Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baja 3 - No Mas Tacos

Our Mexico trip is headed home.  It's been a great "viaje" (voyage/trip).  Once again we have met fantastic people, have seen truly awesome sights and have had many memorial experiences.  

Great food too. The asada in tacos or whatever, is fantastic.  They take a simple, fairly tough piece of meat and that's it on a grill.  They work magic with it.  The seasoning goes in the taco shell; salsa, lime, onions and maybe some cilantro.  Can't beat it!  We'll, except for the seafood.  Mexican seafood cocktails use fresh lime and a type of clamato along with cilantro and onions.  The seafood is whatever came right off of the fishing boat;  octopus, squid, fish, clams, oysters. It's all there.  Another cocktail we tried is called "Aguachile".  Similar to the regular but slightly more spicy with a teriyaki or Worcestershire undertone.  Of course you can have just camarones or almost any other seafood alone in a cocktail.  Fish tacos; of course too!  Darned good eats!  (I'm making myself hungry.)

A little under 350 miles today and we rolled back into Lake Havasu City.  This time, however, we got smart and found a motel close close to a few bars.  No riding!

Interesting trip up.  We first head to Sonoita, which is the closest border from where we were.  

Going into Mexico, we bought Temporary Import Permits which are about $30.00 plus a deposit of about $400.00 to guarantee we will bring the vehicles back out.  In order to get a refund for our deposit, we had to visit the same brand of bank where we made the deposit.  Amazingly, that town didn't have a  Banjercito branch.  We learned that the closest town where we could get our deposit refunded was in San Luis Rio Colorado, some 125 miles west-northwest.  Off we go!

We travel along Mexican Highway 2 and it instantly becomes a learning experience.  This is a 2 lane road and one of the first we have ridden in Mexico with shoulders.  Being a cost sensitive people, they are not ones to waist paved surfaces.  

The yellow dividing line suddenly becomes the passing lane and the fog line is the driving lane.  Everyone is straddling the fog line  and you can pass virtually anywhere.  The only trouble is, so can the oncoming lane(s).  That explains why so many Yonke dealers exist (auto wrecking yards). 

We survive that part of the trip and arrive at San Luis Rio Colorado.  

Truth be told, at one point I didn't think Peter would survive!  Just past the last checkpoint that we had to stop at, we notice a Federal Policia car going the other direction.  They turn around in quick order, flip on the lights and pull him over.  I pull over a little ahead just in case I have to make a fast get-away. 

I'm kind of trying to mind my own business (ostrich thing) when I hear Peter call: "Hey, Ken!".  I turn around to see, not a gun pointed toward his head, but them taking pictures with Peter's arm around the officer.  What the hell?  Okay, so I head back and now I'm in the picture too.  The officers take out their own camera and take pictures for themselves.

About all that we can figure is that Peter looks enough like a Mexican that they thought he probably stole a gringo's bike.  As soon as they found out he is American/Canadian, it was all fun and games.  

In town, naturally, we have no idea where we're going.  We happen to need gas by now too so we pull into a Pemex (the federal gasolina station).  We be a lucky bunch at times!   

There is a Policia car fueling up so we ask him where it is we need to go.  He explains in full speed spanish, where things need to happen.  Perhaps it was the blank look on our faces that gave it away, but a service station attendant steps in with good deciphering capabilities and explains the officer wants us to follow him and he'll show us where we need to go.  Told you they were great people…

We did exactly as we were told. We parked along the street and walked around the building he was pointing to, to find a branch of the Banjercito we were looking for. 

Proudly, we walk in, documents in hand.  Finally, our turn, we proceed to the window and explain that we want our deposit back.  "No problemo", the teller exclaims.  Are we parked in the Banjercito parking lot?  Ah…no.  We're parked right next to the building!   That's against the rules, we learn.  We need to move our. vehicles to the Banjercito parking lot (some two blocks further away) so they can come out and take a pictures of our bikes to prove they are still in Mexico, but they take our word that we will then promptly take them back to the US.  (Humm, I just spotted a loophole in their system!)

A nice lady translates the instructions from the teller, of where this essential parking lot is, into an understandable form so off we confidently go.  

Good instructions. We find the lot, no problemo and head back to the bank.  After another wait in line, we have all we need to complete our request.  

The very teller that we talked to, and the only person at the window, shuts down his station, grabs a digital camera and an wireless receipt printer and off we head, those 2 blocks to the proper parking lot.   He verifies that the VIN numbers do agree with those recorded on the permits and takes pictures to verify that he has done his job.  

A receipt is printed wirelessly for my bike but they are unable to read the transponder chip on Peter's permit so back to the branch office we head. 

Another teller had occupied another window so at least the throngs of other people waiting could have their issues dealt with. 

The last receipt is finally issued so we're good to go.  Bikes can bypass the cars waiting in line, according to the rules we have been told, so it's not a long time until we are back in the states. 

Other than one immigration stop on the US, an uneventful, although warm trip. 

Butts a little sore from the miles, we find a beer, a room, a beer with dinner and very soon, bed. 

Until tomorrow…

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