Wednesday, November 21, 2018

RVING OUR WAY HOME IN MEXICO: From Nogales, Arizona to Sayulita, Mexico

The Trip Itself Was an Adventure!

Discovering Magical Places in Mexico
San Carlos, Sonora
     After crossing the border into Mexico, we looked forward to arriving at the Totonaka RV Park in San Carlos, Sonora. The majestic red rock of Mount Tetakawi and the sparkling blue Sea of Cortez greeted us as always, making us feel relief and joy that we were on our way home. It was hot when we arrived on that clear, sunny afternoon, as it usually is in late October. But as soon as the sun dipped behind the mountain, the breeze began to blow, and the evening turned comfortably cool.
One View from the Soggy Peso Bar
     Totonaka RV Park is a full-service, dependable location to spend a few days. The internet is good and the nightly rate is fair. We rested in the shade while we read our Kindles, caught up on laundry in the park’s lavandería, and spent an afternoon at the Soggy Peso bar watching the wind-surfers and listening to Mexican rock ‘n’ roll. Three relaxing days and we were ready for the next leg of our RV road trip.

North of Navojoa, Sonora
Yaqui "Dance of the Deer" Statue

     As we were driving south toward the city of Navojoa, we began to glimpse a very tall statue in the distance, rising up out of the desert on the right-hand side of Highway 15D. The giant “Dance of the Deer” sculpture has fascinated us for years as we have watched it being erected. We have driven by it twice each year, once going north to the border in early summer and again on our way south each autumn, wondering when it would be completed. It represents the Yaqui indigenous group in this area, a tribe that is known for a traditional dance done by a man wearing a deer head with antlers atop his head.

     While the sculpture has been completed for several years, the large park surrounding the statue has never opened, as far as we can tell. This year, we were able to pull off at the entrance to the park so that I could try to capture the majesty of this huge monument with a photo. It’s one of those shrines that must be viewed in person to be fully appreciated.

Álamos, Sonora
Entrance to Alamos

     We hadn’t been to Álamos in over ten years. Since that time, it has been designated a Pueblo Mágico, so we decided to make that our overnight stop between San Carlos and Mazatlán this trip. But that didn’t work out as planned! Does anyone know what’s up with the RV parks in Álamos? There are three listed in the last edition of Church and Church’s Mexican Camping book, but that was the 2009 edition. RV parks come and go (mostly go) in México, so we knew we needed to verify whether any of them were still open. We started emailing and calling all three to see which were still open.
     Jon called Hotel Dolisa and RV Park and was told they do not accept RV’s any longer. Their name and sign may still include “RV Park”, but it’s no longer true.
     Real de los Álamos RV Park was the next place Jon called. A man answered so Jon asked him in Spanish if the park was open. “Si,” the man said. Jon asked if there was space for our 28-foot motorhome. The answer was, “Si.” The answer is usually “Si” to questions we ask in México, but not always true. When we arrived at the gate on October 28, 2018, the gate was chained, the jungle was taking over the park, and there was no one around. We tried calling on the phone again. No answer. We sat in the motorhome, wondering if we wanted to check out the third and final option.
     Rancho Acosta B&B, RV Park and Guest Ranch is on the far side of Álamos and the directions said RVs longer than 25 feet should not go through the narrow streets of town. We could see that, as we approached the round-about with the Pemex on the corner, the only way for us to get there was to turn left, away from centro, and drive down the dry arroyo (dry riverbed). That is, if the arroyo was dry. The rainy season was just ending, so we wondered if there would be water flowing in it. 
A Pedestrian Bridge Spans the Dry Arroyo in Alamos
     When we reached the arroyo, the bank down to it was a bit steep for our rig and the riverbed was covered with fairly large, round rocks. I told Jon I didn't want to drive our “new-to-us” motorhome down that rocky riverbed. A local man approached us and said he could show us the back way around town to the RV park. I asked Jon to call them again, first, to make sure the park was open. No one answered the phone, so we never did find out if it was open. We thanked the Mexican for his offer of help and said we didn’t want to drive down a rough, dirt road for a mile to a place that we weren’t sure was open.
Good Place for Pollos Asados--Yum!
     We were hot, hungry, and tired by this time. The pollo asado store was doing a good business on this Sunday afternoon, and the aroma of the grilling chicken, the skin golden brown and crisp, drew us near. We parked the RV and I sent Jon to order a whole chicken with all the fixings, including corn tortillas, macaroni salad, and salsa. Since it was over 90°F outside, too hot for us, and 95°F inside the motorhome, I turned on the generator and air conditioner, and set the dinette table with paper plates, forks, and lemonade in preparation for lunch. It’s such a treat to have our little home on wheels with us all the time.
     While Jon and I gorged ourselves on the juicy, tasty pollo, we discussed our options for where to park for the night. Our Garmin GPS said it was only about 75 miles, a 2-hour drive on two-lane highways to Huatabampito. We had time to get there before dark, so we cleaned up our lunch debris and hit the road.
Huatabampito, Sonora
     Huatabampito was so much cooler when we arrived at El Mirador Hotel Restaurante & RV Park than it had been in Álamos. The cool sea breeze, salty tang of the air, and the sound of gently breaking waves were reminiscent of our home in Sayulita. We pulled our RV right up to the seawall and parked for the night. We were glad we had decided to leave Álamos and drive the extra distance to the beach.
Overnight Stay at El Mirador Hotel Restaurante & RV Park

