I'm gonna break this post down into a whole bunch of point forms to make Mexico a clear picture for everyone. I know, I know its not a place to be taken lightly, but unless your into the middle of things, its hard to put a true finger on it. But of course, that's what every blogger says..and well, I guess I'm gonna say that too. I apologize ahead of time, these posts almost seem a bit sad, but its the weariness of riding day after day that makes a 10 o clock post a bit dreary. As we get used to the daily grind I'm sure I'll make it more entertaining :P.
Alright so we start by getting the border in two minutes. This is the where the clock starts ticking. Thank god there was no one there.
1. You enter Mexico by paying 3.00 US at the toll.
2. You go through a line that, if you're novice that us, will flash red and they will pull you over asking for a traveling permit.
3. You are instructed to go back round to U.S. and turn around into the main Migracion office.
4. Once inside, hope there are no lines, because you first go to customs, they may or may not check your bike; ours weren't. Then you go to Migracion and he looks at your passport, tells you to fill out a travel form. You go to the Banceritos ( i think that's what it was called) and they take your copies...wait what...oh you didn't get copies, go over to copy line and pay 2.00 for copies. Go back to Banceritos and watch them make text messages and talk to each other, while it takes 20 minutes for them to fill in a form, but that's fine, we expect these things on a Sunday for sure.
5. Pay 26 dollars for the permit, another 40 or so for a tourist pass (or other way around, it was hectic and they just took my money and card) and then go back to Migracion to have him look at your completed papers.
6. Don't forget your insurance, another 6.00 per day in Mexico; we purchased ours beforehand to save us time and money.
All in all, for the first time through a border, it was expensive as hell, but it wasn't too bad. About 45 minutes from start to finish. Nik will fill in the rest with his new friends.
|Los Guapos Locos entering the Estados Unidos de Mexicanos|
|You'll get to this point and frown when the light turns red|
If you forget anything, the checkpoints 20 miles and 40 miles down the road will remind you and send you right back haha, they were nice to us.
|The mexican car wash, sans agua.|
|The main gas provider in the Mexico: so many of them, and none take American.|
The further we traveled the less english was spoken, but we are getting by pretty easily. So easily that 10 minutes into getting lost through Matamoros Nik drives full speed toward a cop to ask him how to get around. Good idea: asking a cop for a helping hand.
Bad idea: driving as fast as yo can towards him.
He pulls him over, shows him how he's going 31 km over the speed limit and starts giving him a 30.00 ticket. He comes over to me, I argue in broken spanish and basic english that I was behind him and the gun couldn't get my speed, besides I was traveling half the speed. Long story short, he brings Nik over to pay and Nik manages to get out of it completely. Brilliant, our first win! Mainly due to the fact we both don't have pesos....Mexican's dont like American dollars :(.
We figure out where we are, get on the road and take the quickest route here to Tampico. It took a helluva long time, about 500 km, but for the most part the roads are pretty awesome. Good conditions, some nice speed bumps, but the 180 into Tampico was a really nice quiet, and scenic and challenging drive.
|Beautiful scenery of Tamipitula|
|Insanely busy city of Tampico (this doesn't really cut it)|
The best part is the speed limits. We went pretty easy after the ticket incident, and watched as thousands of cars sped past us at about double the posted limit. So we started to join them, mind you we ride at an even 110kph every where we pretty much go (we find for the KLR's this provides us with the best time/gas expenditure ratio, anymore and you blow through a ton more gas, any less and its a bit slow). These cars would blow through any 40kph or 60kph speed zone at 130kph+. Its amazing how they drive, I literally mean amazing, I would if Ottawa had the same road morals. No one takes sh** from anyone and I think thats pretty spectacular. For those who have never driven in Mexico, the highways, instead of having two lanes each side, have one and a half. So you drive on the shoulder and let other pass you, at ANYTIME. A corner or oncoming traffic doesn't stop anything, so you better get over as far as possible. It sounds worse than it is though, I think that system works pretty good.
Tampico itself is ridiculously busy....its a Sunday night and it seems like every single resident is out and about, honking horns, in the streets, in the restaurants, it sure is a happening place. We got to eat some tamales and ...some carne something, cost about 6 bucks with drinks. Our hotel is good enough for the night, a little less than last night at 36.00 US (again they dont take American...we had to negotiate and pay extra). But we got internet and shower, thats fine with me.
I think thats about all for tonight, off to Veracruz in the morning for our first Gulf swim.