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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.