Confluence 2005 Day 1: 27-1-2005

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Leaving the US for Sonora thru Mexicali

This trip, we decided to change our route to the area of interest. Previously, we had traveled through the US to the border crossing at San Luis. From there, we would head east about 20 miles, then south through the dunes. This time, for several reasons, we decided to cross the border at Mexicali and then head east through the rural farms of the Colorado river delta and then south to the area close to El Gulfo.

Crossing the border was a no-brainer, although this time, the Mexican customs officials wanted to look at documents. No sweat. Since having liability insurance is a requirement in Mexico, we had to stop to purchase it. Getting it in the US would have been easier, but we failed to get it before crossing. So, we embarked on an extensive search to find it in Mexicali. After nearly an hour of driving around, we encounterd a fellow who led us to the place below where we got want we needed.

Once we had the insurance, we headed south. Sadly, it was in rush hour in Mexicali. Tons of traffic and clouds of billowing, choking acrid dust from the roadsides. We persevered and made it out of town around dark and headed south toward San Filipe. About 30 miles south, we stopped for directions and learned that we were only about 1/4 mile from our turn into the rural farms of the river delta.

We headed east following the trans-Mexico railroad, then south on the road to El Gulfo. Going was slow since the roads were narrow and there was lots of traffic. Finally, we hit an army drug control checkpoint, aka Puesto Yesenia. At the point, there was a taco stand. Being hungry, and given that it was 9pm and that we had at least another hour of dirt to even be able to think about cooking, we elected to eat at the stand. The meat was quite tough (carne duro), but it was still tasty and the group ate 40 of them.

Below, the boys drink beers in the taco stand "dining room".

It was late, so we all set up "camp". Storm clouds were threatening, so we decide to put down a tarp to sleep on. Good thing as the rain started in a few minutes. Below, you can see the very spartan camping setup.

Everybody had a few drinks and headed to bed. Except Mike, Roberto, Jose, Alvaro, Bill and Kathleen. Eventually, Kathleen passed out by the fire and we had to carry her to bed. Jose and I made quesadillas at midnight and contemplated the events that were in store for us the following day. Below is the fire scene before the die-hards took over.

While was raining lightly, the wind was kind to us, and some of the team decided to say hello to Don Julio (premium tequila) while we were sitting around the camp fire. Tomorrow, we would find the plane crash site and then motor on to the confluence (hopefully).

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