Ripped off at the Mexican Border by the Mexican's.
Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
86Trip End Jun 10, 2012
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See next travel blog entry re:Monterrey, which was later the same day.
It is a tossup which city I would label Hell City - Laredo or Monterrey
Got into Laredo at 1:00 am..
First 3 hotels I tried were full - no vacancies..
Checked into a Mexican hotel at 2:00 am...
Got into a Mexican Hotel (since it was in Texas - Laredo) it is referred to as being a Hispanic Hotel,
the politically correct term...By North American standards it would be a one star hotel - no hotel in Ottawa or even Vanier would be this bad - by Mexican standards it was okay.....I don't mind ---
I have roughed it before and I can rough it again...all I want is a place to sleep - a bed to sleep in or on. And they provided a hot breakfast - I had a ham omelet, french fries and beans - wasn't bad and the people were friendly..
Price was $69 plus $10 tax for $80..
$10 tax seems to be pretty standard everywhere I have been so far, and it is an amount ($10), not a percentage % tax. Rooms everywhere else had been $39 or $49 plus $10 tax...
Laredo was $30 more expensive than any other place...
Laredo is 95% Hispanic and 5% Non-Hispanic, which is how they refer to the whites..
Walked down the street to a Mexican insurance company, which was conveniently close by..
Noted: an American hotel chain hotel with a room rate advertised of $39...
Maybe it had been full.
Maybe the Mexican hotel rate is $69 when the other hotels are all full.....
You need Mexican car insurance if you take your car into Mexico..
Mexican Car insurance was $250 for the bare minimum - public liability of $100,000.....
Took two hours to get the Mexican Car Insurance - there is a lot of paper work...
Last time I was across the Mexican border with my car, the insurance was about $100..
Checked the gas prices in Laredo - they were $3.50 a gallon.
I knew that gas prices were only $2.99 a gallon just outside of town.
Decided to get the gas at $2.99 out of town - BIG MISTAKE......
More than 50K and an hour and a half later I was back in Laredo,
and now I knew why people paid $3.50 a gallon for gas instead of $2.99 a gallon.
To use your credit card to get gas you need to punch in your ZIP code. Canadians do not have a ZIP code, so they cannot punch it in. They must go inside, talk to whoever, convince them that they are really just an honest Canadian who does not have a ZIP code, and than get a predetermined and authorized amount of gas...I got $50 predetermined and authorized gas which was right on the button.
Apparently stolen or fake credit cards were being used extensively to purchase gas, because of the ease with which it could be done....This must be happening in Canada too - they just have not taken the required corrective action yet..
Crossed the border into Mexico...
First the American Border Guards - remember, those are the guys on the front lines defending America's borders and Americans and America to protect them and keep them safe.
They ramsacked my car again - about 1/100 gets the special treatment and I get it every time - which took about an hour - apparently they were looking for drugs, guns and money. You would think that they would be happy that I was taking drugs, guns and money out of the country - but they apparently are not. Paid $2 to cross the international toll bridge - tried to get to the Mexican Immigration Offices - took the wrong turn - and ended up in a one lane, packed solid with cars lineup to the international toll bridge going to the U.S.A. and there was absolutely noway I could get out of that lineup - I WAS TRAPPED - had to pay $2.00 to cross the international toll bridge into the U.S.A.--- Half way over I saw an opportunity to make a U-turn in the middle of the bridge, I took it and got away with it... If I had not done that, I would have had to deal with the U.S.A. Border Guards again - another hour to ramsack my car looking for drugs, guns and money - to get into the
U.S.A. - another hour for the Border Guards to ramsack my car looking for drugs, guns and money when I crossed the border again into Mexico and another hour wait to get across the international toll bridge. I was desperate - I took a chance and got away with it...
Got across the border into Mexico, but still needed a car permit and tourist permit/visa.
Paid a Mexican 100 peso's ($10) to show me to the Mexican Border Immigration office...
Three hours later - I had my car permit - it is a temporary car importation permit - cost $400..
I will get $350 back when I take my car back out of Mexico, but I have a feeling that they are not going to make it easy for me to get my money back. Up until June/2011 - you paid a fee to post the temporary car importation bond of about $40. The changed the law in June/2011 to you had to post the temporary car importation bond, to ensure that you do not sell your car while you are in Mexico.
I knew about the temporary car importation permit but was expecting a fee of about $40,
the $400 temporary car importation bond was completely unexpected. Knew about the $20 tourist permit/visa too...
And I had my tourist permit/visa - for people staying overnite in Mexico - my tourist permit is good for 6 months - the maximum allowed at one time..
And I was on my way to Monterrey.
Cost in Laredo:
Mexican Car Insurance 250
Crossing Toll Bridge
Twice $2 x 2 = 4
Mexican guide to get to
Immigration office 10
Importation Bond $400
Total Cost $824
Total cost in Laredo and getting into Mexico..
Plus 6 hours of time and frustration and stress....
And now I was on my way to Monterrey, Mexico,
completely stressed out......
Adio's My Amigo's
That is all for now
The next blog entry is for my trip to Monterrey later the same day.......
Through the Mexican war zone that is infested with bandito's, drug gangs,
corrupt cops andcorrupt politicians....
My day was far from over.....