Pueblo Nuevo, Durango – Devil’s backbone

La espinoza del diablo may rightly call itself one of the world’s great roads. 170 out of 340 km from Mazatlán to Durango run in endless curves, following one another, from sea level up to 2800 m and then back down to 2000 m – wherefrom the name devil’s backbone comes. We can’t count every single bend, but a projection amounts to about 2000 curves. The views into the fertile green mountains with their deep valleys and gorges are worth the trip. The high elevation leads us into fragrant pine forests. Although it is hot in daytime, it is dryer than at the coast, and the evening chills down pleasantly.

The ascends take the under-motorized trucks to their power limit, the 100 km long descend to the west is a torture for the braking system able to be detected by the sense of smell. The trucks are extremely loud: Uphill they sound like a helicopter, downhill like machine guns. Do the drivers wear ear plugs or are they already deaf? How can they stand this the whole day? There is little traffic today, but it is Sunday. So there are nearly no trucks holding us up during our way into the mountains, and the other way round we don’t disturb anybody during our slow brake-kind way down.

We have to pay attention anyway. Time and again a 20 years old pick-up driver appears who inherits immortality and passes us God-trusting even in front of a blind bend. Oncoming semi-trucks are a constant danger. They generally cut left-bends. In right-bends they take a big swing into the oncoming lane to not slip with their last axle from the road in the narrow radiuses because of their huge turning cycles. Hundreds of crosses erected along the road show the many car accidents where partially whole families were obliterated.

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