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Paul Rodriguez

Apr 25, 2003, 11:24 PM

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Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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I'm going to try to drive down to Ajijic in June and I plan to go through El Paso. I don't much about the roads and would appreciate any info that any of you might care to offer. I would especially appreciate what would be the natural stopping places and what lodging would be useful. I can afford about 45 USD per night. Also how are the roads and should I be sure to avoid? Thanks from a new comer. Paul



Rolly


Apr 26, 2003, 7:10 AM

Post #2 of 15 (2882 views)

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Re: [Paul Rodriguez] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Hola Paul,

Gomez Palacio is about half way from El Paso to Ajijic -- about 10 hours from the border. You will have no trouble finding a reasonably priced motel.

You will want to use the toll road, highway 49 from Juarez. After your night in Gomez, you will continue on 49 to Zacatecas. At Zacatecas you have a choice of roads on to Ajijic. On the map highway 54 looks like the easy way to Guadalajara, but I don't care for that route because it is a slow, twisting mountain road that puts you into GDL on the north side so that you have to drive all the way across town to the south side to go on to Ajijic -- and that is a major pain. I much prefer to go from Zacatecas thru Aguascalientes and on to Guadalajara. That route puts you on the east side of GDL and is an easy shot on to Ajijic -- just watch for the signs to the airport. You will drive right past the GDL airport on your way to Ajijic.

When you reach Gomez, you will be within spitting distance of my house, so you are most welcome to give me a call and I'll buy you a beer or three.

Rolly Pirate


patvalenti

Apr 26, 2003, 9:06 AM

Post #3 of 15 (2870 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Rolly,
What's your take on the San Diego to Ajijic trip?

Pat from Ajijic.


esperanza

Apr 26, 2003, 12:05 PM

Post #4 of 15 (2863 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Amen to Rolly's route...I drove the dreaded Rte 54 (known as La Barranca, the CANYON) once, by accident, and I would never do it again. It took forever, hours and hours longer than the other route, with twisting switchback curves, huge plodding trucks, and narrow or no shoulders. Then it dumped me out, as Rolly said, in unfamiliar territory in Guadalajara, hunting by guess and by God for the road to Lake Chapala. *Shudder*

If you need a place to have lunch, stop in Sombrerete, a lovely little town about an hour north of Zacatecas.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Rolly


Apr 26, 2003, 1:59 PM

Post #5 of 15 (2855 views)

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Re: [patvalenti] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Hi Pat,

I vote with Brian who answered your other post. US interstate 8 from SD to Nogales is more miles than going via Mexicali, but it is probably faster, and it is reported to be a much easer drive. I have never driven Mexican highway 2, but I have heard folks cuss it, and have never heard anyone recommend it.

Rolly Pirate


pathall

Apr 26, 2003, 4:54 PM

Post #6 of 15 (2846 views)

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Re: [Paul Rodriguez] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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If possible, cross into Mexico at Santa Teresa, NM rather than at El Paso. It's much easier, hardly any traffic crossing the border, and you miss most of the traffic in El Paso and Juarez. It's especially good on the way out of Mexico. It took us 3 1/2 hours to cross from Juarez into El Paso a couple of years ago and only 3 minutes at the Santa Teresa crossing into New Mexico last January. If you want detailed directions to Santa Teresa, just ask. It's only a few miles East of El Paso.
Pat


esperanza

Apr 26, 2003, 8:58 PM

Post #7 of 15 (2837 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Look...I am an intrepid traveler and frequently go where few have gone before, but...

You DO NOT WANT TO DRIVE THE ROAD between San Diego and Nogales on the Mexican side. Part of it is known as 'La Rumorosa' and is the single most dangerous stretch of road it has ever been my *ahem* pleasure to travel. I used to take this route on the bus, leaving Tijuana at night to arrive in Sonoyta in the morning; the Mexican friend who traveled with me in those days always said, "Esperanza, do not EVER take the daytime bus."

I thought, "How silly, it must be safer to travel by day rather than by night."

WELL! The first time I went alone to meet her in Sonoyta, I went by day. Oh god, it was horrible...steep, steep mountain roads through barren peaks of enormous rocks, every curve a switchback, no shoulders, incredible drop-offs into huge boulders...and in every ravine a destroyed and gutted car, truck or bus which had tumbled off the highway and had been left for dead. It wasn't so much that the road by night was less dangerous...it was that you couldn't see what lay ahead and to the sides, so the night ride SEEMED less dangerous. I got off the bus that afternoon with my eyes like saucers~one daytime trip made a believer out of me.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Phil Casias

Jul 7, 2003, 6:22 PM

Post #8 of 15 (2783 views)

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Re: [Paul Rodriguez] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Paul. Would you please provide us with the directions for crossing over from Santa Teresa , where to get our car papers, FMT, etc. after we cross over from Santa Teresa to Mexico on our way to Aijijic and Lake Chapala. We are planning on going thru on 21 Dec . Any info will be appreciated. Thanks, Phil Casias.


Phil Casias

Jul 7, 2003, 6:26 PM

Post #9 of 15 (2781 views)

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Re: [pathall] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Sorry, I sent my inquiry to Paul Rodriguiz by mistake. Would you please provide us with the directions from Santa Teresa such as where do we get our FMT, car stickers, etc. on our way to Ajijjic and Lake Chapala. Thanks, Phil CAsias.


pathall

Jul 7, 2003, 7:26 PM

Post #10 of 15 (2773 views)

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Re: [Phil Casias] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Here's a copy of a reply that I sent someone else who wanted to know about Santa Teresa:

Travelling along Interstate #10 (towards El Paso) you come to Anthony, Texas at Mile 1. We always stay overnight in Anthony in order to make it across the border into Mexico early in the morning.

