A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: divatmotoros

Day 365: crossing at Mexicali to Calexico

Leaving Mexico and entering the USA

View USA South & Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

We left San Felipe around 9:00 to drive up North to Mexicali, about three hours driving for us. Although it is recommended to arrive early to the border crossing this was our best effort. We arrived around 1pm and there was a long lane of cars waiting patiently for their left turn towards border control.

Earlier on in the city a US plated camper van drove next to us and the driver said he will follow us - as it was his first time crossing there (just like us, by the way). When we queued into the long lane he talked to someone standing next to the road and then told us to follow him, as this lane was for passenger cars only, not RVs. We had to pass the entrance further to East and at the entrance of the commercial trucks he entered the wrong entrance. Semi drivers were honking an waving at us so I did not follow him any further, but turned back. It was a great decision as we had to go back to the same entrance we passed but now we arrived from the other direction and the RV lane was starting there. We skipped a long queue but the RV lane was moving much slower than the passenger cars.

Based on the US Border Control website the wait time was around 90 minutes so we were prepared. Cars moved next to us quite quickly but our lane was much slower. The first check happened after about one hour of slow progression, a kind bearded young officer checked our passports. I asked how often he sees Hungarian passports crossing there by land and he smilingly admitted that not very many did he see so far. He was kind and reminded us to ask for a new permit and stamps from his colleagues later on, to make sure our esta-approved stay is registered in the system.

After another hour we met the next officer, a kind lady who asked the same questions and wanted to know where we were heading. Also asked how we finance our trip and checked the car and the trailer. After she said we can go I asked about the stamps when she said: "Oh, let me ask, you need to go to secondary and get the stamps and permit there."

So we did and listened to the third officer, replying to the same questions and some more about all the prohibited items (which we had none of obviously). She was slvery kind and professional, so we were patiently going through the process. She then pointed us to the building 300 meters back and asked to leave the canper and the car open for another check while we go for the permit and stamps to the building.

We walked there with the dog and inside we were greeted by the same officer who we met at first, entering the whole process almost 3 hours earlier! He was still smiling, another officer entering the building came to pet our dog and we chatted casually about our travel, the dog and the family. To be sure he asked again a few questions about where we lived, where we were headed and so on bit it was still very professional and kind, even if a lenghty process.

So after about 3,5 hours we were admitted to the USA again, with stamps in our passports (valid for a stay pf three months) and the records in the system. We planned a short, one hour drive to our next overnight stop. Even so it was an unusally long day to celebrate our first anniversary being on the road! What a day, what a year!

Posted by divatmotoros 06:14 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

Victor's RV Park in San Felipe

View USA South & Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

We returned to Victor's after our southbound visit a few months ago. We enjoyed the sea and met another cool dog, a dane-ridgeback mix called Dante. The family was leaving the next day so the dogs had to play quickly at their last night which they did!


After some "maintenance" (i.e. hairdressers for Ábel, laundry for the family, and some adjustment of tire pressures and the hitch, which became loose a bit) we were ready to continue. Our next stop was Mexicali - Calexico to cross the border to the USA for a while.

Posted by divatmotoros 05:41 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Restaurant NVA. Chapala

View Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

After the beautiful but quite rustic campsite at San Ignacio we continued towards North and stopped by for the night at the junction of road #5 and #1 near Chapala. There is a nice farm and restaurant a few hundred meters before the junction.
For dinner we had a Mexican plate, some tacos, a fajitas and it was all too delicious to stop. Some leftovers were enough for the breakfast for all of us the next day.


In the evening it was so windy and chilly that we did not believe we are in the same country! We needed long sleeves and an extra layer to stay outside, it was less then 15 degrees and after the 30+ days it felt like winter! The wind was also very strong, killed our water heater all the time and it was hard to hold the door of the trailer when going in or out.


We checked a big semi truck as the driver was opening the hood. He was very friendly and let the kids jump into the driver's seat and check the wheel and instruments.


