Spent the morning making the last bit of ground to the border. Visited the post office to send all my heated gear over to Arizona for my return trip in March to make some room in the panniers, and stopped in at Sanburn’s to get Mexican insurance for the bike.
Then, I took a big breath and headed for the border. I arrived at around 1pm, and was worried that if it took a long time I wouldn’t have much daylight left to get away from the border town. EVERYONE seems to say get the hell south a few hours, don’t stop for anything, not even gas, and DO NOT drive at night. Now I’m worried I might be setting myself up for all of the above.
At the border I’m the only person needing paperwork. I can certainly see how, with line ups, this would be a frustratingly long process.
1. Present your Passport. Fill out a Tourist Card. Get it and passport stamped
2. Next window, pay for Tourist Card
3. Return to original window with receipt.
4. Get photocopies of vehicle ownership, driver’s license, and tourist card
5. Pay for this at pay window from before.
6. Present receipt for copies
7. Take copies to customs window
8. Pay for Temporary Vehicle Import Document and Pay a Vehicle Deposit (which is refunded when the vehicle exits the country)
9. Put everything in a safe place and head back out to vehicle for inspection.
The only issue I had was that I planned to get the maximum 6 month Tourist Card, but they would only issue a 30 day as I’m not returning via the same border. 30 days is just enough, but I had to work it out to make sure Rebecca and I will be in Belize before my card expires.
Then, it’s down the highway I go… and go is the key. I still don’t understand the posted speed limits. The open highway is 100kmp, but there are sections that suddenly drop to 60. Nobody seems to care about these lower speed areas, and, in fact, 130-140 seems to be the norm. So, my 3 hour run to Ciudad Victoria only took 2 hours, and I arrived just as the sun was setting.
Checked myself into the Ramada, with a pool, nice rooms, and underground parking for the bike. I’ll splurge tonight as I’m hoping to camp tomorrow night somewhere near the Cave of the Swallows in Xilitla.