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Day Nineteen: Tampico, Mexico – McAllen, USA

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Nineteen
Tampico, Mexico – McAllen, USA
370 miles

We woke up early, as usual, but at this point we knew from experience the city awakes at 8 a.m. We went to the local farmers market for breakfast. It was a little stand where everything is cooked fresh. A scramble egg order was four eggs each and an unlimited amount of home made tortillas. We had at least twelve on the table and the lady cooking insisted in serving more even after I told her we had enough.  Every time I looked away from my plate she would sneak one or two more on my plate.
I asked about the knife shop in the lobby and they told me the address. We decided to hang out until ten which was the time the store opened. There were unusual items you don’t find in the        States.
Getting out of Tampico was easy but not without the traffic. It took us an hour to finally get out of the city. We were heading toward our last border. The road became less curvy and more straight, the mountains a thing of the past. The winds picked up again as they had done a few days earlier.
We were pushing the speed of the bikes on the swoops doing ninety, sometimes a hundred. We doubled the speed limits of the highway or as we called it: The Mexican autobahn.
At one military check point, one of the guys spoke English and he was telling Lloyd he would love to come to the US. He then proceeded to ask Lloyd if he could find him a job. Lloyd replied he could join the American Army. “Too Dangerous” the Mexican soldier responded. The Mexican army guys were always excited about our trip. They would shake our hands after asking us the same questions.
We kept on riding and we were stopped once again by a police check point. The winds had pick up terribly and they were creating a sand storm. The police asked the usual trip questions, documents, but this time they were concerned about out safety. “Please if it gets too windy, pullover” They told me that over and over in a very kind concerning way.
I was dreading crossing Reynosa. It probably meant getting lost for the last time. We made a great time getting there, at the same time everything was slowing down. Not necessarily the pace but the exciting adventure was about to end.
I set my GPS before the city and it saved me from a headache. We were going home through the Pharr International Bridge. We turned in our motorcycle temporary permits, paid the last toll and crossed into US soil.
I called my friend Gary whom I talked before the trip and the plan was to spend the night at his place. The phone call was choppy and I could hear Gary’s newborn crying on the background. I told him we were on the border and on our way.
Crossing into the US we ran into traffic. There were maybe thirty vehicles in front of us at the US customs booth. It took us maybe thirty minutes. They checked out our license plates and asked, “Are you US citizens?”  “Yes.” “Go ahead.”
We declared our liquor and paid three dollars in taxes. All I had was two dollars and loose currency from four countries. The officer ended up exchanging some pesos for dollars.
We met Gary at his place and went out to eat to the local burger joint, our first American meal in three weeks. What a culture shock.

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