Posted by divatmotoros 06:40 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Cool Campers #10

We met this Australian-Dutch couple who are originally from the Netherlands. They have
VISITED 138 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD! In the past 18 years they spent 9 months traveling and 3 months at home. What a great schedule! They already covered almost 350.000 kms!
Read about their travels here.

This is their second truck and it has a motorbike onboard, in a large storage area between the driver's cabin and the living part.


Posted by divatmotoros 06:09 Archived in Mexico Tagged coolcampers Comments (0)

San Ignacio

View Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

Another stop which we passed through earlier, going southbound. Now we spent a night here in the Camping y Ecotours Los Petates. The rustic camping is right on the riverbank, and palm trees provide shade (and block starlink too, so I had to climb on the roof and place the unit on the trailer for a bit better connection).


After we stopped and set up the trailer we drove to the square of San Ignacio, with the nice church we saw last time.


We had great icecream at Edson Ice Cream Shop and an iced coffee next door at Mancu Coffee Store.
Next day we managed to have the trailer and car washed and filled the pantry again.


An unexpected family appeared at the campground too!

Posted by divatmotoros 05:09 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Cool Campers #9

Hey, there was a firetruck entering the campsite, originally from Austria, very close to our hometown in Hungary! The truck once was a crew member of a volunteer-based firefighting brigade and their owners converted it themselves. I asked if having the emergency lights and sounds on was an issue at border crossings or not but they said it was no problem at all!


Posted by divatmotoros 04:08 Archived in Mexico Tagged coolcampers Comments (0)

Playa el Coyote - a (not so) hidden paradise

View Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

Coming suothbound we not only missed RV Park Misiones but this gem too. A few months ago we stopped at Mulege in a nice park, but when we left that and continued south our jaws dropped in the morning.

We passed several beautiful bays on the winding road, Playa El Burro, El Coyote, and later on Playa Buenaventura, Playa el Requeson and Playa La Perla.

Then we decided to visit at least one of those on our return trip and we picked Playa el Burro.

When we arrived we tried to park there but the small dirt road leading to the bay was flooded! We turned back, just made it with our long trailer and pulled out to the main road. Next try: Playa el Coyote. Here we had more luck as we had a beautiful spot, right on the beach. Instead of a planned overnight stop we stayed four days, enjoyed the sea and sun.


Posted by divatmotoros 05:04 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Cool Campers #8

We have seen several large offroad trucks like this or this and we liked them a lot. Then we have seen this "half-sized" version, whoch is a great way to fit into smaller places, tighter roads and even small towns of Latin America.


Posted by divatmotoros 03:04 Archived in Mexico Tagged coolcampers Comments (0)

Ciudad Constitución - Misiones RV Park

View Mexico (Baja California) on divatmotoros's travel map.

When we were passing by southbound a few months ago, we wanted to stop here but we were surprised by the small gate. We drove on without hesitation to another RV park, Palapa 206 in the same town, but that was a small parking lot without much facilities.

Now coming northbound we tried again and once we passed the fairly small gate a small wonderland was in front of us. While it might seen better days the pool was still a highlight, with a mini-island with palm trees on it. The campsite was quite dusty (as many other camps on Baja California) but the utilities all worked well.


During our two day stay we went for a quick grocery shopping. We also visited a workshop. One of our storage door kept opening during rougher roads and I figured out that the small latch of the lock is too short. We asked them to enlenghten the latch or manifacture new, longer latches, which they did amd it works well ever since!


Posted by divatmotoros 05:45 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Cool Campers #7

A series of cool camping vehicles we met.

We met a great family with two little kids in their 1992 Toyota Coaster from Japan.
The bus was a right hand drive in great conditions and some cool self-made modifications, like a roof terrace with shades!


Posted by divatmotoros 05:32 Archived in Mexico Tagged coolcampers Comments (0)

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