This entry might be more aptly titled “Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.”
So, when I got to El Paso, I had hoped to, time allowing, accomplish two tasks: grab a cache in Mexico and grab one in New Mexico. New Mexico would require a bit more driving in the opposite direction from where I eventually needed to go so I opted to set that one aside. Besides, I would have twelve more chances. Juarez, on the other hand? I may or may not actually have a chance to get back here. That, and I had a trackable that has been making its way to a town in Mexico. I’ve been carrying it around with me for months and it’s past time to get it on its merry way. So when I got to the bridge across, I started looking for a place to park so I could walk across to a conveniently placed cache on the other side. Well…
…I accidentally turned into the line to go across. In for a penny, in for a pound. This would be the third time I’ve been to Mexico: once in Laredo, once in Ojinaga, and now once in Juarez.
For those of you who have somehow never left the country, getting out of the United States is easy. Fifteen minutes and a pass by some Mexican officials and a couple of armed soldiers and I was in the ciudad on my merry way.
My first attempt at a cache was a bust. It was a regular sized traditional at the Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez, but, unfortunately, it must have been muggled. I turned back the other way because I didn’t want to get too far from the bridge and ended up near the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. Luckily there was a cache nearby.
I parked in a lot next to some kind of BMX park and started heading over to that bridge. When I was by the foot of it, I saw that it was both at a bus stop and the GZ for the cache. The bus came by and picked everybody up and that was my chance. I found the loose rock in that wall and grabbed a film canister. The log was signed and there was enough room for the trackable so I put it in and returned the cache to its place. It was finally in the right country and on its way. Mission accomplished, I started heading back to the car. And I saw a couple of police officers waiting at the car. Really?, I thought to myself. Here in Mexico? I walked up to the officers and asked if there was a problem. Unfortunately no hablo espanol. Luckily one of the cops spoke some inglais. They were taking a break in the parking lot, saw a car alone there, and just decided to hang out there to make sure nobody came by to mess with it. That’s all. Whew… I got in the car and headed off.
I managed to grab a few photos on the way.
Only a few, though. I was driving in a foreign country, after all…
For those of you who have never tried getting in the country, getting into the United States is quite a pain. Two hours of waiting in line. Two hours of inching forward. Two hours of people trying to sell me water or snacks, or clean my windshield for money, or whatever else someone could do to make the Yankee dollar.
At the end, I got to the front of the line and the border agent asked me what I was doing over in Mexico today. So I got to explain geocaching to her because I’m not being clever with a border agent. But it was convincing enough to get back into the country and that’s what really mattered. I was home and I had caches to find.