Big Bend Chat

el Estado de Coahuila de Mexico => Serranias del Burro, Del Carmens, El Carmen => Topic started by: On the Road Again on April 22, 2013, 12:50:05 PM

Title: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: On the Road Again on April 22, 2013, 12:50:05 PM
We'll be visiting BBNP.   I noticed the Boquillas Border crossing is now open.
I have never been to Mexico (and I do have a passport).   Is it worth crossing over ?
What do you do ?  Once you cross the river, is it a long walk to town ?

I'm trying to get an idea on what to expect and what to do if we do cross over ?

It will be in June - is the river shallow enough to walk across ?
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: elhombre on April 22, 2013, 02:13:21 PM
You basically are going across to give them money for beer, food or blankets.  You could walk across the river, but you would miss out on giving them money.  After crossing, it is about a 15 minute walk in sand to the town, or pay the guys with trucks or mules to give you a ride.  As crazy as it may sound, I would say that it is the safest border town on the entire US - Mexican border right now.  We use to go for the beer and tequila shots. ($1).  It was also fun to play the FF's for beers on the warped pool table in the bar. 

Hard to say what it will be like once the shine of the place wears off a little.


Make sure you come home by 6:00 pm or Johnny Border Patrol will ruin your life.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: The Scorpion on April 22, 2013, 02:27:55 PM
I have never been across, but I would make an effort to get LOTS of 1 dollar bills, and or a bunch of 5's. Im sure the little kids will try to sell you anything they pick up, not saying you have to buy from them, but just in case.

actually I heard you need to be back across the border at 5:30, is it now 6:00?
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: nita on April 22, 2013, 03:43:30 PM
If you go to Boquillas, buy whatever is sold. Maybe this will help with a recovery since the border was closed. I have even purchased pretty rocks.They look nice in a glass vase. Remember: you're in a different country. Don't expect things to be the same. Relax, and enjoy the occasion!
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: billh on April 22, 2013, 03:57:52 PM
we went several times. We took our little kids over, (all under 12) We ordered cokes and beers, bought souvenirs. We paid 1 buck a head to cross by row boat, walked into town or road the pick ups. I once left my camera in the truck and it was sitting there when I got back. Great time. 
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: mollyd on April 22, 2013, 04:42:00 PM
You walk through our customs building, and down to the river. You can either walk across or take the rowboat, which is hecka more fun and provides a little money for the people of Boquillas.
Rowboat, overseen by our old Friend Victor the singing musician, is five dollars; tickets can be purchased at the front desk at the lodge, the store at Rio Grand Village, or in Boquillas itself, at the tourist center.
From there, as has been mentioned, you can take a truck, a horse (although there are a few burros, most of them are horses) or walk into town. Make sure when asking about price to ask if it is roundtrip.
Once in the town, first stop is Customs; you  fill out a form, and the official will give you back half of it, which you will return on your way out. There is no charge for that.
The tourist center (they'll point it out to you) has you sign  in (for their records) and there is a room where the people of Boquillas can display their stuff for sale; there are the normal scorpions and walking sticks, but there has been more and more innovation of stuff... I've had the women do personalized bracelets for me, and the only take an hour or so, and I got them for my grand daughters and friends.
There are also a few quilts, there.
The cantina is there, and two restaurants as well... it's cool just to walk around for the afternoon, have some lunch...
They are working on obtaining permits to go into the surrounding areas, but haven't gotten them, yet, so no long trips are offered.
IMPORTANT: our border closes at 6, and if you aren't there, you will be spending the night in Boquillas. ALSO, the border is closed on Monday and Tuesday-- so you could conceivably be stuck for several days.
It is possible to rent horses for several hours and ride to Boquillas canyon (I think). You may also walk up to the old ore terminal. There are sand dunes you could take a walk to...or just walk around the streets looking at the cool houses.
While folks offered to guide us or show us their wares, they were never as pushy as other border towns; considering it from their side, I thought it was easy going and I was glad to help out a bit with the economic recovery. Since I bought a lot of personalized bracelets I went to four different houses and got 3 made at each house, to spread it around a bit.  Fun times!
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: chris on April 23, 2013, 08:31:03 AM
 :13: I guess I need to get my stuff together and finally get a passport...and start planning a fall trip!
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Picacho on April 23, 2013, 08:35:23 AM
I've only been once and it was in 1979.  Thoroughly enjoyed it and I still remember it vividly.  I'll definitely be doing it again.  I'll post some photos when I get around to it. 
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: steelfrog on April 23, 2013, 09:05:22 AM
El Pico trip?
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 23, 2013, 09:27:36 AM
Just do it! You're already living dangerously just by going to Big Bend. It will be culturally enriching for you. Just think of all the miscreants of times past who galloped into Mexico to escape the law. There's an ancient mystique associated with crossing the Rio Grande that can't be put into words. It's better "felt" than "telt."
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Picacho on April 23, 2013, 10:50:49 AM
El Pico trip?

