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Day 65: Entering America

All I got to see of Mexico City was the outskirts and the bus station, but I hear it’s not much too look at anyway. Driving reasonably close to Tikal in Guatemala without getting to see it was much more upsetting for me. We arrived at about 7am. A well-timed bus left the capital for Nuevo Laredo (on the US border) about 90 minutes later.

This bus was the best of the lot – cheap, fast and it showed a load of great movies – including Leon (The Professional) and Babel – makes a change from the 1980s action movies that tend to dominate this sector of captive audience entertainment. Although I really don’t understand why Central American bus drivers insist on setting the air conditioning to “Hoth”.

Outside, the landscape was becoming more and more arid and dry – greenery had given way to cacti and dust. This was the Mexico we all know and love, but before I knew it, we had hit the border with the U. S. of A.

I had two hours to get across the border. It was 2am, nobody was there so I figured I had plenty of time. But it took ages. And, annoyingly, the taxi driver who took me over the bridge didn’t stop on the Mexican side to get me stamped out. The yanks didn’t care about that, they just kept me talking for an hour while they searched my bags three – yes three – separate times. Carlos the Jackal here, yeah.

By the time US immigration had finished with me (thankfully no rubber gloves involved), I had to hurry to the Greyhound bus station so didn’t have time to go back to Mexico and get stamped out. Hope I don’t have to go back to Mexico any time soon – they might not let me back in.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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