the

Sherman, pulled over for a rest in between Chicken and Tok, Alaska! Photo taken late Friday afternoon.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tok, Alaska.

Where are they going next? Beaver Creek, Yukon!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

First day in Mexico... went pretty smoothly!

Well, lets start at the beginning! We got up at 5:30am Sunday morning, in order to be able to leave with the RV caravan group at 6:45am. No problem getting up that early, because I wasn't sleeping anyhow. Ruth said that she slept okay, but I didn't. Too many things racing through my mind.

Everybody was ready to go at 6:45. We all pulled out on the quiet street out in front of the RV park, and got lined up in the order that I had assigned them.

I counted all the rigs. Eleven.

Huh? There are supposed to be twelve of us!

We figured out who was missing, and I went in search of them.

Turns out they had a little dog poop mishap, and were cleaning things up. Not a big deal, but I wish they would have let us know they were going to be late.

Anyhow, if this was the worst issue of the day, then that's okay!

We drove the 15 minutes to the Anzalduas Bridge, and we paid the $7 USD ($10 CAD) fee to cross the bridge.

Lined up to pay the bridge toll fee at 7:12am.

We approached the customs and immigration at the other side of the bridge. Several military vehicles about and a few soldiers patrolling. But nobody stopped us and we were soon parked up in the main lot on the other side of the immigration buildings. We brought the entire group of 22 people (plus us) into the very quiet building. Nobody else around at that hour!

We had to assist in processing tourist visas and vehicle paperwork for 11 rigs. Sherman still has a ten year permit that we bought last time we were in Mexico.

Although time consuming, it all went fairly smoothly. Everybody had to have original registration and title paperwork for their vehicles and trailers, as well as their passports and copies of all of them. It's a little easier for motorhomes, because they are processed differently than truck and trailer combinations.

Only two problems. One of the titles was not an original, and it almost wasn't accepted. Not sure what we would have done if they insisted, but I think they bent the rules a little for us. And then on another motorhome, there was confusion because of both a chassis serial number and a motorhome production serial number on the same registration. This was an Alberta plated vehicle, and the girls working at the desk issuing the permits had never seen one like that before.

It was 9:30am by the time we all were ready to hit the road in Mexico. Not bad. I was actually surprised that we were able to get it all done in about two hours. It helped that we weren't asked to go through the x-ray machines and there was nobody to ask customs questions.

Our Green Angel escort was there to guide us as we exited the parking area. The Green Angels are Mexico's federally funded public roadside assistance program. They are all mechanics who drive Mexico's highways looking for motorists needing help. In this case, the Caravan company contracts with them to escort the RV caravan on certain routes in Mexico. We expect to have one of them with us on 80% of the trip, and possibly more. It gives a lot of security to the group knowing that if anybody has mechanical issue or flat tire, or whatever, that they are right there to assist.

Ruth and I are leading the group, but we have a guide ourselves!

Scenery along the way.

Pretty boring landscape between the border and Monterrey.

Road construction.

More road construction.

We stopped for lunch just before noon at a Pemex gas station at the town of Cadareyta. We had made arrangement with our friends Chris and Juan who were going to meet us there for a quick 20 minute visit during our half hour lunch break. Boy, that was a quick visit. We didn't even take any pictures, although they did. You'll have to check Chris's blog for his pics.

Back on the road about 12:30pm and on to the expensive toll road around the big busy city of Monterrey.

The scenery gets better in this area since Monterrey is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range. Unfortunately, sometimes there is a little too much smog to see the mountains clearly.

Mountains around Monterrey.

More mountains.

The toll highway between Monterrey and Saltillo.

Lots of traffic, but beautiful scenery.

Scenery along the way.

Taken in Ruth's side mirror.

Another one taken in Ruth's side mirror.

We made it into Saltillo and headed on the busy road to the Hotel Imperial where they have a large lot for RV parking. We had taken all of the available toll highways, and we spent 980 pesos ($63.50 CAD, $51.50 USD) on tolls. Fortunately, we are on free roads for tomorrow's drive!

Busy road entering Saltillo.

We got ourselves parked up, and had three hours of free time before our 6:00pm welcome dinner.

Ruth and I walked over to the nearby Walmart and several others joined us, while a couple of people went off on their own to see the old downtown area.

Ruth and I went to a Telcel Customer Service Center and got a Mexico SIM card for our phone. It cost 149 pesos ($9.75 CAD, $7.85 USD) for the SIM card with some time on it, and we paid another 500 pesos ($32.50 CAD, $26.30 USD) for a phone and data package that might last us a month if we're lucky.

The owner of the caravan company, Gabriel, took the group out for their welcome dinner. A fancy taco restaurant, with margaritas and a mariachi band. Great way to welcome us on our first day in Mexico!

Turn your volume up...



Our group, before dinner.

10:00pm now, and we're exhausted after a busy day and a long drive. But,we are soooo happy to be back in Mexico, and even though it was a bit of a stressful day getting everything together, it went pretty smoothly.

Sunday's drive, 328 kms (205 miles).

Monday morning, we're up at 8:00 am for the drive to Zacatecas. See you there!

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 Not often you can buy a portable ice machine for this price!


And in Canada at 




35 comments:

  1. Kudos! What an undertaking! That's so nice that the Green Angels are escorting you. Have a wonderful and safe trip. I'll be following along.

