Monday, March 4, 2013


Not only are you probably surprised to see a post tonight - we are totally surprised too!

Our telcel stick was supposed to have expired last night at 19:52, so imagine our surprise when I just tried it for fun today and it was still working. May as well get one last post in while we are still in Mexico.

Last night Zacatecas was very cold. The forecast was for 2C - brrrrr - it was at least that. Since we are riding with very little propane - or butane actually - we didn't want to turn on heat. Brrrrrrr........

We didn't get up quite so early - learning our lesson from the day before. Getting up at 5:00 am means you get tired pretty early as well.

This morning - just as we turned onto highway 54 - around 8:45 am - we stopped to get gas at the Pemex first.

Look what we passed over!

This view set the tone for the rest of the day. Boring you say - not really - we LOVE this kind of landscape. Over the next few hours it reminded us of Texas, Nevada, California, and Arizona - and later in the day New Mexico. A total combo of different places we have driven through.

Large swaths of Joshua Trees. The 'Joshua Forest' from Wickenburg to Kingman has nothing on this area.

We were making REALLY GOOD TIME - a nice four lane divided highway. A little rough at times but we are not complaining - the road was easy with very little traffic. We were saying again how glad we were to have chosen this route north. We highly recommend.

This was the Pemex that we had planned to overnight at rather than stopping at Zacatecas. It was 187 km further. If I had known the drive would be so easy I would have offered to drive. We stopped there for lunch.

Are we going over those mountains - Derek asks - looks like it said I.

Getting closer to the top.

Almost at the top and we left the state of Zacatecas.

And entered the state of Coahuila.

Goats on the side of the highway - again!

A lot of long roads today.

Saltillo was to be the largest city that we had to pass through today. When we were at Villa Corona I noticed on google maps that there appeared to be a road around it. I checked with Judy and Dale - the Sask couple that told us about the route we are on now - they've done it for the last four years - and they said that they had heard about it. We had no idea how it would be signed - so glad that it was VERY obvious.

And it saved us a TON of time and aggravation. A nice new smooth cuota.

Heading to the toll booth - only $40 pesos for us getting off at the Monclova exit. Well, well, well worth it.

 Another good highway from Saltillo to Monclova. Along the way we spotted a dust devil moving through a town. We actually saw about 5 in total out in the distance.

Going through another mountain range. Feels so much like Nevada.

Yup - that's right.

Monclova - the next city to get through. A wild card - we had heard that RVers get targeted in Monclova whether they have broken traffic laws or not. We figured that since we are a small RV we may be ok. I also asked around and learned that it used to be a problem but not so much anymore. Guess we'll find out.

Our friend Chris told us that they have signs against mordida - and it's true - here is one! I took a picture to show you and in case we needed it down the road!

I also wasn't too sure about how to get around or through Monclova. Judy and Dale with a trailer have to take the bypass - they told me just to go straight through. I told Derek that we'll just follow the signs. And so we did - they led us straight through - which was ok - a bit congested but it's not that large of a city so it went pretty quickly - even for 4:00 pm.

And look - a police right in front of us. He was going slow because he was on his radio - but we weren't going to be the ones to pass him.

About 1/2 hour later - out of Monclova. No stops, no mordida - no problems.

The first cloud we have seen in two days.

And it got REALLY flat.

Our overnight stop for the night! After such a long day we decided to reward ourselves with dinner at the restaurant. VERY good hamburgesas and papas.

And a crazy amazing sunset.

Cassia doing what she does best.

Today's trip was 640 kms! HUGE by Mexico standards - thanks to the great highways and Derek's ability to drive for about eight hours today. We made three stops en route - about every two hours.

A warm night here tonight - we are a bit surprised. We have all the windows open trying to get some relief. Much different than last night. Oh - we just googled that - wondering why the difference - Zacatecas is at 2,440 m while Sabinas is at an elevation of 313 m - WoW - what a change!

A nice evening - this our last night in Mexico for this trip. We have had such a nice two day trip since we left Villa Corona - it leaves us a bit sad - but we were happy to see this part of Mexico. 

Tomorrow we have a 130 km ride to the border - and a stop to turn in our vehicle hologram and paperwork. 

It should be an interesting day.


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: Our 3 1/2 month stay in Mexico has been great - it's been fun, interesting and a steep learning curve - we highly recommend it. To get your travel plans started why not head over to Visit Mexico


  1. Long drive for you guys, great pix!
    Cassia is so cute, and seems to entertain herself quite well.

    Looking forward to reading about the trip north.

    Cheers, Peter.

    1. Thanks Peter. Yup - Cassia is pretty good - she has all sorts of toys but rocks and sticks seem to be her constant companions. We are looking forward to it too - some new country from us to explore.

  2. Hi guys, looks like you had a nice two day trip to the border. I'm glad that you took a picture of the sign for "no mordida". It just reinforces that things have changed in Monclova. Good new!

    Where is the Pemex that you stopped at that had the picnic tables?

    I'm glad we met you guys, come back to Mexico. Mexico will miss you as it always loves people who can appreciate all the country has to offer. Big hugs to Cassia. Keep in touch.

    1. Thanks Chris! So so so glad to meet you and Juan also! Too bad we couldn't stop in this time - we'll try again next year.

      I know - first Pemex we've seen with table also - on the south side of Sabinas.

      We will!

  3. Felt like I was on a ride's like a child in the backseat, "Are we there yet?" Great navigation!! Hoping for a smooth sailing crossing the border...will be sad in some ways but there are the memories to read back through, and HAPPY in other ways for more sweet storyline on the horizon! Thanks for the tour of Mexico!

    1. Us too Cj! The last few hours were a killer - Derek and Cassia had the sun on their side so they were both pretty hot. Cassia was at the end of her rope. It was a long day for sure.

      We are so glad we could show everyone the real Mexico - not what we all read in the media. Not so scary after all!

  4. Another great travel day, you sure put on some miles. But a short one to the border hope all goes well for you there.
    Travel safe.


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