Border Crossing Hassles

Ciudad Acuna Mexico StreetsForget what the Department of Homeland Security says. Not all border crossings are identical. Each point of entry seems to have its own quirks about what proves you’re a citizen.

In Douglas Arizona, we sashayed into Mexico on foot. The crossing was free, and we showed our California driver’s licenses as proof of nationality.

In Del Rio, Texas, crossing over on foot wasn’t so easy.

First, we had to walk a mile out of the way because of the stupid border fence construction. Then, we were forced to pay seventy five cents per person, just to walk across a mile long bridge over the Rio Grande, and into Mexico. Upon our return, we had to pay again, then show our birth certificates and driver’s licenses to the border patrol. Good thing we took ’em, because there was no indication that they were required on the U.S. side when we went into Mexico. After June 1st, supposedly everyone will need a passport.

Salon de Rene Ciudad Acuna MexicoDuring our long walk over the bridge into Mexico, an old Mexican man was walking in front of us, carrying grocery bags. A guy in a pickup pulled over to offer him a ride into town. It took us a second to realize that he was also offering us a ride. The old guy got in, but we said “No gracias.” This was one of those situations in which we really wanted to believe in the best of humanity, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to take him up on the offer, with all of the borderlands violence we’ve heard about.

Was crossing over for the day worth it? Not really. We could’ve had the same experience in the nearest Texas ghetto. And like my Dad says, border towns aren’t the real Mexico. They’re so geared toward tourists that any trace of authenticity is gone.

Well, not everything. You’ll still find potholed streets, dirty air, crumbling sidewalks and hooker bars. But keep in mind that if you go, you’re going to get harassed beyond belief by aggressive storekeepers who are obviously hurting because of the U.S. recession.

Acuna Mexico Ladies BarAs far as the reported threats of violence in border towns, we never once felt like we were in any danger, but then again, we didn’t venture too far out of the fake touristy areas, or take rides with strangers.

6 thoughts on “Border Crossing Hassles”

  1. you would’ve gotten a more authentic taste of mexico if you just got in the damn truck and chilled with some mexicans; actually worrying about border violence from an old man in a pick up is thoroughly ridiculous

  2. Glad to hear your trip was a safe one! I wondered about the safety of venturing into Mexico after hearing about all the violence. We were thinking of RVing into Mexico next year but don’t think we will.

    We’ve been off in the FL wilds. Did a week long trip in the Everglades (canoeing) and just got back from a Dry Tortugas campging trip. Hopefully we’ll get updated at some point soon. We have not had any internet signals for weeks.

    • Oooh, that trip sounds really nice. Being cut off from civilization sounds lovely. We are looking forward to silence again.

      Well, I’m betting that we won’t go to Mexico anytime soon either, at least with the rig. It does seem really sketchy these days. There’s still so much to see in the States anyhow, that should keep us occupied for a while…

  3. But where else you gonna have a big lunch, eat paletas in the park, and go home with a bag of fresh pan dulce and tortillas all for less than ten bucks!?


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