Day 10 - Tue 18 April 06
Slept well (again), the train was split overnight to make up the Sunset Limited, and my car is still at the end, but now pointing the other way. There's an ex-military guy on the train with his wife, and he can offer advice about any subject under the sun, he even sounds a bit like George Bush Snr.
Texas is a big state, it's going to take most of the day to do the San Antonio to El Paso stretch, but it is almost 600 miles. The landscape is now semi desert, there are far fewer trees and the ground is a lot more sandy. I haven't have the chance to get off the train yet, but I'll bet it's hot out there.
There's a guy on the train who keeps saying that the 'US invented the bullet train, and look at the state of Amtrak now', strange I thought it was the Brit's that came up with the idea of the train, and the Japanese who came up with the Shinkansen.
Just had a stop at Del Rio and at 09:00 it must have been in the 70's, I can see the Mexico border! 10:04, just been over a long bridge over an canyon. No idea where it was, but it was impressive. Lunch was a beef burger, I'd asked for a veggie burger but I guess my accent got in the way. We're on a high plateaux now surrounded by hills, and there are plenty of yukka plants, with a few horses, antelope, and cattle. Towns are few and far between.
Ah, the desert is irrigated here, and there are acres and acres of fruit trees. Got to El Paso early(!) and walked to my hotel with no real issues, but it is very hot. It seems that Dallas hit 105 yesterday, and there's a severe thunder storm heading for Austin with hail the size of tennis balls.
My hotel room is like something from a different age, the contrast from it and the room I had in Dallas could not be greater, having said that I'm only paying $31. I've seen the room a million times in the movies, even down to the opening air vent above the door. The guy behind the desk is a real card, and offers advice on everything. He doesn't think much of my plan to do Carlsbad, White Sands, and Roswell all in one day. We'll see.
NextView my route through the USA here