     A young man and woman from the United States came over to talk about how excited they were to be traveling in México with their trailer for the first time. We exchange information about RV Parks farther south and wished them a good trip.
     Jon set up our beach chairs facing the Sea of Cortez, a good place to watch the few people on the beach. I pulled out some cheese and crackers, green olives, and glasses of wine. We threw the ball for Bella and proclaimed that Huatabampito was going to be our overnight place between San Carlos and Mazatlán from now on. It adds less than twenty miles to the whole trip and is well worth the detour to be on the sea. The restaurant at El Mirador is good also, just steps away when we don’t feel like preparing a meal after the long day of travel.
     Huatabampito has everything we look for in an overnight stopping place—the sea to cool and soothe us, an RV park with easy in and out access, a restaurant within walking distance, and a nice beach for walking. It even has a hotel for those without an RV.
Mazatlán, Sinaloa 
Mazatlan Sunset

     There’s so much we love about Mazatlán that we always spend five or six days there twice a year. The sunsets are some of the most spectacular we’ve ever seen.

A Typical Saturday Evening on the Mazatlan Malecon
     The newly refurbished Malecón (boardwalk along the ocean) is a perfect place to people watch, especially on a Saturday evening. Families and couples stroll or sit, enjoying the cool evening.
    We spent one Tuesday afternoon at the Diego’s listening to the Brenster sing country music. Saturday night, we were lucky enough to catch the “Wingin’ It” show with Lori Davidson and Rob Lamonica at Macaw’s in the Historic District.
Music by "Wingin' It" at Macaw's in Old Town Mazatlan

     One evening we decided to take our beach chairs, Bella, our wine bottles (yes, two wine bottles—red for Jon and white for me), and wine glasses to the beach for our happy hour while we watched the sunset. We got there right after the sun dropped below the horizon, but we were just in time for some great entertainment. A group of about sixty Mexican teenagers were having a wonderful time with sack races, three-legged races, and singing what sounded like camp songs, enjoying organized competitions that I haven’t seen since I was a youngster myself. Do kids even do these things in the U.S. anymore? They laughed at themselves and each other when the waves came up unexpectedly and caught them hopping down the beach in their gunny sack. We laughed, too, as we enjoyed watching their happiness and determination to win their games.
Gunny Sack Races on the Mazatlan Beach

     We discovered La Mona Pizzaria’s new location at Vicente Guerrero 213 in the Centro Historico, with the help of a taxi driver. It’s larger and has a nice big viewable kitchen (the pizza ovens are no longer in the back parking lot), but we preferred the ambiance of the original La Mona’s. The pizza and service are still as good as always and they still flip a coin on Thursday, heads or tails for a free drink. 

