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blandons4ever

May 30, 2014, 3:42 PM

Post #1 of 19 (7829 views)

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Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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Hello:
I plan to take a trip to puerto vallarta by way of N.Laredo. Besides the fact that I drive a large suburban and been told don't take it it is a bait vehicle, laredo to monterrey is kinda of dangerous to drive etc etc I will not heed those "warnings" and drive it anyway. I am crossing at 7:00 AM on July 4th to get my FMM (will get TIP online), turn around and get onto colosio, hit 85 and don't stop to gas until past saltillo since my rig allows me a full 350 miles without refueling. My main concern is how busy is the crossing since it is a holiday in the US; is it really a busy crossing day? I would like to make it to SLP by 7:00 PM, stay there and head on to vallarta via GDL on Saturday. Anyone has any experience on crossing on holidays or any safety issues in general I should be concerned with during this season (besides commercial traffic and accidents on the road)? I believe in summer the amount of people driving to mexico picks up so the traffic especially on NL-MTY highway should be somewhat heavy.


(This post was edited by blandons4ever on May 30, 2014, 3:46 PM)



stevebrtx

May 30, 2014, 5:38 PM

Post #2 of 19 (7808 views)

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Re: [blandons4ever] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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I'll be ahead of you by about 90 minutes, I clear Aduana at Bridge #2 by about 5:30 and am in Monterrey by sunrise, I fill up in Matehuala and am here at home in Riberas by about 4:30, or earlier same day. I don't think you'll see much traffic going S that day, at Christmas etc. yes, but not on the 4th and especially if you clear through early.
http://www.chapalaweather.net


blandons4ever

May 31, 2014, 8:21 AM

Post #3 of 19 (7768 views)

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Re: [stevebrtx] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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I'd do the same and even tell you if you'd like I could team up with you for the NL-MTY stretch but I am travelling with 2 kids and as you know it may be somewhat difficult to get these kids ready to go for a daylong trip at 5:30. That is probably the time I would get them up to have them ready. Between this time and breakfast time it will probably take about 1.5 hrs hence my assumption of crossing at about 7:00 AM. Be safe on your trip as you still will travel another 4+ hrs to Chapala.


stevebrtx

May 31, 2014, 8:34 AM

Post #4 of 19 (7765 views)

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Re: [blandons4ever] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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I probably should wait, that first two hours in dark to Monterrey is spooky and I've done it in the fog which was more like alarming, not knowing what might be on the road just in front of the headlights, but this will be my last trip south - at least for a few years and I'll likely head out early as usual. One of my reasons has been that I'm normally bringing back a lot of stuff and at that time in the morning they're still asleep and don't care much.
http://www.chapalaweather.net


blandons4ever

May 31, 2014, 8:50 AM

Post #5 of 19 (7759 views)

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Re: [stevebrtx] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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That is my assumption too that early in the morning it should be better to cross so I figured if I am out on colosio by 8:00 AM (worst case scenario I believe but I have to add extra time to everything considering the kids)is still a great time to take on the road ahead safely as they (whoever they are lol) should be still asleep. I travel light just a couple of suitcases but on the way back the lady purchases whatever she can get her hands on so we come back to the states full of Mexican goodies. I assume also that there will be police/military checkpoints so I am adding an extra 2 hrs to the trip. As long as I am in san luis by 6:00 - 7:00 PM I think there will be plenty of daylight as now in the summer the sun does not set until 8:00ish here in Texas.


stevebrtx

May 31, 2014, 9:33 AM

Post #6 of 19 (7750 views)

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Re: [blandons4ever] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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Good plan, normally, on the way S there aren't checkpoints except for the 20KM Aduana which often waves you through. On the N bound side there is a big scanner that backs up trucks for a mile or more. But, even with kids, heading S should be easy to do. I am alone and drive hard and only stop once so it's fairly easy - boring, but easy. Last Fall I had to take the trailer out of MX and then return and dragging an essentially empty trailer took me 13 hours and it took more than a few days to recover. I swore I'd only make one more trip with the trailer and I'll do that late August and it will be full, so a long couple days.
http://www.chapalaweather.net


Altahabana


May 31, 2014, 12:43 PM

Post #7 of 19 (7736 views)

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Re: [stevebrtx] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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There won't be any traffic crossing over that early in the morning. Paisanos visiting over the long holiday weekend will already have crossed. Driving in the dark isn't too bad on Colosio and 85, but I would avoid it unless there is a reason to leave that early.


blandons4ever

May 31, 2014, 2:43 PM

Post #8 of 19 (7718 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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Thanks Altahabana for your advice. From what I understand you are a very valuable member of this forum and a valiant one too as I understand you live in Nuevo Laredo so whatever you say about the situation cannot be understated as you actually live it day by day.


Altahabana


May 31, 2014, 4:43 PM

Post #9 of 19 (7700 views)

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Re: [blandons4ever] Crossing on July 4th at Bridge 2 laredo

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Thanks, but I think valiant is a bit of an overstatement. Nuevo Laredo has been relatively calm over the past year. I should have added in my earlier response that the autopista between Monterrey and Nvo. Laredo is a very easy drive.


safaricombi

Aug 9, 2014, 4:32 PM

Post #10 of 19 (6759 views)

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Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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I am new to the forum, and I may be out of order, but I seek advice for a late September crossing at Laredo with a small trailer behind my old truck. My sister insists on going to the Columbia bridge, but I need to get all the way to Puerto Vallarta. Any thoughts? We followed someone's advice in April on the fast, easy route through Laredo at 6am, then all the way to Lagos and in to Vallarta the next afternoon and it was truly simple. Truck & trailer paint a different picture, such as, what crossing will be fastest given the stuff, which I hope will be my menaje to our new place in Vallarta.


