Monday (Lunes) 13th September, 2010
Day 549

Pharr, Texas
Pharr, Texas
Miles: 54,243
N 26.18993°
W 98.11913°

This morning we broke one of our long standing driving rules for Latin America - don't drive at night. We were up and on the road, in the rain and dark, at 5:15 am in the hope of making the border that day and to get through Tampico before the days traffic got into full swing. Our timing was good, as we crossed the impressive bridge on the southern edge of Tampico as the sky was just beginning to lighten.

Navigating through Tampico proved easier than we expected thanks to our Garmin. We got hit by the local cops for $50 for not stopping at a YELLOW LIGHT. Thats only the third bribe we had paid to police on the entire trip. Once out of Tampico the road improved, the traffic became unexpectedly light and we made good progress arriving at the border town of Reynosa about 2:30. Late morning we passed a lonely unkept monument, marking the crossing of the Tropic of Cancer. This dirty yellow ball was sitting in a patch of long grass beside the road.

Reynosa proved to be bit of a test for us. We followed the signs and GPS to the border crossing expecting any minute to come upon a Mexican customs and immigration station where we would do the necessary exit processing. But before we knew it we had paid a toll and were crossing the bridge into the US having missed the Mexican processing some how. At the US side we waited for 20 minutes as a line of vehicles inched up to the border post. Entry was simple, no search but a customs official stood at the door of the RV while Nina handed him various food items from the refrigerator that were not allowed across the border. Then we returned to Mexico to get the necessary exit processing performed - we did not want any problems next time we go to Mexico.

This effort proved a bit of a waste of time. We got our passports stamped but when it came to the vehicle the officials just told us - no problems, your entry permit is good for 10 years. I had expected that they would record somewhere that the vehicle had left their country.

Once into Texas we did some shopping and started looking for an RV park. To our surprise, that proved a bit challenging. Oh there are hundreds of them around but they are really trailer parks for semi-permanent residents. All the parks that we tried were either closed until the snow birds arrived from the north or were not accessible (a closed gate that required a security code we did not have). So we took a hotel.


Quintla Inn