Finally, the day is here to leave the U.S. behind and get some stamps on our virgin passports. Maria having just gotten her U.S. passport and mine having been renewed just last year, neither of us had any stamps on them!!! They looked utterly sad.
We got an early start, unsure of just how long the whole process would take. If you plan on just staying in the north of Mexico, the crossing is pretty simple.
If, however, you are going further than 20km from the border, you need to get your vehicle registered, get car insurance and pay an entrance fee. It took us a couple of hours to get all that taken care of. The process was pretty efficient and painless. The only delay was our yerba mate, which is an Argentinean loose leaf tea that we drink every day, so we stocked up on it. The lady at the border was unsure of what it was, and had to consult her superior, he then came up to us and asked if I was Argentinean, and told the lady that it was a sort of tea. Then we continued on our way. Pretty painless.
We then went to get insurance (about 200$ for 2 months), and pay our car import deposit (200$), which we get back once we leave the country, and pay a visitor’s permit since (25$ each).
Then, we headed to our first international destination, Hermosillo. We had been invited to stay with another Couchsurfer there named Fatima. We ended up getting to Fatima’s much later than we said we would.
The border crossing took about two hours, which was not too bad, but what we didn’t account for where the speed limits. We had become accustomed to the high speed limits of the American south which were typically 75mph/120kmh (we even hit 80mph/128kmh at some points), once we crossed the border we were suddenly hitting speed limits on major highways of half that! We seemed to be the only ones actually following the speed limit as people raced passed us, but with our New York plates we are a bit more cautious about giving the police any reason to pull us over.
We eventually did make it to Fatima’s and hung out with her and her two cute kids, Sebastian and Santiago. Fatima was super nice and big into Couchsurfing. She free-lances as a graphic designer and while we were there she was working on making battle trading cards (similar to Magic the Gathering, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!) for her kids to play with their friends because she wants them to watch less T.V. She was very interested in our trip and is hoping to do something similar one day when her kids are a bit older.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet her husband as he was working very late and arrived after Maria and I had already gone to bed and was already gone by the time we got up.
In the morning I wasn’t feeling very well (and before you ask, no I didn’t drink any of the water) so Maria and I decided to go into town to get a hotel for the night so that I could relax and so I wouldn’t get Fatima and her family sick. We spent most of the day being lazy in the hotel room but luckily I didn’t get any worse and whatever I had passed quickly and in the morning we were ready to move further south and make our way to the beach.