Respite’s End

Even though I’ve put in a lot of hours over the last three days, it has felt a bit like a vacation, what with a nice hotel room and eating most of my meals out. Back to the real world very soon, I’m afraid. *tongue firmly in cheek*

I was surprisingly tired today, considering how great I felt yesterday. At least, I’ve managed to get up without my alarm every day! It was another good breakfast, enchilada casserole with refried beans. I love Mexican ‘breakfast food’! 😀

After work, I went to the Pizza Hut next door for linner. They didn’t have the special we can get in Canada, a personal pan pizza with two toppings and a side salad, so I got the medium pizza, figuring that the leftovers would freeze overnight and could be munched on during my drive tomorrow. I’ve never spent that much at a Pizza Hut in my life, though, $20 with the tip! But, then again, I’ve never had leftovers. I was pleased to realise at the end of my meal that I knew how to say, “I’d like a takeaway box, please” in Spanish. Really, what a difference from last year!

I came back to my room to drop off the leftovers, then set off to find Finitos, a frozen treat place that I suspected sold nieve de garrafa, the frozen treat I loved so much in Maz last winter. I found them and asked in Spanish if I could try the prune flavour (another thing I couldn’t have done last fall!) before buying a medium sized cup of it for $2. I’m sure they would have mixed flavours, but when a gal’s got a craving, you don’t dilute its satisfaction! 🙂 The treat wasn’t nearly as good as what I get in Maz, but it definitely hit the spot. I liked that there were a few whole prunes in it and that I could suck the fruit off the pits. Yum!

I had a walk while eating my Finitos. This part of Nogales feels so much like Mexico and I got a reminder to watch where I step because the sidewalks are so uneven!

When I came in, I did some Google research to find a TelCel store tomorrow before San Carlos. Looks like the one in Hermosillo right on MX-15 and after the BMW dealership is my best bet in terms of not having to make a detour and actually finding the darn thing.

I spent some time on the TelCel site to see if anything has changed since last year and it seems like it’s all the same. I did fine with this part of my Mexican adventure last year and the only thing that’s improved this year is that I have more verb tenses and will be able to assure them that I did this last year and their SIM card will work on my phone. Oh, and I know to send a text message to activate my data service! One thing I will have to remember to do is ask if they can give me a Mazatlán number since I got a lot of complaints about my long distance phone number last year!

I’d be lying if I said I was completely calm about the border crossing tomorrow, but there is nothing like the pit of snakes I had in my stomach last year! It’s more of a ‘this is so thrilling!’ kind of feeling. I’m looking forward to being at my home on Isla and settling into my Mexican life, but I think that I will enjoy the drive down a lot more this year instead of treating it like a grueling marathon.

Twelve hours till I plan to be up, thirteen till the absolute latest I plan to be pulling out of a gas station, and, oh, twenty-one or so at the absolute most before I should be rolling into San Carlos!

14 thoughts on “Respite’s End

  1. How exciting! You’re almost about to cross the border. And yes, it is a nerve wracking experience. When I first crossed the border last year in my truck, the US Border patrol held me and my friend, Tino, up for about an hour while they went through every last thing in the truck. Who knew it’d be so difficult to leave by home country? I’ve left the USA by airplane many a time and never had the slightest hassle. But by car? Whoa!!!! (I wrote about it on my blog if you’re curious, but I don’t recommend reading it until after you’re in Mexico.)

    But on the Mexican side? I had nary a problem, and the folks were *very* friendly to boot. I was also nervous about driving through the northern border zone too, but I had zero problems.

    Anyway, buen suerte! I’m eager to read of your continuing adventures.

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are highly envious of your current adventure.

    PS. Do you know this blog? Paul and Nancy are a retired pair of Gringos from near Seattle who now live in Old Town Mazatlán. Nice people. Maybe you should look them up.

  2. Yours is not the first horror story about a US border crossing to leave. That’s what’s making me the most nervous! There was no US patrol last year, but I don’t know about this year.

