Sunday, February 8, 2015

PATZCUARO TO EAGLE PASS - 3 DAYS IN 1 POST

Here it is! Our trip through and out of Mexico. 

1,374 km (854 miles) in 21 hours over three days - last Wednesday to Friday. 

It was quite the ride - villages, towns, one large city, a lot of country side - 100's of topes (or it felt like it anyway)!

Along the way we gased up 7 times spending a total of $353 and stopped at 8 casetas (toll booths). In all the cuotas (toll roads) cost us $65. Pretty close to our total down last November at $60.

Two years ago (Spring 2013) when we did this trip we had our telcel stick with us so I could post along our journey. Our trip and those pictures are here: Villa Corona to Zacatecas and Zacatecas to Sabinas ending with Welcome to Texas.

This time I'm just going to put all the photos together. I'll apologize now for the huge amount. I thought if you scroll really fast through them it would be like those books some of us had as kids where you flip the pages really fast to see the cartoon. Remember those?

Fasten your seat belts…...


Heading out of Patzcuaro last Wednesday at around 8:00 am - still very foggy. Just after this we stopped for gas at the Pemex station.


Not far up the road our next city was Quiroga on the northeast side of Lago de Patzcuaro.


The sign we were looking for to head west to Zacapu.


Pretty soon we were out of the city and into the mountains and trees. 


A nice ride but slow.


At Zacapu we stayed right to bypass the city. We are headed to the main highway between Morelia to Guadalajara.


Getting on the toll road.


We were stopped briefly at this gate. We've never entered onto a toll road mid way so we were lost for a moment. A fellow came and pushed the right button for us. Then on to the caseta - we passed through three toll booths between here and Guadalajara.


Nice part of autopista 15D.





Another crucial turn on the south side of Guadalajara to get onto the Periferico Ote to take us around this huge city.


Funny that it's a small road going through a housing project.


Guadalajara in the distance.


Just after this light things went wrong. If you can believe we missed out turnoff to Saltillo not once but twice. I THOUGHT that I was prepared but evidently not. The turn was not well marked which made the driver mad at the navigator and the navigator choked at the city! We missed the turn - spent the next few miles finding a returno - missed the turn off again! and spent the next few miles coming to terms with that and finding another returno! It was only with blind faith and a hope for the best that on the third try we made the right turn. Not that there were any signs to tell us! 
Grrrrrr……...


Thankfully on the 54 headed north!


Leaving Guadalajara area the road winds down until we reached 


the Rio Verde - then it was a winding road up.


Nice to have that done and a bit straighter road.


An area with agave plants.


The clean and scenic town of Juchipila.


We spent our first night at a Pemex station just south of Jalpa. We stopped at 5:30pm - we were done with the day. We'd only made it 482 km. It was slow at the start and at the end. Our time in Guadalajara frazzled us. It wasn't as far as we wanted to get for our first day.

Derek took this photo in the morning. We were up at 6:30 hoping to get an early start.


I include this picture because we followed this Frito Lay truck - f  o  r  e  v  e  r!!! We were so frustrated because we couldn't pass him on the curvy and some times hilly road. We were down to 40 miles per hour for the better part of an hour. Not a good start to a day that we were trying to make some time.


The pretty town of Guanusco. I took a picture of it last time also. This year they are doing major construction on the main road through.


An easy bypass passed Zacatecas.


Late breakfast/lunch at the Pemex station just north of Zacatecas. This is where we spent the night two years ago. They used to have an RV Park here but it no longer exists.


After Zacatecas the road really opens up - smooth and easy.



Mile after mile of Joshua Trees.



Leaving the state of Zacatecas entering Coahuila.





Going through the mountains we were a bit worried what we would find on the other side with ominous clouds like those. But it turned out to just be low lying clouds.


Trying to get to Sabinas we made quick time getting to Monclova. If you are an RV you need to go around but with our van we can drive right through. There are a few bottlenecks and it was rush hour but it went ok.


Back to a flat and fast road.


I took this picture Friday morning as we were filling up on gas in Mexico for the last time. We spent the night here as we did two years ago. 

We pulled in Thursday night just in time at 6:30pm as it was getting dark - with 806 km - 500 miles - behind us. Derek did well but he was done - with a sore knee. A long day for all of us.


It's a fairly short drive from Sabinas to the border so we weren't up early and took our time in the morning cleaning the van and getting it ready for our border crossing. 


Near the town of Allende we stop at the Aduna to cancel our vehicle permit and get our passports stamped.


Removing the hologram.



From there we carried on to Piedras Negras. There are two border crossings. We knew from last time to take a right turn here and then a left to take us around the city to the International bridge.



Our last caseta to cross over the Rio Grande - 26 pesos.


