Bienvenidos a Mexico – twice

5 Oct

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.

Final preps, San Ysidro, USA

Final preparations the day before departure, San Ysidro, USA

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!

Paula gets the giggles, Mexico

Border angst + celebratory afternoon beer = slight hysteria.

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

Days: 1

Miles: 81.6

Wrong turnings: 1 significant one

10 Responses to “Bienvenidos a Mexico – twice”

  1. Pete Murray October 5, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    5am starts! Wimps, the pair of you.
    But fantastic to see that youse are on the way. ¡A Luta Continua!

  2. Kathy Price October 5, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Your van looks new. Did VW bring back the pop top camper van and fail to tell me? I’m a huge fan and have owned 2 of them, both 1978 models, the best year ever. What year is your van?

    • jeremyandpaula October 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      hi there. It´s not new, it´s a 1997 model of the Eurovan. Is specific to the US, conversion done by Winnebago. They only made them until 2003 so that´s the newest you can buy. New pop tops are still being converted in the UK though.

  3. Caroline October 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Hurrah! Well done. Can’t wait to read all about your escapades. To think that not so long ago you weren’t sure you’d even get to the US after a certain ex-general secretary misplaced his passport!

  4. timlezard October 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Glad to hear you’ve finally made it. Hope you have a cracking time in your new home. One piece of advice: I wouldn’t catalogue your wrong turnings . . . it might turn out to be a very long list? Missing you both xxx

  5. Derek Jolly October 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Properly laughed out loud at the blog – tick and a star 🙂
    At work for three so might not feel like going online until Sat. but will have a catch up then.
    Hope all going well!

  6. TORY October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Did you have a leaving party when you left Ysidro?

    • jeremyandpaula October 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      Of course! The whole campsite came. I made a long speech about how I hate making speeches, obvs. It was a blast.

  7. Mary Pearson October 6, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Wishing you well and admiring your sense of adventure – I think I’m a world traveller if I go to London or Belfast!! I even feel I need my passport when I go on the bus to town from Sparkhill!!! You are very brave. Have a wonderful time!
    Love & solidarity
    Mary xxxx

  8. shaz October 6, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    will be following every step from little jersey bubble… Love the blog layout x

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