Yep.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: On the Road Again on April 24, 2013, 11:54:37 AM
Sounds interesting.

How much do they charge for the ride into town ?
Truck ?   Horse/mule ?

Don't want to carry to much cash.

If you say round-trip - how do you find the same guy ?
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 24, 2013, 12:05:45 PM
Looks like some folks are about to get "border town" educated and Boquillas is a fine place to start, kindergarten so to speak.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Picacho on April 24, 2013, 01:18:04 PM
As with just about anything in Mexico, the charge is negotiable; however, don't be too tight as they need the money. 
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 24, 2013, 02:09:26 PM

What happens at 6 pm, the fences go back up? Anybody really think I'm getting stuck in Boquillas when I can just walk back to my Jeep? Hey, I wonder if I could just drive the Jeep over and back - low water crossing so to speak.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: RichardM on April 24, 2013, 05:40:51 PM
What happens at 6 pm, the fences go back up? Anybody really think I'm getting stuck in Boquillas when I can just walk back to my Jeep? Hey, I wonder if I could just drive the Jeep over and back - low water crossing so to speak.
At 6:00 (or maybe 5:30, depending on the source), the entrance station closes, so you can't legally reenter the US. The crossing will be heavily monitored by cameras/sensors during hours the crossing is officially closed, so expect a visit from your friendly border patrol agent(s) should you come back across after-hours. As to driving a Jeep across, I'm betting that's also against the rules.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: mollyd on April 24, 2013, 08:56:07 PM
I paid 8 dollars for the horse, and 4 dollars for a guy to pull the horse because I don't know how to drive one of those things! Was glad to give the money, although walking is nice and I get to work off some of the calories from the tacos at Falcones. To find the same guy...well, Boquillas is just not that big! Not hard to find someone; also, they almost all have radios.
Today I learned that there are beds to be had, some with indoor toilets, some not, with lights (but no outlets, although they are more than willing to charge your stuff for you). Just ask at the Visitor center if you want to spend the night.
I wanted to post that, as, speaking as a photographer I wanted to get the sunset/early morning light, which isn't possible with the border hours.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Quatro on April 24, 2013, 11:07:40 PM
I wanted to post that, as, speaking as a photographer I wanted to get the sunset/early morning light, which isn't possible with the border hours.

I've been waiting for the first photos to be posted.  Almost like the Iron Curtain has been torn down.  I wonder what it looks like now.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on April 25, 2013, 06:08:30 AM
I know there are 2 hot springs on the Mexican side near Boquillas.  A small one right below Delore's Buzzards Roost Bed and Breakfast and a larger one about 1/2 mile upstream from the crossing right next to the river.  At this larger one there are a couple of nice rock pools and the remnants of someone's failed venture to build showers.   I would be curious to know if anyone has gone to these hot springs recently and how they are doing?    TWWG
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Voni on April 25, 2013, 09:35:52 AM
I expect if you do overstay your welcome you'll be talking to some agitated officials.

Please don't blow it for the rest of us.

As to pictures, here you go:

http://alpinedailyplanet.typepad.com/alpine-daily-planet/2013/04/south-county-bureau-report-its-open-boquillas-welcomes-us-visitors-officials-media-folks.html

Voni
  sMiling
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 25, 2013, 10:31:31 AM
A few Jeep tracks running across the river won't ruin anything for anybody. How do you think those taxi trucks got over there, eh? There must be a low water crossing somewhere...
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: kevint on April 25, 2013, 01:27:22 PM
How do you think those taxi trucks got over there, eh?


