Crossing into Mexico (or, how NOT to do it) Part II
Big Bend (Alpine) TX – Coyame, MEXICO
Moving Time= 4:59
1 border crossing (Presidio, TX / Ojinaga, Mexico
Hm…I guess my story left us at the Mexican border.
So I went flying through. And for the next 30 miles I kept think “Geez, that was easy”. I vaguely worried about not getting a stamp in my passport, but I thought, hey, I’ll get one on the way out, no biggie. Somewhere after the town of Ojinaga the road got pretty great, the sun warmed the air, and I was happiy riding in Mexico. I didn’t get the “uh oh” until I got to the first aduano (customs) stop 30 miles into Mexico…
Past the US side
Past those in line to cross into the USA
Over the bridge.
Mexican customs just ahead
I’m through (heck, that was easy, they just waved me right through!)
My first construction diversion, less thana mile into Mexico
Wow, the road gets pretty great once you leave Ojinaga
My first topes
The Virgin of Guadelupe (protector of Mexico)
Canyon del Peguis, the view from the mountain I’d climber for several miles
First Mexican graffiti
First Mexican chapel
First Mexican dump truck to get around
My first Aduano check (which I will have to go through twice…
…because, I am told to the great amusement of the aduano officer, that I must have my papers in order. “No one asked me for them”. “You have to get them at the frontera” “um, can’t I get them here?” “no, you have to get them at the frontera”. “Bummer. Can I turn around over there?” (smile) “Of course. See you.”
So back to the border I go, back 30 miles…laughing at myself the whole way.
I get my passport stamped, buy my tourist card, and pay the bond for the motorcycle.
And turn around and re-rode those first 30 miles again..
Well, about 60 miles ino Mexico I come to my first military check (think toothy teenagers with thin mustaches and automatic weapons). The guys are nice enough, if a bit surprised it’s a girl under all that gear. You see, I have a secret weapon. with my face shield down, I believe it’s impossible to tell it’s a girl under there unless you are my boyfriend or my mother. My Arai helmet has a dark pin-lock visor, which really shields my face.
So what I do is I flip it up, cknowledge their surprise, then I quickly turn off the engine and take the helmet off. There. Disarmed. And then I talk. Ask them stupid questions, etc. I rad somewhere that Mexico invented macho, and not only is it surprising to these folks that it’s a girl, but a girl alone is just quite something.
Anyway, I tell them that I do not want to ride at night, how far is the next town (15 mins) and the next after that (Chihuahua at 2 hours). Great. Better stop in the next town because I have about an hour of light.
Unfortunatly, the next town does not have a hotel. I stop at the “se renta cabanas” place, only to be told they don’t have any, he doesn’t know where the owner is, no, there are surely no cabanas but I can try the place up the hill where the pit bill proceeds to chase me down a dirt track. Super. I am starting to get a little upset, I do not want to ride after dark after everything I’ve read about NOT driving in Mexico after dark, but I have no other choice. So I pulll out onto the main road, and the town Policia guy waves me over. Great. A ticket my first day in Mexico too? I’m pretty wound up at this point.
Instead, Mr. policeman gets all puffed up, and says follow him.
He leads me to this building that is evidently a hotel under construction.
I negotiate from $50 to $30 (US, we’re still that close to the border), I’m shown to a nice room
with a private bathroom
and that’s that.
So I get out of my motorcycle clothes, unpack my Trax Bag liners, secure the bike (cable lock around and through both wheels and through a piece of their equipment plus a U bolt with pager alarm plus a bike cover over top of everything)
It’s still light, so I take a walk around Coyame.
Presidencia (next to the hotel)
Other town green
And with some of the Mexican money I bought from Joel in San Antonio
I then go to the little store on the square and buy dinner. For about $4 I get all this:
I amuse the locals hanging out in front of the store, walk back to my nice room, eat, and fall asleep in a comfy bed my first night in Mexico.