The New La Mona Pizzeria's Kitchen

     San Fernando RV Park in Mazatlán’s Golden Zone has changed again. Each time we arrive, it is smaller, though the pool is still there. Both ends of the park has been closed for the construction of condominiums. We wonder if the RV Park will even be open when we return to Mazatlán in July 2019. Thankfully, there is still the Las Jaibas RV Park and the Mar-A-Villa RV Park, though they require a longer bus ride to Old Town. We really like staying in the Golden Zone in our RV, where we are within walking distance of so many good restaurants, but those days are coming to an end. We’ll still visit Mazatlán often, but we’ll need to find a new favorite RV Park.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Church and Plaza in Old Town Puerto Vallarta

     Puerto Vallarta is our favorite big city in Mexico. Even though it is 25 miles past our home of Sayulita, we always make the extra trip in our motorhome to visit for four or five days before moving home. We love the Romantic Zone with its old churches, beautiful Malecón, restaurants, live music, and so much more.
Time to Relax in Puerto Vallarta after a Long Day of Driving
     We took a slightly longer route south from Mazatlan, passing near Chapalilla, to stay on the 15D toll road longer, making a wide circle around the small town of Xalisco (I recommend the book "Dreamland" for more information on that town), and avoiding the coastal road through San Blas, which was pretty rough when we took it two years ago. The route we took this year was a little longer, but we prefer it. After 315 miles and eight hours of driving from Mazatlán, we pulled into the Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park, relieved to be able to park in this peaceful, tropical garden setting and relax. 
     One tip about staying in RV Parks with coconut palm trees: remember to look overhead to make sure you aren't parking, sitting, or walking under a tree loaded with large coconuts. A single coconut dropping on the rig, on the dog, or on someone's head can cause serious damage.
Beware--Don't Stay Beneath a Loaded Coconut Palm Tree
     Dia de Muertos ended on November 2, so we arrived in Puerto Vallarta after the festivities. But some large, exquisite Catrinas (dapper skeletons) were still posing on the Malecón. Interspersed between the bronze sculptures on the walkway along the Pacific Ocean, the Catrinas created a whimsical contrast.
La Catrina on the Puerto Vallarta Malecon
     We strolled south on the mile-long Malecón, looking for the perfect seafood restaurant to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We have two anniversaries each year, one in November and one in February—that’s a long story in itself. This way we have an extra excuse to go out for a special dinner. We finally decided on La Palapa Restaurant, a wonderful beachfront restaurant that we had never tried. Yes, it was a bit expensive, but we couldn’t have asked for better food, wine, service, and ambiance. It’s two blocks south of the Los Muertos Pier, so we got a whole new perspective of its lighted sails and the romantic evening shoreline. 
View of Los Muertos Pier from La Palapa Restaurant
     Historic photos line the walls inside La Palapa, telling the story of its inception in 1957, when Rodelinda and her husband, Guy Dickey had a dream to open the first restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. Later photos show how it changed as the city evolved. 60 years old, and La Palapa Restaurant is still famous and successful.
     We will definitely return there, maybe on our next anniversary in three months. The evening was perfect—perfect air temperature, perfect company, perfect experience. Jon and I are living our dream—never a dull moment in México.

Sayulita, Nayarit
     We returned to our casita (little Mexican home) in Sayulita on November 14, exactly three weeks after we crossed the Mexican border. We certainly didn’t rush home!

