After all the daydreaming, saving and wondering; months of researching, planning and packing, we are here. In Mexico. The road trip starts now and – if all goes to plan – ends in Argentina.
We’ve spent our first night camping right on the Pacific Ocean about 80 miles south of the US-Mexico border – near Bufadora in northern Baja California.
Keen to navigate the world’s busiest border crossing without too many hitches, we got up at 5am on Tuesday and set off clutching all our paperwork.
It wasn’t the most dignified of beginnings. We crossed the border into Tijuana – twice! It will be the first of many cock-ups. With so much new paperwork to focus on for our campervan, we passed the brief customs search and headed directly to the vehicle permit office – sailing straight past immigration and entering Mexico without the necessary tourist visa. Bugger.
Realising our mistake, we backtracked and ended up going right round the city, took a wrong turn and went back out of Mexico, then in again! If nothing else it will have provided an amusing tale for the baffled US immigration border guard. “Yes officer I know it appears we are trying to drive into the US, but in fact we are just looking for somewhere to do a u-turn so we can go to Mexico, from whence we came just moments ago…”
Those kooky Brits!
Turns out there would have been a much simpler solution to our dilemma – ah, we shall become very close friends with Mr Hindsight during this trip.
Some people might remember waving us off 3 months ago, and yet the road trip proper is only just beginning. What have we been doing since then?
We spent a month in Costa Rica for some R&R after leaving London, then flew to the US to buy a campervan, equip it and test it out. While that process was going on, along with all the bureaucracy required for registering and insuring the vehicle, we spent 6 weeks enjoying the sights of California and saw some amazing (and plenty of weird ‘it could only happen in America’) stuff (see pics here).
By the time we left, however, we had had quite enough of visiting auto shops for obscure VW spare parts.
So enthused were we about final entering Mexico, we decided to do it twice.
– PD, Punta Banda, Baja California, Mexico
Wrong turnings: 1 significant one