Still on the I-10, two exits past Anthony (towards El Paso) you will see a sign "Artcraft/Paseo del Norte ... Santa Teresa -- Port of Entry". We had seen this sign for years, but had never realized that it was a border crossing into Mexico.

Turn off the I-10 at this sign and Santa Teresa, NM is 12 1/4 miles south of the turn-off. You take this road which is Highway 178, a four-lane highway called the "Pete Domenici Highway" to the border at Santa Teresa. We were across the border in a couple of minutes, even though we got the "red light" and were asked a few questions by a Mexican customs guy.

You then drive 10 - 12 miles until you get to Highway 2 where you turn left. You can't continue on this highway (which continues on to Chihuahua) because there is no Mexican Immigration/Customs Office on it.

Having turned left onto Highway 2, go about 14 miles, passing lots of car parts places (yonkers) and other sleazy-looking places. You are actually on the outskirts of Juarez at this point. After the 14 miles you will see a Glorieta (traffic circle) with a statue of Benito Juarez. At the Glorieta turn right (south) onto Highway 45 going to Chihuahua.

In a few miles you will come to what they call Kilometre 30 customs/ immigration where you have to pull over and get a tourist visa (FMT) and a car permit. You stick the car permit on your windshield and you are set. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. At Km. 30 you need to give them a photocopy of your car registration, driver's licence, passport, tourist visa (FMT), and your non-Mexican credit card. They'll want to see the originals, but they'll keep the photocopies. We have photocopies of everything ahead of time except, of course, the FMT, which we get at the Immigration Office at Km. 30. Last year there were two offices -- one for the car permit and the other was Immigration for the FMT. It may or may not be the same because it seems to change every year. There are photocopying facilities there where you can photocopy your FMT.

Don't forget to stop at Kilometre 30 on your way out of Mexico to have your car permit cancelled or the next time you enter Mexico they will have a record of your leaving Mexico without your car. They are paranoid about people selling American cars in Mexico.

The best thing about the Santa Teresa crossing is on the way out of Mexico. Usually there are terrific line-ups of vehicles on the international bridges through Juarez and El Paso with a wait of hours and lots of security and time wasted going into US customs. But the Mexico/ Santa Teresa crossing took us only 3 minutes last January. We were the only car going through! And you miss all the traffic in El Paso and Juarez.

On the way out of Mexico, just repeat everything in reverse: go to Km. 30 for the paper work, continue on to the Glorieta with Benito Juarez, turn left at the Glorieta, pass all the yonkers, turn right at the Pete Dominici Highway to Santa Teresa, continue on to the I-10. We usually stay in Anthony again on the way home.

We always make it to Jimenez the first night in Mexico. There is a great motel there called the Motel las Palmas on the highway on the north side of Jimenez. It has a good restaurant on the premises and a Pemex gas station across the street. Our next stop is in Zacatecas, where you would turn off onto the highway to Guad.


Pat


bryngerta

Jul 10, 2003, 6:57 AM

Post #11 of 15 (2747 views)

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Re: [pathall] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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ok, so from what I am hearing you guys say, then, on my trip this coming week to Guadalajara from Houston, I should NOT (?) take the highway through to Saltillo? I think that this would highway 54 from Monterrey. This is new news to me, as I have been told to go through Saltillo - that it is a good stopping point for the night (and then drive on to Guad the next day), but if the roads are as bad as I am hearing from this post, then I would wish to avoid this, I think. I am looking for the best route for me. I am not going to be sightseeing... I just want to get there the best -- quickes and most efficient and safest---way possible. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!


esperanza

Jul 10, 2003, 7:25 AM

Post #12 of 15 (2743 views)

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Re: [bryngerta] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Don't take 54. It's a mountain road, twisting and turning and full of trucks. Take the toll road out of Laredo or McAllen and follow the signs AROUND Monterrey and AROUND Saltillo. Follow the signs for Matehuala and spend the night there, then come to Guadalajara the next day. You don't need to go into any of the cities; there are bypass roads around all of them. Be watchful going to San Luis Potosí; you want the periférico to get around the city.

Somewhere on this forum are precise directions to get to GDL from Laredo. Do a search.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Uncle Jack


Jul 10, 2003, 7:56 AM

Post #13 of 15 (2742 views)

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I couldn't agree more......

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......we just made that trip 7 weeks ago and it was very easy and trouble free. My only suggestion would be to cross at the Colombia/Amistad bridge a few miles west of Laredo and thereby bypass downtown Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

As Esperanza suggests, We stopped halfway in Matahuela at the Las Palmas motel.....clean rooms, secure parking and a decent restaurant.

There have been several mile by mile guides for driving from Laredo to Guad/Chapala posted on these forums. Do a search.

uj


bryngerta

Jul 10, 2003, 4:58 PM

Post #14 of 15 (2725 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] I couldn't agree more......

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THANKS YOU GUYS!!! Now, I just heard a rumor (?) that the Columbia border crossing is closed to passenger cars...? is this true? I just got my vehicle permit today at the Houston Consulate and they said nothing of the sort when they asked and I told them where I was crossing... Anybody know?

Also, does anybody know of a pet friendly hotet in Matehuala for me and my Great Dane since I think that we will most certainly take your advice on highway 54/57....?

THANK YOU EVERYBODY!


franzenz


Jul 13, 2003, 8:21 AM

Post #15 of 15 (2687 views)

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Re: [Paul Rodriguez] Trip from El Paso Tx to Ajijic

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Paul:

Tell us about your trip.

Brent
 
 
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