A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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December 8, 2005 — We crossed the border today at Nogales, AZ, and it was a very easy crossing. Partly because we are getting used to the routines and partly because it’s all freeway if you take the Mariposa crossing on the edge of town.

You don’t even stop at the border! It’s marked, but if you blinked when you crossed over, the frequent signs with safety exhortations in Spanish would tell you you were in Mexico. There’s a customs post that we didn’t need to stop at, just a little ways in (3 miles?) and then at Km.21 you pull over and go through a very well-organized setup.

We were told to get our FM3 visas stamped so we got in line behind a lot of American tourists. When one of the Mexican officials saw the green of the FM3 in my hand, he nodded to us to move past all the tourists to an open spot on the counter, where someone else immediately helped us. This man started looking through all the pages of my FM3, something I didn’t want him to do too thoroughly because there’s a condition typed in it that I had to have official proof that I’m married to Kelly in to the Migracion office in Queretaro last summer. I did get it in, but I have no proof that I did. He seemed to be looking for the exit stamp, so I said that the official in Chihuahua last summer had said we didn’t need it. This man said we did, and proceeded to give us our entrance stamps in the FM3s, which are little booklets kinda like passports.

We had to get a sticker for the car too, and the very helpful young woman whose window we ended up at told us we could spend $30US for a six-months permit. I started to get a bit flustered because we might stay longer than 6 months, but then she said that if we wanted, we could spend $50 US and get a TEN-YEAR permit for our motorhome! Of course we did that. So we can come and go for years without another wait in line for the motorhome.

It was late morning and we were getting hungry, as we usually have brunch around then. So Kelly turned on the propane and we ate in the motorhome. Fortified, it was on to customs. There was a lane specifically for motorhomes but no official near where we stopped. Kelly eased forward, and an official broke away from a group of men and came over. He wanted to see inside. Kelly held our dog Larry in the front seat while I opened the side door. Did the dog bite? No, he won’t eat you, I said. Did we have any guns? No, I said. The man glanced inside the door, where his gaze fell on a poster we have of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Have a nice trip, he said, and we were done.

That was particularly pleasant because our shower stall is completely full of housewares and whatnot that we are taking down to our house in Bernal. An officious sort could have made us take all sorts of things out. Whew.

The highway south was another surprise. Except for about 40 minutes going through the city of Hermosillo, the road was almost entirely 4-lane highway and rather lightly traveled. Definitely way better than our entries into Mexico from south Texas have been!

We commented to each other on how normal it seemed to be in Mexico. I was surprised to be feeling this way. After some 250 miles of attractive desert lands, we arrived at San Carlos, a popular resort for North Americans. We pulled in just before dusk, with a pink sky reflecting on the waters of the inlet of the Sea of Cortez, palm trees lining the spacious boulevard. It was pleasantly warm… especially welcome after several days and nights of unusually cold weather in NM and AZ at about 4000 feet.

Soon we were set up in an RV park, complete with wifi access, and out on the beach with Larry. This dog has never been out of Colorado before and he was wary of the little waves coming in! A little later, we went out to dinner and the restuarant turned out to be one that is for students to learn to cook and be waitpersons. We had a table right by the kitchen, where we could see all the action. It was quite entertaining, and the food was excellent.

Good to be back in Mexico!

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