What a blur…. these past few days have been. We left Laredo, Texas, on November 25th, not knowing what to expect with the rumors of violence and hostility.
November 25th, started off as a day of excitement and anxiousness and ended in exhaustion and embarrassment. The progression of our day went as such… Matehuala, our destination of choice, was roughly 350 miles from Laredo, Texas. To reach our destination before dark we opted to get up at 5am and be hit the border crossing at 7am. Unfortunately, we needed to buy Mexican vehicle insurance (a racket at $130/month or $135/6 months, each) and I had spent half the night up looking for our misplaced computer cord. Seth found it in the morning with the hotel receptionist and by the time it was purchased, and everything was packed up, it was 9 am. We took off from the hotel, heading south on I-35 for three miles. The Rio Grande draws the line between Mexico and the United States, with checkpoints on each side. Leaving America was quick and painless, no waiting lines and a $3.50 charge was all that was required. Additionally, the opposing checkpoint was even better as we experienced the same, except without any sort of charge. And Voila’ we were in Mexico. Immediately, it was visible we had entered a different world. Surrounded by half-finished concrete structures, bright colors, the aroma of carne asada cooking. Our senses were on fire with the contrast in life separated by some water no wider than a half mile. We knew we needed to get vehicle permits to drive further into Mexico, and had received some directions from the janitorial engineer at the Fairfield Inn. Following those directions with some left-hand turns, quickly, we found a line of cars that that appeared to be heading underneath the bridge we had just crossed. It took a while, but eventually we grew closer and saw a sign that seemed to confirm our coarse, oh how we were mistaken.
It was only a matter of minutes, we realized this was not the right line. We could see the curvature of the road and it lead back onto the bridge and to the United States!!! Although we were buried in thirty minutes of follow the leader, we started making moves to correct our mistake. And then BAMMM! The Mexican motorcycle gods decided to punish us for our mistake. Suddenly Seth’s bike opened the flood gates and fuel stated spewing everywhere. Quickly we shut off the fuel petcocks and temporary saved ourselves the embracement of leaking all over the extremely crowed immigration lines to the US. Our minds blurred with the insanity of the situation, dumbfounded abroad, and we had to make some split-second decisions. Do we turn around and try to figure out by unloading all our gear on the side of the border crossing? or do we tuck our tails and push the bike back to the safety of our homeland? Opting for the second we humbly made our way back. For 1.5 hours, Seth stood, pushing his bike in line with all of Mexico watching, whistling, honking and eventually crossed back into Laredo. Demoralized and embarrassed of our performance we found restaurant to cool down in and took the edge off with a couple beers. Later, at the hotel, we regrouped, and I found a hole in the fuel line that had been burnt through because a lack of airflow, the result of sitting still in line. Learning from our mistake tomorrow would prove to be a much better day.
All the good photos from our breakdown are stored on the go-pro which is currently having corruption issues and we are trying to fix.
Blog post to follow tomorrow the 29th, but running out of time today as we would like to check out Real De Catorce.
Today is #givingtuesday. A great day to contribute to WRF's cause and make a difference in the lives of others