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We are traveling in Mexico again this winter of 2012
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vehicle Permits, Tourist Cards and Potatoes -back in USofA

Thursday a.m..

We got up early yesterday and left Sonora RV in Hermosillo at 7:00 – first we had to go south to a retorno so we could get back on Mexico 15D to go north. No problem wasn’t too far and traffic was light. Before we got three miles we encountered the first of three toll booths to the border. 33 US dollars before we crossed the border. This section of the road they should have paid us to use. Either it was in pretty bad condition or under construction with all traffic in either the northbound or southbound lanes. By next year it should be fine.
About sixty miles further up the road was a Military Check point – mainly for trucks.

Usually the trucks all take the right lane and the cars and busses take the left lane and get right through. The truck back up is usually three to five kilometers long! As we approached the area the big trucks were in both lanes at a dead stop – crap.
He is coming over -notice double trailer
Slowly we inched forward. Smaller cars and pickups were pulling off the highway and going up the dirt center medium. Zipping past us. Finally we saw the problem – there was a truck stalled in the right lane and everyone had to go around him. Once past the trucks pulled back into there own lane and we were on our way again.
Just got asked where we were coming from and where we were going at the check point. About a 15 minute delay from first stop to getting through is all.
This section of the highway has lots more topes on it than other sections. So we had to be sure to watch for them. Especially around the little towns of Santa Ana and Magdalena. Made a stop for gas just before Santa Ana – another nice station – this one had a garden with a fountain and a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
And at each tope there was something for sale – from food to copper pots and pans, furniture and even blankets.
the yellow sign is a TOPE warning
We had to turn in our Vehicle Permits and tourists cards before leaving Mexico. We knew where we were supposed to do it – right across the street from where we got them. But we weren’t sure how to do it. Saw the sign – Vehicle Permit Returns – pointing kind of to the right – Nope not there that is a mechanic. Slowly kept going forward – oh there.
In front and to the right of us we saw an official looking area. There were four lanes marked by lane dividers and two small guard type buildings each serving two lanes. Three of the lanes were blocked with barrels. So we took the only open lane – #1 - the narrowest and more difficult to go through as it curved around the little building. Could not see into the building because of the tinted windows. Pulled up to the door of the building. No one came out – nothing. Hum…..Maybe we’re supposed to go to the bigger building in front of us. So we pulled up there and stopped again. The Driver got out with the paper work just as a young female official came out of the little guard house behind us. Bill tried to give her the paper work. No No she couldn’t take it there we had to go back through the lane and stop at the guard house.
But we already did that.
Well you have to do it again I was on the phone the first time. AND you went through the wrong lane you should have gone through the one next to it. #2
But #2 is blocked by a barrel.
Well I’ll move the barrel!
Why didn’t you move it before when you saw me coming?
I was on the phone.
Talking to your boyfriend?
And it went downhill from there. But she won. We had to make a U-turn out onto the highway over the topes and go back through the other lane – she didn’t move the barrel until we were right up to it. At this point I was glad I couldn’t understand what was being said.
When Bill got back in Jennie he was grinding his teeth. Turns out she wouldn’t take the tourist cards only the vehicle paper work. To turn in the tourist cards he would have had to cross the highway (six lanes of traffic) and take them back to where we’d originally got them. Huh?
So anyway….On we went. Stopped and filled up with gas again – at US$ 2.84 a gallon still cheaper than the US.
Through the last Mexican check point.
Into no man’s land and in line for the US border.

Only took 35 minutes to get through. most of that time was spent waiting for the Agricultural Inspector. Thought we were okay this time. Nope he found something – potatoes – can’t bring them into the U.S. from Mexico. Jeezeeee. They were past their prime anyway.
While waiting for the inspector I was moving my camera around and a gentleman dressed all in black with a very big gun knocked on my window and told me I couldn’t take pictures in that area. No problem – I was just putting it away.
So up the road we went – Bill still steaming about the fiasco with the vehicle permit – me wondering what bugs potatoes have. Thirty miles further at about noon we were at Mountain View RV Park in Amado, AZ. They are pretty full with people spending the winter here and heading home.
After settling in we went to the Cow Palace for lunch then back for naps and TV watching.
I was reading and Bill came up to me and said “Yum, Bahia Kino and Huevos Rancheros.” I threw my book at him.
Today we’ll have to do some rearranging – find the US maps and camping books and get out our cold weather clothes as it was very cold in here when I got up. Then have to figure out which way we are going to go home.

1 comment:

Liz said...

What an ordeal! Glad you are safely back in the U.S. Take your time getting back to IN.