El Paso and beyond...

Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
Trip End Apr 02, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sands Motel

Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, February 27, 2009

We spent another day on the road, sprinting across the south west again.  We left Benson and before long we crossed the border into New Mexico.  It is always surprising how the scenery seems to suddenly change in a new state.  Firstly, we went through the Texas Canyon which was a rocky pass and then the mountains seemed to disappear and if we had thought Arizona was flat, arid and bleak we were soon to find out that it had nothing on New Mexico!  It is hard to take video or photographs that show the flat vastness of the countryside, however as ever we try!
Yvonne has been a little uncertain of the racing through the states but when we stopped at a rest spot and the wind was blowing a gale, although it was a beautiful sunny day and there was a sign warning of snakes, she was becoming more convinced that Texas would be a better place to be. 
We were heading for El Paso but decided to carry on beyond as D had spotted a small town called Van Horn on the map and felt that it would be a good place to stop as he like the name!  As with all these decisions, it probably proved to be a safer choice as we heard on the news later in the evening that some of the problems in Mexico in respect of the problems with the drug gangs had overspilt into El Paso and that Mexican troops had been brought into Chihuahua to deal with the situation in Mexico.  Once again - not something you wish to be amidst, especially as people who had not been involved have already been killed and injured. 
This made the stopping by Border Police yesterday more understandable and indeed, the same thing happened again as we left El Paso, although the conversation went along the lines of 'You citizens?', the reply was 'No' and D handed them the passports at which point the guard said 'German?'.  Well... what can you say to that, especially as D was wearing his English cricket shirt!
We finally hit Van Horn and booked into a small independent motel, proudly boasting that it is American owned.  It was slightly shabby but clean and cheap.  The lady at reception was an elderly lady, Texan through and through, and, for those who have seen the Dave Gorman film about travelling across America just using independent petrol stations and motels, the motel would sit proudly amongst those he visited.
Whilst standing outside admiring the neon sign that buzzed and flashed in a 'Psycho' manner, Yvonne noticed a really bright star next to the thin crescent moon and contemplated whether that is why Texas is called the Lone Star State, but she was put to rights later by an elderly man who asked if we'd seen Venus tonight by the moon.  It became apparent that the star was in fact Venus.  The wise old man also told us about a comet that would become visible later as well.  Yvonne's only thought was that wherever we had been in the world, we had always been able to spot Orion!
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