In 1836, 100 odd Texans fought 1500 Mexican troops at the Battle of The Alamo. Hopelessly outnumbered, their defeat inspired a rallying of Texans to join the army and eventually end the Texan Revolution a month later. I was surprised to see that a large proportion of the Texans were actually from England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland (and probably a few Norwich lads snuck in there).
Itself an old Spanish Missionary, The Alamo (originally Mission San Antonio de Valero) consists of several old buildings in picturesque gardens right in the centre of modern day San Antonio, and worth a visit if you’re passing. I paid a car park attendant 10 USD to look after my bike for me, as I was fully loaded up.
My next target was Big Bend National Park, but as it was a 7 hour ride I thought I’d stop half-way at Del Rio, a small border town with the usual strip malls, motels and fast food joints, which was lucky, as I was dying for a burger! Found a really cool pub with a beer garden like a desert oasis called ‘The Veranda Wine and Beer Gard’ down a side street (using the ‘foursquare’ app – really good) to wash the burger down. Bed for the night was at the ‘Regency Inn’, an Indian (from India) run motel whose royal name didn’t quite live up to the standard alluded, but for 39 USD I couldn’t complain.
Del Rio sits on Lake Amistad, a picturesque reservoir on the Rio Grande at its confluence with the Devils River, which connects it to Ciudad Acuña in Mexico across the dam. The level was pretty low due to a period of drought, but the lake is still well used for boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving and water-skiing, and there are some good hiking & picnic sites around.