

Hwy 200 problem 2I was merrily zooming along behind a couple of delivery trucks- you know that I am being sarcastic if you’ve ever driven this highway.  Just after San Pancho, what should jump into my lane but a bunch of cows:  naughty cattle that were on an exploratory jaunt away from their surely flooded fenced- in pasture. With a quick move to turn on my flashers, hit the horn and brakes simultaneously, the cows hastily retreated from the highway.  The jungle foliage is so dense and close to the lanes that one really can’t see anything two foot from your path until it moves. Whew, that makes four avoidances this trip so far.  Still the rain had stopped and the sun peaked out, so all was good.

Hwy 200 problem 3Approaching the straight flat half mile stretch south of Lo de Marcos, where EVERYONE passes, (just because you can,) the herd of goats were thinking about crossing the highway. I’m hitting the horn again and they returned to grazing the near highway edge. The herd is in the same area most days, but usually it has a man herding them-guess he was on a bathroom break.

Hwy 200 problem  4I’m less than 10 minutes from home, so I’m feeling confident- I know this road.  Whoa, here comes six horses trotting onto the road just north of El Monteon.  Where did they come from?! When I honked the horn, they just stopped! Fortunately, there was a momentary lack of oncoming traffic so I was able to swerve out of my lane to avoid hitting them.  I was so relieved to get to the four lane section in Guayabitos, and off the highway.  Still, it was an amazing road trip that I can tell my granddaughters.

Highway 200 should be named the “Drive Defensively Road.” One might think the only concern is the potholes and high speed passing on turns, but jungle driving is always a surprise.


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