Two years ago we were pulled over on the Mexican side but not today. Here we are waiting to enter into the USA. Last time we were also pulled over by the Americans who searched our van but not this time! Not that we have anything to hide but it's nice to have an easy border crossing.


Now in Eagle Pass making our way over to Lowe's and Walmart. 

Back in the USA! and Texas - we ❤ Texas!

Thanks again Mexico! We had another great winter traveling through your beautiful country. 

That was a long three days. After 2 1/2 months of sitting at the beach we weren't used to so much time in our seats. 

No, we didn't have to do the trip so fast but there wasn't anywhere that we really wanted to stop. We had our minds on getting back to the USA so we fast tracked it. 

After spending Friday afternoon in Eagle Pass - treating ourselves to lunch at Luby's and stocking up at Walmart we carried on to Del Rio for the night. 

We are now parked at one of the Wood Clans happy places - Langtry and the Visitor Centre at the Judge Roy Bean Museum. If you've been with us for a while you may recall we stopped here last January as well. That post includes a ton of pictures of this place and Cassia's friend Neal who she has been visiting with again this year. Yesterday was his 6th Birthday and so we spent yesterday afternoon and evening at his party!

Tomorrow we carry on to another of our happy places - Study Butte and Terlingua!

Teresa


15 comments:

  1. Cool pic of the clouds in the mountains!

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  2. Does Derek keep his cool while driving??? getting lost on the turn offs would put my Hubbie into panic and blame (me) mode...LOL good to see trip is progressing....travel safe..cheers

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    1. He sometimes keeps his cool Leslie but not in that situation! He did blame me! We've dealt with it many times before so once we are on the right road it's all behind us!

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  3. Your photos of driving thru the mountains where the low lying clouds were reminded me of our recent November trip visiting relatives in Hemet CA. The scenery is similiar. Enjoyed reading about your time in Mexico. So many memories for your family to always cherish. Enjoy the rest of your travels home!!!
    Connie in PA

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    1. Other than the border, northern Mexico is similar to the northern areas - it reminds us of Nevada/California/Arizona and Texas all in one. It was very cloudy for the last few days which was nice for traveling.

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  4. A few hiccups but mostly pedal to the metal. I'm trying to sense a border crossing...sure some excitement that you made it through smoothly. Enjoy your TX time...imagine the coats will come out soon. Be safe and hopefully no surprises to your new homesite. Love your travels!!!

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    1. Borders always make us a bit nervous because we are generally pulled over and grilled. Coats went on in Patzcuaro already - it's been cold ever since. Nice day here in Terlingua though!

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  5. A few hiccups but mostly pedal to the metal. I'm trying to sense a border crossing...sure some excitement that you made it through smoothly. Enjoy your TX time...imagine the coats will come out soon. Be safe and hopefully no surprises to your new homesite. Love your travels!!!

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  6. What an awesome journey, many more memories were made. Nice that all went well too.

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    1. Agreed George! Fingers crossed that it continues that way!

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  7. the moments where you kept missing the right turn off, it would have been a good time to be thankful you weren't towing a 40 footer!..glad you landed safely in the land of red white and blue!
    you still have a long way to go before you get to the next big border!

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    1. So true Sue but you'd never find us in Mexico with such a huge rig! Lots do it but it wouldn't be for us. True - a long way but lots of fun stops in between! and craft beer!

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  8. Hello and welcome to the USA!

    I'm guessing a GPS like Garmin with current maps won't work in Mexico or is it that each of you are waiting for the other to gift it :) I know GSM/WCDMA mobile technology works in Mexico like T-Mobile or AT&T, both have bring your own phone & monthly plans. I'm not sure how well it works using the GPS and I'm sure towers may be a bit spotty. But it's that way tin the US. Does anyone travel using a phones GPS in Mexico?

    I was wondering why you didn't travel through the state of Durango, Google maps shows it would have cut 2 hours off your trip, Is Durango bad area to travel in or through currently?

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/17.6289017,-101.5458547/Study+Butte-Terlingua,+TX+79852/@24.4917851,-104.2896925,6z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x86edf88a8c07cf29:0xb360f90976f5f736!2m2!1d-103.560278!2d29.325278

    I'm wondering about gas prices in Mexico, did they drop as the US price dropped?

    Anyhoo, enough questions and welcome back to the USA, safe travels!

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    1. Hi Brian. Gas has only gone up in Mexico - now at $1.15 a litre. So the faster out of Mexico the better for our gas budget - that is why we didn't go through Durango and up. Also - we wanted to visit one of our favourite parts of Texas - Del Rio to El Paso.

      You can get GPS for Mexico and lots of travellers there use it but we don't use GPS at all. I'll admit that in this instance it would have been a good thing but in all of our travels this is the only time - not worth the cost for us.

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