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Old Nov 18th, 1997, 11:34 AM
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We are driving a VW camperVan from the States throug Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua into Costa Rica. Any advice as to the best way to do border crossings? Any driving hints regarding safety, insurance, things to be aware of, things to be SURE to do as well as things to be sure NOT to do. Thanks for any help you can give.
Old Nov 19th, 1997, 12:55 PM
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I'll tell you one thing: DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT!!!!
Many of the fields are unfenced and animals roam freely at night. Until you come onto a black burro on an even blacker night going 6o mph -- well you don't want it to happen to you. Notice the long haul trucks in Mexico. They drive at night, but all have HUGE bumpers -- almost like cow catchers on trains for just this purpose. We once drove under a steer in a volkswagen. Threw him high into the air and didn't do the car much good, either. As we stood watching the beast gasp his life away, kindly locals suggested we go away fast, as that steer was suddenly going to become the world's most valuable animal -- and we would live in the jugado until the bill was paid. Don't drive at night!
Old Nov 20th, 1997, 03:25 AM
Jordan Sage
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I concur. Driving in Mexico at night, at least in areas such as Parral, headed back toward Chihuahua is a real headache. Twisting and turning roads, very slow trucks, and lots of animals wandering around on the roads. Dependant upon where you're at, you might even get stopped my Mexican Army or Federal Police which can be interesting as well....

By the way, if you cross in Juarez, a short time later, you'll be stopped and you will need auto insurance. You'll also need to post a bond to bring you car back out of Mexico. Many stolen vehicles end up in Mexico, so Mexico has decided the way to prevent some of this is to have motorists pay a bond, which can be returned on the way out.

DON'T give them your credit card number. Pay the cash. It's a percentage of the value of your car. Also, remember to double check all of your paperwork. Keep your receipts! They'll affix a window sticker to your car which is proof of insurance. Sometimes what happens is they'll take all of your paperwork, and then come out to your car to place the window sticker on your windshield. They'll signal you to drive on. Guess what? They just kept your receipt for the bond you paid on your car! On the way out, you won't get the money back. If you give them your credit card number, it will likely be frauded at some point. Pay attention!

Some times, not all. Mexican Army members are standing there with their weapons on, and people feel uneasy, so they move on quickly. After a long wait of processing through immigration/customs, most people are glad to get rolling. Watch that paperwork!
Old Nov 20th, 1997, 06:23 PM
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Good post Mr. Sage , good post !
Old Jan 3rd, 1998, 11:19 PM
michael stapleton
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Cows don't wear tail lights, so don't drive at night. Don't get in a hurry, just take your time. Think twice before taking old hiways because they are free rather than paying to drive on the new maxipistas. Unless you were wanting to take a slow bumpy ride into some remote place, you might wish you hadn't. Don't be too timid at those glorietas (traffic circles), or you will wait all day. When you see a stop sigh (alto), look in your mirror before you actually come to a complete stop. Most mexicans don't actually stop and you could get rear ended. All that said, I don't find driving in Mexico to be a problem. It's a great way to see the country.

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