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Author Topic: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016  (Read 3181 times)

US 41

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Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« on: February 14, 2016, 12:05:40 AM »

One week to go until I leave. It doesn't seem like it is this close. Well I'm going to be gone for 1 week. It will take 2 days to get there, 2 days to get back. That leaves me 3 days to explore the area. Last time I was literally there for less than 1 day and saw so much. This time I'm devoting a whole trip to the area. No detours to Arizona this time :D. Anyways my plans for the 3 days I'm going to be down there are basically set. I'm leaving Sunday and will get back home on Saturday.

Day 1 (Tuesday)= Mexico. I am going to enter Ojinaga at around 8:15 MT after getting my Mexican Insurance in Presidio. (FYI Texas is on CT while Chihuahua is on MT.) I plan on driving as far west on Mexican Highway 16 as the intersection with CHIH 80D before doing a U turn. I plan on stopping at both the Grutas (Caves) and Balnearios (Hot Springs) in Coyame. Both cost $30 MXN per person, which is very cheap. I will stop at the Peguis Canyon overlook both times I pass it. The downside to doing this is that I'll have to get a TIP which in an email from a Banjercito official I was told that it costs $51.04. I'm hoping the FMM will be free. If it's not, oh well, I'm still doing the trip. This day is basically my day of new exploration. The next two days will be old news for me (but still very enjoyable).

Days 2 and 3 (Wed and Thurs)= Big Bend Nat'l Park. I'll do the same stuff as last time and I'm sure lots of new things as well. It's a big park. I'm highly considering camping out one night and staying in Boquillas the other night. My tour guide when I was in Boquillas said that they have a hotel for $25 USD per night which is very reasonable. It costs $12 for a camping permit, so I think the extra $13 for a bed and a free breakfast is worth it. I'm going to find my guide again. I kept his name written down in case I went back. BTW his name was Felipe. I met an American there who was going to stay over there for several days with his wife and their two friends they brought with them. He told me he's been going there since the 60's. Boquillas is pretty safe so I'm not worried about safety. Talking my mother into it will be the toughest part. Sleeping in the car won't be an option since I'm not by myself. We made the deal of she pays for hotels, I pay for gas.

The drive from OKC to the Big Bend region will also be new for me, since I went west from OKC in November. Next year hopefully I'll be able to talk my dad into going with me to the region. He says he'll never go to Mexico, but I am hoping he'll go rafting through the Peguis Canyon with me. I just talked to a guy (Charlie Angell) who does guides and he says he'll do and has done trips through the Peguis Canyon. Still that's probably something that will happen next year if it even happens at all. But it's good to know for future reference.
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Places I've drove in North America

USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

coatimundi

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 10:22:46 AM »

How does the crossing at Boquillas work now? I haven't been since they reopened it, and I was curious what the procedure on both sides was, exactly, in terms of document checking, fees, etc.
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US 41

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 11:00:51 AM »

How does the crossing at Boquillas work now? I haven't been since they reopened it, and I was curious what the procedure on both sides was, exactly, in terms of document checking, fees, etc.

Here was my experience in Boquillas back in February.

You park in a gravel lot on the US side. You will walk into the US Customs building. A ranger will check your luggage and your passport, and then when you pass their inspection they'll let you through the back door and your on your way to Mexico. You walk down a path to a boat that is maintained by the people of Boquillas. Once you cross the river into Mexico you will then pay $5 for a round trip. They'll give you a ticket that you'll give to them when you return. BTW Boquillas uses dollars, so you won't have to exchange money.

Once you're across you can either choose to walk to the town (free) or you can ride a burro ($8 round trip). You also get to choose whether or not you want a guide when you cross as well. I chose to have a guide and I walked. The town is about a mile east of the actual crossing. A $5 or $10 tip is plenty. They'll show you the surrounding area. If I go again I'll probably tour the town myself, since it's so small. The only reason I got a guide was because I didn't know which way the town was when I got off of the ferry.

When you get to Boquillas the first thing you'll do is go to the customs office, which is in a trailer on a freshly poured concrete lot. Mexican customs will stamp your passport with an entry stamp and they'll have you fill out an FMM. The FMM is free and is valid for 7 days.

When I was finished with customs I went and ate at Falcons. I ate 3 tacos and had 2 bottles of Coke. It cost me $6, plus the $3 tip I gave my waitor. Afterwards I walked around the town, bought a souvenir (a sewed bag with a horse on it) that cost $10. Once I was done in the town I went back to customs and returned my FMM and got an exit stamp in my passport.

My guide then took me to a hot spring that was a 5-10 minute walk southwest of Boquillas. It is located at 29.181355° -102.946792°.   After that I gave the ferry people my ticket and crossed back into the US. Once on the US side, the ranger will search you and you'll talk to a customs agent over the phone. This crossing was pretty laid back honestly.

Notes:
The crossing is open 9-6 Wed - Sun.
There is supposedly a cave somewhere near by.
If you walk to the Boquillas Canyon the view from the Mexican side is supposedly a lot better than the view from the American side.
There is a bed and breakfast in Boquillas and it costs $25 USD per night to stay at.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask me. I only stayed in Boquillas for around an hour. I plan on staying for at least half of the day next week and I might even stay the night over there.

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USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

US 41

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 08:48:34 AM »

A trip report so far.

Day 1: I drove from Terre Haute to Newcastle, OK. I stayed the night at a Comfort Inn.

Day 2: I drove from Newcastle to Fort Davis, TX, where I am at currently in a small motel north of the town.