Hmmm?  On the south road from Highway 20, Melchor Muzquiz and points beyond?
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 25, 2013, 01:50:28 PM
Hecho en México?
What would you wager on the chances of finding a clean title to any of those trucks? I think I'll stick with the burro for my mount. At least you can catch them in the wild, no harm no foul.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: elhombre on April 25, 2013, 02:09:29 PM
The Mexicans use to drive across in a pickup truck and bring a bunch of make-shift gas containers over to the Rio Grande village store.  Fill them up, and drive back.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Reece on April 25, 2013, 02:20:01 PM
Lot shorter trip than the southern route to get gas.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: RichardM on April 25, 2013, 05:25:17 PM
Another great article (with video) here:
http://bigbendnow.com/2013/04/new-port-reunites-residents-on-both-sides-of-the-border/ (http://bigbendnow.com/2013/04/new-port-reunites-residents-on-both-sides-of-the-border/)

With regards to the 5:30 deadline, that seems to be when the last boat comes back across from Mexico. If you miss it, you either wade back or wait until the next day.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Al on May 10, 2013, 10:28:37 PM
http://discoverboquillas.wordpress.com/ (http://discoverboquillas.wordpress.com/)
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: homerboy2u on May 12, 2013, 06:55:19 PM
http://discoverboquillas.wordpress.com/ (http://discoverboquillas.wordpress.com/)

 Pictures from that homebuilt, are amazing...brought back a lot of memories. Ready to go back on a snap.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: perterra on May 12, 2013, 08:09:48 PM
A few Jeep tracks running across the river won't ruin anything for anybody. How do you think those taxi trucks got over there, eh? There must be a low water crossing somewhere...

Go for it, let us know how it works out for you.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: scottnaustin on May 12, 2013, 11:35:46 PM
El Pico trip?

We climbed El Pico in January 2001....are you seriously wanting to do it?  Because I wanna try to do it again.  Tell me more!  :-)
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: steelfrog on May 13, 2013, 08:55:02 AM
Of course!  I just bought a Mexico topo but it isn't too detailed.  Have to get a  USGS one I guess.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Al on May 13, 2013, 10:59:06 AM
El Pico trip?

We climbed El Pico in January 2001....are you seriously wanting to do it?  Because I wanna try to do it again.  Tell me more!  :-)

Scott, what route did you take to get to and from El Pico?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Flash on May 13, 2013, 12:00:25 PM
Here is a bit of the Joint Ops topo map form UT libraries...  8)
 
For more go see the following:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/jog/latin_america/nh-13-9-emory_peak_texas-united_states-mexico-1980.pdf (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/jog/latin_america/nh-13-9-emory_peak_texas-united_states-mexico-1980.pdf)
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Steph4KSU on January 15, 2014, 05:10:23 AM
I know this is waaaay behind the thread, but I wanted to post an update. We spent last week in Big Bend, including a couple of hours in Boquillos. I will definitely be going back! The ferry was $5/person, as were the round-trip burro rides into town. Victor the singing Mexican welcomed us into the country!  :) In Boquillos, Lupe was our guide and showed us around the entire town, answering my many many questions cheerfully. We even got to watch a family in the process of building a new adobe house!! The entire village is solar-powered, which I thought was amazing! We bought quite a few wire scorpion and cacti to bring home with us. The restaurant with the patio dining (the smaller cafe) has the best tamales, tortillas, and frijoles you'll ever eat! Take lots of $5 bills as change for a $20 is hard to come by. The changes in town since the border re-opened are obvious: some repairs on older buildings, a few new buildings, and colorful fresh coats of paint. The people we talked with were relaxed, friendly, and welcoming. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to visit, take it!!
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Red Hawk on March 05, 2014, 02:04:36 PM
We made the crossing in Feb. Victor is still there, singing opera. The two new boats of The Boquillas International Ferry are rowed by ten or twelve different guys who only get to work one day a week. After the "perilous crossing", a truck ride is simplest to get the 3/4 mile to town.

Things are really looking up. There are now two Falcons restaurants, not related, on opposite sides of the street. The original, on the left, is still in the family. Lots of high end solar gear keeps the beer cold. She has a nice gift shop with locally made clothing, baskets and crafts. There are two churches: Baptist and Catholic. The bigger kids are only in the street selling stuff after school (I counted more than a dozen at recess). They're low key and not at all pushy. While we were there nearly everybody was re-painting the entire town, even the ruins. Seems the Governor thought the place looked too shabby so he personally bought the paint. Lots of green, yellow, turquoise, blue and white.

Boquillas folk are poor but proud. Don't condescend, and don't be cheap (pinche gringo). Most younger people speak english and appreciate it when you remember their names. It's well worth a visit.
Title: Re: Boquillas del Carmen - What should you expect if you go across from BBNP
Post by: Jimbow on March 06, 2014, 01:19:45 PM
I live on the border and the advice I always give people who head across  to buy things is to let the children in the group negotiate as sharply as the can. But adults should proabbly consider what that last dollar means to them versus the vendor.