Mexico (Tacos, Tequila, Tijuana)

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Travel Blog | 0 comments

Mexico (Tacos, Tequila, Tijuana)
Being in Northern Guatemala, we headed towards the nearest boarder crossing. We reached the small village and discovered that a river divided Mexico and Guatamala. We confirmed with the local men on the river bank if Mexico was in fact on the otherside of the river. They explained it would cost $20 each. We had little bargaining power but negotiated down to $15 each. The fact that the men aggreed straight away made me realise that we were getting ripped off. But we had little options. The ride took 20 seconds to cross the 75 metre passage of water. Once we reached Mexico we walked up to a building that looked more like a shelter then a customs building and had our passport stamped. We explained that we were travelling on motorcycles and asked if we require any import papers. The officer had not seen vehicles pass through this boarder and he did not have the correct paperwork to issue both Dale and I. He explained that we need to travel to another boarder crossing, over 200kms in the opposite direction. Being late we stayed in the boarder town and decided to sort out the paperwork the next day. We enjoyed a meal of tacos and quadsadillas and had a few beers to celebrate our arrival into mexico. 

 The next morning I pulled over and asked a police officer if we can get the temporary import document in the capital city. He explained that our ownership papers were enough and that we would have no problems riding through Mexico. This was a relief at the time but would later turn out to be a head ache. We rode 1000kms following the Gulf of Mexico until we reached the Capital city. There were little tolls in South and Central America and the most we ever paid was $2. So when when we had the choice, we took the more direct route and thought the tolls would be cheap. It felt like every 20kms we stopped to pay a toll. We spent over $80 each to reach Mexico City. We spent more money on tolls then we did on petrol.  Mexico city was hectic. The footpaths was full of people. It was a public holiday and many of the streets were blocked off. Luckily the hostel we stayed at allowed us to store our motorcycles in the lobby.  Once in Mexico city decided that I would check with a local police officer that our ownership papers is all we require to travel North and cross into America through the notorious boarder town of Tijuana. However he explained that we require a temporary import documentation to cross into USA. I visited the customs office in Mexico city and explained my situation. He was not only surprised that the police in the South had explained to me that ownership papers were enough but I had not been pulled over at the check points. He explained that I need to get a temporary import documentation from one of the boarder crossings. I asked if I could complete the paperwork here in the capital city and to my amazement he explained that it could not be processed in his office. I had already travelled half way across Mexico and I was equal distance from USA and Guatamala. When I explained that I had travelled this far and not been asked to show the document, I think it’s best to run the risk and travel north to USA. The officer said he would not reccomend doing that because the military and police in Northern Mexico take a hard stance on importing vehciles. If we were pulled over without the correct paperwork the motorbikes would be confiscated for “Illegal importation with the intent to sell”. He explained that I was luckily to have not been caught travelling to Mexico City. So here we were in the middle of Mexico with bikes that could not be legally ridden in the country. The officer said that we do not need to present the motorcycles when importating the bikes into Mexico only when exporting. With the problems and lack of direction we had in the south of Mexico he suggested we travel on an overnight bus north to the border with Texas, collect the correct paperwork and travel back to Mexico city. We would then be legally able to travel north again. It was alot of back tracking and a waste of 2 days but it was a better outcome then running the risk and having the bikes possibly confiscated. So 2 days later, 2 overnight buses and $200 down the drain we were back in Mexico City with our correct temporary import documentation. We spent another night in Mexico City and visited a mexican wrestling match called Lucha libre. I found it entertaining for the first 30 mins but became bored with their child like attics. 

So after a few delays, we left Mexico city and headed West towards Puerto Vallarta. It’s a popular spot amoung travellers with plenty of things to do. When you are not on the beach one can go deep sea fishing, jet skiing, scuba diving etc. We were about 20 kms from town when we were forced to drive through a flash flood. Within 10 seconds we were completely wet.  The drains could not cope with the volume of water dropping from the sky. We pulled over and took cover under a shopping centres awning. For the next 30 mins we watched cars attempt to drive down the flooded street. I don’t know the importance of where they needed to be but it surely wasn’t worth damaging their vehciles. When the rain stopped we drove through the water that was as high as our knees. We found our hostel and had a warm shower and went out for dinner. Being sunny the next day we headed to the beach and wondered around the cobbled streets. The night life was great in Puerto Vallarta. There were plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. We befriended some other travelers and hoped to catch up with them in the future. We hunged the coast line as we travelled further North. We caught a ferry from the mainland Mexico to the Baja California peninsula. We had meet other travellers who explained that riding along the peninsula is amazing. To be honest I had not heard of this before but followed their recommendations. The overnight Ferry was interesting. The trip cost $130. Once we secured our bikes on the loading deck we found a carpeted area in what could only be described as the dining room. With hoped into our sleeping bags and tried to get comfortable. 5 mins later we were woken by karaoke. The singing was far from entertaining yet the locals didnt seem to mind. I eventually fell asleep to the sound of ‘We will rock you’ sung in a spanish accent. We rode off the ferry and down to the most southern tip of the penninsula called Cabo San Lucas. Large resorts dot the white sand beaches. It’s a party town and many celebrities from the United States holiday here. Deep sea fishing is meant to be amazing and the water is warm. I could have easily spent a week or two in Carbo. There is only one main road along the 1600km peninsula. It twists and turns through cactus covered deserts that meet clear blue water. I could understand why motorcycists travel down from California. It has become one of my favouirte rides of this trip. It was also the hottest weather of the trip so far. The temperature rose to over 45 degrees. We stopped off at little coastal towns along the way to the US/Mexico boarder. Tijuana was somewhere I wanted to visit. It’s well known for being the birthplace and base of the Tijuana Cartel. It’s the busiest border crossing in the world and receives alot of headlines for drug related murders and human trafficking. It was interesting to spend a night there. We went out to a few bars and never felt in any danger. The boarder crossing was intense. There was atleast 15 rows of cars entering USA. They held out a card that was scanned and they continued through. Only a few cars where selected at random to be searched. We parked our bikes and walked to the immigration office and had our passport stamped. The boarder officials explained that we do not require important documentation if we are travelling in the US for less then 90 days. I was amazed as this was the first country we could legally travel through without the import documentation.  We had them print this regulation so we had a copy to show local police officers incase they questioned this rule.

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