Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Tucson Once Again

This was a long travel day that started in Kino Bay RV Park, Bahia Kino, Mexico at 6:45 a.m. Eight hours later, we were set up back at Doc Justin's Diamond J RV Park in Tucson, Arizona.

We traveled alone today, since the others in our little group were heading back to the south to visit Alamos. The trip started just at sunrise, and of course, we were traveling directly east into the sun. With the narrow road, blowing dust and smoke in the air, it was a pretty interesting ride from Bahia Kino to the city of Hermosillo. As we approached Hermosillo, we caught a glimpse of a construction-type sign, indicating Nogales to the left. Since we'd gotten off track and confused by a detour through Hermosillo on the way to Bahia Kino, we were not 100% sure of how we would get around the detour on the way back.

Hermosillo is the capital of Sonora and it is a very busy city. There isn't a real bypass around it, but I thought I had it pretty well figured out what streets to take to get back to the main highway going north to Nogales and the border. However, when we saw that construction sign, we lost all logic and just turned left, even though it wasn't the street I'd planned for us to take.

I had Microsoft Streets & Trips running with the GPS receiver, even though the program doesn't provide any detail for Mexico, just location of cities and towns and main highways. But at least I knew the direction we were traveling, and could compare it to where we should be. I also had an internet signal, so I had Google Maps with Hermosillo pulled up. Not that any of that helped. We still got as lost as Bo Peep's Sheep! Uh, oh, this road is turning into a dirt cow path. Guess we'd better turn right. I don't recognize anything and can't find it on the map. All of a sudden we saw a street name where we were supposed to turn left. We traveled on that road for a long ways, until there was no city left. That's when we figured out we got on that street past where we were supposed to. Let's just keep going and see what happens. Here's where we put all our faith and trust in the GPS and tracking of Microsoft Streets and Trips. We kept following the road, and it eventually led us right over a little mountain and back to the main highway, of course, just a few yards shy of a toll booth where we had to fork over about $310 Pesos, or about $31.00 American.

What started out to be a real bad mistake turned into a lucky bypass almost completely around the city of Hermosillo and saved us at least 45 minutes of driving time. Just don't ask us exactly which streets we took, we'd never be able to repeat that one!

The road was kind of smooth for a little ways, and then the potholes started! Mile after mile of dodging potholes and driving over poorly maintained roads. Eventually we reached the first military checkpoint where we were stopped. The nice Federale asked us where we'd been and where we were going and told us to have a nice day. The road stayed bad all the way to the border though.

We waited in line for about 45 minutes at the US customs station just after crossing the border into the US. The gate attendant politely asked us to pull into a large area where another US Customs and Border Patrol employee came into the motor home and looked into our fridge and freezer to be sure we had no chicken, eggs or pork products. That little inspection took about 30 seconds and we were on the way.

Here's the line as we got close to the customs station.

We got set up with a "Golf View" site at Diamond J and paid for a week here. We then headed out to the grocery store to replenish our pantry. We didn't know for sure what would be prohibited when we crossed the border, so we got rid of nearly everything!

Here's the sunset from our window here at Diamond J.

And our view of Golden Gate Mountain from our other window.

We're now settled back in, and in a day or three, we might have our little house clean and the laundry done! Another great day in our life!


JoyceTravels said...

Ellie, Hope you liked your trip. I know my DH would be real upset over the bad roads. He doesn't want to damage our "home"!
See ya! JoyceD

Anonymous said...

Glad you got home safely, sorry you missed Alamos. It's all you imagined and more. We got here today at 12:30 after an uneventful drive.
Fred & Jo