Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trip back to Mexico – The good, the bad and the bloody marvelous.

The good – It was good to see Jake, Danielle, Katlyn and Hannah again in Phoenix, how kind they have been to act as a delivery box for us for all our Amazon parcels including a new Sailrite sewing machine which will allow us to repair our own sails and make all sorts of things for Sarita. We departed on the 9pm Mexican bus Tufesa in style. Visions of a Mexican bus conjures up images of uncomfortable steel seats, no air-conditioning, noisy engine and chickens but the Tufesa buss was excellent. We boarded a new Volvo bus with as much leg room as a business class seat which tilts, movies, wifi and air-conditioning. I have to say it is probably the nicest bus I have been on anywhere. The journey to the Mexican border through the night was comfortable and when we arrived at the US Border crossing to Mexico we were waved straight through the US side to Mexico so no hassle there. Everybody on the bus then has to get of on the Mexican side for the customs checks. We were a little nervous as we had 9 bags to check through with lots of spares including the sewing machine and thought they might want to extract some customs duty from us but the officials were so pleasant and helpful I could not believe it. They just laughed as they saw all our bags and inferred we were like returning Mexicans. I was very relieved. We put all our bags back on the bus and went to get to get our 180 day tourist visas. With only one person waiting in line for a visa and a very polite English speaking man on the counter who was not only helpful and efficient but pleasant with it. We got our visas and left with a smile. 

The bad – We walked out of the immigration office to find out that our bus had already departed with all of our luggage on board! I knew we could always to to our destination but my biggest concern was our baggage as this would almost certainly be stolen when it got to Guaymas.

The bloody marvelous – to our amazement the Immigration officer, so perturbed by our predicament tried phoning the bus company to get them to turn the bus around but could not get through at 1am so without hesitation he left his immigration post and signaled for us to get into the official Mexican Immigration van, bars on windows, and drove at break-neck speed through the streets to catch up with the bus which we did in about 20 mins. We caught the bus up at a scheduled stop where the immigration officer gave the bus company a polite ticking off. We thanked the officer very much and gave him a suitable reward for all his efforts which were well above and beyond the call of duty. What an amazing experience  - never in our wildest dreams would a US or UK immigration officer do that for us. Welcome back to Mexico! it may be a bit rough around the edges but the people are marvelous.