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Warning if crossing the border.... probably anywhere

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I have always known that crossing the border coming south anytime before Christmas was the proverbial C.F. 

BUT, today, Saturday, I was crossing going north.... at a pretty small crossing Piedras Negras/Eagle Pass Texas. Usually it takes about 15 minutes to process anything.

I needed to turn in a TIP.  When I got to KM21 about noon there were..... about 2,000 vehicles backed up for 3 miles... 2-3 lanes deep.... maybe 1,000 just parked on the side of the road empty. Probably 5,000 people walking around. I asked a cop if I could cross the lineup into the parking lot to turn in my TIP and he said.... "NO, go get in the back of the line". I did, but after about 30 minutes I  realized that I would be there all night so I busted out of line and drove back to the parking lot area and a more friendly cop let me turn in. During that ordeal I not-so-quickly realized that I also needed to cancel my Tourist Card. Good luck with that as the line had about a thousand people in it. A Mexican National told me that they were saying about 12 hours to process.... which would put it about midnight if lucky.

Long story short I did, after about 2 hours after reaching the KM21, get my TIP cancelled but decided to head north and worry about how to get out of the visa pickle for another day.

So, if anyone is/was planning on going north in the next few days and actually needs to stop to do anything, maybe you should rethink the trip. If there were THAT many people at this area, although it does serve both Piedras Negras AND Ciudad Acuna, I can't imagine what a 'busy' crossing will be like!  Colombia at Laredo is probably also just as bad.

NOTE: Anyone ever not turned in a Tourist card and needed to come/fly back in before that card self-expires? That is now my predicament as I'm flying back mid-January. I'll probably call the Mexican Consulate in Denver to see if they have a solution, but I'm wondering if THEY also are now closed until after January 6th!

Dios mío


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