The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 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.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Into the city of Durango!

Up around 7:30am yesterday morning. Put the furnace on for about 45 minutes to take the chill off until the sun started warming things up. We had a couple of storms pass through overnight and even had some hail beating down on the roof.

But we woke up to blue skies and sunshine.

Had a great stay at Parque Ecologico El Tecuan. GPS 23.90856 -105.03184

Keep in mind that it would be tough to get in there and get turned around with anything bigger than 30', but larger rigs are welcome to park at the entrance gate and overnight there as well.

We continued on the free road, highway 40, in to the city of Durango. It was only about 65 kms (40 miles). Here are some photos of the drive...

The road was still a bit wet in spots from the rain overnight.

Beautiful scenery.


That's our road down there.

A few twists and turns. Just gotta take it slow.

That's where we came from.

We took a break at this highway overlook.

There's the city of Durango. Population around half a million.

Some kind of new military monument near the entrance of the city.

So, coming into the city we had our GPS which only listed the major routes, and we had a very poor city map that also only listed the major routes. This is okay, provided you don't stray off a major route! But as we came into the city, there was heavy road construction and a detour. Dammit. 

But, nothing we could do but follow the traffic.

We were going pretty slow and eventually there was no traffic to follow.

We took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up pretty close to the central area. We know from past experience that you don't want to be near the center of town with an RV. Too many narrow streets in Mexican cities and towns that were built for horses and buggies....not RVs. 

So we pulled over where we could park and check the internet to plan a route to get us back on track.

Fortunately, I had pulled off on a side street that actually led us back to the main drag. 

Back on the main drag.

Traffic circle and lights. But we couldn't find a way to turn left onto the street we wanted!

After a few more wrong turns, and one that actually had us on a short section of "bus only" lane, we got back on track.

There are no RV parks or campgrounds in or around the city of Durango. But, we want to explore the downtown (el centro) area, so we needed to find somewhere safe enough to park for two nights and be able to leave the motorhome alone while we went downtown.

I use google streetview to try an scope out possible parking spots. I had found a Holiday Inn across from the Walmart. I know, most of you are thinking that the Walmart would typically make an okay place to park. But Walmarts in Mexico are a little different. First of all, the parking lots are more designed for cars, not RVs. 

I did manage to find a place to park and we went and did a big grocery shop. But we didn't think it was a very good spot to overnight. We don't even like overnighting at Walmarts in Canada or the U.S.because there's almost always a better option if you look for it.

I walked over the the Holiday Inn. It would have been perfect. A large parking lot beside a convention center, and 24 hour gated security. I asked the guard, and he thought it would be okay but he had to confirm with the manager. She came out to talk to me, and said no! Corporate policy, she said. Hmph. The place wasn't even close to busy and they could have fit 10 RV's in there. I even offered to pay for parking. Nope, she wouldn't go for it. Said that I would have to rent a room.

Oh well. 

Down the road a half a km was a City Express Hotel. I walked down and spoke to them, and the three people behind the counter were nice and friendly. I explained what I was looking for, and they looked at each other and said "sure, you can park here"!

No charge. 

And so, we had a nice quiet night here. No problem, and we're confident that Sherman will be fine as we go into town later this morning.

Sherman, parked up at the City Express Hotel in Durango. GPS 24.053014 -104.61730

So, we'll leave Sherman here and take the bus in to the city center. It was cold last night! Temperature outside was -2C (29F), but they're calling for sunshine and a high of 19C (66F) so that's not bad.

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12 comments:

  1. Wow, Holiday Inn lost out on that one. Silly bunts. But, you did better in the long run.

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    1. I even told them them that they have space to build a small RV park, and she agreed with me that it would be a good idea. I think that she wasn't the manager....maybe just an assistant, and she didn't want to get in trouble for making the wrong call.

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  2. There have been lots of movies filmed around Durango and in fact there is a Hollywood style set somewhere near there.

    Those temperatures are more like Palm Springs than Mexico! Yes, I know you are at high altitude.

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    1. Yes, there are two movie sets around town. One used to be owned by John Wayne, and is apparently in a bad state of repair. Apparently the other has been turned into an amusement park of some kind.

      Yep, we are at 6,100 ft.

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  3. In December 2013 I was in Durango. Constructions all over town and blocked main roads and detours. My GPS was no help. But there was a police man watching the traffic. I stopped beside him and asked if he can guide me to the highway towards Zacatecas. He called his boss and it was o.k. It took us 30 minutes to get through town. I gave him then the money for a taxi so he could drive back and doing his job again. Without him I couldn't have made it. I am surprised that the construction work is not finished yet.

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    1. The section near downtown is finished and you can tell that it's mostly new. It's the section entering Durango from the west that's now being worked on.

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  4. Beautiful countryside. Persistence almost always pays off:)

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    1. Yes, the views on our drive were fantastic. We are really enjoying the area.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your pictures...I had no idea Mexico was so beautiful!

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    1. You're welcome Kay, this is why we love Mexico so much. It is a huge country and just like so many other countries it's landscape, cities and people are amazing and we see that everywhere that we have traveled. We enjoy showing people what Mexico has to offer because so few really know much about the country, only what the media presents to them.

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  6. If you had mentioned you were going to be staying in Durango I could have told you about the City Express Hotel. We have friends in a 40' bus who stayed there last night. They are on their way to the Isla as it is just too cold in the US this winter.

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    Replies
    1. Nobody here but us the last two nights Contessa, so this isn't where your fiends stayed. And yes, there is only one City Express Hotel in Durango.

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