    But going through every last thing in my truck? Been there. Last year, I had to empty my entire truck coming home from MX, although they didn’t go through everything, and I had to do the same thing in Canada, where they did go through absolutely everything. Americans tend to trust me. Canadians are certain I’m a criminal. 🙁 So anyway, I packed really differently this year to make it easier to empty the truck out and search it.

    I do know about Paul and Nancy, but I have not met them.

    • I have been hassled by Canadian immigration upon landing in Toronto. Some years back I went up to some friends’ wedding. For some reason, immigration sent me to a room where I had to do a second interview. They asked me why I was in Canada, and I said I was there for the wedding. Then they had the temerity to ask why I hadn’t brought a gift! I told them I thought my flying in and attending should be sufficient. They harrumphed and let me go. But it wasn’t very nice, and I’m still a bit mystified as to why they bothered grilling me twice.

      The Brits aren’t too friendly either. But my MO is to smile a lot and just answer everything as plainly as I can. And the Mexicans are very nice; I’ve never had a moment’s worth of hassle on the Mexican side, and I’ve been through the drill literally hundreds of times.

      I’m sure you’ll be fine.



      • I have come to believe that Canadian customs doesn’t think there is any reasonable reason why a person would want to travel and that all travelers are suspicious. They are convinced that I am a drug mule and they are just waiting for me to slip up.

        My welcome to Scotland nearly 20 years ago wasn’t that friendly, not that I think about it!

        I am not even remotely worried about getting into Mexico tomorrow and I actually plan to do it in Spanish.

  3. *I have a feeling* You will have no problem leaving the US / entering Mexico. Remember to top off the fuel tank and I hope you remembered to clean the sticky residue where you took last year’s TIP tag off. If you didn’t, soak a small rag in gasoline when you fill up and scrub it off. Safe travels, stay hydrated and remember to eat.

    • Croft, I’m really not nervous about it. Yes, I am planning to fill up with fuel and, yes, I cleaned the TIP residue off the windscreen. I am freezing water overnight so I’ll have plenty to drink, but I can’t promise I’ll eat. It’ll depend on the weather. I don’t have AC, so my truck gets to be like a furnace, which kills my appetite. But I will leave on a full stomach! 😀

  4. I recently spent quite a bit of time in Canada, having crossed the border from the U.S. in my truck. I was certain – as it was packed to the gills – that I would encounter considerable delay at customs by both sides coming and going. Nada. I pulled up, a man came to the window and asked why I was entering Canada and all the usual questions, and told me to have a good stay and off I went. It didn’t take five minutes going into Canada or coming back into the U.S.. The only time I spent anytime at all going through – and then it was perhaps 20 minutes – was two days after 9/11.

    So I’m not sure what trips their curiosity?

    • Dean, for me, I’m sure it all stems back to my 2011 border crossings. The one into the US has made all future crossings easy and the one back into Canada have made them difficult.

      Going into the US, I spent a lot of time talking with a customs supervisor who made tons of notes in my file and gave me great tips for future crossings:

      Coming back into Canada, I was interrogated for over an hour about my suspicious classic drug runner behaviour:

      Since then, I get across the US border without any issues, just the odd bit of poking through my truck, even if I get an official who isn’t pleasant. And since then, the usual Canadian crossing is to be interrogated about my suspicious behaviour, be told that my answers make no sense, and have my truck completely searched…

  5. I know you will be just fine. Haven’t had anyone official on the US side for several years now and when there were they just waved you through.

    Good luck with Telcel.

  6. I’m wishing you safe travels and smooth sailing as you finish your trip to Maz. It sounds as if the Canadian Border people think no one would want to come to Canada. 🙂 JK There is nothing better than Mexican food for breakfast. But prune? Ummm. ….idk

    • Thanks, Donna! I think it’s more that the Canadian border people don’t get why anyone would want to travel! As for prunes, YUM. I’m a big fan of them, especially stewed!

  7. How wonderful to have that extra knowledge and confidence this year. Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly.

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