One thing I noticed along the way is that there are two things that come from Oklahoma and Texas; steers and skunks. I have seen at least 50 (probably more) dead skunks along the road. I also noticed that from Wichita Falls to Pecos that people keep more junk in their yards then I've ever seen as well.

Today is the day that I'll be driving into Mexico. Rather or not I drive farther than the Peguis Canyon or not is still to be determined. Chances are I will. I should be back into the US by the evening. I'll leave another report next time I have free Wifi.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly. I brought a couple copies of my title (but left my title at home) just incase they ask for it.

I don't think anything will happen in Mexico. Heck I've already been through it all this trip. I caught a sore throat from somewhere, banged by head on my door getting in the car, and I woke up a little dehydrated. I have a huge knot behind my ear now. I have no idea how I managed to bang my head, but leave it to me I did.

Gas Prices: The cheapest gas I have gotten was $1.27 south of Chickasaw, OK. Oddly this is actually where I banged my head too. The most expensive gas I've gotten so far was $1.49 in Pecos, TX. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 08:57:09 AM by US 41 »
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Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

corco

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2016, 02:40:22 PM »

I wonder if US 41 got eaten by coyotes or beheaded by banditos

US 41

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2016, 11:36:03 PM »

I wonder if US 41 got eaten by coyotes or beheaded by banditos

Haha no. Sorry I forgot to post. I thought I had posted already, but I must've been thinking of the PM I sent to Kphoger.

I bought insurance at La Junta for $18.40. It was a 1 day liability only policy that was $100,000 CSL, 10,000 total / 2,000 per person medical, and legal aid. It was way cheaper than the $30 one day quote from Sanborns (for only $50,000 CSL) that I of course did not buy. If anyone is interested La Junta is open 9-5 Monday - Friday.

I crossed the border and I of course was red lighted. After a thorough 3 minute search I was told that I passed inspection and I was on my way. It was kind of a weird feeling that I was actually driving in Mexico. Right off I realized that the stop lights will flash green right before they turn yellow. I found that to be an interesting concept and I actually thought that it was a good idea. I remember that in Canada a flashing green was basically the same as a green arrow. I had read of both so I was kind of prepared to see it.

MX 16 in Ojinaga is 3 lanes each direction, although the right lane often times was also a parking lane apparently so I stayed in the center lane all the way through town. A Mexican was going to clean my windshield, but I smiled with a "no gracias" and he smiled back and moved on to the next car.

Anyways the drive to the Peguis Canyon is about a 40 minute drive. The speed limit was mostly 60 km/h, but there was a section of 80 and a section of 40. I also came across a couple of topes (Mexican speed bumps). I took them at around 10 mph which seemed appropriate. On the way to the canyon I was pulled over by the Mexican Federal Policia. We had a mixed English-Spanish conversation for around 3-5 minutes. I heard him say something about "permisos" and realized that he (they, there were two of them) wanted to see my permits. They were wanting me to turn around to go back to the border and get my FMM and TIP. I explained that I was only planning on driving to the Canon del Peguis. They thought I was going to be driving to Cd. Chihuahua. The Peguis Canyon is still in the free zone which is the farthest I had planned on going. Once they understood we exchanged handshakes (not cash lol) and I was on my way.

I also ended up driving on CHIH 200 to Manuel Benavides, which is also in the free zone. CHIH 200 goes through the Santa Elena Nat'l Park. The speed limit was mostly 80 km/h, but there was a small section of 70 and 90.

Coming back into the US you have to pay a $24 MXN or $1.20 USD toll on the Mexican side of the river. Going into Mexico there is no toll. There was no wait going into Mexico and there was around a 5 minute wait coming back into the US. I will definitely use this crossing again and would highly recommend it to anyone that is wanting to travel to western Mexico. This crossing does have offices (INM and Banjercito) that issue the FMM and TIP which are located at the border and both those offices are open 24 hours per day as is the border crossing.

As far as safety is concerned, this area seems to be very safe. I didn't really feel any less safe on the Mexican side of the river compared to being on the US side. Once I actually did it I kind of felt stupid for being so nervous about it. A basic understanding of Spanish is definitely a big help. I will definitely be driving deep into Mexico in the future, probably to Mazatlán so I can go check out that newish toll road from Durango - Mazatlan.
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Places I've drove in North America

USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

US 41

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 11:37:31 AM »

Some pics (slightly out of order).

Looking east on MX 16.



Railroad crossing on CHIH 200.



The Peguis Canyon









Heading west on MX 16 toward the canyon. I was actually pulled over in the valley below.  :)



Somewhere between Ojinaga and the canyon.



MX 16 in Ojinaga



« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 11:39:58 AM by US 41 »
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Places I've drove in North America

USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

noelbotevera

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 02:07:21 PM »

I noticed in the photos that you're in the passenger's seat. Are you driving with someone else or pulled over and kept changing seats to take photos?
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US 41

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 11:28:05 PM »

I noticed in the photos that you're in the passenger's seat. Are you driving with someone else or pulled over and kept changing seats to take photos?

I was driving. My mother took all of the pictures from inside the car. I took the pictures of the canyon and the picture of the railroad crossing. My pictures probably would have been better from a road geek perspective, but oh well.
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Places I've drove in North America

USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

leroys73

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Re: Big Bend / Mexico Trip February 2016
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 06:11:14 PM »

I like the pictures.  I really like Big Bend and driving the Big Bend Ranch State Park road, aka River Road, 170.  I haven't as of yet crossed into Mexico in that area. 
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