Tag Archives: Ciudad Victoria

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 http://www.mexinsider.com/vehicle-permits.html

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 🙂

 

Ciudad Victoria to Ciudad Valles, Friday, 26 October 2012, Day 115

Got lost and ended on this dirt track that went on forever

True to my word I headed into the mountains in the direction of San Luis Potosi as this took me away from the coastal plains and into the mountains. I am not going south but the roads are more interesting and it is cooler the higher you get. A lovely ride checking all of the Petrol Stations that I pass and they all seem to be open for business and selling petrol weird I wonder why I could not get any petrol yesterday in the couple of places I tried need to keep an eye on this perhaps it was only a local issue and I am well passed it now. I fill up in a place called Tula then a change of direction to a town called Ciudad Valles which is South as I am trying to get past Mexico City on the West and I trying to do I straight line down to Guatemala where I plan to do some Spanish lessons as I think I am missing out on loads in not being able to speak the local lingo does anyone know or can anyone recommend any language schools in the Antigua area?

Heading into the hills!

Tootling along enjoying the ride in the country and the cooler weather when Mr GPS says turn right! No road only a dirt track. I decide to ignore this and hit the detour button and keep going on the tarmac road that I am on. 5 km later it is directing me onto a dirt track again so I check GPS to see if I have dirt track option disabled. Yes I do so what to do? do I have another fight with the GPS or just see where it will take me and hope its only a short bit off road.

I am in the middle of nowhere completely on my own some I have being riding the dirt track for a while and I am hoping it will turn back into Tarmac soon I could turn back but I have gone to far to consider this the track is doable but it does gets tricky in places so I am crawling along making very little progress as we all know my off road skills are non existent at the best of times and I had been riding for a while so I was already tired. I am regretting turning of the Tarmac and I really need to revisit my onward and forward motto as it seems to be getting me into a lot of trouble lately. I find a gorgeous stream so I stop for while to catch my breath and to build up my courage for what I hope is the final push towards tarmac and the civilised world I have seen nobody for what seems like ages.

Lost but who cares when its like this

Finally after about 15km I hit the Tarmac again and the easiest run into Ciudad Valles. I turn into the road for the Centro and see a nice Hotel Pine (Pineapple), which has a secure car park at the back and is cheap as chips and also has a reasonable decent restaurant attached to it so this is going to be my home for tonight.

It has been a good day in the saddle and I had some fun trying to feed myself first for breakfast at a roadside café chatting in pigeon Spanish with the 3 nice ladies working there I managed to order 3 quesadilla as I know what they are and also tried a gator with chorizo salsa which was also nice and for my dinner I managed to get a bifstek Mexican which was a nice stew so I am well fed today.

View from Hotel

I went for a wander around town then to my room to work on this and it is still not up to date! And I just realised its Friday night!