Saturday, 22 September 2012

On the road... Mazatlan to Durango, Mexico

An early start from Mazatlan. The relatively clear air was shortlived. Smoke from a thermoelectric plant combined with sea fog caused solar obscura at times.

We were riding on the El espinazo del Diablo described as one of the world's 20 most complex roads. Lots of concentration was required of Dick and Ken. Many switchbacks, stunning scenery and mostly a good road surface but with some unpredictable pockets.
The Mexican government is undertaking a huge roading project in Durango province with 34 bridges like this...

And 38 tunnels over a distance 45 km.

We crossed the Tropic of Cancer for the second time today. The first was when we were asleep on the ferry.

The road wound up these huge escarpments and mesas and along spurs.

We could see far into the distance on both sides of the range at times.

These trucks reminded me of the himalayan trip. The roads are much better here though.

We held back and watched the problem solving as these two very long trucks manouvred around a hairpin bend.


Then beyond Perico we swooped down the new toll road to Durango.

History permeates the city Durango was first settled by spanish in 1548. The cathedral was built in 1699.

Durango province is a major mining area in Mexico and is second biggest gold and silver producing region in the world.
We went down a mine museum which ran underground in the town square and along for several blocks. At the entry to the mine is a chapel. Apparently every mine here has a chapel. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of the mines.
In Durango 750 tonnes of gold are produced each month, 35,000 tonnes of silver, and also massive amounts of copper, zinc and iron. The major mines are owned by a Canadian company and a Philipine company.

Safe and fast becoming the conventional arrival at our hotel.

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