This is the second crossing into mexico. This time there are lots of concrete bollards and loud buzzers and soldiers, we get waved into a booth to be quickly searched before being let in. Immediately in the next town there are police and soldiers in the street armed with loaded automatic weapons. The plan is to drive a couple hundered kilometers (120miles) past the border to safer areas. Inside Mexico, a lot of friendly faces.
Trying to find somewhere to camp we drove into a village in the hills, drove through slowly with locals standing in the road looking at us, then turned around at the end of the village and drove back out. It was slightly embarassing. In the end we stopped yesterday behind a restaurant where we purchased two sodas and sweet bun for the equivalent of 2 US dollars. We asked the restaurant if we could camp around the back. Louis, a local boy didn’t speak any English indicated we would be fine and guided us to a small patch of scrappy grass. He kept us company in silence for a majority of the night after we offered him a beer. Ignoring health advice not to pet animals in mexico we befriended a dog that I named Hero, on multiple occasions he tried to leap in the car. Hero slept behind the Subaru after we climbed into the roof tent and kept us safe throughout the night by barking away any intruders (or so I presume, he could have just been barking. Because he’s a dog. Maybe there was a squirrel. But I insisted on giving him bread and praising him for unknown tasks).
I bought a cappuccino from the gas station this morning. Not sure yet if the water it was made with will be good or bad, but I’m sure time will decide, I feel lucky. It’s nearly too sweet to drink, so I stole Karli’s drink and used that to wash down my grossly dry sweet bun.
We’re still undecided if we should be tipping the fuel service attendants for filling us up and washing our windshield. This isn’t a service we request but they don’t give us a choice in the matter.
Karli has been practising her Spanish. I have been persisting with sign language. She seems to be nearly conversational in the language, but I couldn’t say for sure. She could just be making up the words for all I know but it seems convincing.
We had one encounter in which the roadside police waved us over for, presumably an inspection. Once we were to the side of the road they waved us to continue on. Not sure if it’s the language barrier that changed their mind, or something else entirely. Mabe they just don’t want to take the time to deal with us Gringos.
Still no sign of any cartel, but that being said-we don’t really know what the ‘cartel’ would look like. Still searching, hope to befriend them soon.