After leaving Tuscon AZ we were going to stop for an overnight in Los Cruzes New Mexico but decided to push a bit farther to El Paso TX. Las Cruces is where we were going to stop but El Paso was only just another 46 miles making it a 300 mile trip from Tuscon. We had explored Las Cruces before but not El Paso so that is why we changed to El Paso.
|Welcome to Texas. We have been gone from Texas for 6 months now!|
We are going to visit a couple border towns as we head south back to our winter residence in Elsa TX. Patty did some research while I was driving on the accessibility of Juarez. First, she found that it seemed to be a safe place to visit now. A couple of years ago the murder rate there was like 3,500 a year! Now it is less than 100. Basically, the murder rate is less than that of St. Louis and Detroit in the US. Secondly, she found that it is just a short walk across the border bridge to the Mexican side and back. So we are going to give it a try.
We picked the Mission RV Park on the South side of El Paso for a 4-night stay. Since we were on the road later than usual due to our last minute change to El Paso, we were driving during rush hour on I-10. I-10 in El Paso is under major repair and reconstruction. It was not a lot of fun driving through at all!
|The new bridges in El Paso are beautiful!|
|University of Texas El Paso Texas Tech monument along I-10. |
There are four of these monuments along I-10.
|A cool wind turbine along I-10 in El Paso. |
This actually powers the interchange lights here.
Our first day in the area we just did domestic chores. We got clothes washed and we went to the store for food. We also managed to get the truck washed. Sometimes you just need to do stuff like this and it is great doing it in a new location. Everyday there is something new!
|Downtown El Paso has one of these interesting auto-clean public toilets. |
It cost $.25 to open the sliding door and use it.
|It was very clean inside too!|
Our second day we decided to make the trip to Juarez Mexico. There are a couple of routes to take but just one with a footbridge to enter. So we walked across the South Stanton Street Bridge into Juarez. We parked in a pay parking lot that really didn’t look very safe; people hanging around everywhere here. I would not want to do this after dark at all! Actually, it was safer looking on the Juarez Mexico side of the bridge.
|Walking across the footbridge into Juarez Mexico|
|At the border on the bridge|
|A look outside the footbridge onto the roadway into Mexico|
On the US side the bridge looked a lot like what we are used to on the Mexican side of the border. The area is full of street vendors selling loads of Mexican goods. It looks like since the Juarez side was dangerous for so long that the vendors moved to the US side.
We have been across the border many times in Nuevo Progreso which is near our winter place in the Rio Grande Valley. That area is very used to us American tourists coming across so they are set up for us. It was not the case in Juarez. It was just like walking into a city that happened to be Mexican. There were no outside street vendors hassling you which was good. But we wanted to find a restaurant for lunch and there weren’t any near the border. We did a google search and found what we thought would be a good restaurant about a mile away. So we put my phone into navigate mode and off we went.
|Sights along our mile hike into Juarez|
|They had a very nice bike path that we walked on most of the way. |
Never saw a bike though.
|Right in the middle of the bike path they put a bus station! |
The station is built right on top of the path.
|From the words on the hill in the background we now know that the bible is truth and from the store we know where Waldo is!|
We had a great walk and had no issues at all with anybody or anything. We asked for directions once and several people helped us. The restaurant was great too! It was small place that was packed with city workers. They even made the tortillas right there. Before we left the woman who makes the tortillas asked if we wanted a few for dinner tonight. She made a few and packaged them up real nice for us. We never got them across the border though. I left them in a shop by accident!
|The restaurant we walked a mile to|
|Woman making tortillas from scratch and per table.|
|My meal and I was stuffed after eating about half of this. |
The meals for us cost about $15 total with a beer each
|Interesting decor inside the restaurant|
We spent about 2 hours shopping on the way back to the border. We found that drugs were much more expensive here than in our familiar place, Nuevo Progreso. No clue as to why that was. However, blankets and clothes were much cheaper. We got 4 heavy blankets for the grandkids and daughter-in-law and, believe it or not, we got a Cowboys blanket for Patty’s son here too!
|It always amazes us that the poorest places have the nicest churches|
|Where we bought blankets for the grandkids|
It was a little difficult to figure out how to get back across the border as there were no signs for the footbridge. We asked several people before we found someone who spoke enough English to give good directions. Then when we got the entrance we needed to pay something like $.25 cents to cross through a turnstile. We didn’t have change and there wasn’t anyone to make change either. A Mexican woman passing by gave us the money to cross back. She wouldn’t take my dollar as payment. We really felt very safe and welcome there!
So that is it for Juarez Mexico! Next Stop is Marfa TX.