Thanks for the lowdown. Bummer. A car trip would have been by far the most affordable option, but not if it is not safe.
>> Bummer. A car trip would have been by far the most affordable option, but not if it is not safe.<<
It is painful (and the Mexican government knows it but has no idea what to do about it).
My wife and frequently talk about how much we liked our driving trips on the Yucatan Peninsula which gave us OUR timeline, not some tour operator or driving the beautiful drive between Monterrey and Real de Catorce (where they filmed “The Mexican.”). Even her PARENTS won’t do that.
Sorry if I blew your plans, but you are safer for it. Maybe you can meet your friends in San Diego? There are beautiful camp sites near Capistrano that are pretty inexpensive and have everything you could want except cheap seafood and authentic Huevos Rancheros.