Saturday, 1 February 2014

Aren’t you going the wrong way???

Today we went for a pontoon ride on the Rio Grande River.  There were 4 couples aboard and the ‘captain’.

For the most part the scenery wasn’t all that spectacular.  Kind of boring really, but I always enjoy a boat ride of any sort.  There is just muddy banks on both sides really.  We did see some cars that they dump on the sides in the bushes.  Not cars anymore really, just rusted out hulks.  We were told they were put there to hold up the bank of the river so it doesn’t erode anymore.  Saw no alligators but was told there’s a big guy near the boat launch.
Pontoon Ride  (7)
Rusted cars used to stop erosion
Pontoon Ride  (3)

There was several buildings on the Mexican side but were all totally deserted.  In 2010 hurricane Alex (according to Bing) came through and the river rose about 15 feet.  We saw on some properties the water line mark.  Amazing.  The ‘captain’ doesn’t know for sure but thinks those buildings on the Mexican are still under repair from that hurricane.  Apparently our RV park here was under 3-4 feet of water from the river.
Pontoon Ride  (5)

We saw several deflated, abandoned rafts on the US side.  These were used to escape from Mexico to the US.  The border patrol is very much in evidence, either by racing speedboat, foot patrol or helicopter.  And we saw something very, very interesting.  From the Mexican side this fellow sets off in a inflated raft with 1 paddle racing for the US side.  We’re thinking oh yeah he’s making a run for it.  Our captain called border patrol.  But…..he gets to the US side and picks up at least 6 people and transports them back to Mexico.  What the heck??? Hey buddy, aren’t you going the wrong way???  We find out later he is picking up people who have been transported to the US to distribute drugs and he’s picking them up so they can get more drugs and go back across again.  I think you call them ‘mules’.????  They had so many in that tiny raft I’m surprised the raft wasn’t swamped.  A few minutes after the phone call to the border patrol we saw them racing off in that direction.  Man have those boats got power.  I’m sure the border patrol does a good job, but that’s a might long river and I have to wonder how it is possible to patrol that especially at night.  The widest section we saw was about 1/4 mile wide, with most sections being about 500 across, an easy swim, or whatever they use.  We saw a discarded life jacket that the captain said was NOT there yesterday.  There are a couple Mexican communities close to the river which will give sanctuary to those that make it across the river.  It was interesting to see first hand the stuff you hear about on the news.
 Pontoon Ride  (1)
Pontoon Ride  (10)

We are still planning a trip across into Progresso on the Mexican side before we leave.  We will leave our truck parked on the US side and walk across the border.  See what they have in the way of some good, cheap hooch!!!!.

So until later…take care.


  1. Perhaps we can meet you in the parking lot and go across together.

    1. Sounds like a great idea, let's discuss tomorrow...

  2. That sounds like some pretty scary stuff!

  3. We have seen them down here in southern Arizona too. One time Mexican wandering about the campground asked someone to call border patrol. He wanted a ride back to Mexico and they did.