Monday, August 9, 2010

Gotta keep on moving

Moving forward after our final day in paradise, we settled into our car routine with expectations that the days would be long and boring. We were right. With time running short we had given up on the idea of spending a few days in the Copper Canyon, especially considering our research revealed that dogs weren't welcome on the trains. With the music on our iPod feeling very tired by this point in the trip, we resorted to the last 3 podcasts of This American Life we had left. Our travel companion did a lot of sleeping - luckily she was pretty tuckered out from all the swimming - and didn't even try to make her way into the front seat more than twice.

Late that night, we pulled into this sad hotel and trailer park in Guaymas with not another camper in site.

Day #2 on the road looked a lot like day #1, but with more cacti.

There was at least a bit of excitement when we got pulled over somewhere outside of Hermosillo, for apparently traveling at a maximum velocity. The cop couldn't tell us what velocity that was but he went ahead and took Ben's license, wrote up a ticket and then talked smack at us for about 5 minutes. We knew all he wanted was a bribe and we'd be on our way, but instead of acting like we were in a hurry we called his bluff and agreed to go down to the station with him and pay the fine in person. Quite obviously his ticket wasn't going to fly at headquarters, so he let us off with a warning and I got a stern talking to about keeping my mouth shut (apparently he didn't like that a female questioned his authority) - puro Machismo.

Around 3pm we arrived near the Nogales border crossing where we turned over our car permit and then continued on toward the border.

All of our paperwork was in order.

Bye bye Mexican driving permit.

By this point someone had perked up in the backseat.

20 kilometers or so later, we found ourselves at the end of the road.
The only thing left to do was wait.

While we waited we watched a bunch of guys work on the construction of the famous wall. Interestingly enough they were both American & Mexican.

We made it, safe and sound.

Upon making past the first checkpoint, we were then directed into another line where Dewey was of course searched. I was disappointed to see multiple signs forbidding cameras. Didn't they know this is monumental for us? Border agents are not friendly, even to fellow US citizens. Strangely none of them would even look us in the eye. After checking various boxes of camping supplies, they made us surrender our dog food - something about Mad Cow Disease and it not being made in the USA. (We use Canadian food). The agent did allow me to take a days supply, but little do they know Mia doesn't eat 4 and a half cups a day! Frustratingly enough, bringing the dog into the US was the easiest part. After all those hours of us getting her health certificate and exportation papers in line, no one even asked to see them. They just wanted to see proof of a rabies vaccination and she was free to enter. We could have never dreamed it would be so easy.

I suppose we never really talked about our expectations beforehand, but the whole border thing was pretty anti-climatic. We never even saw an American flag flying or a "Welcome to the USA" sign.

In Nogales we stopped for a quick lunch at Subway and then drove toward Tucson where we made an important stop.

Welcome to the USA Mia, where stores just for dogs exist.
You lucky little puppy girl!

Later that evening we were able to track down a flag at a souvenir shop where Mia took her official oath and then had a photo session.
Proud to be a Guatemalan-American!