Newsletter # 20 Oct 11, 2021
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The continuing situation with the Canada/US border closure has opened up vacancies on both our Fall & Spring Baja trip and the Spring Copper Canyon trip. Yucatan is full, but there may be one vacancy.
Both Airstream caravans have a few vacancies
Copper Canyon Extension
We are planning a Copper Canyon extension if enough interest. This can take one of 2 forms
1) A full 30 day colonial West Coast extension with tours if we have a minimum of 6 rigs
2) A long economical stay in the Melaque area (North of Manzanillo). A 2 or 3 day escort down from Mazatlan in Feb with myself, returning with the secondary wagon master from the Yucatan loop at the end of March or thereabouts. If the full extension runs, this option will still be available.
The Canadian border
This opened on August 6th for fully vaccinated Americans. The Americans have not yet reciprocated. The earliest it will now likely happen is October 21st. Many Canadians are chosing to ship rigs across and fly to meet them. In BC you can do this with Bayview Towing out of White Rock and San Juan airlines, Abbotsford to Bellingham. In Ontario contact KMC towing. For Alberta, join the Facebook gorup "Getting to Eureka" which is dedicated to discussion on doing this in Alberta. At this point you may want to wait and see what happens this month.
Mexican ATM Trick
When taking money from a Mexican ATM, you will often see a message to accept the exchange rate. Always say no. Nearly always, you will get a much better rate by declining it.
Canadians transiting the US to get home
This is no issue, at least at Nogales & Laredo. There have been reports of issues at Mexicali.
Covid appears to be on the decline in Mexico, but exercise caution, regardless. We highly recommend using a mask in places like grocery stores and try to use outdoor dining. I realize some people are against vaccines, but in my humble opinion, anyone traveling into Mexico not fully vaccinated, needs their head examined. My opinion. You do need to be vaccinated to participate in our caravans.
Crossing the Mexican Border
It is closed to everything but essential travel. Fortunately the Mexican governments interpretation of essential trave,l is going in for tourism. No covid test is required.
New 20 Peso note - Gas Station Scams
The new 20 Peso note is red, which is a good thing, as it is less likely to be slipped as a replacement for the newish blue 500 Peso note by dishonest Gas station attendants. On the subject of gas station scams, they still occur on occasion. Here is a video on how to avoid them. Remember that if you use a credit card, get a receipt and make sure you save it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTGWQSmeObQ
The permanent tourist and new bus rules
There are reports that they are, or soon will be, clamping down on poeplewho continually get a new 180 day tourist card and remain in Mexico long term. You should really consider taking out residency if you wish to live in Mexico full time if you meet the qualifications.
There have been some arrests and deportations of people who do not carry their passport, tourist visa or Mexican Resident card while traveling. Being in Mexico without a resident card or valid tourist visa can land you in an unpleasnt jail awaiting deportation.
The truck weight issue again
I am still hearing stories of a permit being denied to anythng over a 1/2 ton truck. Latest reports are from the Mexicali crossing and the Baja Ferry crossing. Texas crossing ar always on ongoing problem, Nogales is still your best bet. This is because Banjercito mistakenly interprets Cargo Capacity as GVWR. I have sourced out the customs manual and any aduana should have a copy of it. You can download it at https://mexicocaravans.com/Manual_de_Operacion_Aduanera.pdf . The issue is in Section 159 Subsection VI, Page 56 . Every aduana should have a copy of this manual, so you can draw their attention to that section.
An explaination of Cargo Capacity, GVWR, etc in Spanish may be downloaded at https://mexicocaravans.com/WeightsEspanol.pdf
Always ask to see the Aduana if you are given a hassle. It can also help to have a photo printed out of your truck and trailer.
When you do get your permit, double check the VIN on the permit is correct before leaving