Brownsville to Ciudad Victoria, Thursday, 25 October 2012, Day 114

Petrol availability problems in Mexico

Well I made it and I am now in Mexico 🙂 Country number 3 come forward and take a bow. Up at a reasonable time last breakfast at Subway for a while then on to the border.

US side I had to go across to the other side or to the arrivals side as no one at departures side to take my exit papers so I did an illegal U turn and rode down a one way road the wrong way to do this (I was only following the officers instructions :-)) you really do not want to stand out when crossing borders but I had no alternative.

So US side sorted so goodbye USA it was fun but moving south now but I will be back 🙂

Across the toll bridge into Mexico pointed straight to the vehicles to declare line and the admin process began.

First I needed to get me officially into the country no problem as no queue it looks like I am only person coming in today!

Then to Banjercito to start on the process for the bike I was told I needed to get copies of passport, bike papers, insurance, driving licence etc. I told him I had them already as I am organised me. I was missing copy of my Visa, which I had only got 5 minutes ago so I was sent to a grumpy man who’s job it was to do the copying and he was pissed off as I done most of his job already. So back to the window, huge confusion on the bike papers what was the expiry date of the registration? On Dutch registration there is no expiry date but this chap was used to Canadian and US papers not an English man with Dutch Bike all of this done in Spanish as the chap did not speak any English and at the moment my Spanish is very weak. All through the process he kept asking me about the expiry date of the registration papers hoping that eventually I would tell him a date and all would be well in his world but nope señor there is no expiry date. After a while I was handed over to customs but no one there so this took a while and when they turned up they where not that interested but he got them to ask me about the expiry date for the registrations papers. So as I had no drugs and guns on the bike it was back to the guy to complete the importation of the bike. He decides that he wants to see the bike and checks the VIN number and now wants a copy of the insurance papers not the Mexican one but the US ones strange request but I give it to him anyhow I guess he still looking for an expiry date for the registrations paper. I am still the only one at the border so I guess it is a slow day for them so I think it takes longer than normal.  I am all done I have got a temporary import licence for the bike I will have to pay about 400USD if I do not take the bike out of the country within the month or 30 days. I thought I had 6 months but on checking my visa I had been given a transit visa as I told them I was going to Guatemala not a tourist visa fortunately for me I am whizzing across Mexico so I do not need longer but must remember this if I coming back and if I want to stay longer on Mexico. The import of the bike is based on your personal visa.

So I pay the man one fee for the import and another fee for the visa and back to immigration to prove I had paid and I was officially in Mexico and the next customer had just turned up. This had taken about more than an hour or more but I was through.

Useful page on this

The plan is to head south as far as I can until I am knackered away from the so called bandit/drug cartel area so the first thing I did was take a wrong turn and then I ran over something that made the bike judder it felt like the chain had come loose and the ABS went into a flid mode. I think I was just being hyper sensitive and before you knew it was on the right road heading south. Hot and boring scenery wise but being in new country made it more interesting. Roads are rough and speed bumps are all over the place even on major roads that keep you on your toes.

My next problem was petrol and getting some local currency after driving for about a 100km I decide to find a cash point in a town. Huge queue but at least I was safe as the place was crawling with the army with 2 vans with machine guns pointing at the cashpoint so no chance of being mugged unless it was the army doing the mugging. A serious amount of armed police and soldiers all over the place and lots of checkpoints along the way, so I guess there are some residual issues in the area. After queuing with a machine gun pointing at me the machine will not accept my card and it was either 100km to the next larger town with bank (according to my GPS) or back to the border. Onward and forward goes my old battle cry hopefully the fuel stations will accept Credit Cards and there seems to be a lot of Pemex petrol stations around. The first one I stop at no credit cards so on to the next one. This one is full of police in vans about 20 of them I am not sure why. There’s no petrol or is that there is no one there to sell you petrol. I tried to find out what was going from the Army folks but with my limited Spanish it was proving difficult No petrol for the next 80km how about back where I just come from was there any there no petrol there either or was it just that they would not except credit cards. What to do I am not sure if I could do 80km on what I had left in the tank. Chatting with one of the army guys who spoke a little English when another local joined us and he said I could buy petrol 300 meters down the road! So I was given instruction on how to find the petrol again with hand signals and bad language skills all round. Seemingly some bloke was selling petrol out of jerry cans on the side of the road and I managed to buy 5 litres for 5 USD so this should get us to the next available fuel station. They had a great little contraption for getting the petrol from jerry can to fuel tank.

Deserted Petrol Station!

I past a couple more petrol station that where deserted and I have no idea why and eventually I found one selling fuel and after another palaver I managed to get this on my credit card. I was sent to a window which you could not see though as it was tinted and mirrored all I saw was a hand wiggling to show they wanted my card so I handed it over and I thought that was the last time I will see that. It turned out there was a nice lady behind the window and I was invited in to finish the transaction. (Paying for the petrol you perves! I know what you are thinking :-))

So it had been a long day so next find a cashpoint hotel and dinner in that order and that is what happened I decided to call it quits at a place Ciudad Victoria and stayed at the first place that came up on my GPS as it was reasonably priced and the bike was safe. Took me a while to find somewhere to eat I managed to get a ham and cheese torta but very little else available it seemed in this town.

Cuidad Victoria

What a very strange and interesting day I hope things settle down and fuel and army checkpoints do not become too troublesome. I have been travelling across flat and boring landscape for days now but the good news today is there where mountains on the horizon and I am now in the foothills so that means tomorrow twisty roads and cooler weather as I head into the hills I do care if it is in the right direction I going into the mountains 🙂


5 thoughts on “Brownsville to Ciudad Victoria, Thursday, 25 October 2012, Day 114

    1. Phillip Beckwith Post author

      It was well weird petrol stations but not selling petrol and this was in large area do not understand why. Since then I have no problem getting fuel all the garages are manned and happy to fill you up. There is no Shell here and the only ones selling petrol here are Pemex which is run by the government so not much in the way of consumer choice except for the chap with the funnel at the side of road that I found 🙂
      Borders are always bureaucratic and got loads more coming my way 😦

  1. Sjoerd Bakker

    Phil… you need some HELP!!!!.
    First day into Mexico and already you are getting unwarranted , needless bad experiences ..a 30 day TRANSIT VISA only, not buying gas and getting Mexican cash out of a bank machine ( de muur) the moent after crosssing the border as your first priority…. all the stuff I told you NOT to do when we spoke at the Indy Moto GP.!
    And Ciudad Victoria – ” very little available ” ????? now really =( !
    Give me an email and we’ll give you a bunch of free refresher pointers and leads to good inexpensive hotels overnight stay spots and some ideas for great motorcycle roads.
    And for quick,sanitary easy breakfast sandwiches you can go to any of the OXXO convenience stores you will now see all over Mexico
    Ride safe and Never at night on the open highway where burros ,horses and cattle roam.
    Sjoerd B.

    1. Phillip Beckwith Post author

      Hi Sjoerd been putting of responding to this as I know you mean well but I do find your tone a bit arrogant and patronising in both of your posts on this blog. I appreciate your offer of information but not if comes with a sermon on what I am doing wrong according to you. This is my trip and my blog and I am sharing my experiences to folks that are interested and when I say something on here it my perspective on the subject does not make it correct just my perspective on what I experienced at the time. So happy for you to keep chipping in but please think about what you are saying and how you are saying it as to be honest your posts did really piss me off.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s