View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Long travel day with a few encounters with the police

Yesterday was one of the longer travel days on our route... from Canutillo to Durango city, a distance of 342 kms (212 miles) with some road construction. We left Canutillo just after 8:00am, and arrived at Balneario San Juan on the outskirts of the city of Durango at just after 3:00pm.

A long day, but we took a few breaks along the way. A couple of our breaks were forced on us by police and military checks.

Once again, we had great weather. No wind, with highs of around 25C (77F) with sunshine and a few wispy clouds.

Here comes a couple of the group.

Road construction.

We had a real variety of road surfaces on this drive. Several sections are being widened and other sections were already done. Sherman even had his cruise control on a few times!

Narrow road, but not much traffic.

Taken in Ruth's mirror.

Fancy entrance gate to a ranch.

Scenery along the way.

Here come a few of the group.

Police in Rodeo, Durango.
(PID is Policía Investigadora de Delitos, Crime Investigation Police)

It's standard in Mexico to have highway checkpoints. Many are run by the military or Federal Police. We used to get boarded a lot back ten years ago, but it hasn't happened for a few years. Yesterday, we ran into one military checkpoint where four of us made it through, but rigs five and six were stopped and questioned. Just the standard stuff... "where are you from?" "where are you going?"... that kind of thing.

But coming into the town of Rodeo, there was a municipal police checkpoint. Two or three guys in standard uniform, a young guy (he looked about 14!) with a big gun, and a couple of other guys not in uniform. They came on board and poked around, opening cupboard doors and taking photographs. Also photographed our licence plates and vehicle documents. Asked us if we had any guns. It was all kind of strange, but they were friendly enough and eventually waved us on.

We stopped for fuel in Rodeo, and then carried on.

Then we found a spot by the road where we could all fit and had a half hour lunch break. While we were there, a State Police truck pulled in and four officers got out, one was a woman. I went to greet them and again they were friendly. More curious than anything else I think! They asked the standard questions as well and asked if we were having mechanical troubles. No, we explained we were just stopped for lunch. They wished us a good trip and reminded us that if there was ever any trouble we could call 9-1-1. We thanked them for their security.

Hard to believe this is the main highway between Parral and Durango.

In the town of Palmitos.

A few wispy clouds in the sky.

Our road heading down into the valley.

Pretty countryside.

Another road construction area.

There are no actual campgrounds around the city of Durango, but that is soon changing. Good thing, because the city is worth a visit.

Balneario San Juan (GPS 24.054335, -104.545167) is a water park with natural hot spring water. It's a family business, and the grandson Eduardo is a friendly young man who speaks quite good English. They have a plan to welcome more RV'ers. They currently offer a parking area for RV's, and they are making some improvements with a plan to install electric and water hookups by next season. 

They also arrange transportation into the city, which we will take advantage of on Sunday.

As we were getting parked up, Garth drove a bit too far and his left rear wheel went into a mud hole. This was actually a hole where they had planted a small tree and it had been regularly filled with water. He was stuck!

A few of us worked about a half an hour to get him unstuck!

We used his leveling jacks to get the wheel out of the mud, and then built up the area underneath.

He was then able to back out.

Never a dull moment!

I haven't shown you a map for a while.

Yesterday's drive, 342 kms (212 miles).

Our route since we left Alpine, TX on November 17th.

Record low deal on all three versions of the popular and highly rated Outland Firebowl Propane Firepits.

And in Canada...


  1. Nice to know the Law Enforcement has your security in mind.
    Picturesque Scenery today.
    Glad you were able to get Garth out the easy way.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. I don't think it is just our security that they have in mind but the security of the area.

      We are all glad that we got Garth unstuck without too much trouble and that he didn't have to get a tow truck to pull him out.

  2. No fun getting stuck! Every balneario needs one of those front end loaders like you guys had at Cabri!

    1. Nope, it definitely isn't fun getting stuck. It won't have surprised us if they did have some kind of big machinery here that could have pulled him out but with the guys working together they got the job done fairly quickly. :-)

  3. Wonderful, Wonderful. Can't wait to see the next pictures of the springs. How did you find out about this location?

    1. The pools aren't really anything too special but the water is a perfect temperature, especially in the cool evenings.

      It is on the ioverlander app.

  4. Any encounter with police that doesn't end up with handcuffs is a good thing. ;c)

  5. Of course with the one months-ago catch and release of El Chapo's son in Culiacan, I believe security has been beefed up in the Sinaloa area. But we believe, as you do, that tourists are usually protected. Delightful scenery - one of the reasons Mexico is our favorite place. We're enjoying our armchair travel with you.

    1. We honestly haven't found the road checks to be any different now than they were a year ago, it's just that at this particular one they didn't wave us through. It is always hit or miss as to whether you are pulled over for an inspection or not.

      We are glad that you are enjoying our adventures from the comfort of your armchair. We love Mexico too! :-)

  6. Those look like classic 19' wide Mexican highways. 9.5' each lane. Good for an occasional white knuckle moment I’m sure.

    1. Yep, that would probably be about right. This highway is still slightly wider than the highway down the Baja though and not nearly as busy!

  7. loved the hot pools there..... and the city was wonderful!

    1. We have been to the city before and really like it but this is our first time at the hot pools and yes, we are all enjoying them. :-)

  8. Yes the highway reminds me of the Baja 1road for sure. Someone in the rear view mirror looks like they are right on the white line. If traffic is light should straddle or crowd the centre line a bit more as those shoulders are unforgiving if you drop a wheel over the edge. Natural reaction if you drop a wheel off the shoulder is to yank the wheel back to the left and that usually ends badly better to steer to the right and ride it out in the ditch. Hopefully no big rocks or cliffs.

    1. The road is very similar to Highway 1 in the Baja but I think that highway is just slightly narrower than this one and has a lot more traffic, especially truck traffic. Luckily we had very little traffic most of the day. I think that one vehicle that looks to be on the white line is very deceiving from the angle the picture was taken because it is quite far back and on a hill, plus of course the view is from my mirror. Nobody is having any issues with staying in their lane and when we do have oncoming traffic on these narrow roads we just stop and let the other vehicle by.


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