Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bisbee, Arizona to Naco, México—A Pleasant Day Trip

A Wonderful Lunch and Friendly Experience in Naco, MX! 

     Bisbee, Arizona, north of “The Wall” and Naco, Mexicó, nestled against the south side of “The Wall” are worlds apart culturally, yet only ten miles away from each other. When we discovered the Bisbee Bus would pick us up in the Bisbee Historic District and drop us off a block from the pedestrian border crossing into Mexicó, we decided to head to Naco, MX for lunch.
     As we walked toward the Naco pedestrian border crossing, I couldn’t resist snapping two quick photos, one including the ugly, sad “Wall” separating the United States people from the Mexican people. As I was recalling the horrible Berlin Wall, I heard a loud shout and noticed a U.S. Border Patrol guy marching toward us. Busted! I guess I wasn’t supposed to be taking photos of the “The Wall”. I hastily tucked my camera in my purse and we continued casually to the gate. I gave a friendly wave over my shoulder to the U.S. Border Patrol guy who followed us until we entered the Immigration checkpoint. Weird!
Naco, Arizona Pedestrian Border Crossing
"The Wall" Separating Naco, AZ from Naco, MX
           The Mexican Immigration officer at the border greeted us with a friendly smile and then checked our passports, Jon’s backpack, and my purse. Guns are strictly prohibited in Mexicó and I had wisely left my pepper spray at home. He handed our bags back and asked where we were headed. Jon told him we were walking to Mariscos Mirador for lunch.
“Walking?!” the officer exclaimed in English. “You’ll never make it! It’s way down at the other end of town. You’ll need a taxi.”
“I pulled out my Google Maps printout and said, “Goggle says it’s only 1.2 miles down the highway. Are there sidewalks all the way?”
He laughed good-naturedly and said, “Yes, there are sidewalks. Have a good lunch.”
          Walking past the pretty little Naco plaza, we studied this cute heart-shaped container half-filled with plastic bottle caps. What is the purpose of this? Bottle caps aren’t recyclable, are they? Is it to discourage people from tossing their bottle caps on the ground? Simply a form of art? We never figured it out, but it looked clever and nicely maintained.
          We admired a couple of statues on our walk and commented on how quiet the town was. But the best part of our stroll was how friendly the people were to us. At the fire department, a man proudly asked us in English if we needed help finding anything. Mariscos Miramar? He pointed down the road and said, “Keep going and stay to the left.”
As we passed a small house where a man and teenager were hanging laundry to dry, we greeted them in Spanish. The man returned our greeting in English and asked if he could help us. He said Mariscos Miramar was very far down the road and did we need a ride. Jon said, “No, thank you. My phone shows it’s only another half-mile farther. We can walk.” The three of us had a friendly ten-minute conversation in English before we were able to say, “adios” and continue our walk.
Mariscos Miramar in Naco, Mexico

          By the time we reached Mariscos Miramar, we were hungry and our mouths were watering at the thought of Camarones Empanizados and cerveza for lunch. It was a bit before noon, but the restaurant was open and smelled as though they had just finished the morning rush for huevos rancheros. The shrimp were fresh and delicious, the portions very large, and the service friendly.
I was still enjoying my Michelada when I noticed through the window that the rain was coming down in sheets. “Good thing we brought our umbrellas,” I commented. Within minutes, our waitress appeared and asked us if we needed a ride. How thoughtful! Jon said that we would appreciate a ride to the border crossing. He asked her how much and she offered it for 50 pesos (about $2.50US), a very low price for their trouble.
She brought me a giant black trash bag sliced down one side to use for a rain poncho and said her husband would bring the car to the front for us. We thanked her profusely, dashed through the downpour, and happily hopped in the back seat of their SUV. At the border, Jon tipped the friendly man 100 pesos (about $5 US) and thanked him. It seemed clear that our driver was grateful for the money.
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience in Naco, Mexicó. We’ll definitely return to Mariscos Miramar next year, maybe for breakfast next time, when we are staying at the QueenMine RV Park in Bisbee, AZ.

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