But today is different, we want to go down into Mexico for some dental work, and we are not up to either option of
1.driving our motorhome INTO Mexico for the day.
2. driving our motorhome up to the border and leaving it (along with our dogs inside) in a public parking lot while we walked across into Palomas.
Soooo our third and final option is to leave the motorhome in the nice secure spot in the state park next door to the camp host lady.... and leave our dogs inside with either heat or air conditioning as they need.
We gathered the local public transportation bus info from the host lady, Wendy. The bus runs down from Deming, through Columbus, and then down to the border three times a day during the week, and only once on the weekends. For a whole $1 each, we can ride to the border, walk across, come back and wait for the bus at a designated place to take it back to the campground.
And that is just what we did! We had to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get the dogs out and about for their doggie duties, and then perk a pot of coffee and get ready to walk to the corner of the park by 7:50.a.m. We were there 10 minutes early, just in case! The bus service provides transport to people from the United States who go down to the border who need to work by 8 a.m. in Palomas! Imagine that, Americans going down to work in the shops, stores, dental and optical offices in Mexico.
We had three different recommendations to go to the Fierro Dental Clinic, 2 blocks down on the left. http://www.fierrodentalclinic.com/ We found it right away, and we were the second people to come there, a single man was ahead of us. The place was neat and clean like any dental clinic in the US and smelled freshly mopped and had a pleasant disinfectant smell. Steve filled out some paperwork and was escorted to a chair right away. NO waiting. There are 11 dentists who work in the clinic and many support staff ready to answer any questions in either Spanish or English.
There are eight procedure areas, and a nice big waiting area with a movie playing on a tv, stacks of old magazines, and a pleasant receptionist who spoke perfect English. A cleaning lady was still finishing up some doors and glass around the entrance and chatted with me a bit while I waited for Steve.
Steve had one tooth that has been bothering him for almost 2 months now. At first he thought perhaps it was just sinuses causing the trouble. But now the sinuses have cleared up out in the southwestern climate, and the tooth is still troubling him. He also has a few soft spots that were turning to decay all on the top molar teeth in the back. They did find the troublesome tooth was decaying underneath a previous filling. The filling was drilled out and along with the other four, they completed five natural colored fillings in one hour! You can't even tell there are fillings in the teeth!
A smiling Steveio came out of the procedure area with a still numb face, no pain, and we were very pleased with the bill. Fillings in molars at our Wisconsin dentist are in the $300 range....depending on size. Our dental insurance doesn't cover fillings or extractions. Soooo $1,500.00 worth of dental work was done in just over one hour. And our bill you ask? $250.00 yup.... roughly 85% less than getting it done in the United States. We had the option to pay cash or credit card. We did cash so our credit card was not needed.
After we were done, we stopped by an optical shop to see about an extra pair of eyeglasses for Steve ... he has progressive bifocals and was quoted $140 a pair with exam, lens, frames etc. all one package. We will think about it and go back if he wants another pair. His last pair was in the $400 range.... so we might go back.
Once we were done there, we HAD to go wander through a famous place The Pink Store .
Yes, it's pink. and it's a store full of wonderful items for sale at reasonable prices. They hand select their wares from certain artists and each artist is depicted on the signs of the creative objects. They also have nice silver jewelry and bottles of liquor to bring back to the U.S.
I didn't take any interior photos to be polite, but they do have a photo gallery on their web page. http://www.thepinkstoremexico.com/PhotoGallery.html
We chose some touristy items as gifts and might go back for a certain pottery piece that I admired. We also were offered a free margarita, but it was only 10 a.m. and a bit early for us. LOL We were going to eat there, but they were just setting up tables and getting things in order for the tourist trade of lunches and dinners for the day. They did offer a breakfast burrito, but we declined and decided to walk about town a bit more.
We did buy some clear vanilla
and some lovely painted clay tiles
to make into coasters for out on our front porch.
(I will glue blue felt to the bottoms when we get home)
We wandered through the small dusty border town. The side streets looked a little rough, so we avoided them and stuck to the main roads in town. There weren't many people around at 10 a.m.
We had a choice of two bus return times, one at 11:15 and the other at 3:30. We didn't want to leave the dogs that long, so we opted to skip lunch at The Pink Store and head back to our campground in the United States on the 11:15 bus.
We headed to customs... and THIS time I was very very careful to NOT take ANY Pictures!!!! Read about my last experience in Mexico when I accidentally took a video scan of a federale border guard and almost got thrown in jail! blog post of Mexican visit in 2011
At this border crossing, we were the ONLY ones in the line to go back into the US. A quick glance at our passports and they asked us what we were bringing back. They didn't even look in our bags, and through the gate we went.
We waited at the little bus stop and "people watched" folks coming and going. We were guessing at their lives and what they were up to. Being silly, of course. We have such wild imaginations, we could write a book, I tell ya! We sure do look like TOURISTAS, don't we?
The winds were kicking up and it was chilly here, not getting above 55. The weatherman says tonight will be down to below 30 again around here, oh my! But Saturday and Sunday will be up in the mid to high 70's, so we will take that!
The same bus driver picked us up who had dropped us off earlier that morning. He asked us what we did and what we bought and how our dental work went etc. Nice chatty guy, and only three other people were on the bus for the trip going back.
He dropped us off at the south end of the campground to save us the half mile walk back from the corner at the highway. The only problem, the campground is fenced in!!! We had to walk along the edges of the fences until we found a spot we could carefully get over the sharp rows of barbed wire fencing at a corner brace. I think next time we will just walk in from the gate like everyone else. LOL
We came on back to the motorhome to find all was fine and dandy. I think the dogs slept all the while we were gone. We close all the windows and blinds, and turn the tv on loud to drown out any outside noises that might make them bark.
Steve's mouth is now unfrozen and we ate a little lunch and we both hit the bed for a nice afternoon siesta!
Side note- our campground has lovely cactus gardens, and some sweet blooms here and there too. Our campground host, Wendy has been clearing dead cacti from the manicured areas and showing us the different types around the park.
And here is some history about the park we are staying in: