Matamoros to Monterrey, NL

Dec 23: Depart Santa Cruz, CA. Drive to LA, across I-10 and down into Florida. Turn around and head back to Texas (a state which never seems to end).

Jan 23: We finally crossed the border in Brownsville, Texas to Matamoros.

The border crossing was relatively smooth, except for a little confusion on how to handle our camper. Wearing a blue vest and smoking a cigarette, our official handled the situation with a handwritten note on a copy of our registration to include the camper on the truck’s vehicle import permit. A friendly copy clerk made us a few copies free of charge of the necessary paperwork. We paid the fees for our vehicle and tourist permits, and successfully rolled by the K-9 in a cage and a small tank with a gunman ready to fire on our way into Matamoros.

Valle Hermosa

Starting out toward Monterrey, we took an unintentional detour to Valle Hermosa. We’re not sure why it’s called a valley because it was totally flat. We passed field after field – some freshly tilled and some being planted by tractor. We finally got back on track to Monterrey with an exciting U-turn through a grassy median to get off of the toll road and onto the free highway (we didn’t have enough to pay the toll!).

In a state of hunger-induced indecision we managed a lucky first stop at Taqueria “America” for some handmade, freshly cooked tortillas filled with chicharrones (pork rinds stewed with tomato, onion and a little chile). They were delicious. We were impressed by the chef’s ability to receive money and make change without ever touching it, especially since there was no where to wash your hands.

Ending our first day in Mexico

Frontera days always seem to be tough. Monterrey was only 80 km away, but the sun was setting and we were ready to get off the road. The attendants at the Pemex graciously accepted our dollars (we ran out of the few Pesos we brought), let us park overnight behind the “Porque Ella Manda” restaurant, and didn’t mind us filling up our water tank.

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