Entrance to Sayulita Plaza for Dia de Muertos
     The plaza in Sayulita was still partially decorated from the Dia de Muertos holidays, looking colorful and festive. The archway at the entrance was covered with large colorful paper flowers.
Dia de Muertos Flags Fluttered in the Plaza Gazebo
Hand-made Skeleton Fish “Swam” Overhead in the Entire Plaza
     There are so many fun things to do in Mexico, the trip home is always an adventure! And as with each time we return to Sayulita, we are happy to be home. This is our fourth year since we left the full-time RVing life and moved into our casita. We know this year will bring many changes to Sayulita, a popular Pueblo Mágico, and there will be “never a dull moment” in this village. We look forward to being a part of the change, helping to make our town a better place, any way we can.
     After a week back home, eating our fill of seafood and Mexican food, we look forward to a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner at Don Pedro's Restaurant while we listen to the Spanish Flamenco music of Latcho and Andrea, the Blond Gypsies. Another adventure to look forward to. Happy Thanksgiving!

     I invite you to SIGN UP for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books. 

       My "Healthy Living in Mexico #4" eBook will be published in December 2018. Have you read the first three books in this series? Check out my Amazon.com Author Page and in Canada: Amazon.ca. I would love your comments on my preliminary cover. I will let you know in my newsletter when pre-orders will begin. Thank you for reading my books and blogs.
Terry L Turrell, Author 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

RETIREMENT BEFORE THE AGE OF 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2

You've Read the Blog...Have You Read the Book?
Hola from Mexico!
To my family, friends, associates, and readers,

     Jon and I decided to retire early and move to Mexico. Have you wondered why we would make such a drastic change in our lives?

     My eBook, available on Amazon, worldwide, “Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2”, is the story of our exciting life transformation. I hope that you will purchase it! It is also FREE to KindleUnlimited members.

     Here is the book description:
     
     Terry and Jon found a way to escape the rat race, retire early, and to make their money go farther. This story will inspire others to quit their jobs, retire earlier rather than later, and begin living a healthier life, while having more fun and doing what they enjoy. Why wait?
     Making the decision to retire early was the easy part. Deciding where to retire took more travel in their motorhome and lots of thought. The process of selling and giving away their excess possessions so they could begin living a simplified, healthier life was a journey in itself.
     Terry and Jon’s adventures while traveling in their motorhome are enough to entice one to go RV shopping immediately. Their decision to move to México may seem radical to some, but others may soon consider doing the same thing! The story of where they settled in México, and why, will make you wonder how soon you, too, will begin planning a similar escape from the chaos in the world to find your own piece of paradise in the sun.

     Author, Andrew Hallam, wrote this “Five-Star” review of the book. I hope it inspires you to read “Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2”. Who knows, you might find yourself wanting to escape the rat race or check out life in Mexico, too. Andrew wrote:

A few years ago, I read International Living's Guide To Retiring Overseas On A Budget. I was fascinated. Retirees in low cost locales could live well on a fraction of what the typical stateside American does. Terry Turrell's book breathes life into this decision. She described herself as overworked, stressed, under-exercised and living on a financial precipice in Oregon, despite the fact that she and her husband worked hard and invested diligently in their IRAs and their real estate investments. The financial crisis in 2008/2009 nearly tossed them over the edge. They sold properties at a loss as their equity values plunged. Their dream of early retirement was slipping away....until they decided to think outside the box.

This story is personal. It shows how one couple tossed conventional wisdom to the wind. They de-cluttered their lives, sold what they didn't need and bought a RV to travel the U.S. and Mexico. Their personal account of Mexico is fascinating. Eventually they decided to retire there. Their account of why they chose Sayulita over a series of other popular retirement locations is both personal and fascinating. They retired early and built a far healthier lifestyle. I kept thinking of the great book, Younger Next Year. Well...here's a couple that I think epitomises that message. Terry's story is an inspiration that's also filled with wisdom.

     You can take a look at this eBook on Amazon by clicking HERE. I hope you enjoy “Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Livingin Mexico #2”! If you do, I would appreciate it if you can take a few minutes to leave a review on Amazon.

     Check out my Amazon.com Author Page to explore more of my stories about "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico".
    