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    1. Yep, it was a bit time consuming doing the paperwork at the border, it helped that it was very quiet when we first arrived. The rest of the trip was pretty straight forward after that. It is nice having the Green Angels with us but most of the time they will be at the back of the pack. We love it when they stop the traffic for us on certain turns that we will end up having to do. :-)

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    2. Kevin, you wrote about an Alberta plated vehicle that had a slight problem at the border? Could yo elaborate more on the issue as we are from Alberta and will be driving a class C mini motorhome for next year’s caravan.. Thanks.

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    3. Apparently on motorhome registrations in Alberta, they list both the chassis serial number and the motorhome production serial number. You would have to check yours to see if it is the same.

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  2. Neat picture of the caravan in Ruth’s mirror! You have yourself a convoy!

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry, yep it sure is a convoy. It is funny watching some of the Mexicans getting their phones out to take a picture of us coming along the road. We sure must be a sight for some of them.

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  3. I think I stress original registrations, first time that has happenned. I am glad it worked out.

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    1. Someone said on the paper work package that they were given it had said "original registration OR title". Not sure if that is the case or not.

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    2. Yep that is probably what it says, either is supposed to be sufficient, but maybe we should stress both. It can be a grey area since in places like BC, your insurance is your registration and owners do not have titles. In Mexico it's best to take as much paperwork as possible. Basically you have to prove you own the vehicle.

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    3. We are hoping to cross the Mexican border in a borrowed RV with a notarized letter of consent from the owner. We have read that this is acceptable - any thoughts or experience with this?

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    4. As long as you have the notarized letter you shouldn't have a problem but that is not always a guarantee. Hope it goes well for you. :-)

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  4. Glad everything went relatively smoothly. That doesn't sound like a lot of time to process that many vehicles. Enjoy!!!

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    1. No, it really wasn't too bad at all. The paperwork is quite time consuming so we did expect it too take about that long so we were pretty happy with the results.

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  5. Green Angels sounds like a wonderful idea. Boy could the US use this. We see people broken down all the time.
    The scenery looks beautiful. Safe travels.

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    1. Yes, they are a great idea but even with them on the highways you could still wait quite a while for them because it would depend on how far away they might be. The scenery with look even better the further south that we go.

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  6. Will you be covering cost and things about the fuel also? Thinking about trying it next year if you guy's are going again. This winter in Fla is getting old and cold too many times... Safe travels

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    1. Yes, we will try to cover any costs that we have to pay, we always like to give people an idea of what things cost here. If you have questions about any prices that we might not mention throughout our time here in Mexico feel free to ask in a comment or through our email link, we will be more than happy to try to answer them for you.

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  7. We returned from .exico I. December for health concerns and blew a serpe tine belt just past Guadalajara. It was 10a and the insurance (Lewis and Lewis) said they could not have us towed until Monday, Sunday was a problem. We sat there until 5p when a Federale stopped on the other side of the road, came over and made a call. Mi Utes later, a green angel pulled up behind us and in short order changed the belt ( we had a spare). We spent the night in a Pemex. You can feel blessed to have them with you





    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, those Green Angels are fantastic to have out patrolling the highways so that they can help stranded motorists like yourselves. Glad they were able to help get you back on the road. And yes, we are very happy to have them with our group on our travel days.

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  8. A wonderful first day! May the rest of your trip be as uneventful.

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    1. Fingers crossed! Although there was a small problem on our second travel day.

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  9. Good job counting at the beginning. As in a class, coming home from a field trip with 24 out of 25 students, is 96 %, it is not good enough.

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    1. No, we definitely want a 100% head/vehicle count at all times! :-)

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  10. Where do you live? My son works for WA state DOT on their Incident Response team. He does everything from helping stranded motorists to assisting at accident scenes.

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    1. We live in Canada and yes, if the police go by and you are stranded then they will stop and help in any way that they can otherwise you need to rely on CAA if you are a member. These guys purposely travel the main highways only for vehicle assistance, such as fixing almost anything that they have all the tools and parts for. they also carry extra water and gasoline with them and will get a tow truck if need and will direct them to a near by repair shop. All this is free of charge and generally you then give them a tip.

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  11. Sounds very exciting but wow, over $50 in toll costs alone---in just one day! I guess a shoestring tour of México would have to avoid the better roads, eh?

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    1. Mexican toll highways are very expensive Doug. And even more so for pickup trucks pulling fifth wheel trailers!

      When we travel alone, we typically stay off the toll highways, but with the caravan group it is a good idea.

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  12. Sounds exhausting and exciting at the same time! Enjoy!

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    1. That first day really is a bit exhausting but it is over with now so we can breathe a sigh of relief.

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  13. Wonderful post about your first day back in Mexico! Looking forward to more. Safe travels.

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    1. Thank you Dianne. It is great to be back in Mexico and we can't for all the fun to begin. :-)

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  14. Just a thought: Couldn't everyone walk across the border the day before and get the paperwork done in advance. That is what we do.

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    1. Believe it or not it was just easier this way.

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  15. I really dislike the smog (like what we encountered in northern India in November), but it's great that you guys are on the way!

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    1. Neither do we but sometimes it seems that you just can't get away from it in these big cities!

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