Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stop-and-go at the border

Well we didn't make it to Tucson last night but we did make it over the border at about 6:00 after a grueling four-hour wait smothered by diesel fumes from three lanes of trucks.  The trip from San Carlos was uneventful.  We surrendered our visas and car importation permit and entered the no mans land they call fiscal corridor between Mexico and the USA.  It runs through a weird terrain of rolling hills, steep banks on each side. Eventually we were directed in the fast lane for cars and campers heading to the USA--but it was far from fast.  We couldn't see to the front of the line because of the hills and curves. 
So we had no idea that there was about a kilometer of cars ahead of us.  We traveled that distance 100 feet at a time with waits of ten or so minutes in between.

In true Mexican style the lineup was entertained by the hawkers selling everything from toy guitars and mops to sugary snacks and paintings on plastic of the Virgin of Guadalupe. It turns out that we got caught in the Semana Santa traffic.  Lots of people heading north to spend the week before Easter with relatives in the States. We thought we'd miss it by leaving Friday but we didn't.  It's ironic that the time we spent in the lineup at the border was about as long as the plane trip from Mazatlan to Canada.  Once we got to the wicket it was just the usual few questions and we were through.

This morning we left Nogales after stocking up on a few things we'll need for the road.  We're sitting in a little cafe in Tubac enjoying a brunch.  Outside it's sunny with a little breeze blowing across the desert--really quite lovely.  We were ready to leave Mexico after four months and it's relaxing to be in the more familiar culture of the USA.  Ahead of us now we have ten days before we can get back into our house.  So we'll do a little exploring along the way.


  1. Oh wow, your story transports me back (in my mind) to the waiting hours of going over the border from West to East Europe (then occupied by communism) -
    So do you do this every year! Spending winter in Mex. and rest of the year in Canada? Many ritired Dutch people do that: in Spain for the winter, and rest of the year in Holland (in case you don't know, I am Dutch).
    Have a good and safe rest of the trip!

  2. Thanks Jeanette,
    This is the first year we've done the whole winter this way. It was fun but we're not sure about next year. We'll wait and see.
    By the way, I enjoy your art notes blog. Especially like the girl at the window on the train.

  3. I feel much better now that you're in the states. Thanks for posting your update.


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