I survived my first trip into Mexico!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Los Algodones, Mexico was the destination and new prescription glasses were the game. (Gee, that sounds SO much more dramatic that it actually was....LOL!) Of course the first stop was the Post Office to see if my mail had arrived and if my birth certificate was in it. It had and it was....we were Mexico bound.

It was a true hop, skip and a jump...in fact the entire trip from our boondocking site to Algodones via the Post Office was under 30 miles. We parked the car, $5/day, and headed into town.

Once we crossed we could already see a LOOOOOOONG line of folks waiting to cross back to the U.S. even though it was only 3 pm.

We headed pretty straightaway to the optical shop that Doug had used before, Algodones Optical, since we weren't sure how late they stayed open. After trying on several frames from a wide selection and price range, I settled on two I liked. One for regular glasses and one for sunglasses....IF the price was right. I wear progressive lenses so in the US it's not uncommon for them to run me over $400, even with cheaper frames. Well, the price was right...I walked out with my eye exam and two pairs of glasses (on order, will get them Friday when we return for dinner with a group of RVers) for.....$155!

Doug wanted to get his shoes shined so once we found someone to do that, I wandered a bit just taking it all in. Much of the stuff being sold was either not to my taste (already have enough leather everything) or too big/bulky for my little RV. I did find what looked to be one interesting vendor who was engraving stuff on small leather pieces (like key fobs, etc) but since he was already packing up for the night, I didn't bother him. I hope he'll be there on Friday.

There is a ton of inexpensive jewelry, some handmade, some from China I suspect (as I suspect for many items being sold). Lots of t-shirts, clothes for youngsters, knick-knacks, hats (may have to try some of those out ), pottery (although much of it is probably the cheaper resin), rugs, and more. As I wandered in & out around the shops I found a nice central eating spot with music.

Once Doug was done we continued perusing things, checking out the prices in the liquor stores (some great buys there but each person can only bring back one bottle) as well as the pharmacy prices. I may get some of my meds refilled on Friday...one I can get cheaper at the Wal-Mart $4 price but another is much cheaper there.

Since it was now getting close to 5 pm, we noticed most shop owners were closing up. Most of them pack everything into totes, only to have to take it all out the next day. It was an exhausting procedure to watch. What didn't get packed away was carefully covered and tied down. While wandering the deliveries were starting...time to restock the liquor stores and pharmacies. Talk about tight parking! Check this out....and there were vehicles on both sides of them parked just as close! Eeeek!

We stopped for dinner at El Rancherito, checked out the line (still long) and then headed to another restaurant where we could sit, listen to music and watch the antics of the non-locals, who were obviously having fun. The live music was geared to Baby Boomers and several were dancing and singing along. Vendors strolled amongst the tables, hawking their wares - the best selling item seemed to be the "hair hats" that I first saw in Quartzsite. I did notice that the best sales were being had at tables where the liquor seemed to be flowing pretty freely.

I had ordered a Diet Coke and Doug got a Martguerita which came in a rather large glass. I got a kick out of my Coke being "Coke light" and all the writing in Spanish.

Eventually some of the vendors' children came out...some of the older ones were selling wallets & other small items but my favorite was this little boy who came out with his pet snake and startled several folks...until they realized it was a puppet!

Around 7 pm we headed back out, the line was empty except for some of the folks from the same restaurant...although they had obviously been there MUCH longer than us. My birth certificate was barely glanced at and my purchases smiled at. All in all, a nice day. I'll report this weekend on how well my new glasses work out!

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Algodones sounds about the same as when I was last there in 2006. Even the long lines.

    Tell Doug that I bought a 12 - 24mm zoom lens for my camera and, although I haven't yet used it very much, have been having fun with its very wide field of view. It is a neat lens and Tokina also makes them in a Cannon mount.

  2. Froggi,
    I know what you mean about the glasses! I wear progressives, too, and they are soooo expensive. I can't wait to hear how you like them. There may be a trip there in my future, too!

    And to Dick, the previous poster... I have the Tokina 12-24 also for my Nikon. I love it - nice lens, and fun to play with. I only wish it was a 10-24!


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