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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After living in Oaxaca for 4 years, I've had it with...too many things. I'll be flying back to Los Angeles, buying a full-size van, then driving it back to Oaxaca to pick up my elderly mother, our two dogs, and a few essential belongings.

I want as little driving in MX as possible, so I'm looking at hwys 57/85, stopping over in San Miguel de Allende. Is it realistic to assume I can make it from Oax de Juarez to Nuevo Laredo in two days via this route, driving 8-9 hours a day?

How's that stretch of 85 through Tamaulipas? It looks pretty uneventful on Google Earth, but if I believe some of the stuff I've read on the net, that's the highway where all the bad guys are supposed to be hanging out, waiting to kill me. It's got to be better than the central route through Chihuahua, crossing at Ciudad Juarez, no?

Alternate routes? Stay on 57 and cross at Piedras Negras? That puts me on kamikaze (2 lane) highways, no?

Thanks!
 

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Depends where you're coming from. If the South I'd go to Laredo or Reynosa then Monterrey then to GDL or DF. Tama is a hot spot at present. There's a toll highway from Monterrey to GDL, it's nice, it's safe. There you'd be about half way. The hiway from DF and GDL southward is foreign to me. Haven't done that for years. But central MX is mountainous, as you know. When I drive long distances number 1 for me is to avoid curves, unless I'm in a sports car.
 

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If you are in Guadalajara you can go via Queretaro or via Morelia.
We go Guadalajara, Morelia to Atlacomulco, Arco Norte Puebla, Tehuacan Oaxaca. Right now there is work on the Arco norte and around Puebla so it slows down the traffic unless it is a week-end. From Ajijic to Teotitlan it takes us 12 hours. It is all cuota and pretty easy going flat land until you get into the State of Oaxaca but it is still a good autopista type road. Some parts are two lanes but nice and wide.
Do not go near F just take the arco norte from Atlacomulco or go Queretaro, Arco norte south , it takes you just a little north of Puebla.
Have a nice rip.
 

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I did the trip Reynosa-Mexico City and back a few years back, and also Mexico City - Nuevo Laredo, it need 2 days of solid driving if only one person is driving, add the Oaxaca stretch and 2 days would seem like the absolute minimum regardless of which route you follow.

In the way back we took Mexico City - Queretaro -San Luis Potosi - Saltillo - Monterrey - Reynosa (or Nuevo Laredo in another trip).

Google says it would take around 15 hours from Oaxaca to Nuevo Laredo, but it tends to be optimistic, in my experience you have to add at least a quarter of that time for stops, delays, etc, so 20-22 hours would seem more like it, which would mean 10-11 hours a day of solid driving. Way too much if you ask me.

These highways, either free or toll, are quite busy, you should be fine as long as you don't wander in small side roads and stay in chain hotels in towns, not by the road, nowadays you can even ask about the parking in advance.
 

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…These highways, either free or toll, are quite busy, you should be fine as long as you don't wander in small side roads and stay in chain hotels in towns, not by the road, nowadays you can even ask about the parking in advance.
I have only taken a couple of road trips in Mexico. I don't have a vehicle here but rented a van to move some stuff once. A friend and I spent a total of 3 nights on the road and every night stayed in a small non-chain motel we found driving in or out of various cities (Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Fresnillo). We also drove long after dark every day. Another time another friend and I drove around back roads in Durango, Zacatecas and Chihuahua, sleeping where ever we were when night fell, him in the back of his pickup, me on the ground.

Is all the advice about staying on cuotas, not driving at night, staying in chain hotels, overly cautious? Or were we just lucky?
 

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...Is all the advice about staying on cuotas, not driving at night, staying in chain hotels, overly cautious? Or were we just lucky?[/QUOTE]

You were just lucky and you are hear from someone who logs thousands of kilometers a year between Lake Chapa to Chiapas through various route whether Michoacan to Puebla State to Veracruz to Tabasco or Oaxaca State through the Isthmus de Tehuantepec or, perhaps (but not recommended) the Michoacan Coast to the Guerrero Coast and the Oaxaca Coast to Chiapas. No matter what anyone tells you - do not drive at night on any of these routes. To do so is foolhardy and extremely dangerous. In fact, we always start early in the morning so that we are safely in daylight if we suffer a breakdown as has happened to us in Veracuz State and Chiapas. Stay, as miuch as posible on toll roads (autopistas) and avoid backroads these days as these back-country áreas are subject to anarchic conditions including highway robbberies. Just last week we drove fro San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Lae Chapal and on the main autopist from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Tinaja there were countless federal cops, judicial pólice, immigration authorities and army patrols with retens who often stopped us and searched our car. It seems that on the lonely autopista from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Tinaja, bandits were stopping cars tat random to rob passengers. These creeeps were caught and one was killed while the other two were taken into custody and these robberies took place during the day. You would have to be an idiot t drive that road at night. Anybody who tell you to drive even the autopistas at night is, at best, naive.
 

