Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's always interesting crossing a border...

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! We're in the United States of America! But they sure do make it interesting to get across a border. I always say that it's a bit of a circus, and the American border is a three ring circus. Barnum and Bailey would be proud!

We knew we had about a four hour drive just to get to the Santa Teresa border from Chihuahua. So we were up early, and at just after 7:00am we said goodbye to our couchsurfing host Urbano.

Urbano and Ruth saying goodbye. Thanks for everything Urbano!!

From there, it was another long boring drive. Not much to look at but the sand and dust blowing across the road! It was actually pretty bad at times...

Little bit of a dust storm!

Kind of hazy from the dust.

Sand dunes. You'd think we were in the desert or something. Wait a minute...we are in the desert!

We pulled in to the Mexican side of the Santa Teresa border at around noon. There's an hour time change again just before the border, so we're back to a two hour difference from Eastern time.

First thing we had to do was to turn in our Mexican tourist cards. These are the cards that were in the bag that was stolen when we were mugged back in November. Our regular readers will remember that we tried to get these cards replaced at several points during the remainder of our time in Mexico, and eventually got new ones when we returned from Guatemala. But you have to pay for these cards, and we hadn't done so yet.

First, you find somewhere to park. Where ever you can find at the side of the road, because there aren't really any designated spots.

Then, you walk left and go in the big green building. Sure enough, we had to pay the equivalent of about $25 each for the tourist visas. Oddly, they said absolutely nothing about the ones that went missing. Makes me think that we could have just carried straight on through without handing them in and there wouldn't have been any consequences. Oh well, at least we know we've done it the proper way.

Next, it was back to the car where we had to go through the part that says "returns, re-entry, and cancellations". This is where they cancel and refund the car permit deposit of $300 that we paid when we entered Mexico back in November. 

There's always someone trying to sell you something in Mexico. These girls are giving it one last shot before you leave! 

We didn't have to produce a credit card for the refund. They simply credit back to the same card you used when you entered the country, unless you paid in cash at the time...then you would receive cash back.

Next of course, it's time to get into the U.S.

We didn't take any pictures of that procedure. I don't think the border guards would have been impressed.

It actually went fine, and the guards were quite pleasant. The only downside was that we were coming up to a shift change and we got pulled over for secondary inspection and they wouldn't process us until the new shift came on. Took an extra 20 minutes or so.

And then we were on our way!

Thanks! We've never been to New Mexico before!

We pulled into the city of Las Cruces (pop around 100,000) and drove to the center. There's not really much to see there, but we went for a walk anyhow.

Ruth, the little blue car, and the fancy new City Hall building in Las Cruces.

Lots of old adobe style buildings in the historical section.

Main street, Las Cruces.

Found this huge Indian head wood carving. The plaque says it was done in 1986 as a commemorative to the Native Americans of New Mexico.

We had some time to waste, so we went to Walmart and picked up a few things. Then, it was off to the home of couchsurfing hosts Kevin and Katrina. They were both still at work, but they had given us the code to their front door so that we could let ourselves in. Isn't couchsurfing great?!

We sat and talked with Katrina for a while when she got home, but Kevin is a firefighter and won't be home until this morning. Also met their super friendly dogs Murdoc and Oreo!

We're here for two nights, so we're thinking today we'll go for a hike at White Sands National Monument!

Ohh...some more interesting news...

You all know that we're going hot air ballooning with World Balloon Company in Albuquerque on Monday morning. You'll never guess what we're going to be doing the following Monday (the 15th) in Colorado! C'mon, take a guess...we'll tell you if you're right!

Yesterday's drive, 455 kms (282 miles).


32 comments:

  1. Thats great the border crossing went well for you, enjoy New Mexico.
    More hot air Ballooning in Colorado???

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  2. The train ride in Colorado??? Going up and down mountains??? LOL All-in-all, it didn't go too badly at the border and that's a good thing. We love New Mexico and White Sands.

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    1. Nope not a train ride but maybe that will be an idea for another time.

