Crossing to Mexico
Finally, the big moment we have been planning for all year has arrived. This morning, we were up at 6am in order to be at the Mexico/Texas boarder early.
There is a Facebook page called “On the Road in Mexico” (OtRiM) that has literally thousands of members who often drive Mexico. The majority are Canadian and American snowbirds or expats. Their advice turned out to be invaluable both on the boarder crossing and our first night hotel.
So apparently the “Columbia” crossing is the best one for Americans that are afraid of the boarder and don’t know what they are doing. We decided we would happily fall into this group. It is a small boarder crossing that was an extra 40min of driving, but literally no wait time. Plus- what was great is that the boarder, immigration and car importation were all in the same building. This made it all pretty simple. It was a huge help that we had all our papers ready the dog (they did actually ask for our dog papers!), the car and us for immigration. The whole process was done in under an hour and 20min of that was waiting for the immigration office to open (apparently we were a bit too early!).
The road after was super easy (GPS was helpful) and pretty nice driving. We went through about 5 checkpoints, but didn’t get stopped once. So far, the driving is probably even easier than Costa Rica…at least here they have road signs.
We were going to take a different road, but after about 20 different OtRiM members recommended the first night stop to be Las Palmas hotel in Matahuala, we figured we better just follow the crowd on this one. It took about 6 hours of driving non-stop after the boarder crossing to arrive. Just in time to enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and sink into the (freezing cold, seriously- icy cold) pool.
Tonight we went out to a little road-side shack for our first Mexican Tacos. It was actually a bit of a disappointment…I was expecting better unfortunately. However, we still have 6 months to try to live up to expectations and I assume the better food is still down the road somewhere. The experience did make me realize how fast we are going to need our spanish though. Time to get studying!