On the Road Again in Mexico


We did the border run once again. Up to Nuevo Laredo and back to change some of the paperwork on the car.

There are two main routes from the Chapala area to Nuevo Laredo. One, the west route, goes up through Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Saltillo and Monterrey before ending up in Nuevo Laredo. The other, the east route, goes up through San Luis Potosi and Matehuala then onto Saltillo and Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo.

We’ve driven then both.

Google directed us via the east route this trip, as it had on the last. The only part of this route was a connector we had to take between the toll road and one of the regular main highways. Pothole city, for a long stretch too. But we stuck with the plan.

Luckily, Google got us there without having to use that connector. Oh joy!

It’s a pleasant route. Some of it toll; some of it free. Not particularly scenic but beautiful in its own high desert way.

Somewhere after Matehuala, we noticed a traffic stoppage on the southbound lanes of the divided four lane we where then on (not one of the toll roads). We simply breathed a sigh of relief that we were not caught in the stoppage and cruised on.

But the line up on the other side just went on and on. And on and on. We kept thinking it would clear up, but it didn’t. So I started measuring the back up some time after we’d passed the construction that appeared to precipitate it.

Fifteen miles later it came to an end.

And we’re talking out in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t see any services or gas stations at any point in that stretch.

We made a note to make sure Google routed up via the west route for our return.

Having concluded our business in Nuevo Laredo, we made our way back to Saltillo where we spent the night at a City Express hotel, a Mexican brand that we’ve come to rely on for decent clean rooms and good service. And, to boot, the free breakfast here included chorizo and eggs and refried beans and plenty of fruit as well as the usual suspects.

After breakfast, we rolled for Chapala via the west route to be sure.

Be warned though. On the west route there’s a twenty or so kilometer stretch that connects one toll road with another that is absolutely the worst road we’ve been on in Mexico. Super slow going. Dodging and swaying to avoid potholes that are axle busters for sure.

Just saying.

It’s kind of a grueling trip. But we needed to get it done, so we did. And despite this being our third trip to Nuevo Laredo, we still find that having a car here is worth the effort.

3 thoughts on “On the Road Again in Mexico”

  1. Hello! I just completed reading all your blog posts. I enjoyed them immensely and appreciated your sharing of experiences on a variety of topics!
    We are from Canada and just came back from our first visit Lakeside. ( Feb 28-Mar14). We stayed at a B&B in Ajijic and we experienced as much as possible- walking miles each day etc. We figured out the bus system and made it to Chapala one day – loved the Malecon and town ( despite being warned not to go to Chapala).
    We are going back end of October – beginning of November and staying at the San Francisco Inn in Chapala to experience a different season and holiday.
    We are hoping to retire there in the next 2-3 years perhaps in a community just outside Chapala.
    Thank-you again – I look forward to your future posts!

    1. Hello, Debbie, Thanks for your kind words. We so appreciate the feedback. Had to laugh about you being warned not to go to Chapala. So far and dark and scary compared to Ajijic. LOL! Those of us who live in Chapala centro love warnings like that. Hope you enjoy your stay at the San Francisco Inn on your return. November is a superb time to visit. All the best, Roberto y Bonita.

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