Tuesday, January 12, 2010

El Paso to Tornillo, TX

Instant refried beans are a party in a bag! Actually the party starts after you eat them.

Dani likes to make crazy faces with her pecan fangs. Greg just likes to eat them.

Greg "in action" if you can call it that. This is what it looks like when we are cruising down the highway.

Look! that's Juarez. And that fence is our border with Mexico.

Greg riding unladen around sunset. Just checking out our campground.

The sunset at Hideaway Lakes campground

Charging our sweet solar powered radio with the evening sun and listening to some news via NPR: All Things Considered

Cracking open our gleaned pecans. They are so buttery and rich tasting.

El Paso to Tornillo, TX
42 miles
Day 69

Today we woke up with a mission to get out of that hostel. We spoke to a guy on the street minutes after leaving the hostel. He asked us if we were from around here, which I'm sure he knew we weren't. He went on to warn us about the ongoing drug war and that we should not go to Juarez. He said that many civilians are cought in the crossfire of police and military forces trying to control the drug violence. It was definitely time to leave El Paso. We had the displeasure of riding through the city of El Paso and it was nothing to write home about. The streets were pretty poor and had no shoulder with pretty heavy traffic. We passed the US-Mexico port of entry for the city. There was a huge concrete bridge over the road and the Rio Grande. There were fences all over the place and we could see a long line of eighteen wheel trucks waiting to get into the United States. Shortly thereafter we got a good look at the Mexican flag, billowing in the wind across the river. El Paso and Juarez are definitely very highly connected to one another.

We rode through some pretty desolate countryside, with many, many fields of pecan orchards and cotton. Tonight we are staying at Hidden Lakes Fishing “Resort.” We read on another cyclist's blog that they had stayed at this campground and warned that there was no water. Thankfully we found this out because we would have had to buy bottled water from the owner of the place at a premium. The other cyclist's journal also told us that when they arrived, the owner had just gotten into a shouting match with some German cyclists who had complained about the condition of the facilities. We were armed with this knowledge when we got there and knew that this was the only place we could camp. Sure enough, when we got there we were happy to have our own water and the man who greeted us was nice enough. The “fishing resort” was a bunch of shallow ponds where you can fish for catfish, right near the Mexican border (you can see the fence). Greg ventured into the bathroom to find a constantly flushing toilet with black, poopy water circulating and stagnant urinals. I didn't dare go in. It was far from beautiful, but at least it was quiet, and the stars were bright. We made burritos for dinner and ate some pecans we found along the side of the road (PECAN THIEVES!).


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