                                                  Terry L Turrell, Author  
                                                     In Canada: Amazon.ca
                                                       Mexico: Amazon.com.mx
                                                       United Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk
                                                        Australia: Amazon.com.au *
                                              India: Amazon.in *
     I invite you to SIGN UP for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.
     Thank you for reading my books and blogs. I look forward to hearing your comments and reviews.
    Terry L Turrell

Saturday, October 27, 2018

GETTING READY TO CROSS THE BORDER INTO MEXICO: Completing Our Checklists and Heading Out!

😎We Made Our Lists and Checked Them Twice--Let's Head South! 😎
Blue Skies, Rugged Mountains, and Stately Cacti of Sonora, MX
     We made our lists (yes, multiple lists) and checked them twice—we were ready to head south in our RV to México! Well…we were almost ready. There were two important items on one list that were keeping us from crossing the border. How long would we have to wait to get them?
     We were so excited to hit the road, as we are each fall, after spending the summer in the United States. It was fun to spend time with family members, camp along the Oregon coast, eat lots of Dungeness crab cocktails, and enjoy fresh, baked parmesan halibut. But these days we are homesick. We can’t wait to return to Sayulita, Nayarit, our home now for the past three years.
     It takes quite a bit of preparation each August and September to ready our motorhome for the road trip, gather necessary documents, and stock up on supplies for the coming year. Is it worth the effort? What are these lists of things to do before heading south?
We Love Traveling in Our Class C Motorhome
     First of all, it is completely worth the time, energy, and money we spend to stock the motorhome and prep it for road travel. We sometimes feel as though we are early pilgrims readying our covered wagon to venture out on the Oregon trail. What will we need that we can’t find along the road? What will we want to take along from the United States that we won’t be able to get in our foreign home? That’s where our lists come in handy.
     Our first list, gathering our personal documents, was completed. It rarely changes so we keep these items with us, whether at home or in the RV.
Personal Documents- All Gathered
1.     Passports
2.     Mexican Resident Visas
3.     Oregon Driver’s Licenses
4.     Marriage Certificate (in case of death of one spouse)
5.     Birth Certificates
6.     Copy of our Wills
7.     Trust Document and Deed Proving Ownership of our Mexican Home

     Our next task was crucial to being able to drive our motorhome into México: 
Motorhome Documents Needed to Purchase Our 10-Year RV Import Permit
     This important step is where we got held up this year. Here it is October and we are still waiting for our title and registration for our newly purchased 2009 Triple e Class C motorhome, the two items needed to purchase our Mexico RV Import Permit. We couldn’t cross the border until we received these documents. When we traded our 2007 Southwind Class A motorhome this summer for our smaller, easier to drive Triple e, the dealership in Redmond, Oregon told us to expect our new RV documents from the DMV in about six weeks. That was in July.
     In August, Jon started calling. The dealership had not turned in the application for our RV documents to the DMV until five weeks after we purchased it! A call to the DMV in Bend, Oregon revealed that, yes, it would be another six weeks to process and mail out our title and registration. It could be September or October before we received our documents.
     We couldn’t face hanging out in smoky Oregon that long! After months of dodging acrid forest fire smoke this summer, we decided to head to Tucson, Arizona where the air quality is clear and the autumn weather is pleasantly warm. Our son, who lives in Bend, agreed to overnight mail our documents to us in Tucson when they finally arrived. As soon as we received them, we would head for the border!
     Why are these documents crucial when driving to Mexico? We needed to purchase a 10-year Mexico RV Import Permit for our new-to-us motorhome. We always buy our vehicle permits at the Banjercito located at KM 21 after crossing into Mexico at Nogales, AZ, so we know what documents we will need, but we still make ourselves a list. We’re glad we turned in the 10-year RV Import Permit on our Southwind when we came north in July, even though it still had eight years remaining on it. Since we decided on a whim to trade in that Class A motorhome and downsize to a smaller Class C rig this summer, we will need a new RV Permit and they are not transferrable. We had to wait.

