Reader Kim asked:
So I’m curious why you aren’t traveling through El Paso/Ciudad Juarez to Durango and then west to Mazatlán? There’s a new Durango/Mazatlán highway with the Baluarte Bridge which appears to be an engineering marvel, not to mention very beautiful.
Primarily because I have been strongly discouraged to do so.
While Juarez is safer now than it has been in a very, very long time, the stretch of the highway between the city and the Durango highway is apparently quite desolate and there is still lot a lot of bandito activity. A single woman with out of country plates, even with strong language skills, would be a target. The only people who have suggested that route are men who just don’t approach travel security with the same mindset as a woman. This advice to avoid that route comes from Mexicans I met last winter (when I was thinking of taking this route to go north).
The secondary reason is financial. While this route is shorter, there is more travel in Mexico at their crazy gas prices. Doing the longer route to Nogales actually saves me quite a bit in fuel.
A tertiary reason is that I like the drive down MX 15. The stopover in San Carlos is rather like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. Taking this route again will mean basically zero stress to Isla, but still some new adventures. For example, I intend to stop in Santa Ana to get my phone set up, instead of waiting to get to Guaymas!
Thanks for your question, Kim. I’ve been getting it a lot and keep forgetting to post an answer to it! I had hoped to do the drive to Durango last winter, but ended up canceling. I am planning to do it this winter instead! So I will be doing the scenic part of the drive you mention.