08 July, 2012

Tails from the Frontier

Well many of you know that I have been struggling with getting my immigration status squared away and my tourist visa as well as the temporary import sticker on the car came to expire this past week.  I was able to obtain an FM2 after having to fly to the states to obtain some extra paper works.  The next step: fix the cars' status.  I should be able to keep the car with me for my FM2 status, so we simply drove the 45minutes to Queretaro on Wednesday and that is when the you know what hit the fan.  Here is where I have been this past week ;)

When we went to Queretaro on Wednesday to get the new Temporary Import Sticker for the car we were told that since I had an FM2- Immigrant not an FM2-Rentee I could not keep the car.  His point was that since I do not have a job and am a Housewife that I have no need for a car.  He said the only way that we could get a new sticker would be to go the border, cross and come back.  Then I could get another tourist sticker for 6 months...The problem though...our Sticker expired the next day!

We rushed home, grabbed snacks, water and made a stack of sandwiches that would make Dagwood proud, threw some clothes in a bag and dropped the dog off at the "Pet Hotel" and headed straight for the border.  Boris was amazing!  He can drive for hours!!!  I tried to help out but I am terrible at long trips.  The first day we (he) drove until Midnight which put us in Jemenez, Chihuahua. We woke up early and were on the road by 6am.  We drove hard and fast for the border because we wanted to cross at Santa Teresa, NM which is a small border crossing just West of Ciudad Juarez.  But we needed to make it there before noon.  Thankfully the weather was fantastic for our trip up to the border, we had a few sprinkles but for the most part it held out.  We arrived at the Santa Theresa crossing at 11am.  Phew!

I crossed the border only for the US Border Agent to tell me that I did not NEED to cross the border <Grrr!>  Everything that I needed to do was on the Mexican side.  So I turned around, thankfully they put me in the fast track return.  We went inside- glorious air conditioning.  We bounced around the desks inside flashing my fancy new FM2 all over the place hoping that it might get us a longer permit.  It did!  We received a one year sticker for the car, that matches the exact date of my FM2.  We got what we wanted from Queretaro at the border.  Exhausted from the stress and over 1000 miles on the road we headed back towards home.  We hoped to make it to Zacatecas around Midnight to stay at the hotel where we RV'd on our trip.  The hotel that we stayed at the night before was beyond gross and we wanted a shower (with hot water) and a bed (with pillows please). Seriously we had two beds and only one pillow that was less than an inch thick, a hand towel and no hot water!  Icky!

As I said the weather held out until we reached the border, on the way back it started to rain, and it rained hard!  By the time we reached Chihuahua, Chihuahua it had been raining for an hour.  We were supposed to take the Lebramiento, which is a Freeway that bypasses the city and takes you around the city and spits you out on the other end.  All of the big cities have this and even some small cities, they are fantastic time savers!  We reached our intersection for the bypass and our exit was under 5 feet of water (no exaggeration!).  We had no choice but to continue on THROUGH the gigantic city.  It was a flash flood, the streets were flooded everywhere!  Cars were stalling out, car accidents all over the place.  I swear we saw Jaws in one of the gutters. There was Softball sized rocks, dirt and debris in the streets, carried by the water.  It was absolutely unbelievable!  I don't think I could shut my mouth until we exited the city nearly 2 hours later.  I was just in shock and aw. After we had so much fun with Noah and his pets we were well behind in our desired destination.

2 1/2 lanes out of 3 were under water

Waves of water passed the intersections
The water in the gutters were shin deep

Jaws Returns
Cars were dying all over the place for driving too fast, in too  deep of water

Every Civic service responds to the many accidents
Look just below the street sign at the water running off from the streets, like a waterfall

We drove until Midnight again and that put us in Torreon, Coahuila.  We tried to use the GPS to find a hotel.  I punched it in for the closest Fiesta Inn, found one and off we go.  All of a sudden she knew all sorts of surface streets!  She hadn't known a single one to get us out of our predicament in Chihuahua but she was certainly the expert on Torreon!  She took us this way and that through residential and God knows what.  All of a sudden she announces our arrival...at an OXXO (a Quicky Mart)!  We figure she is off a little bit so we continue on down the road another mile and finally find A hotel.  Not the one we wanted but at 12:30 it didn't really matter much.  We fell like tumble weeds across the shiny lobby to the reception desk.  After a long and very hot shower we slept like the dead in the bed overflowing with pillows.

After another shower and a quick continental breakfast we hit the road again.  A new day and the GPS forgot the streets of Torreon yet again.  We got incredible lost trying to get out of the city and we even got pulled over for hesitating and not signaling before taking a turn... she couldn't make up her mind as to which way we were supposed to go.  Finally we made it out of the city in one piece no thanks to the GPS who tried to get us killed in the Ghetto, drive us off of a dead end road, take us through dirt roads past the city dump and get the car impounded by the local cops.  Ugh!  It was still storming here and there on our trip but for the most part we made good time.  We reached Aguascalientes without any (more) hiccups.  Passing Aguascalientes the GPS seemed to know a short cut...why we trusted her, I have no idea... we were exhausted, anything sounded good.  We ended up on a country road in the cuts for over an hour before she said "Left turn ahead"  we made it to the turn only to discover a dirt road leading off into nothing... we turned around.  On the return trip we hit another storm, it started pouring down rain. Lighting and thunder shook the car, then we saw lightning hit ground, just a few miles from the road.  I could see the smoke rising from the field where it had hit!  I told Boris that if we had any more "excitement" on this trip a plane would have to land in front of us.  Thankfully one did not and we made it back to San Miguel in one piece.  We arrived 5 minutes before closing at the Pet Hotel and got our dog out of hock.  She was so happy to be home, so were we.  The dog followed Boris around the rest of the day and Meeki tried to sleep on top of us.

We are set for the year and will be able to import the car next Spring.  I just need to renew my FM2 next year, which should be an easy process. So after more than a months expenses and nearly 3000 miles we are set for the year.  

Now back to our Regular Programming.... sorry for all of the missed posts :(
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