Thursday Dec. 6, 2012
The last few days have been busy.
Tuesday we decided to hedge our bets and go down to the border crossing at San Luis Rio Colorado south of Somerton on 95 and get our FMM’s (Mexican tourist visa’s). We parked in a bank parking lot and walked down to the border along with many other Mexicans on foot. This is a big crossing for the field workers and also the main route to Mexicali and Tijuana on the Mexican side of the border. You can also head east back to Sonoyta and Puerto Penasco on #2 but that is still under construction.
At the border we had our Visa forms filled out by an efficient, English speaking Mexican and then we went just around the corner of the aduana building to the Banjercito to pay our fee. Again there was another English speaking Mexican there as well although it took a bit of time as he was training a non-English speaking young lady who took our money. We chatted a bit and he suggested that we should do our vehicle importing with him as well. We’d come down on the motorcycle but after some thought decided we’d go back the next day and get it all done before we cross the border in a couple of weeks. We went back to the aduana and had our Visa’s stamped after paying and then it was time to go back to the U.S. We started back the way we came but of course were informed that we now had to go through U.S. customs. We followed a path around some buildings and ended up at the other end without any clear way to go….no signs of any kind! We retraced our steps but a nice English speaking Mexican (from Florida whose husband had been deported) told us to follow her. We skirted a fence, through the northbound traffic and then made our way back to the U.S. customs. She explained that at certain times of the day….when the workers are coming or leaving, or on a week end the line could have a 1, 2 or 3 hour wait! We made it through in about 15 minutes so we were lucky.
We walked back to the bike and then road back into Somerton for lunch at a Chinese/Mexican restaurant. I ordered fish tacos and Eric ordered carne asada tacos. Mine were good but Eric struck out again! The meat in the tacos was all gristle….no actual meat at all. Horrible. He ate the beans, rice and what he could of the tacos. I complained and they didn’t charge him but another lunch ruined. It will be good to get back to Mexico where they actually know how to make a taco!
Yesterday (Wednesday) we decided to head back to the border and do the vehicle importing for the truck and motorcycle. As it is not clear what is actually going on at the San Emeterio crossing this will simplify things when we cross. We are taking a bit of a chance as I have not been home for my health check-up yet but if need be we would just have to go and turn the stickers in at a later date.
So…back to the border to the Banjercito with all our paperwork to do the importing. Today we weren’t the only ones there with the same idea. There was a bunch of motorcycle riders there (old geezers like us) and they were right behind us. One guy was quite chatty and when he saw Eric's Harley T-shirt he asked if we had ever been through Kamloops, B.C. which of course we had. Turns out he owns the Harley dealership there and he and his buddies are on a three month trip to South America on Kawasaki dual purpose bikes. We had a nice chat about this and that….riding in Mexico and also that we’d met people a couple of years ago (Claire and Mark from England) who had done a similar ride. Claire and Mark had their bikes shipped from England to Canada and then rode to Alaska, south to Mexico (stayed in our RV park – Las Jaibas) and then continued on to Tierra del Fuego where they had there bikes shipped home. You just meet the most interesting people when you RV.
There was another couple behind the motorcyclists who were getting their visa’s and importing their vehicles as well before they head south to Rincon de Guayabitos (just north of Puerto Vallarta) in a couple of weeks. Their friends had suggested that due to the changes going through San Emeterio it would be a good idea to get everything done early as well. Also, it will be Christmas and the border crossings will be very busy as we get to the third week of December.
The paperwork was done efficiently, we paid our money ($300 deposit for the truck and $400 for the Harley) as well as import fees and we were on our way again. Back along the convoluted pathway to the U.S. customs. Again no line up and an easy crossing. We did have a couple of offers from the customs workers to travel with us to travel to Mazatlan if we needed any company!
We then took a ride out to Winterhaven California to have a look at the RV parks there and hopefully get lunch. We did have a look at the Sans End RV park which was quite nice. Just dirt roads but it looked like it would be very quiet and there were lots of pull thrus and not many people in it. Lunch was however…a bust as there wasn’t one restaurant in town. So onto the freeway and home for lunch. Very hot yesterday afternoon.
After lunch it was off to the Wal Mart where I stocked up on a few things that I like to take to Mexico. I used to bring a lot more but now it is only things like coffee, mayonnaise, butter, cheese, peanut butter and a few other items that are exceptionally costly in Mexico. I also always have enough paper towels and toilet paper as well as they are costly and poor quality in Mexico. Everything else….I just buy there.
P.S. There are no photos at the border as there were numerous signs that said “ No Cell phones and No camera’s.”