Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Fresno To Mexico ... The Rush!

This trip report is a bit shallow on groovy pictures as it involved big distances in a small time (for us anyway) so you will just have to wade through the words. 

We left Fresno Thursday 1st November in the morning, the weather was turning and rain was predicted, as luck would have it we snuck out underneath it with only a few spots on the screen.

Our decision was to stay off the interstate per normal so we took the backs roads through and to be honest we don’t really lose any time because we are not going hell fast anyway.

This route took us down a great winding back road which was beautiful with the trees laden with leaves changing to the colours of autumn.

Lake Isabella soon appeared, this was an area we had missed out on when going to Fresno so it was great to see it. 

We carried on down the main drag south to Victorville which was our next destination, we arrived late after packing a big day mileage wise trying to get to the border.

The camp had toilet and showers so a bit of a treat. 

Next day we went set off south east towards Joshua Tree, on arrival we sussed out the Yamaha Shop in Yucca Valley. As mentioned earlier we met Jim there at the counter who recognized us and went out of his way to help.

Again Jim thank you for your generosity and time, your blood is worth bottling.

We managed to get front disc pads but they were out of rears, this wasn’t to be a problem as we managed to get some the following day.

Joshua tree was a slight deviation as we were right there and we still had enough time, while in there we met up with Phil Jean, bro and sister heading south too on two KLR 650’s, great to meet them and have chats, we will no doubt cross paths heading south and we look forward to swapping travel stories. 

Parker was our destination that night at a BLM site right beside the Colorado river, again we ran late and set up nearly in darkness as we took some time with the parts but getting sorted prior Mexico was the No 1 priority.

At the camp we met Mary, Bob and Chuck who were traveling in vans with their bikes in tow on a trailer, they are traveling from place to place and riding around all over the place, great meeting you guys and cheers for the chats at camp, best for your travels too. 

Nice place.

In the morning we set off into town to do some shopping for food, there was another Yammy shop there which we managed to pick up rear disc pads from, again the dude behind the counter went out of his way to help, onya mate .

Ajo was to be our stop point prior leaving the US, it is 30 miles north of the border, so last calls home while we still had use of T Mobile, catch up on some Mexico research etc, we spotted ourselves the one and only motel we have had on our trip so far, play it safe, get washed, wifi’d and a place to fix my headlight which blew the bulb coming out of Fresno, luckily it is a std off the shelf part from Napa.

The motel had all the home comforts including a spa and pool so we made good use of these, truly a spoil night for sure.

Setting off for Mexico we hit the road waiving the US goodbye with mixed emotions, this will be talked about in the US sum up and The Hearts Speaks episode three.

Pipe Organ National Park was last on our list with huge cactuses everywhere, quite impressive to say the least and some quite felic in stance ... still small by Kiwi standards tho.

Next in line was the border, a few questions,

Guard, Where are you going?

Me, Mexico

Guard, Where have you come from?

Me, ...arh... USA! ... is that a trick question?

Guard, no

Me, OK (thinking hear we bloody go again 8-D)

Anyway, all friendly, they were keen to hear about our trip so a good chat was had, our B2 cards taken out of our passports and handed over so uncle sam knows we have gone and away we went to the Mexican side.

We hit teh border with 18560 miles on the clock since leaving Anchorage in Alaska.

So we left the country and went 30 metres (back in metric land now) and parked up, walked over to immigracion and got our 180 day tourist VISA, very simple, very quick and very nice lady to deal with, the only thing that surprised us is the TVIP station is now 140 km south of the border which stuffed plan A, plan B was quickly put into place and we tootled of down road 2 the main drag where semis passed on double yellow lines on the brow of hills, at least we now know the road rules.... there aren’t any!!

We finally arrived at the station, there is no mistaking the place as there is no way through, we thought we had missed it but you simply cannot go through without going there.

The custom officers were very nice, vey helpful and very quick (Note this USA guards) and all the time squeezing in time for a chat about our trip which they were interested in.
Upon finishing with them and them making us $448.00 US each lighter for out TVIP (Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, $400 returnable when we clock out of Mexico), we left back towards Carborca were we got totally lost so decided to quit for the day and stay here the night as it was already 4.30pm.

Trip report time was due, Ellen was spent so I took the quiet time advantage to write this up.

8.14pm now and my eyelids are pushing my knees to the floor, Ellen is already dead to the world dreaming of Mexican hunks and twisty roads.

Good night all.

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