Mar 29 Back in the USA!

I had set our alarm for 6:30 AM and we were on the road by 7.  We had not gotten up this early in a very, very long while but we had many, many miles to go.  We sped ever north off the great central Mexican plateau and as we descended the mountain the environment turned from scrub desert to tropical.  We kept on going stopping only briefly for food and gas.  This was going to be a long day with Google showing 9 hours drive to our next gas station about an hour and a half from the border.  Our original plan was to stop for the night at the gas station and then hit the border first thing in the morning.  The roads ranged from terrible, cracked pot hole ridden bounce fests to pretty decent stretches.  One of the toll roads we travelled over turned out to be one of the most expensive roads we were to encounter in Mexico as 620 pesos (over US$30).  In total the tolls ran well over US$100. 

Of course the nicest road was also the most expensive toll road. Over US$30!

We managed to get to the gas station at 6:30 pm after driving for almost 12 hours.  The gas station was  not very attractive and full of noisy big trucks so we decided to push on to the border.   We took a short rest and snack stop before we left the gas station and we gave away the rest of our uncooked meat and vegetables to one of the station attendants and we were on the road again.  When we got to Matamoros, the Mexican border town across from Brownsville, Texas it seemed like we were already back in the US.  The broad streets lined with strip malls looked very similar to Texas, except for the ever present speed bumps.  It was past 9 PM so we sped through the town and directly to the border.  As we entered the approach to the border bridge over the Rio Grande it was dark and there were not many signs saying what was what so we completely missed Mexican immigration before hitting the toll booth to cross the bridge.  Next thing we knew Google Maps was saying “Welcome to the United States” and we were in line for the US border control. 

We arrived at the US border late at night.

We were selected for additional screening and I had to drive Rover through a large X-Ray machine and afterwards the border agents did a cursory search of the vehicle before we were sent on our way within a half hour.  Didn’t even bother to stamp our passports.  There was a one hour time difference between Oaxaca and Texas so by the time we pulled into the nearby Walmart it was past 11 PM and we were all exhausted but elated to be back in the US.  Sixteen hours on the road was truly a marathon drive for us.  We were lucky that Olivia is a great traveler and was able to keep herself mostly occupied with lots of screen time and books.






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