Highway 90 is probably the easiest way to get to Del Rio. The road is a long straight stretch all the way to Del Rio, after which it hugs the US border all the way to Sabine. Naturally, it is full of border patrols checking for illegal aliens. Not UFOs – Mexicans trying to cross the border. When I was alone on the road I revved up the engine again but I never went faster than 125mph. The road was straight but it wasn’t completely flat so I didn’t want to risk crashing into someone after the next “bump” in the road.
Del Rio is not exactly a tourist haven, so I did not spend too much time taking photographs. I also arrived quite late in the evening so it was already dark for me to take good pictures. This one above is from Google Maps. Imagine driving in during the evening: the roads are full of massive SUVs and there is a forest of advertising towers lit up with neon lights! It was like in the movies driving into Las Vegas, only I was driving into Del Rio, Texas!
The motel was just as I expected. I’ve always dreamed of staying in a motel like Mulder and Scully do in the X-files. The front door opens into the courtyard with my car parked in front. By then I was so tired of walking in San Antonio, Goliad and the rest of the places that I simply could not be bothered to leave the room. And I wanted to watch American news.
I will always regret not having bought a TV while I stayed at the halls in Missouri. Some of the other students would congregate in each other’s rooms to watch TV together, but because I was on a different floor from those students, I never knew when they were doing it – so I got left out. I sometimes think if I had bought a TV the other students would have come to my room to watch news, drama, soaps and all the other trash. So nowadays whenever I am in the US I try to spend some time in the evenings watching news and all sorts of other programmes.
Del Rio’s Cultural Scene
While I was searching for Del Rio’s history I came across this video below. For the balance I am going to include it in the post, as apparently Del Rio has a lot more to offer than I discovered.
The Studio 6
The bed was quite comfy and it was dirt cheap. I booked an apartment in a Studio 6, which is part of the Motel 6 chain. It was only like 40 bucks! It had a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave oven, a fridge, cutlery, cupboards and everything else for a long stay. There was a shower room and a separate wash basin and the bedroom. The living room and kitchen were open space. And there were two TVs! One in the bedroom and another in the living room. I just couldn’t believe how cheap it was. And everything was spotlessly clean.
In the end I left a very good review and a week later the owner emailed me to say thanks: “Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your recent stay at the Studio 6 – Del Rio, TX #5055. Your feedback will be shared with the team to serve as recognition and encouragement; as we strive to continuously improve our guest experience. Thank you again for sharing. We hope your next visit will be even better.”
It might sound like a robot has written it but it still felt good to receive it! I gave five stars for everything. Having worked in hotels for three years as a receptionist, barman and room inspector I have quite high standards when I walk into any room, but this was just spotless. No hair, no smell, nothing. And I had an amazing sleep – I didn’t want to get up in the morning. Enough of the hotel review for now, above are some photos of my room from the outside, number 113, with my car in front.
The Tent from Walmart
Since there was a Walmart right in from on the Motel I stopped there to fill up and to buy a tent. I also took the below shots of some of the local “delicacies”.
Fuel was also the cheapest there so whenever I had the opportunity I filled up at Walmart as it was 10-20 cents per gallon cheaper than Shell or the others. I bought the cheapest tent there was with a camping mat which came to $38 all together. I already had a sleeping bag from my trip to Australia, which I brought with me to sleep in the car. With that I set off on Highway 90 towards the junction at Marathon. Read the next post to find out about the drive to the Big Bend National Park.
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