Nogales, Mexico

Nogales Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 20 › view all entries

We arrived in Nogales, Arizona, in the middle of the afternoon.  The cars, pickup trucks and other vehicles in front of us were all going through the border control area in order to cross over into Mexico.  We didn't want to do that and had already decided to park our Goldwings on the Arizona side and walk across the border.  The streets were crowded with shoppers, but we quickly found a parking spot within two blocks of Nogales, Mexico.  An elderly hispanic man welcomed us, took our money, and assured us that our bikes would be safe because he would be watching them.  Yeah, sure he would.  

There was very little security at the border crossing and we walked into Mexico without any fanfare.

Typical street scene in Nogales, Mexico.
  But once we were actually walking down the dirty, crowded sidewalks of Nogales, Mexico, we realized that we really were in another country, a third-world country.   It was a dramatic contrast to what we had become accustomed to in America, and we all had a very unsettled feeling.  There were plenty of police and no one gave us a second look, so we set our minds on dinner.   To our stomachs, lunch had been an eternity ago.

We had no idea where we were or where we were going.  Luck was on our side.  After walking a block or two, we noticed an attractive courtyard with ivy-covered iron fences on all sides.  We entered the gate and followed the stone path into a small village-square area containing several upper-end galleries and boutiques.

Climbing steps to reach restaurant for dinner
  There was a large sign pointing toward a set of tiles stairs that led up to a charming restaurant.  I felt like Dorothy on the yellow brick road.  Since the eatery was clean and well-kept, we felt that it would be a good choice for dinner. 

It was too early for the dinner crowd, so we were quickly ushered to our table.  The menu was written in Spanish, but our waiter had an excellent grasp of the English language and was very helpful.  The food was delicious, but I was too busy looking around at the brightly colored walls and paintings to concentrate on my meal.  There were tiny white lights hung on the ceiling and around the bar area and over all the arched openings.  Massive mirrors that reached all the way to the ceiling made the dining room look twice it's size.

Brightly colored dining room.
  After dinner, I wandered down the hall and into the other dining areas.  Because of the early hour, the restaurant was almost empty of patrons.   I enjoyed my self-guided tour.  Even the ladies bathroom was exquisite.  

Jan and I had planned on some serious shopping, so it was time to go and find our treasure.  All the galleries and boutiques inside the courtyard were closed by the time we had finished our dinner.  As luck would have it, one of the shop owners was locking up and Jan was able to strike up a conversation with her.   She was very helpful and told us where to find the local market area.

Sirens and policecars were part of the experience of Nogales, Mexico.  We were walking down the street, minding our own business, and suddenly there were policemen with machine guns running in front of us.

Nogales Police didn't take time to shut the door.
  Obviously there was something going down.  It was a little bit unnerving, but we weren't discouraged.   We kept on walking until we reached the market place.  Shops and street vendors were everywhere.  All of them wanting to sell their goods and they weren't shy about it.   

It was important to get back into the USA before dark.  This place was scary enough in broad daylight.  It didn't take long for me and Jan to spend our daily souvenir allowance and more.  The jewelry shops had a nice selection of sterling silver and semi-precious stones and we got several nice pieces at bargain prices.  Jewelry is small and easy to pack, so I try to buy a trinket or two on every trip.

Janice and Randy searching for a bargain.

Getting back into the USA was much easier than I had expected.  I thought that we would be questioned about our packages or at least what our business had been in Mexico.  I was wrong.  We didn't even have to show our ID.  That came as a surprise.  Maybe it was our honest faces.  You think??  By the time we got back to our Goldwings, we felt as though we had seen enough of Mexico to last a lifetime.  I know one thing for sure, all of us felt very thankful to God that we were born in the USA.   


daveruz90 says:
I got pulled into an alley and we couldn't leave till we bought something. They're good sales people...I think. I got stung by one of those crazy mexican killer bees and I'll never go back! It was swollen for a month.
Posted on: Feb 23, 2008
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Typical street scene in Nogales, M…
Typical street scene in Nogales, …
Climbing steps to reach restaurant…
Climbing steps to reach restauran…
Brightly colored dining room.
Brightly colored dining room.
Nogales Police didnt take time to…
Nogales Police didn't take time t…
Janice and Randy searching for a b…
Janice and Randy searching for a …
the Three Amigos
the "Three Amigos"
One of the side rooms inside resta…
One of the side rooms inside rest…
Left our Goldwings in Arizona
Left our Goldwings in Arizona
Nogales, Mexico
Nogales, Mexico
photo by: kingelvis14