Thursday, March 29, 2012


I crossed the border at Piedras Negras this morning and made only one mistake.  I entered at Puerto I and migracion is at Puerto II.  About 7 blocks away, if you know where it is.  I asked locals "Donde esta Puerto dos?" and would try to follow their directions until I asked again.  I got a little bit closer each time and finally I saw the building.  I went in and was instructed to sit until the immigration official came out.  WOW!  I wish our immigration officials looked like this one!  Sorry, Tine!  She did all the paperwork for me and sent me on my way to the Banjercito 54 KM away.  The Banjercito is where you import your motorcycle and give them a $300 deposit promising not to sell the motorcycle in Mexico thereby getting around the import tax.  You can think of it like a visa for the motorcycle.  I was afraid I could not find the Banjercito, but you can't miss it!  You are not going anywhere until you clear the Banjercito!  Again the official was a beautiful young lady and she processed my motorcycle for the TVIP politely and professionally. I think our officials could use a lesson from them.  Here is my prize symbolizing that all the entry requirements are completed.

I stopped at a Pemex to buy some tacos and tried to pay with some 10 peso bills that were given to me by a friend that was in Mexico about 20 years ago.  It turns out that the bills are no longer valid.  The manager of the Pemex began apologizing and I could not figure out why.  The it occurred to me that he thought I had received the bills from a Mexican who was trying to pass them to me as change.  I told him this was not the case, that a friend had given them to me.  A collector of old bills overheard our conversation and bought the bills from me at face value!

I was planning on staying at Monclava but I forgot that Mexico does not do the whole daylight savings time thing and I had another hour to go.  So I rode to Saltillo.  The ride on 57 is fairly boring and this was really the only scenery on that stretch of road.

My Spanish class has paid off already.  I went out to eat this evening and locked my key in my room.  I was able to explain this to the receptionist, in Spanish, and get my room opened.

I don't know how far I will get tomorrow, but stay posted.

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