Carnaval in Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Hogar Infantil Orphanage, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Heading towards the city of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Durango to Mexiquillo

We planned on a 9:00am start, but Garth (rig #4) has been having a problem with his automatic park brake. It was decided that he would disconnect the system, which is actually a fairly simple thing to do and we were on the road by 9:30am or so.

We took the periferico (ring road) north of Durango City and avoided any traffic issues. We were soon headed up into the mountains on the free road towards Mazatlan and the western coast.

There are two ways to get to Mazatlan from Durango. The original highway twists and winds its way through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. It's slow going, but absolutely beautiful. It also descends from 8,600 ft to sea level in less than 150 kms (93 miles). So it's a lot of downhill.

The other highway is the relatively new toll road that opened in early 2014. It is a series of tunnels and bridges that is also spectacular. But, it is expensive. The current cost for a motorhome to go from Durango to Mazatlan is 1,242 pesos ($85.60 CAD, $64.75 USD).

Ruth and I have done both roads, but always in the opposite direction. We think now that most of the traffic takes the toll road, the free road is the better option. And, it's free!

So that's the route we are on.

Heading out of Durango, it didn't take long to get some views.

Here comes the gang behind us.

Scenery along the way.

We pulled over at a lookoff and took a short break.


The view.
In the distance, you can see one of the bridges that is part of the toll road. 

These cows have a view too!

Heading into a valley

That's our road down there.

There are times when the free road and the toll road run very close to each other.

Coming into the town of El Salto.

Some odd rocks!

We took a few short breaks along the way and a fuel stop and arrived at the Parque Natural Mexiquillo at about 1:00pm. Not sure why we didn't know of this place during our other three times in this area, however a guy we met in Yukon last year has been in Mexico with his truck camper and he told us about it. Normal cost is 70 pesos per person for camping, but we got a group rate of 50 pesos per person.

Five of our rigs and Garth... happy to be camped up in nature!

Ruth, with Sue and Roy's rig, and Sherman!

Jim found himself a nice spot.

Roy and Sue.

There's a pretty little lake here.

We are at 8,400' altitude.
It's going to be chilly overnight!

Me, exploring the odd rock formations.

I'm the king of the castle!

Ruth.


They have an area here called Jardin de Piedras... the Rock Garden.
There are a bunch of these odd shaped rocks.



Lots of fun to explore!





Us!

There is a bunch of hiking and mountain biking here. Besides the rock garden area, which in itself is a big area there is also a beautiful waterfall as well as an old rail line that's great for mountain biking.

The old railway bed was built during the 1960's but never finished. It has become part of a mountain biking route that includes five tunnels, the longest of which is 1.68 kms (just over a mile). We plan to bike some of that today!

Part of the unfinished railway bed.

The waterfall is pretty.

And the views are spectacular!

Denise, Aron, Garth, Owenita, Roy, Sue.
There are four friendly stray dogs here. One is lying at the left of the photo.

For happy hour, Roger and his fire crew gathered up some wood and started a campfire. It didn't take long for things to cool off at dusk. But the fire was going good and we decided to cook our dinner!

Yum!

It did get chilly last night. Probably a little below freezing because there was frost on the windshield and the temperature inside the motorhome was only 5C (41F) when we woke up this morning. But, the sun is shining brightly and warming things up. 

We will enjoy our 3 nights here!

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12 comments:

  1. That looks like an incredible camp. I could see those rock formations easily in old westerns.

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    1. Yep, it is a great camp, everyone is loving it here. Lots to see and do. :-)

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  2. The scenery is great.
    we have always planned to drive fro Maz to Durango but we never took that route yet. I suspect it would be warmer in March that Dec.

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    1. The scenery is fantastic here, we love these kind of rock formations. Lots of fun to see and to climb. :-)

      The day time temperatures are perfect for us but yes, it is pretty chilly at night and yes, we are sure it would be warmer in March.

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  3. Beautiful! Most people will never see these places because they refuse to get off of the toll highways. The Espinazo de Diable is a beautiful drive and we did it with a travel trailer. We'll do it again in an instant. Nature!

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    1. We agree with you Chris, and it is such a shame but in a way it is better this way because then we don't have to worry about it being so crowded. Having said that, we would not want to be here in the summer on a weekend because it gets really busy and noisy as it is very popular for those that do know about it.

      We are looking forward to our next driving day and seeing the amazing views as we head down to Mazatlan on the Espinazo de Diable. It will be neat to see it from the opposite direction too, everything will look totally different. :-)

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  4. We are watching your progress along here because we may head over to Texas when we leave La Penita. The roads look much better than I would have suspected. I love the spot your in right now.

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    1. We love this route but most people don't because of all the twists and turns on the free road and the fact that it is narrow in places but there isn't nearly the amount of traffic on here that they used to have before opening up the toll road. The road condition overall so far on the free road has been good.

      We love this spot too, and I know that we will be back here another time. :-)

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  5. Nice Rocks!..I checked out on the net and one picture shows the cabins with lots of snow..

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    1. Yep, they are pretty cool rocks!

      They do sometimes get snow up here but it never lasts for long.

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  6. Love those rock formations! If only “they” could speak and tell the tale of how they came to be! It would make a wonderful fairy tale I think! Heheh.

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    1. We are loving them too, they are so very neat and interesting. Yep, I bet they would have quite the story to tell, something like the big old El Tule tree that we saw in Oaxaca.

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