Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Border Dash

Tuesday, Dec. 3
Over the past few months Linda and I have been prowling bulletin boards, blogs and Facebook sites gathering information and traveler knowledge dealing with crossing border and entering Mexico by way of Lukeville. To put it mildly we have obsessed over this one single part of our four month adventure.

During this quest for knowledge we had learned that there were a million ways that the border crossing can turn into a nightmare, were people have been held up for hours trying to fulfill the requirements of the Mexican Government.
A huge complication that people have recently been posting about concerned taking pets over the border.  We had heard that the pet needed to have all their shots and signed paperwork, in Spanish, one week prior to the crossing date.  We had the paper work, in English, and it was two weeks from the date of the vet checkup.  We also had heard that you could not bring dog food of any kind into Mexico and that the Border Guards would compensate everything you attempted to bring across.  We had packed about 100 pounds of food for Kobi, most of it hidden in various locations throughout the truck and trailer.  
We had heard that you will get in trouble for bringing any produce, fruit, or beef products across and that everything will be confiscated and thrown away. We had several beef based frozen dinners, some fruits and vegetables that at the last minute we tossed in the trash for fear of possible jail time based on attempted smuggling of band goods.
As we drove closer to the border, and as we waited for the time to make our so called “Midnight Run”, our nerves were at the very breaking point. Neither of us was sleeping. Our minds were constantly going over the various scenarios of what might happen and what we would do if they did happen.
Today our crossing was none of that. Here is what happened.
After we left Organ Pipe campground we drove back up north to Ajo and located the place where we were to meet Larry and Maggie.  A friend of a friend, of a friend, Leo owns a railroad tie house on a lot in Ajo and it is sort of set up for RV travelers.  We found the place and set up our rig and waited for our traveling companions to arrive.  Once they showed up we made plans to be up and on the road by 7:30 AM. We walked down to a restaurant and had dinner and then wandered back to our place.  On the way back we came within 15 feet of a pack of 12 Javelinas crossing the street in front of us.  It was a strange site, we all talked about mutant pig stories all the way to the campers.
We said good night and went to bed.  Linda and I didn’t sleep, thinking about the dreaded border crossing in the morning.
We awoke and hit the road and drove the forty mile to the border from Ajo.  At the border we came to the checkpoint with Larry in the lead truck.  He drove up and the sign turned red, he had to be checked. We got the green light so we wove past Larry as he was opening the back door to the camper.  We drove about 60 yards and parked.  Larry was right behind us.  Later he told us that the lady guard had stepped into his camper and looked into the silverware drawer and that was it.
Lunch stop at a Pemix along the highway.
We drove on for 371 miles.  That was our crossing.  Linda even had to ask Maggie if we had actually crossed yet. All those worries and nothing, nada, they didn’t even look at us.
We stopped at the tourist visa card office and received permission to be in the country. If Larry had not been in the lead we would have drove right by.  Signs directing you to places for documentation are non-existent around this country. At the office the very nice lady working took care of us. Her only request was that we close the door to keep the cold out! We smiled, thinking that she does not know cold.
Bahia Kino
From there we traveled another half hour and pulled into this huge beautiful complex to get our vehicle permits. This office was staffed by three women.  The office was about the size of our bedroom at home but the complex of buildings was about a block in dimension.  I could see no other official operations going on so I guess they have room to grow into the complex.
Drinks on the beach after a long day.
We worked with another nice lady and got through the bazillion paper documents that were needed to get the truck and trailer into the country.  All this paperwork is set up so that you don’t bring vehicles down to Mexico and sell then. It is quite an issue I guess.  I think this took about 45 minutes to complete and we headed off down the highway.  We were definitely in Mexico and it had been so smooth that we laughed about how worried we had been. 
Our drive was a long one. Traffic was light, and because we cut off to the coast we only had about 20 minutes of city driving. We arrived at our destination at about 4:00 PM.
Dinner and then bed!
We now sit in a campground in Bahia Kino, a very small beach town on the Sea of Cortez.  The sound of the waves filling the air. The coastal seas smell washing away the worries of the past weeks. This is what we have been searching for, our kind of Mexico.

Thousands of sea birds everywhere.



Jodi said...

Fantastic! Enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea.

Cain Sanchez said...

Glad your trip is off to a great start ;)

Anonymous said...

Great news that your crossing went so well. We have been thinking about you guys. Bummer you had to ditch the Steaks. I guess you'll be eating dog food soon.
Go Hawks!
Ry, Holly, Z and A