Wednesday, Oct 1: Day 9
We start out early and by 7:30 once again we’re heading for the San Luis border crossing. It’s another warm morning but at least my radiator fan is working. We hope to make it at least to Hermosillo today, maybe all the way to Bahía de Kino, where we finally hope to spend some time relaxing.
We’re at the border a little before 8:00 and we ride right through a crossing, no line, and nobody really stops us. OK, that was fairly easy. But it can’t be THAT easy and I know we need vehicle permit and paperwork done, pay fees, etc. So we pull over and ask and sure enough, we need to backtrack half a block where there’s a low key bank and immigration office.
It’s pretty good timing because they open at 8:00 and so we need to wait only a few minutes. I go first while Marc waits with the bikes. 20 minutes later I’m all set and it’s his turn.
Marc is inside that building in the background with the Mexican flags. Notice Marc’s Hope Depot / home made forward foot pegs!
Fairly easy, sign this, go to bank, pay that, return to immigration, present photocopies of everything and stamp, stamp, stamp and the pleasant young lady says that’s it. Once Marc returns another 20 minutes later we’re on our way! We stop at an ATM and yes!! card works and pesos are dispensed. We make our way out of traffic, some guy yells something at us, doesn’t seem to like something about us (?!), and eventually traffic thins and we’re heading east on hiway 2 in Mexico! It’s 9:00 so that wasn’t so bad.
The first thing we notice is the wall that separates Mexico from the U.S. It goes on for some time. I thought hiways 8 / 10 that connect Tucson east / west were desolate. This must be the moon then. Wow, what if we break down here?!? I had always wondered about this road when I lived in Arizona, but I’m questioning my sanity as the remoteness sinks in. We drive for miles with only a car every now and then. No houses, no gas stations, no trees, no cacti, no livestock, no people, no nothing. Just brown soil and a few shrubs. No people?--check that, every so often we see a guy, alone, walking. Simply walking, seemingly without purpose, towards…where??? One guy had a gallon of water in his hands. At least that. The heat builds and by 10:30 it’s hot. Clothes are sticking. Dry heat. Yeah, right. It’s…sunny, shadeless…and…hot. But my cooling fan is still working. My brain is another story. When funny lights begin to flash in my brain I figure it’s best we pull over. The whole trip from Oregon to Yuma, Marc led with his GPS. Now I was leading and I motion to pull over. Shade, finally.
A little later, the desert changes and shows signs of life: some cacti, ocotillo and roadside chapels.
We ride and ride and have MREs and water for lunch at an Oxxo in Caborca. It’s 2:30 and we’re told Hermosillo is another 5 hours. Looks like we’ll stay there for the night, which I like because I know a decent hotel there from three years earlier when I drove a Dodge Caravan to Costa Rica.
At Santa Ana we pull over for gas and then something to drink at a roadside eatery. The cook, a man about 55 or 60, looks at us and says in very good English that he’ll be right with us. After finishing with an order he comes over and still in English asks if the heat isn’t affecting us. After a bit of chit-chat I ask him in Spanish what he has that’s cold to drink. Who knew that would set him off? His voice changes as if I’ve committed some great social blunder. I teach Spanish and it’s what I speak at home with my wife, so it just comes out when I’m in Spanish speaking countries. Agitated, he says he can respond in English, Russian if we like. Ok, then. I tell him in English that his command of the language is great and where did he learn Russian. He’s practically yelling now about somewhere across the street, and I look at Marc and our eyes lock and we both know it’s time to move on. As we do the guy yells something about us and being babies…didn’t really stop to listen to this guy’s bitterness about whatever so we ignore it and move on. Funny how an incident like that sticks with you no matter how hard you try to let it go.
Not so hot by 5:30 as the sun is lower in the sky, too low for my liking. We’re still a ways north of Hermosillo. Soon we're in a race with daylight and we increase our cruising speed to 75, 80 at times. By 7:00 it’s dark and we’re only miles away. Hard to see at night and with a bug splattered visor, but we find the Hotel Bouganvillia right where I remember it to be--nice to know that my memory is still somewhat intact. Long day, we unpack, go out to eat, return, I buy my one-way ticket on-line, Puerto Vallarta to Portland. There, I’ve committed. Besides, it’s shorter to PV than it is to Portland, so my rear end is happy!
Nearly forgot: Marc wasn't happy with today's heat and decides to shave it all off. He only looked at me funny when I asked if he noticed the trash can.
Fortunately, it went down!
Total miles: 404; Yuma to Hermosillo, Mexico