Over the Border into Mexico

After all the stories we heard about Mexican Borders, we had anticipated some waiting and negotiations at the border. Instead of the busy Tijuana crossing , we  took the small crossing at Tecate , a little inland from San Diego and through the mountains.

When we suddenly arrived at the Border , the Customs officer waved us to stop . He looked into the back of the camper and told us to pass , didn’t want to see our prepared passports and papers .  Suddenly we are in Tecate , a buzzing town and no available parking spaces.  And we had a list of items left to accomplish to be legal in Mexico.

So we left our truck in a residential neighborhood  and walked back into   the border offices . We seemed to be the only tourists crossing , no lines and the  customs officer ready to instruct us how to fill out the forms for the Tourist visa .  I didn’t understand why he kept  showing me his Honey and Taco sauce from under his desk and emphasizing the quality . He leaned forward and indicated he would sell it to us for 2 $  each , but pssst … quiet please his supervisor can’t know. All i could express was a nervous laugh (not so sure if the purchase was a required bribe to get the visa )  , but luckily the papers had been ready to send us to the Bancejero around the corner to  make payments.

When we came back to him for the final stamps and immigration papers ,the supervising ladies where standing close enough that he did not mention the Honey and hot sauce any longer and stamped our visa and passports with a 180 day permit . Then we had to get the vehicle import permit and pay a deposit , to assure we are not trying to sell  our vehicle in Mexico. That time , i even got presented with a evaluation form for the customs officer who helped me with the transactions … that is definitely progress  .

From Tecate the Highway #3 leads through the wine country and Guadeloupe valley towards Ensenada . There are some fancy wineries now , and we stopped for a tasting.  While impressed by the quality of the wine and the Napa type prices, we only bought one bottle .

As we arrived at a campground south of Ensenada, the ground keeper was delighted to finnaly have a first guest for the day. We enjoyed a long walk at the beach and planned our destinations  for the next few days  down the Baja peninsula.

4 thoughts on “Over the Border into Mexico”

  1. We know you will enjoy this wonderful place and its people. Penny and I have had many memorable times there.

    However, just a brief word of caution. Be very careful when leaving the camper for an extended period of time. Vehicle break-ins are not uncommon, especially in remote areas.

    Two of the towns that we really enjoyed were Loretto and Mulege, with its beautiful mission in the palms. Happy Trails, we look forward to your next report.

  2. You got through the RED TAPE! In Spanish??? Well done.
    Are they working on “the Wall” in Tecate?
    We used to surf, north of Ensenada, never been south of there.
    Looks like a beautiful beach. In contrast, we got an inch of rain last night!
    Safe travels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *