Thursday, January 11, 2007

Home at last - in Kino Bay RV Park.

We left Ajo, AZ at 9 o'clock this morning, and we didn't stop for anything except business at the border and more business at the real border 26 kms farther down the road. When we crossed the official border, the guard asked us where we were going and we told him we were going basically everywhere in Mexico, so he told us to get our vehicle permit and visas at the check point 26 kms down the highway, and he waved us on our way.

When we got to the place the guard had described, another guard pulled us aside and told us to go to the immigration office. There, a very nice officer took one look at me and asked whether I spoke a little Spanish. Well, sort of. Good, then I might be able to help him. My job was to help him explain to a couple of Canadians why their cell phone wasn't working. They were trying to sort out a document problem, and their cell phone was like the one I used to have. Once across the Mexican border, it went into limbo and refused to come out. Eventually these folks, who were from Red Deer, Alberta, managed to set in motion the business of having their documents faxed down from Canada. It was a team effort.

Once that was taken care of, the same man took our information, gave us our visas, and sent us next door to get the vehicle permit. That involved waiting in line, being told by another man that we needed photocopies of the vehicle registration plus R's driving licence and passport - which we could obtain at the restaurant on the other side of the highway. We walked over there and waited while the lady behind the counter finished cooking and serving someone's lunch. Then she made the requisite copies and we walked back across the road, where a young lady sat down at her computer and entered all the information we gave her, took our $49.50 U.S., and gave us our Mexican vehicle registration. That didn't take care of the $22 each for our 6-month visas, so I asked her to take that money too, lest we forget. She did that, and she duly stamped our visas to prove we had paid for them. All this took over an hour - but the vehicle registration is good for 10 years.

The rest of the trip was unremarkable, if long. We quickly reacquainted ourselves with the Mexican road signs (Slow down – fasten your seat belt – don’t drive when you’re tired - don’t throw garbage - don’t molest the signs – picky, picky, picky!) The Sonoran Desert is as stunning as always, Hermosillo is no fun at all to drive through, and because of the delay at the immigration office, we drove straight into the setting sun again when we turned right at Hermosillo and headed for Bahia Kino. What was wonderful was that we actually knew where we were going, so that when the sun finally set, driving down the Kino road in the dark wasn’t a problem. Actually, it was a dream. The last time we were here, that road was under construction and it was a nightmarish trip. This time, we had a brand-new road with reflectors to guide us. Piece of cake. The office was closed when we got here, so we have pulled into any old spot for the night. In the morning we will go register and tell them where we really want to park. Already, one of the neighbours has come over to say he remembers us and to pass on some of the park gossip.

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