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  3. Glad to hear the crossing was easy. I think we'll try Santa Teresa when we come back home next year. Question..Did you see any big rigs at crossing? Just wondering if lanes are wide enough to get a big motorhome through without problems.

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    1. Hey Graydon,
      We have cross @ Santa Teresa a couple of times with 53' of big rig. Easy crossing!

      rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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    2. Yep, looks like you could get through without an issue. Thanks for the quick reply rocmoc n AZ/Mexico.

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  4. Out of the Old, into the New---Mexico, that is! Welcome to the USA. Colorado can mean only one thing this time of year---late season snowboarding :) I'll be checking out Bishop Castle on my trip through CO in June...

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    1. You are just about right Dugg, we will be skiing not snowboarding.

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  5. Yep, glad you found the aduana and got your stuff turned in. Let me know how you get credited? There seems to be some doubt about exchange rates and some got less money than when they went into Mexico in the fall.

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    1. Yes, we did get credited. It took about three days and we lost about $40-$45 on the exchange rate.

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  6. Better to have paid for your FMM than not, you never know about coming back otherwise.

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    1. That's the way we feel. You just never know if it would have created a problem next fall when we return to Mexico. This way we know it won't.

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  7. Tup - lots of trains here - bet it is that. We'll be nice and warm at a hotsprings just west of Denver! We really enjoyed White Sands! A circus no doubt!!!!

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  8. Welcome to the US. Renate and I are really enjoying San Miguel de Allende and I'm getting up to date on my new-ish blog. Look for Butterflies and Heart Songs in about 3-4 days; hope it'll be readable by then. Enjoy the Southwest US; it's priceless!

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    1. Glad that you and Renate got to San Miguel de Allende without any problems and that you working on your blog. We look forward to reading to it.

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  9. Will you guys keep up the daily blog when you're running the camping place? That would be really interesting to hear your day to day insight on such a job.

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    1. Yes we will definitely be keeping up with the blog while we are working at the campground. We will be covering our job and the area around us, as well as many other interesting topics.

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  10. Best thing in Las Cruces is the Historical Old Town on the South side of the city, Mesilla. We have always enjoyed our visit as it is very much like where you just came from. Here is their site, http://www.oldmesilla.org/

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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    1. We did visit the Historical Old Town and cruised around Mesilla at night but will maybe have to visit another time during the day. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  11. We've stopped in Las Cruces a couple of times for a night or two in our travels. There are a couple of wine tasting places. I like sweet wine and found one called Plum Loco that I really like!

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    1. Maybe another time. We have visited a number of vineyards of the last few years so we would rather explore some of the other attractions here seeing we wouldn't have much time to spend here.

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  12. Welcome to the US of A. I am guessing mountain climbing. You two sure do get into some crazy activities.

    Just a note...our life insurance ran out two weeks after we worked at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. One of the questions on the new form asked if we had ever been up in a hot-air balloon. They said they would consider us a risk taker and the insurance would be higher. Oh dear.

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    1. Nope, no mountain climbing for us. We love hiking in the mountains though.

      Hard to believe that they consider hot-air ballooning a risk. It is probably the same with sky-diving but we did that many, many years ago.

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  13. hummm Colorado, either white water rafting in the Grand Canyon or horsebacking thru the Garden of the Gods....if not I recommend both.
    Donna

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    1. We wanted to go to a "Dude" ranch but they aren't open until May, so maybe another time. Would love to go white water rafting the Colorado River, something for us to look into some other year.

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  14. How about sky diving?? It I guess that's Montana that is big sky country. Is there prize?? :-))

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    1. Went sky diving many years ago would love to go again though.

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  15. Welcome to New Mexico, our home state. So sorry we're not there to show you around Santa Fe and offer you our guest room. We would have loved to have had you stay with us. Bonnie will be back on April 28th. Drat. Bad timing! Big hugs from Bonnie and Dave. http://www.vagabonandave.com

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    1. We are sorry that we will have just missed Bonnie too. Maybe next time you will be home and we can stop by then. We want to visit Santa Fe but knew we had lots planned for New Mexico for this visit so it gives us somewhere different for the next time we come through the area.

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