2016-09-22 – Day 11 – Durango to Mazatlán (320 km – 5:00 hrs)
2016-09-23 – Day 12 -Mazatlán
One of the recommended routes that I read on various blogs is the 40, between Durango and Mazatlán.
Normally, taking the normal toll highway, the 40D, travel time between the two cities would take 3 hours.
With this road, the trip is nearly 5 hours because you need to climb up and down a 3000-meter range of mountains.
I was not disappointed! This route made go through a spectacular show and of curves, climbs, descents and canyons. It was a great driving dream!
At higher altitude, the temperature even dropped to 10 degrees Celsius and I had to put on the heated vest.
This winding road reminds me of beautiful drives I took in the Pyrenees, the Alps and even in Corsica, but with one big difference: the road was completely deserted! I never had to wait behind slower cars and I came across very few vehicles. In fact, I had to be careful not with cars or trucks, but with cows, horses and donkeys wondering in what was… Their territory!
Another thing to note, the vegetation was very similar to the Rocky Mountains in beautiful Western Canada. In fact, I should rather say, the start of the Rockies. The vegetation was mostly forests with majestic huge pines (not as much as ours, but hey, they were still big!).
I wish I could have counted the number of curves I had to deal with, but it was exciting and a paradise for all motorcycle driver!
I finally got to have a little fun with my GoPro. Here are some photos. Unfortunately, sharing videos online is a little more complex due to the limited bandwidth of my cell phone plan and the speed of the Wi-Fi connection in hotels that I stay at. Thank you again to all my friends for the birthday present!
This picture represents, in my mind, the contrast that is often present in my thoughts when I travel in Latin America.
I arrived in Mazatlán around 14:00 a little tired of my prowess at the wheel, but especially totally disoriented by motorcycles, cars, pedestrians, minibuses, music, dirt, pollution, potholed streets and 37 degrees Celsius weather! Not easy after a day in the countryside and the mountains!
The hotel, that I had booked the day before in the historic centre, happily welcomed me very simply by letting me park my motorcycle in the courtyard, as if this was an everyday thing!
The room is spacious, with a lounge and separate kitchen, and a budget overrun for the day! I will settle here for 2 days to catch my breath a little and plan for the days ahead.
Mazatlan is a port city located on the west coast of Mexico. It offers great beaches, but I opted for the history part, typically more alive, because I’m not so much of a beach bum anymore.
This part of the city is relatively small, with a beautiful square, surrounded by restaurants and cafes.
I first visited this area and then went to the beach and then ventured into the most “ordinary”neighborhood, less touristy, of course.
In the district where I stay, the beach is OK but not great. The layout of the streets and sidewalks is very old and restored houses are present alongside abandoned buildings.
When stepping out of the tourist centre, it is very noisy, dirty and unwelcoming.
The north section of the beach is much bigger and the waves are huge! There are even a few surfers and a nice boardwalk, which will get to be acquainted with my running shoes tomorrow morning!
The evening ends with a simple supper on the terrace of a restaurant that as simple and that will remain by extension, anonymous!
Friday morning, I get up a bit late again, and go for a run that was to be 10 km, but which ultimately ended up to be 16! It took me more than an hour (I know Louis, it’s a bit slow), but it’s always nice to jog in a new city and it is not difficult to go just a little further to see a new neighborhood, what I have done today, into the district (or city, not too sure) of Lomas de Mazatlán. I noticed the presence of a large store called MEGA, and rediscovered that all the food that I know is also here!!! Small moment of pleasure!
I even discovered that after only two days here, I am recognized for my travels!
I will not hold a grudge towards to the artist who made a mistake on the motorcycle model!
I came back with a bag full of stuff to take advantage of the kitchen in the hotel room. It’s good not to have to go out at the restaurant for just an evening! I had a small bottle of wine after a long walk on the central square, which was pleasantly animated by a many artisans trying to sell their work quietly, without too much pressure on the people passing by.
It reminded me how much I’m looking forward to camp (read: justify carrying all my camping gear from Montreal)!
Looking at all this spectacle before me, I realize that I greatly prefer Mexico in the evening that in day! Weird isn’t it?
How to manage drying clothes on a trip!
A small photo to the motorcycle riders only.
My rear tire Heidenau after 5000 km. I am a bit worried. I think I’m at 50% wear and I thought I’d be able to go for 20 000 km and get a change in Lima!
Should I start looking for an option in Central America?
2016-09-20 - Day 9 - Real de Catorce, SL to Zacatecas, ZA (314 km - 4:00 hrs) 2016-09-21 - Day 10 - Zacatecas, ZA to Durango, DU (292 km - 2:30 hrs) Tuesday morning, I left Real de Catorce slowly, but surely, in an atmosphere much quieter than when I arrived. I had to ... Read more