We checked out Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church before we headed North West to Austin for the first night of the trip. Austin has a very hippy feel to it. It’s a college town. University of Texas has a big campus here and it’s also the state capital of Texas. It’s beautiful and hilly unlike flat Houston. They have bike lanes everywhere and there are cyclists everywhere you look. I’d love cycling here.
We checked out the state capital building in downtown Austin. It’s an old building with a lot of history from the look of it. It was a Sunday so they didn’t have any tours that day. We checked out a few places. They have a very big park called Zilker Park running next to the river. It was so parked on the day we were there. Seemed like the place to be for Austinians.
We spent the night in Jarrell, an hour north of Austin. We left early the next day and used Austin back roads which cut San Antonio from our itinerary and time too. After a couple of hours we hit I-10 West and we still had about 500 miles to Elpaso, Texas which was our target for the night. We had 902 miles to cover in roughly 13 hours. It was the longest day of our trip. I-10 is lonely and dry for most of Texas. There wasn’t much to see for hours on end. It took us nearly 9 hours to just leave Texas.
We were so close to the Mexican border at some point that they had Customs and Border Protection (CBP) road blocks for all vehicles passing through. I guess to deter illegal immigrants crossing over from the border. From the GPS you could tell it was less than half an hour to the border. It ran parallel to I-10 for at least an hour.
El Paso was the biggest town we passed through that day. It wasn’t all that. It wasn’t pretty and reminded me of some suburbs in Nairobi. It felt like it was built in a disused quarry. Luckily we were through and out in a short time. Good thing was gas was still cheap at under $2.50 at that point. That was to change.
We covered the remaining 4 and half hours in no time and arrived in Tuscon, Arizona late at night. Luckily in America finding accommodation is not a problem. I had an app called hotels.com and that sorted us out in every city we spent the night in.