March 24, 2009 GMT
The Road of 3,000 curves and Devil's Spine

We really had to tear ourselves away from Mazatlan, our first proper Mexican town, but what lay ahead eased the pain of our departure.
We decided that our next destination would be Durango, the Mexican cowboy capital. One of the deciding factors in this choice was the road that would take us there.
Who could resist roads called “The Road of 3.000 Curves”, swiftly followed by “Il Espina del Diablo”- The Devil’s Spine.
Our first stop was a small town called Concordia. Set around a majestic Cathedral and leafy plaza, the town was a little gem, we afforded ourselves a quick walk around the centre before saddling up and setting off. The road definitely lived up to its name. Within minutes of leaving Concordia, we were leaning the bike left and right, winding up and up to the hills overlooking the coast. The higher we rose, the more fantastic the vistas became. We were unable to resist the urge to stop and take photos of the view, knowing full well that the pictures we were taking could in no way give any justice to what our eyes beheld. And still we climbed, riding up to the clouds, which enshrouded the steep cliff tops. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we reached the Devil’s Spine. On a plateau at 2,500 metres, with drop offs on either side, overlooking mountains, cliff faces, deep gorges and valleys. Way below us were the odd glistening of metal, the remains of cars, trucks and busses that had misjudged corners and met their fate at the bottom of the drop.

Occasionally trucks would come round corners in the opposite direction to us, completely on the wrong side of the road, forcing us to brake hard or to ride the very edge of our lane.
We made it in one piece to the straights running along the plateau in Durango state, where we rode past huge Ranchos, through the largest Military road block yet, and into the mining town of El Salto.
The change in temperature was drastic. We had dropped from 90degress at sea level to just above 60. We found a cheap hotel, and the receptionist lit the gas fire for us in the room. We really needed that. When the sun went down the temperature dropped again to 55 degrees. We hadn’t been that cold since the States.
Hunger forced us out of our snug room and into the town. El Salto was a gritty old mining town, and as we walked we noticed that the locals here also partook of the Mexican tradition of “Cruising”. The streets around the square were jammed up with people just riding around in their cars, quite often there would be 7 or 8 people crammed into a saloon car, or 4 in the front of a pick up truck, stereos blasting Latino tunes. I asked the ladies cooking our Hamerguesas where they were all going, and they said; “nowhere, just around”. We had seen the same in La Paz, and I am sure we would come across this Mexican phenomenon again.
Satiated with our tasty burger, we sauntered back to out hotel, our 4th floor room overlooking the town, which itself seemed cut into the side of a mountain.

Posted by Dan Shell at March 24, 2009 02:54 AM GMT

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