Thank The Lord for our eventful and safe journey across the border and through Northern Mexico.
The day started at 5:15am. A quick complimentary breakfast at our hotel and it was off to the border. Bridge 2 across the Rio Grande was our choice after much review. The first stop was immigration…..no problems. Next was the red or green light to see if we would get searched. It was green! Yes!. No so fast. When they saw our trailer we got hauled over to the inspection area where other SUVs and cars were in the process of unloading their overloaded vehicles of all suitcases, bags, bikes, appliances, etc for inspection. Language was an issue, but thanks to Darcy’s much better understanding and speaking of Spanish, we got the jist of it. Fortunately we had a certified household goods list from the Mexican consulate in Calgary which eventually, after much review got us through with no cavity searches.
Next was more immigration and vehicle import permitting. There was some confusion here and after 2 stops at counters 1,2 &4 each we got all the paperwork needed. We met a family who were also going to Mexico for 2 years to be English teachers and decided to convoy through northern Mexico for safety. Lots of federal police presence with big guns in Nuevo Laredo….sort of made us feel safe, and sort of made us uneasy. Either way, we are now heading south through northern Mexico…..check #1.
Manny (convoy leader) was a former UPS driver and he drove like one. My Nissan Titan and 4500# trailer load worked hard! but we kept up, passing all but the fastest. With the load, my truck only gets just over 300km to a tank and I had a full to the brim one for this day. The plan was to take the ring road around Monterray and on to Saltillo where we would stop for gas. At the speeds we were going, my fuel economy was not good and we weren’t going to make it to Saltillo. After a toll road, I emptied my jerry can safety supply of gas into the tank. Where are the Pemex stations and why is it so hilly here! Now on fumes only and in and out of neutral to save gas, we see the town of Saltillo! Maybe we can make it. Come on my beautiful white Nissan! Waving goodbye to our friends (no stopping aloud now) as we limp into a Pemex station. Praising and cheering by all! Thank you Lord.
Refilled and refreshed we head for San Luis Potosí and San Miguel. What beautiful country northern Mexico is. Mountains that rival ours, big valleys, and sunshine. Less anxious now, we are making good time as we need to get to San Miguel by dark, and it is over a 900km drive. We only stop for gas and a quick bathroom break and to ask if the frias Tunas con chile y limon they are selling on the side of the road in the middle of Mexico is really cold Tuna (we are a long way from any ocean). Tunas is actually the cactus flower and is a fruit…..we’ll have to try some.
Darcy got us out of another inspection checkpoint issue with her command of Spanish. Without her response to the man with the badge, I think we might have been delayed with a lot of hand gestures and finger waiving. I love that girl!
Ian is a great travelling companion, keeping the mood light. He is our muscle and good luck charm all in one.
We arrived safely at San Miguel just as dusk approaches. What a great feeling it was to pull up to the hotel and shut down my amazing truck! Time to relax for a couple days in one of our favorite places.
Thank you to all for your prayers and thoughts on this day which frankly was the single biggest stress for me of the entire 3 year journey. We felt your love and encouragement all day. Mostly we thank God for his hedge of protection over us and His removal of the barriers that could have made day #1 in Mexico a different story.
More to come. Hasta Luego mis amigos.
Kary, Darcy and Ian.