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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day One in Sonora Mexico

Thought I'd post a couple of pictures from yesterdays ride with a little more detail. 
It is so nice here this morning - we didn't have to run the furnace last night and I got up and put shorts on. Sorry people in the cold states. 
Pulling up to the US side of the border. Only two stalls open: one for cars and one for trucks. 
 We head for the one for trucks
 And it is barely big enough to fit through. Drivers really have to watch their side mirrors.
 Once through - no one even looked at us - usually we are asked a few questions - Like do you have more than $10,000 in cash. Now wouldn't that be nice. 
Most of the road this year has been redone and very good. However this part under construction didn't leave any room for mistakes on the driver's part. Notice the 12 inch drop!
 I don't have any pictures of the first toll booth we had to go through but I'll try to explain it. This was our only adventure of the otherwise uneventful day. There are green arrows above the open booths. Two showed green arrows. We took the one on the left - BUT part way into the line there was a gate down. And about then a man started to motion to us to STOP STOP. We went a little further. And he came running over. We could not use this lane - I don't know why didn't understand the conversation and didn't ask for explanation. And they were adamant about it - we had to back up. Remember the Alfa is 40' long and we had the Jeep hooked behind us. And we had to back up about 20 - 30 feet by now. OR Bill could get out and unhook the jeep, back it up then back the Alfa up and rehook and go through the other booth. Hummmm.
So he started backing up and thank goodness and his good driving everything backed up straight. The toll booth guy stayed behind us guiding Bill. A motorhome with a tow car does not back up as easy as a fifth wheel or a semi - usually the tow car has a mind of its own when being pushed backwards and goes to the right or left. Willie behaved for us yesterday. Crisis averted we continued on our way.  Then we came to the first Mexican check point. We learned to go to the furthest lane - the one for trucks and busses and made it through fine. Again no one even looked at us. 
 Soon we arrived at Mexican Immigration. There were only a couple of cars in the parking lot. So with Willie securely hitched to the Alfa - with locking pins we headed to the building where we get our tourist cards. We were the only people in there and got our cards filled them out and were out of there in a few minutes. 

 I stopped to get the copies of the cards made but the copy booth was closed. We no longer need to make copies of them. We went to the Banjercito where we get the vehicle papers and pay for everything and we were the only people there! Everything was done and we were back in the Alfa in less than 30 minutes. 
Always when we leave that area there were police who sometimes stopped and inspected the RVs. Yesterday no one was there and the area was being torn up/remodeled. Lots of changes.
I mentioned that a lot of the highway has already been done and is very nice. 
 Notice how fuzzy the pictures appear to be. More about that later
 We spent 420 pesos in tolls in the 250 miles. About US$31. Looks like it is being put to good use. There seemed to be more and bigger gas stations along the way too. And far less topes - speed bumps on steroids. The Alfa and Jeep thank them for that. And fewer vendors standing at them trying to sell everything from birds to copper pots. 
We got to Totonaka RV Park a little after 1:00 and settled in. Paid to two weeks - about US21 a day. We have 30amps, all hookups, good wifi and the park also has cable TV. It's right across the street from the Gulf and within walking distance of lots of restaurants.  
After getting settled in we headed out to have some lunch. But first we had to find an ATM - we asked and were sent to the Ley's Supermercado. And luckily there was one there. So now with Pesos in hand we headed to a nice restaurant right on the beach - La Palapa. It is a Greek restaurant and we had american food - hamburger, BLT and fries for our first lunch in Mexico! 
When we got back to the RV park we discovered our good friend John had pulled in. He is from Idaho. We spent an entire summer with him a couple of years ago in Aticama. 
Today we are running errands in the bigger town of Guaymas - he needs to buy a tire for his truck and we want to get our TecCel internet up and running. And I want to see if I can buy a camera. Mine took a crap yesterday. The lens extended - it wouldn't focus and the lense will not retract. I do have another camera, the exact same kind with me but......
So in till later - bye. 

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