Altahabana


Aug 9, 2014, 6:24 PM

Post #11 of 19 (6743 views)

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Re: [safaricombi] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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Columbia Bridge doesn't open early--I believe at 8 am. There are less turns to make if you are in a trailer but I see no other reason to use. Like I said in an earlier post Nvo. Laredo has been quiet for quite some time, but I still wouldn't use Hwy 2 unless I had no other option


playaboy

Aug 10, 2014, 6:20 AM

Post #12 of 19 (6713 views)

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Re: [safaricombi] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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Several years ago, I crossed bridge #2 pulling a 20ft cargo trailer followed by a 4 door dually pulling a 24ft boat. On top of that it was dawn on Xmas day. Clearing the Mexican Army and Aduana was a learning experience.

When it was all done the driving part was easy. If you are just pulling a small trailer you should have no difficulties navigating to the perifico.


safaricombi

Aug 12, 2014, 11:26 PM

Post #13 of 19 (6630 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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Thanks everyone for your responses to the trailer question. I am curious about Altahabana's remark about not using Hwy 2 unless there's no other option. When we drove down in April, it seemed we wound up in Hwy 2 trying to get to the autopista to Monterey.
is there an accurate set of directions? We were so lost.
and, do you all think that I should not drive down with a small trailer? Lastly, does anyone have the telephone number of del Parque hotel in Matahuela? I'll need the trailer in the secure parking, too, so I thought I'd reserve a room ahead of time.


Altahabana


Aug 13, 2014, 4:30 AM

Post #14 of 19 (6626 views)

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Re: [safaricombi] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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No you were not lost. If a traveler is going to use Columbia Bridge to connect with the autopista to Monterrey that is the route one would take.

Like I said it has been quiet for quite some time, but there have been many incidents on that route over the last four years---most involving the military and the Zetas. While there's not a significant risk in using Columbia Bridge, I avoid that area because there are better alternatives for most travelers.


RickS


Aug 13, 2014, 8:47 AM

Post #15 of 19 (6603 views)

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Re: [safaricombi] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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Here is their website: http://www.delparquehotel.com/index-en.php

Are you aware that their parking is underground/under hotel. Some have previously mentioned that the entry/exit was 'tight' so you may have an issue with a trailer in tow.

Others, including myself, have used Las Palmas motel which is 'secure'. There is plenty of room for maneuvering a trailer if one gets a room 'in the back'. Just a thought.


safaricombi

Aug 14, 2014, 1:36 PM

Post #16 of 19 (6559 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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Thanks for the Las Palmas rec. Rick. I may not be pulling a trailer anymore, but I am glad to know about Las Palmas as well as Del Parque in Matehuala. I will have the truck, with furniture. I plan on taking the Laredo #2 bridge, after all, but that is where I got lost in April, coming out from getting our visas!! And I am normally darn good with directions.
Any information regarding taking over some furniture for our house in Vallarta?


sioux4noff

Aug 14, 2014, 8:06 PM

Post #17 of 19 (6528 views)

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Re: [safaricombi] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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As a person who relocated from Texas to Bucerias, Nayarit, my advice on the furniture is don't bring it. If it is family heirloom or the like, find a relative to give or lend it to. Bringing it is a hassle, and you can get furniture here. The climate and termites are tough on furniture here.
We brought 2 pieces of furniture along with other household goods and clothes, etc.


safaricombi

Aug 15, 2014, 1:23 PM

Post #18 of 19 (6499 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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yes, sioux4noff, I quite agree, so I am taking powder coated iron stuff that I haven't room for after downsizing. Thanks. Has anyone had luck with powder coated ironwork on the coast?
If anyone is interested in companion driving.. I plan to drive to Vallarta sometime in the last 2 weeks of September (the old pick-up, packed, which probably will only get about 14 m/gal). My timing is flexible between 20 - 30 September.


Altahabana


Aug 24, 2014, 8:06 AM

Post #19 of 19 (6326 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Columbia crossing vs. Laredo Bridge 2

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"Like I said it has been quiet for quite some time, but there have been many incidents on that route over the last four years---most involving the military and the Zetas. While there's not a significant risk in using Columbia Bridge, I avoid that area because there are better alternatives for most travelers."

I posted this 11 days ago. Yesterday there was apparently a running gun battle between the Zetas and some government force that began on Highway 2 near the Coahuila/Nuevo Leon/Tamaulipas border and continued for about 25 miles along Highway 2, ending on the west side of Nvo. Laredo. Reports as always are sketchy, but several participants died.

This is the type of incident I was describing in the quoted comment. It is the principal risk associated with using this route because Highway 2 is used by the Zetas to move men, arms and drugs in this part of the border area. This risk is well known locally and is the main reason most local residents avoid using Highway 2.

I am not trying to dissuade anyone from using Columbia Bridge, especially those who swear by it and advise others to use it, but there are frequent posts inquiring about conditions in this area. I suspect that most ex-pats who use Columbia Bridge and recommend that new travelers use it, don't really know much about what goes on out there. While the odds of anything happening to any individual traveler are not great, driving through the area exposes a traveler to things that aren't present on other routes.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on Aug 25, 2014, 3:15 AM)
 
 
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