Last night we stayed in a RV Park about 20 miles to the border. Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Mexico are the towns located on the border. Sonora is the state in which Nogales is located. The elevation here is about 3700 feet.
The RV park was very unique. There was a plaque on the wall that said it was a Greyhound Dog Track started in 1963. There was a huge parking lot in front of the main building and grandstand. They have turned the parking lot into about 80 RV lots. The main building now serves as the office, meeting rooms, kitchen and tables, game room and more. The grandstand was turned into an indoor pool, shuffleboard and other entertainment. Really a neat place for people to stay the winter.
A caravan stayed at the same RV Park we stayed in last night.
A caravan is a group of RVs traveling together with experienced drivers leading and another in the back of the line. They are the same as tour guides so it cost money to join a caravan. We have read tons of books on Mexico, especially what documents you need and where to go to turn in all these documents inside of Mexico. At 6 AM this morning we heard all 11 RVs leaving the park. What time did they have to get up to leave at that hour? We left at 8:30 AM.
We had no problem stopping at the immigration office which was located about 15 miles inside Mexico. There were not a lot of people there when we arrived. Apparently they have large groups of people at one time because there were lots of chairs to sit in while waiting your turn. It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to tend to the paper work.
The majority of the people were norteamericanos (us). The Canadians were flying their little antenna flags on their RVs. Since 9/11 it is a little scary to fly a United States flag outside of the US.
Passing customs with paperwork.
We had read that the toll roads to Hermosillo, where we would spend the first night, were just like in the states. The authors must not have driven in Texas where the roads are smooth. They must have been driving in California or Louisiana where the roads are rough. (Rough roads are not excluded to these two states, they are just the worst.).
A 3-mile row of northbound trucks waiting for an inspection point.
Our stop this evening is at the Sonora RV Park on the north side (Hwy 15, KM 7) of Hermosillo. The park is nearly empty, probably because it is new. We found the park to be extremely clean. Each of the 10 spots has 30 amp connections. We picked one with a 50 amp connection; however, it was only capable of 30 amps.
Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora, is a city of 700,000 people and is located in the desert at 750 feet elevation. It reminds us of El Paso and Tucson with the mountains and cactus everywhere. Tomorrow we drive to San Carlos and Guaymas which are located on the Sea of Cortez. We will stay there for about a week before moving on down the coast.
We definitely are in a different country. There are lots of cars that would not pass an emission inspection. We were driving around Hermosillo and a train was passing by and lo and behold there were people on top of the cars hitching a ride!!!!! We went into Wal Mart and it pretty much looks just like all Wal Marts except everything is written in Spanish. They even had a McDonalds.
Lifes a journey and we are on one!!!