Other Important Lists
     While we waited for the Oregon DMV to wade through their bureaucracy and the US Postal service to deliver our package, we worked on finishing most of our other lists. We had completed purchasing our:
1.     Mexican Motorhome Insurance online from Lewis and Lewis
2.     Prescription Medications—One Year Supply*
3.     Vitamin and Nutritional Supplements—One Year Supply*
4.     Over-the-Counter Medications—One Year Supply*
5.     Motorhome Oil Change and Repairs (Yeah! The electric step works now.)
6.     Clothing (pairs of shorts, Zumba shirt, OluKai Flip Flops, etc., items we can’t find in Mexico)
7.     My Zumba Instructor License Update (I took the English version of the class in the U.S. so I could understand the teacher. My Spanish is still pretty poor)
8.     12 Audiobooks from Audible.com for our road trip home (We can’t download from Audible.com once we cross into México)
Stocking Up On a 1-Year Supply of Vitamins & Supplements
     *We always purchase a year’s supply of our prescription medications, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, because, surprisingly, generics in the U.S. are much less expensive than in México. In addition, some of our prescription medication is not available in México.

Exploring Tucson
     Once we had finished packing our boxes of supplies, we had more time to wait, so we explored Tucson’s old town, enjoyed beautiful sunsets, took walks, Zumba classes, yoga classes, and read. We learned the Tucson bus system and found out that health care in Tucson is high quality and efficient. We started to think about spending more time in Tucson next year. It’s great to be retired, to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want!
Enjoying a Tucson Sunset from our Motorhome
An Important Doctor Visit
     Jon had an appointment scheduled with a medical specialist in Tucson, an exam that his primary care physician had recommended this year. Our hopes were that a simple exam would be all that was necessary and we could be on our way to México. But, the doctor ordered a blood test and an MRI. How long would he have to wait to be scheduled for the MRI? And how long before the physician would receive the results? And then, what if treatment was needed? We just needed to learn patience.
     We were thrilled that the Imaging Center could do Jon’s MRI two days later, on a Saturday. In addition, unbelievably, they claimed the results would be sent to the doctor in 24 to 48 hours. This was amazingly fast compared to our experiences in Oregon. Monday morning the doctor called Jon to say his lab test and his MRI showed no abnormality and “see you next year.” Our relief was extreme. One more hurdle cleared.
     We continued to wait for our Oregon title and registration to arrive in Tucson.

Licensing Our RV in Arizona vs. Oregon
     Here’s an interesting twist to the story: While we were waiting for weeks in beautiful Tucson, AZ, we realized that, because we were keeping our original Oregon RV license plates, our registration renewal would always come due in July, smack in the middle of summer. What if we couldn’t, or didn’t want to be in Oregon in July? Did we really want to play this 6-week to 3-month waiting game for our RV registration again next July when our tags expired? What if we registered our motorhome in Arizona in October instead? October is a beautiful month in Tucson, and it’s close to the Mexico border, so we could leave for home in Sayulita each year right after getting our RV registration.
     We had nothing to do but wait on the Oregon DMV and the US Postal Service, so we decided to stop in at a local Tucson branch of the Arizona DMV, the Academy of Driving Motor Vehicle Division on Broadway and ask what was involved with getting an Arizona RV license, registration, and title. Wow! In Arizona, we could walk into the office with the necessary documents, our smog test results, and $447, and walk out the same day with a new license plate, a tag, a new title, and registration.
     The day our Oregon title and registration arrived in the mail, we took them, along with our Oregon license plates, and drove straight to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). We paid our $12.50, passed our smog test, and received the smog certificate required by the DMV. Off we went to the Academy of Driving Motor Vehicle Division. An hour later we walked out with our new Arizona license plate (only one needed here), our new registration and title! All good until October 2019!

