We got into our travelling groups and drove the few miles to the border crossing. We parked our cars and walked across the border in to the town of Tecate to take care of our paperwork (FFM cards meaning Forma Migratoria Múltiple). This is like a visa which we need if spending more than 72 hours in Mexico. When we got there the line was still pretty long, so our group decided to walk around the town for a while first. We can go into Mexico without the card for the day. There was no line and no problems at all getting into Mexico. We just walked through a gate, had our backpacks scanned and that was it.
Our first stop was a bank with a bunch of ATM machines where we were able to withdraw Pesos. It is currently very close to 20 pesos per dollar, or about 5 cents per Peso. Mike had some extra Canadian money left from our Alaska trip. He attempted to find a place to trade them in, but they were not accepted there.
We went to a big bakery. As we entered, we were handed a cafeteria tray and a pair of tongs. We walked down four aisles of pastries, and loaded our trays. I picked up some big fat cookies that I liked when we were on the Rio Grande last winter. Mike picked up a couple of pastries and a big roll, but they disappeared too fast for me to see what he got. I thought we had a lot. We paid 74 pesos which amounts to about $3.50. There is a McDonalds in town too that was advertising a burger, fries, and a drink for $2. Food is pretty cheap here. We decided to try our luck again at the FMM card line so we trudged back up a hill, and into the US. We just showed our passport, and that was it. No line, no wait, no fuss. Then we walked around the corner, back to Mexico again for the Migracio’n office. There was still a couple of groups ahead of us, but we waited this time. Two hours later we got our turn. There was one officer taking care of all of us himself. We received paperwork from him, and filled it out in front of him, paid our fee, and got our stamp. Yay! All good to go. Back into town we went!
Our next stop was the Tecate Brewery. They have recently been bought by Heineken. They have been closed for a long time to remodel the inside but reopened two weeks ago. They were not doing tours yet, but we did each get a free beer! It was really good too after waiting all that time for our paperwork.
From the brewery we went to lunch. We ordered whatever was first on the menu. We were told it was good and it was. It was a large burrito with meat on it, cheese, beans and some other stuff. It was delicious. We also ordered Horchata to drink. It is made with rice milk and cinnamon. It has a sweet taste and is served cold. I am still trying to decide if I like it or not. The place we were eating had open sides, which allowed the occasional pigeon to come in and walk all over the floor under our tables. It was kind of weird seeing that but the floors were clean.
On our way back out, I saw a Singer ad on the side of a building, and sure enough there was a fabric store there! I walked in just for a quick peek, but did not see quilting fabric, mostly dress making fabric. But still fun to look!
As we were walking back up the hill again, we passed a small park. In that park I saw Transformers! The transformers motioned for us to come see them so I ran across the street and did! Mike and I, and one other guy from our group got our picture with them! You just never know what you are going to see!
The town people were all very nice and many said hello to us as we passed by. It was a nice little town without the pushy sales people trying to get tourists to buy trinkets like you find in some border towns. Back at the US border again, showed our passports, and back to the ranch. Quite a busy but fun day.