We set an alarm and got up early to cross the border hoping we wouldn’t have much of a wait. It was raining, so we quickly made coffee and fed the dogs before driving into Nogales. Breakfast was a couple of Christo’s 12-for-five-dollar chocolate croissants. Not my idea of well-rounded nutrition, but sometimes you just gotta eat what’s available.
Our early-bird strategy worked, and and we drove right through: no inspection, no showing of papers, and no explanations! It seemed quite anticlimactic, actually, since I’d spent several hours researching what we needed to get the dogs and ourselves and the truck across the border (US passports, $120US vet certificates with current rabies and distemper vaccinations, current US vehicle registration and insurance, and Mexican vehicle insurance).
We started looking for a place to stay near Ciudad Obregón. Driving at night in Mexico is a bad idea for a number of reasons: sometimes the road ‘ends’ in a construction site with MAYBE one traffic cone for warning, cows, chickens, and pedestrians can be, and are, on the road at any time, the potholes are teeth-rattling, tire-destroying monsters, and the topes (speed bumps) are large and un-labeled! Also, there’s apparently an unspoken deal that the drug runners/bad dudes in general won’t conduct their business during daylight hours if the roads are left open for them late at night (after 10pm or so). Seems like a reasonable deal to me!
We thought we’d see a deserted side road with a suitable place to sleep for the night (like BLM land in Colorado or Idaho). Turns out, there are people EVERYWHERE here, and the small dirt side roads lead to houses, fields full of crops, or to little villages. Not sure how we’d be received if we camped next to someone’s house or farm field, we opted for a hotel. Easier said than done; we checked six or seven hotels in Navojoa after being slightly sketched out by the hotels in Obregón (pay-by-the-hour motels don’t really scream home, sweet home). None of the hotels we checked allowed pets, but we talked one place into letting us stay, as long as the dogs spent the night in the truck.
A couple times during the night they woke us up barking, and either Christo or I would run outside to calm them. At about 3am, the barking was directed at four cows grazing in the green grass along the edge of the previously empty parking area. I guess it’s reasonable (for Indy) to bark at cows in the middle of the night, especially since she’s only seen a cow once or twice in her life. Plus, you never know, they could have been banditos disguised as cows, coming to break into the truck and steal everything we had!