Ditching Our Last Two Lists
     By this point, we were anxious to get to México. Should we ditch our last two lists and just go? What was the worst that could happen if we skipped completing these:
1.    Shopping for American Food We Can’t Live Nine Months Without—Mrs. Renfro’s Habanero Salsa, Decaffeinated Orange Spice tea bags, Litehouse Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing, a few bottles of California Cabernet and Pinot Gris wine… We decided we could live without these for nine months.
2.   Get a Health Certificate for Bella, our Dachshund—each vet I called was booked for the next three days. We always get Bella’s health certificate before crossing the border, either into México or the U.S. After the fiasco we went through at the Puerto Vallarta Airport last year with Bella’s health certificate, did we dare skip it this year? (See "Bringing Your Pet Into Mexico--New 2017 Laws Are Being Enforced") We’ve never been checked for it at the border when we are driving across, but… this could be the year they decided to ask for it. We decided the worst that could happen is that we would have to turn around and go back to Nogales, AZ and find a veterinarian to complete her health certificate. We were skipping this list for the first time in over twenty years of traveling to México with a dog!
Bella Is Tired of Dealing With Health Certificates
     Let’s head for the Mexico border! We fueled up the RV with diesel one last time, since gasoline and diesel are more expensive south of the border. A free night of camping in the Casino del Sol parking lot and some delicious sushi for dinner at their Ume restaurant, and we were ready to retire early. At 6:30 the next morning, we started our drive toward México.
     We soon arrived at the border, spoke to a courteous Customs Agent, and were waved through. No one asked for Bella’s Health Certificate. Whew—sigh of relief.

Obtaining Our Mexican RV Import Permit, Finally!
     We import our motorhome into México under my name, since I have a Mexican Temporary Resident Visa. My husband, Jon, has a Mexican Permanent Resident Visa, so is not eligible for an RV Import Permit. I gathered the following documents, plus a copy of each, to purchase the RV import permit:
1.     My Passport
2.     My Temporary Resident Visa
3.     Original Arizona RV Title
4.     Original Arizona RV Registration Certificate
5.     My Oregon Driver's License (I’ll get my Arizona license next October)
6.     My Credit Card (no copy is needed of this)
7.     Certificate of canceled import permit for any prior temporary import permits (We just keep this handy in case they request it)

     I was so sure I had everything correctly prepared for my walk to the teller’s window at Banjercito, all copies and originals in hand. But, no, I had made one error that required me to gather my documents, leave the bank window, and go to the copy center for two copies, before I could return to the bank teller and start from the beginning.
     I had inadvertently grabbed an old copy of my previous Temporary Resident Visa, now expired. To me, the copy looked identical to my current card—same posed photo of me with no glasses, no earrings, and my hair pulled severely back from my scowling face. But the teller was sharp. She noticed that the copy was of my expired Temporary Resident Visa.
     Fortunately, the copy center’s copier was functioning this year and for 10 pesos (50 cents US), I was quickly able to get two readable copies, one of each side of my visa. Returning to the line at Banjercito, I was relieved that there was only one person ahead of me. It turned out that 9:30AM on a Wednesday morning was a good time to purchase my 10-year RV Import Permit.
Mexico: Pemex Gas Stations, Mexican Flag, & Beautiful Backdrop
     Another 247 miles and we would arrive in beautiful San Carlos, Sonora, on the Sea of Cortez. Soggy Peso Bar, here we come! We love the blue skies, rugged mountains, sparkling water, and stately cacti of Sonora, MX. Retirement in México is always an adventure. Never a dull moment.
View From the Soggy Peso Bar

     Check out my Amazon.com Author Page to explore more of my stories about "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico".
    
                                                  Terry L Turrell, Author  
             In Canada: Amazon.ca
                                                       Mexico: Amazon.com.mx
                                                       United Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk
                                                        Australia: Amazon.com.au *
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     Thank you for reading my books and blogs. I look forward to hearing your comments and reviews.
    Terry L Turrell