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Friday, April 11, 2014

Thursday was a long day -

The horse got the bit in his teeth yesterday. A very long day for both of us.
First some statistics: 510 miles, we left Los Mochis at 8:45 and pulled into the campground in Amado, Arizona at 8:30 our time – 7:30 AZ time. Used up our last pesos to get gas just before Nogales 2800 Pesos – about 3.80 dollars a gallon. Paid US$90 in tolls.
We will stay here until Sunday then decide if we feel like moving on or staying longer.
So back to yesterday. In the morning there was one other RV in the secure parking lot with us and zillions of trucks. We ate and pulled out at 8:45. Just as we got a little north of Los Mochis we ran into fog! Luckily it didn’t last long.
Most of the roads were pretty good yesterday, much to our surprise. Lots of work has been done over the winter. Only about 20% were bad. Love driving where there used to be a detour. All those white directional arrows coming towards you. We were driving mostly through farming country again – thus lots of used to be bugs on the windshield.
paint over the arrows guys!
Crossing into the state of Sonora.
An agricultural inspection. They only had us open the door so they could stick their head in and look around and ask if we had any fruit. Nope. Goodbye.
Through the towns of Navojoa and Obregon. For some reason there is no way to make any of the traffic lights on green in Navojoa – not if you go fast or slow they are always red when you reach them. New concrete roadway from there to Obregon. More traffic signals but they are easier to time and make green. That is a big plus when driving a big RV towing a car.
Continued on to where we were supposed to take the turn off to San Carlos. Bill was not too happy about going through a couple of towns and way out of the way to get there. So we decided to see if there was a retorno at the other end of town. Then we’d back track a little way to San Carlos but stay on highways the whole way. When we came down the retorno was closed so we were taking a chance. Passed the toll booth came around the curve and there was a retorno. The true blue route is what we were going to take. The red route is the back track route [the aqua is the only way I could get the map done – ignore it]
But Bill decided he did not want to back track. We’d go the extra few 80 miles into Hermosillo to the RV park there.
Ah, but the best laid plans – the RV park is in the southbound lanes – we were heading north. Big center divider in between lanes. And the RV park is hard to find – no signs. And just as we passed the closest retorno Bill said – wasn’t that where we were supposed to turn? Crap, yep. So we’d go the next return and turn there – the next two were closed off and then we were through another toll booth back on the highway.
Next suggestion – small RV park we’d never been to in Santa Ana another 90 some miles. Well by the time we got to Santa Ana it was only another few (60) miles to the border – why stop. It wasn’t even 5 o’clock and it stays light until after 7! Away we went. Forgetting about the Military Check Point not too far ahead. Last year going through it we had to stop get out of the rig and an x-ray passed over the RV. So we were anticipating that. A few kilometers south of the check point we passed a two truck wreck. Had to detour through the dirt to get around it.
Then another couple of kilometers started the truck line up waiting to get through the check point. [excuse the bugs] The drivers get out of their trucks and visit – the guy on the shoulder in the orange with the ice chest is a vendor.
The line was over two kilometers long. Luckily, cars, RVs and buses can go around it.
Up to the check point. Pull over over there – no x-ray truck in sight. 
So we pulled over. A young Army guys watched us stop with a puzzled look on his face. He went up to Bill’s window but when he saw Bill he didn’t say anything. He walked away to the office and knocked on the window and motioned to us shrugging his shoulders – like “what should I do?” So a couple more guys came out and they walked over to the open door. After a brief discussion with each other they asked permission for the young guy to come in to “Inspect.” Very polite he motioned he was going to walk to the back. As he went he really looked around, opening drawers and doors – when he could figure out how. Finally he came back to the front and told Bill in Spanish RV was very nice and how much did it cost? I thought his eyes would fall out when Bill told him what a new one would cost. Still shaking his head he thanked us and got out. And on we went.
A little further up the road we had to stop and turn in our Jeep’s papers to get our deposit back and turn in our tourist cards and get the exit stamp on our passports. This was new first time ever our passports had been stamped in. And usually we don’t return the tourist cards – never had a problem. So when we went into the building to return the cards and get the passport stamped the guy behind the counter couldn’t figure out why we were doing it. So we showed him the entrance stamp and told him we wanted an exit stamp. Again a shrug and it was done.
Then we used up the last of our Pesos to put diesel in the Alfa – 2800pesos. Almost filled the tank. On we went through the last Mexican check point. Didn’t even have to slow down – except to fit through the narrow passages.
Around the corner was the US border station. And the fun began. Guess I’m lucky I’m not in prison today. Last year when we crossed through this border – the guards made us change lanes and go through a bus lane. Said we wouldn’t fit through a car lane. And they were right. So they had to stop traffic so we could go to the last lane on the left. Notice in this picture that lane says CLOSED – so we hunted for BUS in the overhead signs. Finally spotting it way to the right was a green BUS behind the bushes. 
So that is where we headed. We got there and the lane was blocked by a van and no one was around. 
So not sure what to do – as by now we were out of all the car lanes…So I got out to go ask. Walked up towards the booths…a lady guard came running towards me.” What are you doing here? Walking in this area?”  “Ah…looking for someone to ask what should we do.” So she took her hand off her gun and listened to me when I asked what we should do – the bus lane was blocked and we’d been told not to use the car lanes. Beside we wouldn’t fit through them. She looked at the Alfa and nodded then called another guard over. “Can you process that RV like a bus?” “Sure.” “Okay you can pull up in front of the van and wait for someone to process you. BUT DON”T EVER WALK UP HERE AGAIN.” Hand returning to gun. She didn’t have to tell me twice I was half way back to the Alfa by then.
So we pulled up to the van – and waited and waited and waited. A bus pulled up behind us and we both waited and waited. Finally a guard came and told asked for our passports. He took them and walked away. A littler later another guard came up to us. Told us he would move the van and for us to pull up to the booth. And to give him our passports. Um…we don’t have them. The guy with the red beard has them. Who? Young guy, short red beard. Oh okay. Phew. So he moved the van and we pulled up and he put the van back blocking the lane – wonder what the bus driver thought then? All that time we were looking at this sign.
Then two women guards came over to inspect for illegal food. I’d thought we’d got rid of everything but they managed to find one tiny potato and two sausages that we’d brought from home. Ah Ha!
Finally released and we were in the US – driving in the dark to the campground about 25 miles up the highway in Amado. Luckily they were still open. We got to our favorite back row area. Got parked and went out to eat only to find out the restaurant closed about five minutes before we got there.

Then home where Bill hit the sack. Everything else would wait for today – another story for another day.


  1. After reading your short post from yesterday, I went to Mapquest and learned you had driven 500.23 miles and it would take almost 10 hours. By the time I got back to your blog, you had already updated with the info. Glad you survived. Rest up before taking off again.

  2. Had the same experience at the Border you had. But... Knew from previous experience between Canada and US B order NOT to get out of vehicle. We were told the signage would improve????
    My Bancerito all screwed up! All I get is no comprende!

    1. This year one of the border guards told us it will probably different next year too.

  3. YOu guys are gonna need a vacation before you get home pushing like that !! Bill needs to rest up and take it slow ...dont need a set back ! Hugs to you both !1

  4. Glad you made it through!! Now you need to get some rest!! Take care.