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...Is all the advice about staying on cuotas, not driving at night, staying in chain hotels, overly cautious? Or were we just lucky?
You were just lucky and you are hear from someone who logs thousands of kilometers a year between Lake Chapa to Chiapas through various route whether Michoacan to Puebla State to Veracruz to Tabasco or Oaxaca State through the Isthmus de Tehuantepec or, perhaps (but not recommended) the Michoacan Coast to the Guerrero Coast and the Oaxaca Coast to Chiapas. No matter what anyone tells you - do not drive at night on any of these routes. To do so is foolhardy and extremely dangerous. In fact, we always start early in the morning so that we are safely in daylight if we suffer a breakdown as has happened to us in Veracuz State and Chiapas. Stay, as miuch as posible on toll roads (autopistas) and avoid backroads these days as these back-country áreas are subject to anarchic conditions including highway robbberies. Just last week we drove fro San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Lae Chapal and on the main autopist from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Tinaja there were countless federal cops, judicial pólice, immigration authorities and army patrols with retens who often stopped us and searched our car. It seems that on the lonely autopista from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Tinaja, bandits were stopping cars tat random to rob passengers. These creeeps were caught and one was killed while the other two were taken into custody and these robberies took place during the day. You would have to be an idiot t drive that road at night. Anybody who tell you to drive even the autopistas at night is, at best, naive.
You are probably right, but in 8 years of living here and spending some time traveling around in rural areas, riding combis, hitchhiking and engaging in other risky behaviors, the only problem I have had is when someone broke into my house in the middle of Guadalajara while I was away at the local mercado for 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for replies thus far!

Still wondering about that last stretch of 85 before Nuevo Laredo...
 

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Might I add that as we move into the rainy season, driving times will increase. At least, that has been my experience. I hope your trip is safe and without too many retrasos or other incidents.
 

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You are probably right, but in 8 years of living here and spending some time traveling around in rural areas, riding combis, hitchhiking and engaging in other risky behaviors, the only problem I have had is when someone broke into my house in the middle of Guadalajara while I was away at the local mercado for 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.
Good story, TG. We don´t normally keep any supply of money or valuable ítems in our homes whether at Lake Chapala or in San Cristóbal de Las Casas since to do so is asking for trouble. However, just this week I accumulated some pesos because my wife was flying to Paris for a month and I didn´t wish to need our debit cards for cash while she was in France since she might need some Euros now and then. Well, what the hell, I hid a Little cash in the house for once and yesterday morning gave my wife a ride from Lake Chapala to the Guadalajara airport for her journey to France and that is a round trip of maybe up to two hours during broad daylight. So, live and learn. When I got back to our home on Lake Chapala, that cash was gone and, whoever took is was, as we used to say back in Alabama, as slick as owlsh*t. If I were not the victim, I´d say, well done.

These days, we drive between Lake Chapala and Chiapas,a distance of some 3,000 kilometers round trip, several times a year. To date we have experienced no trouble over the past eight years we have done this even though some of that route can be a bit dangerous. Yet, here I take a simple 40 kilometer drive from my home to the Guadalajara airport and back and I´m robbed in the interim. De Lawd Works in mysterious ways. At least they didn´t get my INAPAM Card which I had in my wallet. I can replace cash but that INAPAM Card is a life essential to an old goober.
 

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I have only taken a couple of road trips in Mexico. I don't have a vehicle here but rented a van to move some stuff once. A friend and I spent a total of 3 nights on the road and every night stayed in a small non-chain motel we found driving in or out of various cities (Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Fresnillo). We also drove long after dark every day. Another time another friend and I drove around back roads in Durango, Zacatecas and Chihuahua, sleeping where ever we were when night fell, him in the back of his pickup, me on the ground.

Is all the advice about staying on cuotas, not driving at night, staying in chain hotels, overly cautious? Or were we just lucky?
You were lucky.

A couple of years ago, in plain daylight, we decided to drive out of Acapulco in one of the less used roads. My sixth sense began to feel terribly uncomfortable and we drove back, with my wife puzzled by my misgivings, at some point we managed to drive pass uniformed people establishing a check point. Were they police? Army? Narcos? Guerrillas? Goodness knows.

A couple of weeks later came the news that a bus has been kidnapped in the same area and later on all the people in the bus were found dead.

It pains to say it, but the precautions I mention are now essential.
 

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You were lucky.

A couple of years ago, in plain daylight, we decided to drive out of Acapulco in one of the less used roads. My sixth sense began to feel terribly uncomfortable and we drove back, with my wife puzzled by my misgivings, at some point we managed to drive pass uniformed people establishing a check point. Were they police? Army? Narcos? Guerrillas? Goodness knows.

A couple of weeks later came the news that a bus has been kidnapped in the same area and later on all the people in the bus were found dead.

It pains to say it, but the precautions I mention are now essential.
I don't like to drive in Guerrero in the daylight. My sixth sense tells me there are a lot of unhappy people there.

A few years back when we drove down pulling a trailer we woke early in Saltillo - perhaps an hour before dawn. It was a very short drive from the hotel to the highway. I was driving very slowly - a bus was on the right side of the road. I passed the bus - almost immediately there were police lights in my rear view mirror. He said something like I passed a bus in a hospital zone. That was one of the two instances we have been victims of mordida. The other was in Acaoulco.
 

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Thanks for replies thus far!

Still wondering about that last stretch of 85 before Nuevo Laredo...
I have just come from Nuevo Laredo to Guadalajara. The route 85 coming from NL seemed okay to me. The road surface is rough in places between the cuota and NL, but not a big deal.

Passing through Monterrey, however, was a nightmare. Without a map, bizarre traffic patterns, at least a billion cars. I stayed an extra day just to calm my nerves.
 

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[QUOTE=modeeper;7000642]Memories! Del Valle or Carretara?[/QUOTE]

Teotitlan Del Valle some 15 kilometers from Oaxaca City. I don´t know what you mean by "Carretera 2 as a location for Teotitlan. Perhaps you would wish to clarify your response.

As it happens, we live part of each year in Teotitlan Del Valle in Oaxaca State. Please have the courtesy to tell us about this other Teotititlan.
 
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