And part 2 of the learning experience?
This one took place outside of the workyard… started with us taking the Tufesa bus from Phoenix to San Carlos (the very cheapest way to get here, of course).
We knew we needed to get Mexican visitor’s visas.
We knew that most people got these when they drove across the border, at a place called “K-21” (literally, the 21st kilometre south of the border, where Immigration is).
We “knew” we could get our visas in Guaymas (the town 25 minutes away from where we are).
Monday – Attempt #1: We arrive at Immigration in Guaymas at 3:00pm; here we learn that they are only open 8:00 – 12:00 (good government hours!).
Tuesday – Attempt #2: We go back to Immigration in Guaymas, this time at 9:00am; they inform us, somewhat gleefully, that we can only get this visa at K-21 (back at the border, 6 hours’ drive away from us).
Tuesday – Attempt #3: We drive to the airport in Guaymas, and talk to Immigration there. They tell us that yes, they do have the visa paperwork, but no, they can’t give us our visas. We did not arrive by air, we arrived by bus, so we must go back to K-21.
Wednesday – Attempt #4: We rent a car (who knew you could rent cars in Mexico?!?!); it looks wonderful from the outside, but has no A/C and a disconcerting habit of ‘jumping’ left or right at any bump or pothole. This little car also doesn’t like to start on the first try. But hey, at least it moves right? The catch to the car rental? Even in Mexico, you have to be 25 to drive a rental car… which means Jon has to do all the driving. ALL the driving.
–> Might be worth mentioning at this point that Jon really dislikes driving in places he doesn’t know, dislikes driving cars that he doesn’t know, dislikes driving for long periods of time, and dislikes driving in the dark. So, lucky him, he got to drive for 11 hours, through the deserts of Mexico, in a funny, bumpy little rental car, with me as his navigator 🙂
I don’t like stories without happy endings though: our 11 hours of driving was rewarded with 3 minutes of paperwork, where an official took our money, stamped our passports, and sent us back on our way.
Learning: When people tell you to get your visas on the way down from Phoenix, listen. If that doesn’t happen, throw lots of money and lots of time at the problem and that might fix it.
Also, when the highway says the speed limit is 40km/h, what they really mean is that if you don’t drive 100km/h you *will* be passed on both sides by trucks honking their horns and flashing their lights at you.
Also, the hot dogs that they sell at “Oxxo” (the Mexican equivalent of 7-11) are pretty good, and damn cheap fuel for day-long road trips through the Mexican desert.
Lastly, the “locals” in the work yard are all super entertained by us young’ns running around with our heads cut off… so at least we’re providing entertainment!!