Day 10 – a lot has happened

Where we left it…

Gary had issues with his paperwork. He ended up driving the 200 miles back to California to fix the issues, and back again. This was Wed/Thu.

We headed out – back to Sonoyta to the customs/aduana to process the paperwork and get the TIP – vehicle import permit, and made good time, even though it rained on the way, it was a nice morning drive.

At the aduana, the official asked for the registration of both the truck and the trailer. So Gary proudly handed them to the official. Then the official said he needed the original. Gary looked through his folder again as my throat knotted up, and G high-tailed it to the truck. Only a few minutes later, he comes back with a smile on his face as both Rocco and I wiped the sweat off our brows.

As the official looked over the paperwork, he said that the truck was overweight (7700lbs) as the sticker on the truck stated 10K lbs. This is a known issue with the law, it is not written clearly and leaves it up for interpretation.

There is a difference between unladen weight (6800lbs), and gross vehicle weight (10,000lbs). The maximum weight in the books is 7700lbs, but it doesn’t say which weight. I then stepped in and explained to the official that the law was for the unladen weight (whether it’s an African or European swallow is not relevant). He saw the issue but said he didn’t have the authority to issue the permit. He would have to get permission from the bosses in Mexico City, and it would take time, how much, he couldn’t say.

After 90 minutes, he came out to the bus where we were hanging out and said it had been approved, we just need to file the paperwork, pay the fees, and then we were set. Another hour to process things and we were set – out’a there… on to Magdalena de Kino – our first Pueblo Mágico of the trip.

Magdalena de Kino

Magdalena de Kino was first founded (by the Spanish) in the 1680’s by Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino. Kino was one of the better known, altruistic missionaries of the Spanish Church. He helped the local Tohono O’odham indigenous people.

We happened on Magdalena during the Kino Festival – where people from all over, but mostly from Arizona and Northern Sonora come to celebrate, participate in cultural exchanges, including seminars, dances, processions, sporting events, music, and food. We were able to spend two days at and participate in the festivities.

Like many desert towns, the people come out during the early mornings until about noon and then go inside until it cools down around six pm. We, as tourists, found ourselves the first day walking around mostly empty and shuttered streets in the blistering heat until the evening – when thousands came out to take part in the festival.

San Carlos – Guaymas

Back to the coast. A short, and blistering hot drive from Madalena de Kino to San Carlos near Guaymas – on the coast. We were on the road for about three hours and rolled into San Carlos at noon, just in time for lunch. We headed to the beach where I took a refreshing dip in the ocean and chased, or was chased, by a flock of pelicans. 100’s of them. Apparently, there were schools of little fish in the waves and they were going after them.

There were also other birds fishing and when one would catch one, the others would chase it to try to steal the catch. Inevitably, some (many) of the little fish would be dropped and they would rain down around me where they would flop on the hot rocks and die.

San Carlos is just an overnight stop. We are trying to follow the 330 rule. No more than 330 miles AND finish the day’s driving by 3:30pm. Today we drove about 350km and finished at noon. Driving in Mexico is not relaxing, but it’s not a white knuckle experience either. You just need to be aware and alert.

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