Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kevin's post - Finally back together!

Tuesday December 11...9:00pm

I was up early this morning....around 6:30am because my couchsurfing host David was going to drive me up to the main border crossing at San Diego and Tijuana. We dropped his son off at school first, and made our way
through morning traffic to the border. Found a place to park, and David was great in showing me around and making sure I knew where everything was in order to meet up with Ruth and our friends Glen and Steve. Good thing too, because they had moved the depot where one goes to pick up the temporary vehicle import permit, and it wouldn't have been easy to find on our own.

I gratefully thanked David for his extra efforts in helping me out, and was left alone to wait for Ruth. There was really nowhere to sit or do anything, so I just stood and watched the process of the vehicles entering Mexico. There's a random process whereby the cars coming in hit a switch that gives them either a green light or a red light...the green ones get to go through unchecked and the red ones are pulled over and searched. They are much less strict on cars entering Mexico compared to the ones going from Mexico to the USA, and that is evident in the 10 lanes of traffic going into the States compared to the 3 lanes of traffic going into Mexico.

I stood waiting and watching for about an hour and a half before I finally saw a couple of motorhomes coming through. I jumped my way into the lane where cars pull in to get visa papers done, waved a quick hello to Glen (Glenys) and Steve, and hopped into Sherman. Surprised was I to see Ruth's brother Colin still behind the wheel...he had wanted to hop out before the border, but never had an opportunity. So here he was in Mexico, and for whatever reason, it was easy to tell he didn't want to be there. He was quick to hop out and said a quick goodbye before heading his way to the pedestrian walkway back to the USA. I hopped into the drivers seat and was ready to head into the maze of traffic when Steve came and told us that they had to cancel their USA visa's before continuing further. They were only gone about 15 minutes back to the USA customs on the other side.

So now we headed over to get the vehicle permits for our motorhomes. As we rounded the corner close to the permit place, there was a total blockade of the traffic. Cars stopped everywhere. Got to the entrance to the parking lot, and there were so many cars stopped in all strange ways that it made getting a motorhome through very difficult. But, we squeezed our way into the parking lot. Just as I turned past a lane of cars, I heard a gut wrenching grinding noise. I had turned too wide, and the rear bumper of Sherman had clipped the front bumper of a pick up truck in the crowded parking lot. I got out and surveyed the damage right away. Our rear bumper was bent back about a foot and a half...his front license plate bracket was broken. Not quite sure how we managed to bend our bumper so much without doing more damage to his truck, but that's the way it was. Turns out the vehicle belonged to one of the guards at the facility. He was over right away explaining how "insurance doesn't work over here...we only deal in cash"...this was NOT a good start to our motorhoming adventures in Mexico! I told him we'd go park and come back and deal with him.

We were about 45 minutes in getting the permits. They had to find an English speaking clerk for us, and the guy they found for us wasn't familiar with doing a motorhome permit, so that took longer as well. But the "temporary" permit is good for 10 years!...so now we're set. Went back outside and negotiated a $40 settlement with the pick up owner. Not bad...he originally wanted $60, but finally admitted he was trying to profit from the deal, and backed down to $40. One day in the future, we'll find a sturdy palm tree to back into and straighten out our rear bumper.

And so we found our way to the highway leading south to Encinada. Did some grocery shopping there, and filled the fuel tank and the propane tank. It's been a tiring couple of days, for both myself and Ruth. I think Steve and Glen are also ready for some relaxation, so we found a RV park in between Encinada and La Bufadora...120 pesos ($12 CAN) for the night. Not going to do much driving the next couple of days...need to rest up a bit.

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