At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ciudad Juarez

"The most dangerous place in the world outside of a declared war zone." So said a city newspaper back in 2009.

Our route north in early April is going to take us to a Ciudad Juarez border crossing.

Ciuad Juarez sits on the Mexican border on the other side of El Paso, Texas. The city has been in the middle of a drug cartel turf war since 2007 and the murder rate peaked at an average of eight murders per day in 2010.

However a CNN article in January states that Ciudad Juarez is shedding it's violent image, with a drop to "only" two murders per day in 2012. The city, which once had a population of around 1.5 million people had seen a drop of nearly 250,000 at one point, but some of the people who left are starting to return.

Our most direct route north takes us through Ciudad Juarez.

Some people will say we are crazy for taking this route, but they are probably the same people who think we're crazy for going to Mexico (or Guatemala!) in the first place. However, we have no intention of going into the city itself, and the border crossing we'll use is actually at Santa Teresa, New Mexico. 

Our border crossing, circled in red.

Besides, we want to check out this part of Mexico around the city of Chihuahua. We're thinking of taking Sherman the motorhome up to this area sometime because we want to explore the Copper Canyon area. Taking the little blue car with us this time will allow us to decide if it's going to be worthwhile doing it with the motorhome.

Do you realize we once slept one night in the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas! At the time in 2009, Pine Bluff was ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States. We risked out lives, and survived!

But I think many people who are afraid to go to these cities simply don't understand mathematical odds or statistics. Even with Ciudad Juarez's current average of two murders per day, well over a million people go about their daily lives without an issue. And if you're not in the drug business or in any way related to crime, your odds of having a problem are probably much greater in the city of Chicago!


34 comments:

  1. Well said, we believe that to be absolutely true as well. All you need to do is research and travel smart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you'll be fine as long as you don't go looking for trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We did that route about 5 years ago. The scariest part was finding a safe place to boondock on the US side. We didn't want to pay for an RV Park. You will be just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have taken this route before BUT before you are in sight of CJ there is a turnoff to the left that turns into newer toll road that takes you to the Santa Teresa, New Mexico border crossing. A very easy crossing and you avoid CJ & El Paso. This is also a big rig friendly crossing. You will be very near the I25 to Albq. Don't go thu CJ, no reason to.

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have no plans of going into Ciudad Juraez, we will be taking the bypass around the city.

      Delete
  5. Fear mongers (the media and people who believe everything the media has to say) drive me crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pine Bluff, Arkansas! First I never heard of the place and second Arkansas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, who would have known, it's really not a big place! They have a nice city RV Park there that we stayed at.

      Delete
  7. CJ was one of the choices back in '99 when my wife's company was offering places for her to get her feet wet in terms of 'getting on to the top team'. There was some place in Colorado, Juarez, and Horseheads, N.Y.
    We stuck with Horseheads.
    I'm sure passing through CJ isn't such a huge deal. We however, weren't too sure we wanted to live there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bet in the end you felt you made the correct choice. Don't think it would be a place we would want to live in either but maybe back in '99 it might have a quiet border town/city.

      Delete
  8. We crossed at Santa Teresa once. No problem, the road to it bypasses the city.

    We also walked across the bridge into Cd. Juarez from Texas once to buy glasses. We went early in the morning with our friend Les and agreed to leave immediately if any one of us felt uneasy. We all got glasses and were back in El Paso bu 2:00 PM. No problems!

    You will like Chihuahua, there is lots of history there. It is where Father Hidaldo was excecuted. The Pancho Villa museum is worth seeing. The bullet ridden Dodge he was murdered in is there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't think we will have any problems either.

      We check out where that museum is and try to visit it. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Delete
  9. Say when Tioga George shows up you might sneak over to his rv an hide all his candy stash on him
    He loves stuff like that
    Mister Ed

    ReplyDelete
  10. Having been through my cycling accident on the weekend and breaking my hip I have reflected on the decisions i make and the risks I take. Getting surgery and a plate in my hip has been a terrible experience but i will be back on the bike again because it's something I love. You both love your travel and you can't shut yourself in a box to avoid dangers as you also miss out on the good stuff. Hope you have many years of happiness travelling to places that many of us only dream about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your accident, hope you are on the mend now and that it will be a quick recovery so you can get back on your bike, I know that you will be missing it.

      You are very right about not shutting yourself into a box. Look how many people who die or are injured close to their own home either by accident or due to other issues.

      Delete
  11. Very well said...good luck coming your way..

    ReplyDelete
  12. Common sense and careful planning will keep you safe. You'
    re seasoned travelers, you know what to do. :c)

    ReplyDelete
  13. You're totally right! I booked a ticket to Mexico with my friend this winter, and so many people told us we were crazy! But nothing but beautuful things and people happened to us.... some people are really afraid for not much. Stil... be careful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The media influences so many people it is incredible! maybe it's a good thing because there could be too many tourist down here otherwise.

      Delete
  14. What! You guys must be nuts! :) The route you've chosen is very scenic and I know you'll have fun.

    As a side note, and I know we all like boondocking, there are three places near El Paso that we have been to and recommend. Franklin State Park right outside the city in the mountains, Hueco Tanks State Park, and Guadalupe Natl Park (8 bucks). They may not be directly on your route but check them out and you may find one you are interested in.

    I am sorry that we will miss meeting George. So many years reading his blog and always wanting to meet up. Well, some other time. Tell him hello.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris, we will keep those suggestions in mind when we are in that area with the motorhome next time.

      Delete
  15. I am very eager to learn what you find when exploring the Copper Canyon area. This has long been on my list of places to explore. I would love to know more about the train, whether it is worth it, or over-touristed. If you hear any insight, please pass along.

    Been all over the interior of Mexico on the bus system, often as a solo female, and never felt uneasy there, or Guat. either for that matter. Life is what you make it!

    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately we won't be exploring the Copper Canyon on this trip maybe when we leave Mexico next fall or winter. It is definitely on lur list of must sees!

      People shouldn't let fear take over their lives otherwise they will see their life slide away without seeing or experiencing what this wonderful world has to offer.

      Delete
  16. Since you are taking that route and may be as close as you will ever get may I suggest a bit of a detour to Mata Ortiz where the whole town is full of amazing potters. Depending on where you are going and your time schedule it is not a huge detour. Email me if you are interested - and Google Mata Ortiz to learn more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, it won't be this visit. It is too far off of our route, maybe on our next trip out as there are a few things in that area that I would love to explore. Thanks for the suggestion though Brian and Sue.

      Delete
  17. You might want to consider the Palomas crossing. It is quite safe. The Pink Store is a great place for lunch in Palomas. Just across the border is the Pancho Villa state park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will keep that in mind for another year as the best crossing for us this year is Santa Teresa.

      Delete
  18. I took a van to Copper Canyon years ago and the only problems I can recall are lots of potholes in some of the roads from Presidio Tx southwards...

    ReplyDelete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...