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Day Two San Marcos, Tx – San Fernando, Mexico

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Two
San Marcos, Tx – San Fernando, Mexico
387 miles

The trip just started to sink in dammed! I am driving a motorcycle through five thousand plus miles in four countries.
Did I bring my passport? Do I have enough money? Will the bike hold up? Oh no, the driving lights are not working…Stupid, the bike is not on.
My friend Lloyd is the only one coming. Everyone else couldn’t make it for different reasons: health, money or timing. We had a good breakfast and I helped him run errands that put us on a late start.
We left San Marcos around 10. I wanted to leave at five or six in the morning. In the beginning the goal was to make the 340 miles to the border and stay there overnight. But after checking out the Mexico map we decided to push it a bit further to San Fernando, Mexico if we could.
We started the bikes, took some last minute pictures and I asked Lloyd, “Do you know how to get to McAllen?” He said he didn’t know. Me neither. We laughed. After a year of planning we didn’t know how to get out of the US.
I have never been south of San Antonio so it was terra incognita. The weird thing is that right after it the weather got hot. We were going south and margaritas were waiting for us.
We stopped at Edinburg, close to the border, to look for a bank. I simply type in the bank on the GPS and it took us straight to it. Because it was the day before Thanksgiving, the lines were long and yet more wasted time. Finally we were on highway Phar 281 crossing the border at five in the afternoon.
Like the three stooges we were making loops at the immigration office. That is how you feel when you do the paperwork for the first time on the Mexican border; copies here, pay there but don’t until you make another copy. Did you make a copy of a copy? That one doesn’t work because it does have the stamp. We were newbies but it didn’t matter we were in, into the unknown savage lands.
The immigration officer gave me some directions on how to get out of Reynosa without getting lost. Guess what? On the first turn I was lost. I asked for directions and everything was a cluster. To top it off, it was dark and dusty. Driving lines? There are none. It was combat driving at its finest. Finally, my heading was on the right direction when I saw the San Fernando sign. The stupid sign was after the intersection and I wondered if we were on the right road?
We stopped and pulled over to get my bearings back that I had apparently left in Texas. It was pitch-black; semis were flying right next to us. In a split second a car stopped in front of us and I thought how nice, they are coming to help us. Then a second thought came, what if they are thugs…
The car pulled over and the driver made signals to come to them. I got off the bike and they asked me if I knew the name of the road. They were lost just like us. A second later another car was behind us to ask us the same thing.
I had uploaded Mexico maps in my GPS which I now put to test. I programmed the next town on the GPS blindingly trusting it to get us out of that mess. We dodge cars, buses, semi’s, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians. The video game, Frogger came to mind. But we did it. We finally were on the highway we needed to be.
Check points were abundant and after a hectic day I was getting tired. But where is San Fernando? The GPS said it was close, but was it? Did we pass it? I can’t see a big city, even a small one.
We followed the signs and arrived about 9:30pm. We were tired and hungry. I asked a local cop for directions to the hotel and he made recommendations about the food.
We ate “Pirate” tacos and later found a place to spend the night; Hotel America. My friend was totally paranoid about his bike getting stolen so I asked the hotel manager where we could park. He said anywhere; inside the room if you want to. A car was blocking the entrance so we ended up leaving the bikes right outside the door.

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