Oct 20, 2010, 6:19 AM
Post #2 of 13
Here's a useful example of an earlier crossing report from another thread - with their slightly different perspectives:
Re: [YucaLandia] Latest Reports on Crossing the Border: Aduanas & INM
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u]Andy 777 recently wrote:
Hi there, -
I just want to post this in case it helps anyone. We've passed Columbia road several times without incident, mostly early during the week, probably 8-9 A.M when the bridge opens. Here's my experience:
-It's indeed less people than other bridges, but you have to drive 20+ or so miles out of the way to get there and then on the other side you have to drive back.
- there are 2 roads to the bridge, one comes from Laredo, the other one from San Antonio, the one from San Antonio is a toll road and it is expensive but there's the option to drive to Laredo and get there, lots of trucks tho.
-At the bridge nobody seems to speak English, I am fluent in Spanish so that wasn't a problem for me but I thought you should know I've had to act as a translator for other americans. If you go early in the morning they don't even want to see you, I guess working early kinda sucks.
- Customs shouldn't be a problem if you should follow the law, make a copy from their website of their own regulations and if they try to give you grief show them you know exactly what's going on. A custom officer tried to tell me those things allowed/franchise were only meant to apply when it was a family crossing the border and it didn't apply to me. This is not true, their website says clearly, the franchise is PER PERSON and it doesn't say anything about only applying to mexican families.
- Crossing the border with a dog or cat is a breeze but do have the documentation at hand, customs will give you more of a pain about electronics so check the list of what you're allowed and declare what you aren't allowed, desktops aren't allowed as part of your things, you have to declare them. Just be honest and friendly, they might allow you to go without paying.
- Make copies of the documentation before you leave, the prices for copies at the border are outrageous!, lol. 10 -15 pesos for 2 copies!
- Don't buy car insurance at the border, there are guys there trying to get you to buy it like it is required, it's a rip-off, 5 months of bare minimum insurance for $300 dlls ? no way, buy it when you get to your destination or before leaving the US from an american company, you can even buy it from a reputable Mexican insurance company online it costs around 200 dlls for the whole year, but so you know it isn't illegal to drive in Mexico without insurance, still , get insurance in case you kill somebody, mexicans will cross the road even if you're coming 80 m/h towards them, and in some cities people just don't have their brake lights!!!, get used to it and be prepared to stop at all times, drive carefully and you'll be fine.
- The roads to get to and from the bridge are very secluded, you won't find a lot of things except one gas station at the end of the bridge, trucks and more trucks, make sure to gas up before leaving the U.S. it's happened some of the gas stations on the Mexican side don't have gas.
- Don't speed because there are indeed bad mexican cops waiting along colombia road, I've been stopped once, Idk if it helps but it was on a Sunday 12 pm, perhaps everybody here who has been stopped should give their experience and maybe we can figure out what day of the week we can find them there.
- There's a speed trap close to Oxxo, the speed changes from 80 km/h to 60 km/h , you might not see it or you might not have enough time to slow down, there's where the bad cops get you, it's happened only once but it does happen, even if you are going 65 km/h -like me- they will stop you and threaten you to take you down to the "station". Idk about anyone here but being a woman I don't want to go with a low-class human carrying a weapon to some station that might or not exist, simply not happening.
-At that point you have to bribe them, carry with you only 300-500 pesos, open up your wallet to show them and tell them that's all you have, don't carry any valuables with you, don't show your credit cards. Just be calm and don't let them intimidate you. They want your money, they don't really want to take you to the station. Another thing is you don't go all American on them and ask them to go to the station because you will tell on them or whatever (lol), their boss will back them up and you will feel frustrated and helpless. This happened to my mom, don't make the same mistake.
- Don't speed!, along the road you will find out very soon the speed limits are RIDICULOUS, and I mean completely dumb!, most people will pass you by, if it says 80 km/h people will go 120 km/h, don't do the same, just chill and try to enjoy, getting stopped by a Federal is no picnic and a 500 pesos bribe won't cut it so, just follow the speed limit no matter what everybody else does.
- Take the toll roads!. 600 pesos from Nuevo Laredo to Aguascalientes is worth every penny.
- I personally think we lonely gringos should make friends at the border and travel following each other at least part of the road, crowds are powerful, we should just unite and help each other on the mexican side. Why don't we?
And if you have any questions just send me a message.
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com