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  • Day60

    Day 59 - Possibly A Bargain Too Far?

    June 20, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Woke up & checked my emails. I was curious to see if I had received anything from the AMARG “Boneyard” Tour or Davis-Monthan Air Force Base about our vetting checks. Nothing, an absolute disgrace!

    I then came across an email requesting me to “Take 3 minutes to tell us about your stay at Extended Stay America El Paso - Airport”. Well I did, 10 minutes later I pressed the send button with my scathing review. That cheered me up!

    We packed up our stuff & headed out for a long drive to San Antonio. There was no sign of Kelly or Lola, I think they are early birds, that or they couldn’t stand my snoring 💤.

    Jackie was now insistent that she would drive the 1st leg & would like Chris Rea on the stereo, not my choice, but it’s the drivers prerogative! Jackie got on to Highway 90, known as the Texas Pecos Trail, & cranked the car up to a cruising speed of 75mph. I chose The Road To Hell album & rather spookily the 4th track was called “Texas”. That was my song of the day sorted!

    It was a fantastic driving road, long sweeping bends cutting a swathe through the shrub land, just north of the Mexican Border. We only met a vehicle about every 5 miles or so. We passed through the minuscule towns/hamlets of Sanderson, Dryden, Langtry & Comstock. We crossed over the Pecos River High Bridge & also across the Amistad International Reservoir. Two & a half hours, 171 miles later, Jackie parked Doodle up in a bay at the Sonic Drive-In on Veterans Boulevard in Del Rio.

    At Sonic, you order your food at the bay & wait for it to be delivered, we did, but also pleaded with them to use the staff restrooms which the kindly allowed us to do. Unlike everyone else we sat at a table to eat our cheese burgers (which are massive) & the waiter told us to go into the kitchen if we wanted drink refills. We did, they were free & we were bloody thirsty.

    Whilst at Sonic examined Doodle & has found at least 5 small dents in the bonnet, obviously caused by the hail storm yesterday. That gave Jackie something to stress about for the rest of the afternoon!

    I took over the reins from here & continued on the 90 through Brackettville, Uvalde, Knippa, D’Hanis, Honda, then turned north onto Texas 173 to Bandera, which tags itself ‘The Cowboy Capital of the World’. Bold claim, but to be fair the town was surrounded by cattle ranches. We had a drive round, saw the Frontier Times Museum, then pushed on to San Antonio.

    San Antonio is a massive city, mainly famous for two things - The Alamo & The Riverwalk, which are both fairly close to each other. I had focused my search on Booking.com to accommodation in that vicinity. Most of the hotels were coming up at over $200 per night, but I found a motel still in that vicinity for $60 including breakfast.

    We drove into the car park of The Inn At Alamo & debated whether we should stay there. To me the clientele seemed ok, so I convinced Jackie to go for it. The receptionist quoted us $69 for a room, but I put her straight that it was on Booking.com for $60. She charged us $60 & allocated us Room 123.

    Well location wise The Inn At Alamo is perfect. The Riverwalk is 390 metres away & The Alamo nearer. Unfortunately location is not always everything, we walked in & Jackie had a fit. Jackie has likened our room to a drug den, a bit harsh, I’d say empty squat. There was lumps of dust & bits of plastic on the floor, we dare not look under the beds. The bed linen although I’m sure clean was stained. The net curtains have mildew, as does all the surfaces around the air con. It was disgusting & apparently it was my fault, especially as I had knocked her down $9, we got the worst room in the place!

    We were sunbaked & sweaty, so we had a cold shower & beer, then headed out to the much hyped Riverwalk. We hated it, it was an artificial diversion of the San Antonio River that was lined on both sides by crammed in & overpriced restaurants, many being national chains. The restaurants were busy with business people on expenses or Asian tourists. There were also large bathtub looking boats full of tourists, with a guide, chugging up & down. Were they pointing out what food was served where?

    We walked along it & out of it. We went along to The Alamo, obviously closed for the evening, but the outside lit up quite nicely. My research tells me that we might not be able to take a tour without booking tickets 2 days in advance. We have been there before!

    We looked for somewhere normal to get a drink & food. It was 8.00pm & we were pouring sweat, my phone told me it was 98.6 degrees, but it also said it felt like 104 degrees. No wonder. After wandering around until we had severely withered, we popped into a restaurant called Pho Bo for Pad Thai & Sesame Chicken. We had a jug of water, because they didn’t sell alcohol. It was really nice.

    On google I had identified a Brewery about half a mile away. Jackie was happy to go because she didn’t want to go back to the motel too early. It was worth the walk, the Roadmap Brewing Co. was a lovely air conditioned room selling about 15 different beers. We had a large glass each of a 6.1% Mama Dukes IPA & planned the next couple of days, actually the nights.

    We returned to our hotel & as I write, Jackie is giggling away to some film on Netflix. Our room can’t be that bad after all. And she has forgotten the damage to Doodle!

    Song of the Day - Texas by Chris Rea.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy
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