We started our day early as we had planned to go to Boquillas, Mexico today. It’s about a 40 mile trip all the way through the Park from Terlingua to the Rio Grande. We stopped in Terlingua and got gas at $2.70 plus and then I drove for a change while Jerry fiddled with his camera and took numerous pictures. As we entered Big Bend we stopped to get another picture under the sign as the ones we took the other day were not good. Further down the road we stopped at Panther Junction as Jerry wanted to show a ranger a small piece of rock that he had found at Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off when he climbed up the mountain side. It was multi-colored with pinks and blues. Jerry showed it to the ranger and the ranger said he had never seen anything like it before and would give it to a geologist.
We reached the Boquillas crossing and there was not another car in the parking lot. Umm, a little quiet today. We went on into the office and the ranger explained the procedure to us. About the same time a couple from Oregon, Karen and Mike, came in and we ended up enjoying the trip together. We walked about 200 yards down to the Rio Grande where we got into a row boat and then were taken across the narrow crossing. The water was very muddy and flowing fairly strong but the guy rowed across with no trouble.
When we got to the other side we paid $5 for the round trip and received tickets to be presented for the ride back. Then we were asked how we wanted to get to the village. Karen and I elected to ride a burro while Jerry and Mike walked. Jerry and Mike were much faster than Karen and me. I could not make my burro who apparently lost half of one of his ears at some point go any faster. I could steer him out of the way of approaching vehicles but we got no faster, no slower.
When we reached the village we went directly to the immigration office which was closed! In fact we never showed our passports. Apparently 11:00 is a little early to visit as we noticed that the ladies were just putting out their wares. There were several stands with embroidery pieces and some were quite well done but I didn’t see anything that I thought I could use.
Our guide who spoke very little English showed us around the village. Fortunately Karen could speak Spanish so she was able to ask some questions for us. It is a very small typical Mexican village whose main source of income is tourism. I was astonished to see that had they Wi-Fi and solar street lights. He took us by the school where there was one teacher and approximately 25 children. The town also has a hospital although it didn’t seem to be opened. We saw the local church which was painted yellow. I went inside and it only had a few pews. There were a lot of dogs running around and quite a number of horses. I asked what the horses were used for and the answer was “tourism”. We were only approached once, well twice, once going into the village and once returning to buy something. A cute little boy ran out in the street with a metal figurine that he offered for sale.
After our “tour” we went to Jose Falcons for snacks. As we walked I heard a good old southern accent and talked briefly with a gentleman from Greensboro. The lady who owned the restaurant spoke English quite well so we had no trouble ordering. Jerry and I bought salsa and chips for the group and Karen and Mike bought the guide a drink. I had quesadilla and Jerry had tacos made with cabbage. Both were very good but not very filling. We both had cokes, me a regular and Jerry a diet. We were told that cokes in Mexico are sweeter and more like the original coke because they are sweetened with pure cane sugar. I really didn’t notice any difference but then I probably wouldn’t because I rarely drink soft drinks.
We mounted our trusty burros again and back to the river side we went albeit slowly! When we got back to the United States we had to check in and have our passports scanned. I was wondering how we would check back in as it would appear that we had never checked into Mexico but there was no problem.
We rode up to Boquillas Canyon Overlook and by gosh, there on the other side of the Rio Grande was a canoe and two or three people plus another burro and a horse. At the edge of the overlook was a sand dune slide to the river. I guess the canoe would come over and pick you up and take you to the Mexican side. Interesting. I’m not sure where you’d go once you got over because the closest city is 180 miles away. That’s where the manager of the restaurant has to go for groceries!
It was a little awesome standing on the banks of the Rio Grande but it looked a lot different than what I would have expected. Very muddy and silky and I wouldn’t want to put my feet in it but I understand there are fish in it. Amazing!
We rode down to where the trail to the very top of the canyon started but elected not to do that today. Instead we headed back to the motor home to do some much needed chores. Along the way we kept stopping to take pictures of the landscape. It is amazing how different things look depending on whether you are traveling east or west. The sun can make all the difference in the world in just a few seconds. It is definitely beautiful country.