Trip to Mexico
Trip to the Valley
Peggy and I departed Bridgeport on the morning of 25 February 2000. We got on to Hwy 281(Hwy 281 goes all the way to McAllen) in Mineral Wells and drove to George West, Texas and spent the night in a Best Western Motel. On Saturday morning we drove on to San Juan, Texas and checked into a Days Inn Motel. That evening we met Dorothy Hale and her friend Robert in Progresso, Mexico for dinner and visitation.
First Day-- 27 Feb 00
We met our Sanborn tour group at the Tropic Star MH & RV Resort in Pharr, Texas. Our group was made up of Winter Texans and friends plus Peggy and I. We were the only native Texans in the group. There were folks from Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, and Florida. There were a total of 26 passengers on the Halcon Bus, David the driver, Mike the Tour Conductor and 24 eager tourists. The bus was a 42-passenger vehicle with very comfortable seats.
The bus departed Pharr clearing Mexican customs in Reynosa. We cruised over to Monterrey, Mexico, capital of the state of Nuevo Leon. After lunch we continued on to a resort close to Saltillo, Mexico. The name of the resort is Rincon Del Montero. The resort was built by a Mexican Wine Baron and was very comfortable for a bunch of wild first day tourists.
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Second Day-- 28 Feb 00
This morning we motored over to Durango. Checked into Hotel Plaza Vizcaya. Took a tour of Durango seeing zocalo, state capital, and the cathedral. We also visited a Western Movie Set on the outskirts of Durango. The western town was used in several John Wayne movies.
Third Day-- 29 Feb 00
Got up early, picked up a box lunch and drove to Mazatlan. The drive was through outstanding mountain scenery which included 2843 curves. The road was new and passed over the Sierra Madre mountain range. We stopped in El Salto for refreshments and a visit to the water closet. At lunchtime, we stopped at a pullout and consumed our box lunch. In my opinion the box would have tasted better. However, the scenery was outstanding. Upon arriving in Mazatlan we checked into the Playa Mazatlan Hotel.
Fourth Day--1 Mar 00
We spent the day in Mazatlan. Toured the zocalo, municipal palace, art center, and "Ice Box Hill" which served as a lookout for pirate ships during the 16th and 17th centuries. Mazatlan was a delightful ocean city. The beaches were nice and the fishing is supposed to be some of the best in the world. I would like to return someday to go fishing. Attended a Mexican Fiesta in the evening. The fiesta included dinner and all the drinks you could consume. The margaritas weren't very good but a lot of them went down the hatch. It was a fun evening.
Fifth Day-- 2 Mar 00
Drove from Mazatlan to Las Mochis. On the way we drove through the agricultural area of Culiacan, capital of the state of Sinaloa. We checked into the Las Colinas Hotel. The hotel was old and sort of dirty. It was by far the worst place we stayed while on the trip. Of course this is the writers opinion.
Sixth Day-- 3 Mar 00
This morning we boarded the train "Chihuahua al Pacifico" at 6 AM. The train departed Los Mochis 45 minutes late due to the engineer being late. This was the beginning of the Copper Canyon excursion. The ride brought breathtaking views along the way. Down below, rivers churn through deep green gorges, white waterfalls and vivid blossoms. The land falls away as the train rolls across high bridges and casts a shadow on the waters below. We traveled through 86 tunnels and over 4 miles of bridges. The longest tunnel was 5966 feet long. The highest bridge on the line was 340 feet above the river.
The railroad was built to provide a shorter route to the Far East. The railroad was to run from Kansas City, Kansas to Topolobampo, Mexico and would cut off 500 miles and provide a year round port. The railroad was started in 1870 and completed in 1961. The track was laid with a maximum grade of 2.5%.
We departed the train in Divisadero, Mexico and checked into the Cabanas Divisadero Hotel located on the rim of the Copper Canyon.
Seventh Day-- 4 Mar 00
We toured around the hotel area until noon. We boarded the bus and drove to Chihuahua. On the way we drove through rich farmland and orchards of a Mennonite colony. We spent the night at the Hotel San Francisco.
Eight Day-- 5 Mar 00
Sightseeing in Chihuahua included the Pancho Villa House, the main Plaza, cathedral, city hall, the aqueduct built by the Spanish in 1754 and the colonial districts. After the tour we drove to Torreon and spent the night at Hotel Parafso.
Ninth Day-- 6 Mar 00
Got up early and toured Torreon. Drove to Saltillo and toured the town. Visited a shop that makes scrapes. Drove to Monterrey and stopped for lunch. Drove on to Reynosa, went through customs and on to McAllen, arriving about 6 PM.
Peggy and I hope you enjoyed our trip report. We certainly had a good time. My only regret is I didn't get to go fishing while in Mazatlan.