We left Nogales very early this AM. (4 am) Both of us were lying there awake since 2:30 eager to leave, so we finally got up and got ready to go. We wanted to get an early start in order to beat the crowds!
We crossed the border and there was no one there??? We got to the barricade and up it went. We stopped and looked around..... there was no one to be seen! One important thing to remember if you ever decide to do this trip. Go west at exit 4 to the Truck Crossing, which takes you right onto the toll freeway, instead of continuing south on the freeway to the International Border, which takes you through the city of Nogales, Mexico. We meant to do this, but got mixed up, and ended up driving around in the dark in Nogales for half an hour until we finally stopped at a Pemex and asked for directions. (I should have listened to my wife and asked for directions sooner!)
We drove to Km. 21, which is where the border guards check to make sure that you are worthy to enter the country. We did our paperwork; it went just fine. One little tip that we have learned the hard way is to bring photocopies of all your documents, including passport, driver's licence, car registration and Mexican car insurance. We all spoke the language of money, so they left with mine, I left with a couple of pieces of paper. It all sounds fair to me! It cost about $30 each for a visitor's visa, and about $60 for a car permit. If we forget to turn in the sticker that they put on our windshield when we leave the country, they will cost us $300!
We did about 600 km. today and arrived at the southern end of Sonora state by about 1:30 pm. We had booked a nice looking place called "Hotel Fiesta Navajoa", and is it ever nice, although the bed is even harder than the beds in China, and that is saying something! They like Ricky,and me as well. It was about 84 degrees fahrenheit by the pool and we ended up feasting at a nearby Tacqueria. They had every part of the cow you could think of on a tortilla. Lung, Tongue, tripe and that ain't no Bull. This is not a tourist town, so our very poor Spanish skills were put to the test. Arly doesn't eat meat, and she thought that she was ordering a fish taco, but it looked like beef to me! Funny how she forgets her ethical commitment when she is starving!
We plan to take it a little easier on our start time tomorrow, as we don't need to worry about beating the border lineup. We will be in Mazatlan by early afternoon and we have an old friend over on Stone Island that we are going to see. We found a nice hotel on the island and we are planning to stay a couple of days before heading to Puerto Vallarta.