Saturday, November 3, 2012

Legal Aliens

We've been back in Mexico for almost 3 weeks now and it's been a whirlwind!

We managed to bring in over 250lbs worth of equipment/gear on the bus with us from Phoenix to Guaymas. Katrina and Brian, thank you again so much for receiving dozens of packages for us. I have no idea how we would have done it without you. Also a random thanks to the guy who weighed our luggage but didn't charge us extra.

We arrived at the Mexican border at 2 am. I was awoken to a Mexican official coming on to the bus, speaking quickly and then leaving. Chris and I looked at each confused. We didn't understand a word. Everybody else got off the bus…so we figured we'd follow. At Mexican customs you line up with all your luggage and press a button. RED = luggage search; GREEN = go through. I was sweating buckets and hoping with all my might the we'd get the green light. Chris and I both got the green light and were so relieved :) Our luggage had made it in successfully.

We figured that the next stop would be immigration. The bus started to drive but a few minutes later we saw Mexican convenience stores and shops. Hmmm….were we in Mexico already? At the next stop Chris confirmed with the bus driver that we were indeed in Mexico and had somehow skipped immigration. How is it possible that you can get into a foreign country without even showing any form of ID? It was so weird. Apparently you have to request to go to immigration. What? Who would ever request to go to immigration? How were we going to get our tourist visas? Our only options were to take a taxi back to border with our ridiculous luggage at 2:30 am and somehow catch another bus into Mexico or continue on our way and figure it out in Guaymas. We decided to continue on our way. The figuring it out in Guaymas part did not go so well.

We spoke to a lot of people in Guaymas and and got a lot of opinions: 
….you don't "really" need a tourist visa in Mexico as long as you keep a low profile
….just go the police and tell them you lost your visa to get a new one
….just go the airport and they'll issue you one (but they could also fine you…)
….if the navy stops you without a tourist visa, they'll fine you and impound your boat
…go back to the border and get a tourist visa

We did a lot of thinking, but all options besides going back to the border just seemed too sketchy for us. I was pretty annoyed that we'd be making the trip again because of the cost and just the principle of it,  but that was really the only option we felt comfortable with. Sooo…. 18 hours and $150 later we have our tourist visas and are legal aliens of Mexico! Yipee!

Moral of the story: If you are taking a bus into Mexico, remember to request a stop at immigration to get your tourist visa.

San Carlos

1 comment:

  1. This is good news and I am glad that all could be sorted out in a good and learn.
    Always super proud of you of the way you solve all the many problems which are thrown your way
    Enjoy every minute in your paradise....cold weather is coming to Canada Brrrrrr.....


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