méxico: el día uno
crossing over

"We've got Canadian plates, and they pulled over
that guy? What was that about?" -k.
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Tex to Mex:
Land Area: 761,605 sq.mi.
Highest Pt: Pico de Orizaba
Height: 18,406 ft
Population: 91,158,290
Largest City: Mexico City

Claim to Fame: Weighing in as the 14th largest country in the world, it's a pretty darn big place. Huge, in fact. You could drive for days in a country like this, and still be stuck behind that same friggin' Nissan pickup with all the crap in the back.

Mexico is also the world's leading producer of Mexicans.

This One.
Cough cough:
A large portion of the Mexican labour force is dedicated to the sole purpose of making dust. The men kick at it. The women sweep it. Vehicles drive fast to stir it into the air. Donkeys carry sacks of it on their backs to distribute it more evenly throughout the farms. It's piled into the back of pickup trucks without tarps or toppers and driven crop-duster style across the country at speeds that would make Federal Express blush.

In places where there is a presumable dust shortage (undetectable by our standards) cowboy-hatted men would stand on the side of the highway, taking chunks out of the rock in the hopes of freeing the dust underneath. Sometimes, they would even be taking those chunks of dusty rock and smashing them further into finer dust, more apt to be taken away by the wind to pueblos with less dust than the main thoroughfare.

The dust farmers of Mexico are a noble breed. The dust that they manufacture is of the finest quality.

Be sure to visit Central Mexico, where you can see how dust is still made in the same method the Aztecs used years ago!
Five Words We Learned Today:
Cuota--Toll Road
Libre--Free Road
From Hell

Run From The Border
Enero 29 - "This is a good size city, and it's even bigger on the Mexico side. I'm sure they've got a travel agency or tourist bureau or something over there."

"You're probably right, let's just get going."

We crossed the border at 9:00 am from Presidio, Texas to Ojinaga, Mexico. We had gone through all the hassle of getting our tourist visas and vehicle permit the previous night, which turned out to be not quite such a hassle after all. Oh sure, they couldn't speak English, and we couldn't speak Spanish, but that didn't matter; hand gestures and sketches on notepads were enough to communicate. As my dad would say (but most Mexicans would not), "No ai pedo." No big fart. With all permits ready, we retreated to our campground, dreading the border crossing in the morning.

As a pair who has crossed the Canada/US border countless times, and had to deal with (yeech) United States Immigration more than twice, we were not looking forward to the Mexican border. After all, if it's this much of a pain in the ass to cross the "longest unprotected border in the world", imagine what a protected border must be like! And did you see the size of those guns? Ay carumba.

As I was saying, we crossed the border at 9:00 am from Presidio, Texas to Ojinaga, Mexico. At the border, there were the gates, and there were the policia and oh boy, there were those guns again.

We pulled into the "Nothing to Declare" lane. Drove ahead. Not even a glance from the guys with guns.

Drove a head a little further. Still nothing.

We went over a bump. A little green light came on that said "Pasé". One of the Federales glanced over this time. Is pasé good? The light was green, right? Green is usually good.

I stopped anyway, holding our passports. I rolled down the window, looked at the Federales. Nothing. I guess I was done. We drove away, slowly of course, just to make sure the guns weren't turning this way. They didn't.

Today's Lesson...
Crossing The Tex-Mex Border
1. Don't forget to gas up before crossing. American gas is about half the price of Mexican gas.
2. Don't assume a gradual change. You may find a Tim Horton's in Detroit, but you won't find anything recognizable within 10 steps into Mexico.
3. You'll need Visas. One for you, and one for your car if you're planning on going any great distance into the country.
4. Don't assume anyone speaks English. They probably don't.
5. Make sure your car is in top working condition. There's no such thing as the MAA.
Ha! El snappo! Not even a "Where are you from?" and "Where are you going?" from the border patrol, let alone a guy searching your hat for stashed drugs, or pulling up your shirt to see if you've taped any crack to your body with the intention of making a drop in North Dakota. I have a whole new disrespect for this "longest unprotected border" garbage. I'd rather play the lottery in Mexico than be greeted by an English-speaking scowl and the words, "Pull your car around and come inside," based solely on the fact that my beard is shaggy.

Whew. What a relief. Now, to find that tourist bureau...

Within five minutes of crossing the border, we noticed the gas guage was a little under half a tank. Zut alors! We turned off the main street to find a gas station.

Within five minutes of looking for a gas station, we realized that we didn't have any pesos. Double Zut! We pulled into the nearest gas station to ask for directions. "Donde esta el Banko?" I was pretty impressed with myself.

Within five minutes of the gas hombre waving his arms and pointing and pointing and saying things I didn't understand, we spotted a bank two buildings up the street.

Long story short: got cash, filled up, back on the highway. Zooom! Cough cough cough! Wish us luck!

mexican modes of transportation...




The coconut truck
más fotos en el archivo...

Nuestro Sitio Ahora

Mañana: Torreón

see the full map...

El Tiempo:
Dry and Dusty

Las Estadísticas
Tourist Visa:386p
Vehicle Permit:224p

Cows on Road:15
Burros on Road:5
Chickens on Road:22
Children on Road:8

Big Bend S.P.
Near Chihuahua
In the Jeep
La Plaza
K's Order:Gordita, Mango Ice
A's Order:Gordita, Lime-Strawberry Ice
Cuenta:60 pesos

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Driven. Mad.