At long last, it's time to take the ferry to mainland Mexico. We're elated to finally be on our way, but the excitement we're feeling is tempered by a nervous apprehension. Try as we might, it's hard not to let all the warnings we've heard get into our heads, even though we know that with a little caution and common sense that Mexico can be as safe as just about anywhere. Our biggest concern right now, however, is the actual ferry crossing. We've had several friends in recent weeks that have had difficulty getting on the boat. They've been told that they are not allowing women on right now, or that women are only allowed on certain days (?!?!?!), or they've just been told “No, not today” without explanation. Everyone that has tried has made it eventually, but the whole process sounds pretty stressful.
As we pull into the ferry terminal, there's a man in a uniform directing traffic. He asks us where we're going and whether or not we have our vehicle import paperwork yet (Baja is considered a “special zone” and you don't have to import your vehicle to drive there, only in mainland Mexico). We had already done the paperwork in Tijuana so he directs us to go straight to the customs inspection line. The guy who inspects our truck is young, and barely gives the camper a cursory glance. When we're done with this they show us where to go to get our truck weighed and measured. After that they show us the office where we can buy our tickets. We walk in and ask for passage for our truck and two passengers to Mazatlan, and within a few minutes they hand us our tickets and tell us to be by the boat around two o'clock. We can't believe it. The only hitch in the day is when we miss the turn for the waiting area, and end up driving through a military check point. They tell us we can't turn around and have to drive back to the main entrance...which means we have to go through customs again. This time around we get a grumpy older guy who takes his job very seriously. It takes a while this time, but we make it through again and find our way to the waiting area for loading the ferry. We eventually get on, and only two hours behind schedule (hey, it's Mexico) we pull out of the harbor and we're on our way.