December 10, 2009

Crossing the Border

November 15, 2009
We're heading for Mexico!
C&G beginning a fourth six-month RV trip to Mexico. We're bringing our full-time home along: our RV-with-no-name, a 27-foot Laredo fifth-wheel trailer, towed with a 2000 Dodge 2500.

The night before crossing into Mexico at Lukeville, AZ, we stayed at beautiful Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument & United Nations Biosphere site. G took a walk around the campground in the last hour of the day… cactus wrens danced in the brush at my feet. And a jackrabbit raced away with long black tail and pink, black-tipped ears glowing as he ran into the sunset.

This small-town border crossing into Sonoita, MX was a breeze, no waiting. A word and a wave through Mexico Customs. “No, senor, no guns, no goods to sell. No, no liquor, solo un poco tequila and rum!” Sonoita is a mix of old and newer buildings, with a modern motel, and several street stalls selling black, green and camouflage backpacks. Seventeen miles in was the Migracion check-in and Banjercito office where we paid our fees. The Migracion official himself stepped out to tell us where to park and invited us in. Two young women in the bank cheerfully typed the tedious truck and trailer forms. We chatted with a couple going to their boat in Mazatlan, and greeted a group of Mexicans heading north to their home in SF. Then we were off, Chuck appreciating the mostly good blacktop road, some of it with wide shoulders. The empty countryside looked just like the dry Arizona desert we left behind.

Santa Ana, Sonora.
In late afternoon we reached the small Punta Vista Campground in Santa Ana. There was Edgar on the street waving the RV’s in! We’d been here before, in 2006. Ana (American) and Edgar (German) first invited RVs to park behind their house in ‘86, and keep a ledger listing every visitor. During our last visit, Edgar discussed his heritage with me, then out of the blue said, “and you’re Finnish! “ Oh, you’re right! Wow. In their yard, two black dogs stand on their doghouses, and there’s a family of several grown black cats. Wind chimes hang from trees, with plastic storage containers as clappers. Untended local plants are left to grow…or not. We welcomed the electric and running water, because there was none at the park the previous night! Next morning, we drove on to San Carlos.

San Carlos, Sonora.
As we drove into San Carlos, we wondered why the town did not seem quite so nice as we remembered….then realized that they’d recently been hit by a bad hurricane! Workers were repairing a road washout at the Totanaka Campground, where we stayed. It's, just across the road from the beach, though it’s a bit pricey at 300p/night (the exchange is just under 13p/1$). The next day, we visited sailing friends Jinx and Mad Dog on their boat in Marina San Carlos. The scenery and clear Baja sky is stunning, the blue ocean and the stark hills dramatic.                                                                A recommended restaurant for tacos was closed, so we stopped at the “Who Cares” taco joint, a group of tin-roof shacks. We enjoyed the waiter who answered most questions with “Who Cares!” and a laugh while fixing limonadas and liquados. We tested our rusty Spanish and smiled at the cook, working over black pots at her stove. The food was fine (not super), the experience great.

We then found the BEST market – open air with tables under awnings, offering everything from fresh veggies in cold cases and coolers to WONDERFUL mahi-mahi, huge shrimp and other fish, homemade tortillas, local honey, and even American goodies like canned pumpkin. The friendly staff spoke English, but were delighted when we tried, "shrimp sin cabeza, por favor." We went home, ate half the mahi, shoved the extra into the freezer, and cooked the BIG shrimp to eat with salad tomorrow. We’d have enjoyed a few days exploring beaches, but moved on - we wanted to reach Jocotepec before Thanksgiving!


- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Good post, enjoyed the 'trip'. Always wondered about the trek down, loved the pics.

Anonymous said...