Day 68: Crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico

Happy Birthday, James!

Today we woke up, determined at 7a that it was going to be a hot day, and prepared to head on out to see if we could cross the border somewhere. Before we left, I walked Clementine around and found some interesting scat poop. After some research, I believe this is from a wart hog!

I hate the heat. It is enough to make you want to cry. Our A/C is made up entirely of a spray bottle and a small fan. It does not work well in temps over 83F. But there is not time for complaining because adventure is waiting! There is a little border crossing right here.

The innocuous kiosk is…jesus it is so hot out. Where is the shade?! Why hasn’t everyone embraced shelters covered in solar panels in this part of the world?? It is now 100 F. The heat index has got to be much higher. I am very close to miserable. Poor, Chris.

Anyway, the innocuous kiosk is down some road. And that’s as specific as I can get.

There is one desk inside and two ATM-looking machines. You walk up to the machine, scan your passport, and lift the old school phone receiver. The person asks you a couple of questions, and then tells you to look up at the camera. I am so used to making stupid faces when on this side of the camera that I have to physically shake my head to stop myself. Border Agents tend not to have fantastic senses of humor. They tell me I am good to go and I hang up the phone. When you leave the kiosk, the physical border is about a mile down a dusty, semi-shaded path.

Clementine is not happy and I feel bad. We have water with us though, and most of it goes to her.

It will all be better once we get to the river.

When you reach the Rio Grande, you can either take a boat across for a small fee, or walk over. Walking over is free and makes for a better experience. On the Mexican bank are dozens of people with trucks and donkeys. The closest town is about 2 miles away and for another small fee you can hitch a ride with the truck or on the donkey. We also realize that it’s Cinquo de Mayo. Not a holiday celebrated in Mexico, unless you are a border town, because tourists like to drink. After thinking about it for half a second, we decide to try walking. Did I mention how hot it was? Every few feet we douse Clementine in water. As any good dog owner knows, when travelling with dogs to hot locations, you have to take your shoes off and test the ground to make sure you aren’t burning their little toe beans. Remember playing Hot Lava? The unshaded ground was intolerable, so we jumped from shaded square to shaded square.

At one point two donkeys laden with loud, drunk, and sunburned tourists came ambling down the path. In their defense, they were smiley and nice. The tourists seemed okay, too. Ba dum tss

Chris and I both looked at each other and immediately turned around and headed back. While crossing back over, Chris used his excellent Spanish to talk to some of the folks hanging out on the bank of the river. They were gathered for this one woman who was running for a local political position. We wished her luck, Clementine drank lots of water and vomited it back up, and we turned toward the dusty, semi-shaded path back to the van.

But not before we found this millipede. I love millipedes. Another super great photo.

Look how picturesque this drive is. I love it.

No trespassing, guys. I mean it.

Our home tonight is Amistad National Recreation Area in Del Rio, TX. A perfect place to jump in the water and wash off the sweat of the day.

We are going to sleep well tonight.

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