South of the border

10/22/16

Laredo, TX to Nuevo Laredo, NL Mexico

9.6 miles ridden.

My anxiety kicked into high gear last night as I started to think about crossing the boarder.  It meant that I slept terribly and woke up a bit behind the power curve.

I started out with four packets of oatmeal and a cup of tea from the continental breakfast.
Knowing I was leaving the country finally I went ahead and purchased my travel insurance and called Bank of America to put the travel advisory on my card.  It took me almost an hour, three phone trees, and three people to sort out mistakes on the system that was threatening to strand me without a card for several days. It finally got worked out but delayed me so much I had to ask for late checkout.

As I went to leave a guy from Romania was there and wanted to talk to me about the bike, my trip, and Mexico.  He was a really nice guy and wanted to help as much as he could. Was really cool to start to get that traveler's vibe. He had been drinking already though so I had to ride away up the street to program Google Maps or he would have talked to me all day.

I went to get my errands done and started out by going to the UPS store to try and ship off some extra t-shirts, Cat's Mota tank top, and the rest of the extreme seal tape and to try and get copies of my documents.  UPS wanted more than 40 dollars to ship it so I held off.  I did get copies of my paperwork but couldn't find the copies of my title I had made.

I ended up running to a USPS outlet in a small shop that primarily spoke Spanish.  I was able to get the box shipped off and also made my first currency exchange off $100 US into $1790 pesos.

I rode into town to try and find some fuel, Mexican motorcycle insurance, and a way to get a copy of my title.

A gas stop netted me a terrible lunch at the attached Burger King while I worked on the phone to get my surrogate sister, Michelle, to run over to the house and grab the title for me.

After a few attempts we were able to work out how to get a scanned copy sent to my e-mail.  While I waited I went up the road to purchase my Mexican insurance.

A stop by Office Max netted me several high quality color copies to keep me covered for at least the next couple border crossings.

It was getting into early evening, I’m told the worst time to cross the border, but I knew I needed to keep moving forward.  I opted to cross anyway and find a hotel on the Nuevo Laredo side of the bridge.

Taking bridge one, I rode over the Rio Grande and into Mexico.

Bridge One spanning the Rio Grand just over my left shoulder
Unlike the US Canada border, I knew I had to do paperwork and import on myself and the motorcycle into the country. I began riding in the direction I thought was correct and found that there was no real indication of what I needed to do or where I needed to go. It was very quickly that I realized I had gone too far and turned around.

Only a little bit of charades with a member of the Mexican military got me into the right parking lot where I parked next to a '79 KZ650B3. The rider came out and we chatted a bit as I got my paperwork in order and he prepared and repacked his bike.

We chatted a bit and based on my bike and gear he assumed I was a seasoned traveler.  I told him otherwise and got the info as to how to get me and the bike into the country confirmed.  He said it didn't take him long at all and was pretty simple.

I went in and made my first stop at immigration.  It turns out I was supposed to have turned in one of my forms when I left Mexico with Andrew and Corina in San Diego.  The border official was not pleased with me but still allowed me into the country.  A few more quick stops and some flexing of the credit card for import taxes got me through and legal to ride in Mexico.

I shot some video in the parking lot and then used my phone to book a cheap hotel for the night. My newly mounted GPS directed me to the address, but took me to the wrong place. I was glad to still have US cell service so that Google Maps could direct me to the hotel safely.

I got checked in to the City Express and was amazed at the place.  It might have been a cheap hotel by cost but certainly not by accommodations.  It was a nice place with small but clean rooms, friendly staff, and secure parking.

Dinner was going to the taco shop across the street from the hotel and I got to play with my mediocre Spanish to order a few tacos and a coke.  


I used the rest of the evening time to get more internet work done and organize files again so that my devices would be clean moving forward into Mexico.  With plans made and a chat with Cat I went ahead and called it a night for my first sleep in Mexico.

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