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Austin to Mazatlan 1300 miles

sunny 30 °C
View Austin Texas to Argentina on hayden111's travel map.

Check out www.haydencarlyonphotography.com for more photos from the trip.

After abandoning Alex's apartment in Austin (that was a bit of a mouthful) early on Sunday afternoon I drove to Laredo and the Border between Mexico and the US. It was nice relaxing 5 hour drive and my first chance to get to know the car that would be my home for the next 4-5 months. The straight, flat, scenically challenged roads meant that I could take advantage of the cruise control, put my feet up and and take the time to psych myself up for my first border crossing early the next morning. Laredo is a bit rough like most of the Mexican/US border towns so I found a cheap hotel, grabbed a quick bite to eat and called it a day.

The next morning I got an early start and headed to the border at around 6:30am while it was still dark. I was expecting a barrage of questions and for my car to be searched, but it was a piece of cake. It was a cold windy morning and the customs officials weren't about to leave their cozy little offices to inspect my car, so I simply filled out the necessary paper work and drove through.

Although I was planning on spending my first night in Monterey, just 3 hours south of the border I was making such good progress that i decided to push on and try to make it to Durango, another 8-10 hours away. It was an amazing drive and a great feeling to be out on the road, driving alone in uncharted territories. But after spending a painstaking hour on the local free roads avoiding countless holes, buses, dogs and people I decide to pony up the cash ($10 per 100km) and give the privately owned toll roads a try. Although the price of the toll roads can only be described as criminal, they are incredibly well maintained and super fast. With the chickens and buses out of the way I could race through through the Mexican desert at close to 100mph .

Crazy Mexican roads
mexican_roads.jpg

By the time the sun was about to set I had spent 12 hours on the road, covered 800kms and finally made it to Durango; a typical medium sized Mexican town in the mountains towards the west coast.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I drove through the mountains near Durango to Mazatlan. It took 6 hours at an average of 30mph through the craziest, winding roads I have ever seen. Its was a beautiful drive with massive cliffs and amazing valley's, little Mexican villages and those Joshua trees and huge cactus that you see in the movies. It was incredibly tiring though and I was lucky to make it to Mazatlan before dark. Before I set off in the morning I remember looking at the map thinking it would only take 3 hrs. I must admit I hadn't planned on driving 18 hours in my first 2 days.

Mazatlan is really beautiful and the old town where I am staying has a very chilled out feel to it. Its nice to just relax on the beach after so many days of driving. My room is over looking the beach and the sunsets here are incredible. I went and watched the cliff divers tonight. They stand up on 20 meter high cliffs at high tide and wait for a wave to come in so that they don't hit the bottom when the dive, its pretty impressive.

The beach across from my hotel in Old Town Mazatlan.
mazatlan.jpg

I must admit I am pretty tired though, I know its only been 3 days but it feels a lot longer. I will head to Puerto
Vallarta to meet Alex tomorrow. I looking forward to having a travel companion finally.

So far the trip is going really well and its nice to be on the road after all the planning. Even the police haven't been an issue, I passed at least 10 on the way here and was only pulled over once in a mountain village near Durango by the local Federales. They just looked at car, asked me a few questions in broken English and let me go.

Posted by hayden111 15:34 Archived in Mexico

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