Crossing a border is always very special. We thought a lot about crossing the border from the US into Mexico and planned wel. The closer we got to the border the more warnings we got. Policecars and people we encountered on the road stopped to check on us regularly. More and more people told us stories about drug problems, gangs fighting each other, shootings and crazy police chases. That made us feel insecure and sometimes indesicive in which road and bordercrossing we should take. Finally we decided that we should be careful (not cycling when it is dark, locking our bikes well, keeping an eye on our belongings, taking hotels near the border) but that we should listen to our sense and feelings. We have not had a single dangerous or unpleasant encounter. On the contrary, everyone has been extremely friendly and helpful.
On our first day cycling in Mexico the Policía Federal found us somewhere on the road. They felt responsible for our safety and insisted to escort us until Saltillo. From that moment on a policecar drove behind us for the next 130km. They encouraged us through their speaker when going uphill. “Go Peter go! Go Petra go!” We felt like a professional Tour de France cycling team.
After Saltillo we went on smaller and quieter roads into the mountains. We felt relieved. Not only were we able to wild camp again but cars drove much slower and there was way less noise than on the big highways. For me hearing the noise of passing cars all day long is one of the most unpleasant things on tour. I often try to listen to music which works a little bit but it can also be unsafe because you don’t always hear the traffic coming.
Mexico is magical. Last year, when we traveled in the South, we loved this country a lot. And it is the same now with the North. People are extremely friendly and curious, the food is nice and cheap, the roads are good, car drivers treat us respectful, the climate is pleasant and the landscapes are beautiful. We enjoy Mexico and highly recommend it for cycletouring and traveling as a family.
We are now in Tula, Tamaulipas. Everyday we get closer to Mexico City. As soon as we arrive there we reach a milestone: We will reconnect the route we did in the South of North America with the part we did in the North. I dare to say that we will have crossed North America by bike as a family.
Reaching a milestone goes together with thinking a lot about which step to take next. Do we continue on and go to South America? Do we go home and see our families again? What do we want to do in the future? … to be continued …