Saturday, July 4, 2015

Road Trip to Durango - December 2014

Our first road trip of the 2014-2015 cruising season was a very interesting drive to Durango. The trip used to take a full day over narrow mountain roads shared with commercial truck traffic. In 2013, a new road was completed that reduced drive time to just 3 hours. It's an engineering marvel with 63 bridges and 115 tunnels. The Baluarte Bridge is the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, at a height of 1,322' above the valley floor. Sadly, there was no lookout point where travelers can stop and take time to admire the bridge - we had to shoot our photos as we were driving.

Baluarte Bridge
The longest tunnel is almost 3 kilometers long, with lighted lane markers and huge fans to remove carbon monoxide.

Tunel el Sinaloense

Durango was founded in 1563 for its gold and silver deposits. It's a traditional Mexican town, with architecture influenced by Europeans, not too touristy, with lots to see. The touristy part was outside the town. Durango was home to over 100 western movies - John Wayne made 7 movies here. We passed on the movie tour.

Our Hotel - Hostal de la Monja

After the drive, we treated ourselves to a nice late lunch. We had our choice of several traditional Mexican restaurants. Lunch at El Esquilón was delicious and a great way to ease into Durango.

Restaurant El Esquilón

We visited several museums. The first one had a permanent exhibit of local artist Guillermo Ceniceros and a visiting exhibit of another Mexican artist, Rafael Coronel - "Shrouds and Shadows".

Rafael Coronel exhibit

Raphael Coronel exhibit

Durango is in the mountains at 6,000' elevation, so the nights were cool, but great weather for exploring the town. Here is a night scene near our hotel.

We wanted to try new things this season. We stopped at another traditional restaurant for a Mezcal margarita - different from tequila and also excellent. We returned again the next day for a snack and we discovered one of our new favorite Mexican meals, Pozole soup or stew. It's made with either a spicy red or green sauce with hominy and chicken or pork and a plateful of other tasty ingredients to add.

Mezcal Margarita at Raices

After the Pozole we decided to try the traditional Mexican coffee - Café de Olla. It is brewed all day in a large pot with coffee, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, brown sugar and vanilla. We had no problem staying awake all afternoon.

Sampling Café de Olla

Sleep wasn't an option so we continued our walking tour of Durango at night. One destination for both locals and tourists was a cable car ride to take in the view of the city.

Teleférico (Cable Car)

Selfie from Cerro de los Remedios

We really enjoyed getting to know another Mexico town and look forward to visiting others!

Catedral Basilica de Durango