The Border…and more

Gringo Coyote ConvoyAlthough, sardined in the Range Rover, we had a very productive Friday drive leaving San Antonio for Laredo. Having arrived a bit after 1pm, we had a chance to ride to the border with our friends, Russ Fuller and Vasek Harvey to get our tourist visas.

Paperwork, done! Saturday, we convoy to Queretaro.
Gerie Bledsoe, our trusty convoy leader, deserves a shout out, a huge hug, our first borns, a place in our wills…for years he has been the dedicated US ambassador for La Carrera Panamericana, informing each team heading to Mexico the how to’s the when’s, the where’s, etc. He is quick replying to all of our questions, and speaking for myself…some pretty dense questions. He is always calming, graceful, and maintains a good sense of humor. And even though he gives all the teams more than adequate information to take care of the permit process required before crossing the border, some teams show up to Laredo without the appropriate paperwork or paperwork that is not very good looking. Somehow, he and Fernando figure out a way to help.
We took off Saturday morning for the border knowing that anything could happen. Things could run smoothly or we could have some last minute hoops to jump through.

Fortunately, our entire group got through without hassles! Nothing like looking forward to a 10 hour drive after the stress of customs! Next stop, Queretaro, where we will join up with Julio Estrada, my co crewster. 

Wellllll…. not so fast.

Turns out 280 km from Queretaro, our trusty Range Rover decided it had had enough of fourth gear and spit it out and protested the other gears as well. The rain reminded us that it wanted in on the party and so did the semi trucks whizzing a foot away from us as we coasted to the side of the freeway. Conrad tried to move the shifter, but a freewheeling tranny whined instead. Somehow, Conrad was found a way to go manual and get first, second and third and we era able to limp ourselves to the hotel. Many thanks to Russ and Dorian for keeping us bookended till we made it to the hotel and to all the others who have offered to carry our stuff and to Taz and Julio for finding new local friends that will be helping us out!

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