I stopped, and a guy gets out of a van and comes back to ask if we were lost. We do kind of stand out like a sore thumb, and this guy just figured we needed help getting out of town. I thanked him for his help, but we had already figured our route and we knew exactly how to get to the main highway. But it was nice of him to ask!
They have been working on the highway from Zacatecas to Saltillo, and a lot of it has now been made into four lanes all the way. However the new section is the lanes going south. Most of the north lanes are in good shape, but still a few sections that are not, as it is the old two lane road now with both lanes heading north. We will have to remember that heading south it is a great new free highway. It is not very scenic, just lots of scrub brush and cactus.
This guy must have fallen asleep, because it is a perfectly straight stretch of road.
Nothing for miles...
We went through two military stop checks. The first one was just a single soldier who asked a couple of questions and sent us on our way. The second one was a full blockade, and we were pulled over for inspection. The guy who seemed to be in charge spoke very good English, and explained that they would have to check our vehicle and baggage. This was the most thorough inspection we have ever been through, and they even knew to look under the bed and the couch. While one guy was inside inspecting, I was outside having a conversation with the guy in charge. He showed me pictures of a large stash of marijaua they had found in an RV at that very blockade and that was why they were being more thorough with RV’s. They also had a drug sniffing dog, and he said that if they pull someone over the dog knows right away, even from the side of the road, if there is a problem. But he just lay there for us, so that’s a good thing! After about 10 minutes, we were told we could leave. Once again I thanked them for their security, and we were on our way.
Today's drive, 380 kms (236 miles)
Our Mexico camping book lists two RV parking choices in Saltillo. One we have been to before and they are pricey, at 250 pesos ($20.83) per night. The other one is listed as being cheaper, so this time we chose the La Fuente Hotel, which has a big empty gated lot, with a couple of posts offering electricty. We found the place okay, and got parked up overlooking the freeway! Not the nicest spot, but it’s only for a night. I went inside to pay, and the guy wanted 280 pesos! I argued and with my basic Spanish I mistakenly told him I only wanted to pay 15 pesos. They must have thought I was nuts because I really meant to say 150 pesos. Too funny, and I only realized my mistake after I had left. Anyhow, they called their manager and I told them it was only for parking, and with no electricty. We did end up paying 150 pesos ($12.50) after I brought the bills out and they could see I didn’t mean 15 pesos.
We are only about 300 kms (180 miles) from our border crossing near Laredo, but we are heading tomorrow to a recreation camp where there is rock climbing. It’s about 110 kms (68 miles) from here, and we are meeting our friend Chris who we stayed with when we entered Mexico in November. Chris just bought a new travel trailer, and he’s going to meet us there with it. We’ll stay there until Sunday morning, when we will cross the border into Texas!