After enjoying some time at the casino and its’ buffet on Friday, we woke up Saturday to a parking lot full of cars and activity. There was a marathon going on and the Casino was the Start/Finish line. Runners were doing a 26 mile route. Here’s a picture of the main entrance from the day before. Today, it was cordoned off and full of EZ-Up tents and tables, banners, grandstands, etc.,
We watched some of the activities and then wandered over to talk with our Alpine Coach friends. We got the scoop on visiting Los Algodones Baja Mexico from them. They had visited several times. Be sure to click on the name above for some interesting information on this place from Wikipedia.
It was a little less than 20 miles from the casino where we’re parked. Of course, we took the Silverado with the ATV still loaded on the back. Here’s a picture of the border crossing into Los Algodones, taken just before we saw the signs that said “No Pictures”:
And here’s a picture I swiped from the Wikipedia website of the border crossing.
It’s been many years since we visited Mexico. The last time was in Laredo Texas where we crossed into Nuevo Laredo, back in the early ’90s.
We parked the Silverado in the huge parking lot before the crossing and paid our $6 parking fee. Then we simply walked through the fence and around the entrance building into Mexico. Voila! Here we are… didn’t have to show anything or talk to anyone. Makes you wonder how many people forget their passports and then can’t get back in, eh?
We wandered through the crowded sidewalks while trying to avoid most of the vendors attempts to get us to look at their “stuff”. It almost became annoying at times… you couldn’t just look at anything without getting pressured to buy it… and every “no thanks, just looking” was followed up with a lower price offer or the item was pressed into your hands.
We hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so we followed the tip we got from our fellow Alpine Coach friends, and found one of the Taco restaurants.
The tacos were delicious. I tried one of each; a shrimp, a fish, and a beef taco. Stilla had the Chili Relleno. And the margarita was great. So were the prices 🙂
After lunch, I couldn’t say no to a $2 shoe-shine. Especially since the guy followed us for a block.
Here’s Stilla checking out some wares. Notice the vendors in the background waiting along the sidewalk to “pounce” on you as you pass by. Just kidding, of course. All the vendors were very friendly, but persistent. One guy called his store the “Mexican WalMart”.
We even broke down and bought some of the cute kid’s little bobble-head toys. Many of the children there were selling trinkets of some sort or another. They’ve got their marketing technique down. We couldn’t resist.
Now where are we going to put these in the Coach? Oh well, maybe we can gift them…
Here’s a few more pictures of some of the items for sale along the sidewalks and alleyways of Los Algodones:
We made it out of there with a few shirts, a new hat for Stilla, some sleepwear, and I couldn’t say no to a $20 silver & turquoise Harley-Davidson belt buckle. And, oh yeah – a shoe-shine.
We found another open-air restaurant/bar of sorts, complete with tiki hut and palm trees, to enjoy some more refreshments.
We walked back through the border crossing without incident, luckily Stilla remembered her “green card” 🙂
On the way back to the Cocopah Casino where we parked the Coach, we stopped to check out the Quechan Casino that is located at the Interstate 8 exit to Los Algodones. It’s just a few miles up the road from the border. We noticed a huge amount of RV’s either parked in their lot or surrounding area(s). And it looked like there were lots of ATV trails in and around the parking area(s). We drove through the Casino RV parking area to check it out. We were flagged down by a group of people sitting outside their RVs enjoying adult beverages. They noticed our Colorado license plate. They were also from Colorado and invited us to come park near them if we decided to bring the Coach over. Hmmm, we might just have to do that…
We had tentatively reserved a spot at the Military Fam-Camp in Yuma Proving Grounds for a week beginning on 1 February, but that still left us an open week before we go back North to Lake Havasu for the Fireworks Rally on the 11th. So we might just revise our near-term plan and stay South for a while longer. Stay tuned…