We ended up spending 5 nights in Durango as warmshowers guests of Frida Blum and Jorge Luis. They’d very kindly allowed us to stay with them over Christmas, and without their stunning hospitality the festive season would likely have fizzled and flopped.
We were warmly included in all their family gatherings, often lasting until the early hours of the morning. Our meal at Jorge Luis’s parents on Xmas Eve didn’t START until midnight! It’s a tribute to the people we were introduced to that they didn’t take offence at the glazed looks on our faces resulting from it being a long way past our normal bed-time of 8pm. Frida’s mother discovered that I had a flute with him, so a happy couple of hours was spent sight-reading classical flute duets. I even discovered some JS Bach Sonatas for flute and piano that I’d not come across before. There were damp eyes all round when we finally headed out of town towards Zacatecas.
While we were in Durango we’d discussed our difficulties finding up-to-date maps for Mexico that allowed us to take the small roads. Frida told us to buy the latest 2011 Guia Roji road atlas. Our route to Zacatecas, which took in some very nice back roads, was fully covered, so this may form the basis for our future route planning
We’d lifted the outline of the Durango-Zacatecas route-plan from the Cass Gilbert article that we’d been given by Gary Blakley in Del Norte. It didn’t disappoint, especially the section of the Cordiliera de la Moneda de Cinco Pesos between Mesillas and Francisco I Madero. The rolling and flat riding from there on was marred by lots of wind, but would be nice and fast without.
Now we’re in Zacatecas, doing a bit of city-based tourism, poking around very the very fine colonial buildings. For the first time in Mexico we’re out-numbered by other travellers, and here they’re almost all Mexican. Thanks to Lonely Planet we’ve holed up in a cheap and cheerful hostel with roof-top kitchen.