A Travellerspoint blog

Flying north to the mountains

Mexico day seven

View Mexico 2024 on ToonSarah's travel map.

Small park in Creel

When the alarm went off at 4.45 I was sound asleep, after the best night’s sleep I’d had since our arrival in Mexico almost a week ago. Oh the irony!

We got ready quickly and checked out, meeting Montse and a driver, Christian, outside. It didn’t take long to reach the small but modern airport where we said goodbye (again) to Montse. We were a little early for check-in and only the priority Aeromexico desks were open, but we were allowed to drop our bags there.

We cleared security quickly. The departure lounge was busy, but we found a corner to sit, and I bought coffees and muffins for our breakfast. There was still over an hour till boarding, but we were able to get on the free WiFi and use the time.

We took off on time, for which we were grateful, as we knew we had a fairly tight connection in Mexico City. Fruit juices, hot drinks and biscuits were served during the short flight; we both just had juice as the airport muffins had been huge!

Boarding our plane in Oaxaca

Take-off from Oaxaca

Landing in Mexico City in the rain

We landed early in rainy weather, but had to wait for our gate, number 61. That number is significant, by the way. After disembarking we followed signs along a long corridor and eventually came to some stairs signposted for connecting flights. At the top we finally found a screen and could check the gate for our onward flight to Chihuahua: number 58. Following gate number signs we walked quite some distance further to reach the offshoot departures area serving gates 52-62. Yes, we were almost back where we’d started and actually passed gate 61 on our way to 58!

In the airport

Despite the long walk we had plenty of time to check emails and football scores. The next flight boarded and took off on time, so we could relax knowing that we were on track for the plans for the next few days. Again a drink was served, this time with alcoholic options though I stuck to water, and another snack, this time peanuts (I hadn’t seen peanuts served on a plane in years!)

From the flight, and landing in Chihuahua

Landing in Chihuahua

We landed early and collected our bags. Mine had clearly got wet in the rain in Mexico City so I hoped the contents had stayed dry (spoiler alert, they hadn’t!) Outside we were met by Martin who was to drive us to Creel. The journey took a bit under four hours, including a brief stop to buy drinks and some crisps in lieu of lunch.

Where we stopped for a break

On the road

For the first two thirds the landscape was dry and quite flat, with cattle and later lots of apple orchards. But soon after our rest stop we reached the Sierra Nevada and it changed abruptly. Now the road wound upwards among forests, and timber had clearly replaced apple farming as the main economic activity.


We arrived in Creel some time after four and checked into our hotel, the Lodge. Our first task was to drape my damp clothes all over our rather lovely room!

Our room at the Lodge

Our bathroom, with self-portrait

Once we'd settled in we went for a walk along the main street to the far end, where were saw the train we are to board tomorrow, the Chepe Express. And of course we took lots of photos, mainly candid people shots and building details.



In Creel

Street musician


At Creel station

Creel couldn’t be much more different from Oaxaca or Mexico City, it felt like we were in a different country, maybe Canada or the US. It has a real frontier town vibe, buildings are of wood rather than limestone or brick, the local people are mainly of native origin rather than Spanish, and there seemed to be more dogs than people! It was also significantly cooler.

Street art in Creel

Shop signs

After the sun went down it turned really chilly, and I was glad of my down jacket when we went across to the main building for dinner. We got a table in the dining room next to the fire and ordered Modelo beers, guacamole to share, a burger for me and pizza for Chris. Everything was good if not especially wonderful.

The lobby and bar of the Lodge at Creel

After our meal we wandered into the taverna on the other side of the lobby and were surprised to find a stuffed pelican above the bar! The atmosphere was more convivial than the dining room, so we lingered for a tequila nightcap.

Our room was cold when we returned to it, and I had to seek help to get the heater working but once that was on we soon warmed up. And when we went to bed we found it comfortable and cosy.

Posted by ToonSarah 11:43 Archived in Mexico Tagged mountains desert hotel mexico flight roads street_art street_photography

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They served peanuts on our flight to Nice a couple of iago and like you I was surprised. You two must be the king and queen of early morning starts. I don't fancy getting up at 4.45 in the morning.

by irenevt

They served peanuts on our flight to Nice a couple of days ago and like you I was surprised. You two must be the king and queen of early morning starts. I don't fancy getting up at 4.45 in the morning.

by irenevt

by irenevt

We don't like early starts Irene, or at least not that early, but sometimes when travelling it's inevitable!

by ToonSarah

I love your trip so far, so many interesting places and may I add that the sink in the bathroom looks awesome!

by Ils1976

Thanks Ils - that hotel room was rather nice but so cold at night!

by ToonSarah

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