A bit of a late start, having caught up on sleep from the lack of it last night. By the time we said our goodbyes to Lee, it was pretty close to 11am. I felt well enough to drive, but still not 100%. I guess it takes a few days for these
things to work their way through your system. Put in some gas, but only enough to give us maybe 3/5 of a tank. Didn’t want a full tank weighting us down on these steep roads we were about to climb. And climb we did. Considering we were at sea level at Mazatlan, the road climbed quickly into the mountains. By the time we had done about 80 km’s, we were at 8,000 ft above sea level. It was very twisty and windy…probably the most curvy road I’ve ever driven on. National Geographic magazine did an article on this road at some point in time, and I read online that they said it had something like 2,460 curves over the 300 km’s from Mazatlan to Durango. But the road is in really good condition, and was noticeably wider than the roads we had been on in the Baja. Still, you had to be careful of oncoming trucks who had to veer wide into your lane in order to make the turn themselves. But everyone (including the trucks) drove very slowly so it wasn’t really that dangerous. Very glad that we ended up taking this route, because the scenery was spectacular.
View of the mountains
Another view of the mountains
The road we were on a minute ago...
Some of these trucks had a tough time on the curves of this road
The Mexican government has started building a new toll road between Durango and Mazatlan. Apparently it will be a combination of many bridges and tunnels, and we saw the beginnings of the road through the most mountainous sections being built. A large section just outside of Durango is just about finished and should be opened within weeks. But I think it will be another year or two before the mountainous part will be ready to drive on.
Part of the new highway being built
New road being built. The old road is up above on the right
Getting pretty high up!
Another part of the roadway
2,460 turns in this 300 km road
Neat rock formations
Put some more gas in just outside of El Salto.
We didn’t make it to Durango today though. We are parked up about 40 km’s from Durango at the entrance to the El Tecuan Nature Preserve. Didn’t get here until almost sundown, so we figure we drove about 260 km’s in about 7 hours. The GPS unit said we averaged 35 km’s/hr while driving, not including the time spent stopped to take pictures. That seems about right, it was pretty slow going. We were planning on spending the $2 to camp inside the park, but decided to park for free at the entranceway. The guard said that was okay.
Stomach still not well. Very cramped. Got worse as the day went on.
Total Nights Sleeping in the RV… 120…
February Fuel $ 150.00
February Grocery $ 108.02
February Overnight Costs $ 0