Saturday, January 30, 2010

Los Algodones, Mexico

We are about two miles from the border town of Los Algodones, Mexico, right on highway 186 in California. I needed to get some cash, so I went in to the Quechan Casino & Resort, where we are staying. Well, we are staying in their RV / Truck parking lot-- not the casino resort hotel.

I found the ATM machine which also serves as a machine where people can redeem their winnings. Everything worked like an ATM and it was a bit of a surprise to see that I could get some money for the price of $13.99!

I am used to seeing high priced ATMs and try to avoid them. High priced is charging more than $2.00 to get access to your own money! $13.99 is nuts and it saddened me more than anything. You know there are people at these places who to pay that kind of money for the chance to lose a lot more. You get my drift...

It was only a few miles into Yuma so we went there and found a convenience store with an ATM that charged $1.90. And we were on our way.

The first thing we noticed as we approached the border was all the cars that parked along the side of the road instead of paying $10.00 to park in the big empty parking lot.
Once across the border, it seemed like a border town.
It was a bit cleaner than the border town of Nuevo Progresso south of Mercedes, Texas. And a lot smaller. But it seemed safe enough and there were hundreds of us retired Americans looking for something that we couldn't do without...

I looked for some glasses at Algodones Optical. They were probably a good price, but I didn't feel like I had the time to really check things out. This was going to take longer than I expected. If we were going to be here a few days I may have gotten some.
We were pretty hungry and found an open air restaurant with a patio. There seem to be a number of these places in Algodones.
It was a pretty day, there were mariachis and music and it seemed to be pretty festive.

We shopped for a hat, handbag, tablecloth, chewing gum and that was about it.

We wandered through a number of neighborhoods and went through lot of shops. One guy was selling pine needle baskets which I had never seen before.They looked sturdy and like they would last for a long time, but I didn't want to part with a $20 bill so we passed on one.

Down another street I noticed some building going on.
I liked the design and the way they put together the porch roof.

It always is an experience at these places. Some Mexicans are amusing and have fun with the bartering and sales pitches. Others are a bit aggressive like hawkers at a carnival. Then those are more needy and bargain as if they are desperate for a sale today. It is hard to tell if it is reality or just part of the persona.

We felt like we did a good job of not buying more things we don't need. But I needed another hat (sort of ) and got one that will do nicely when I am on the golf course or just working on my tan... :).

We got back to the border in time to join a long line of other shoppers.
It took about an hour to get through and we got back to the RV campsite at the casino in the late afternoon.

We went over to the casino (Quenchan Casino and Resort) and ended up having dinner there. We got the steak and shrimp special for $7.77. Gambling doesn't really interest us, so we went back to the Roadrunner and decided to go for a short walk.
The sunset was beautiful again. We watched some TV and went to bed and called it a day.

Hope you are having a good weekend and thank you for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles.


  1. Thanks for taking us over the border and back again with you. Great pictures!

    Karen and Steveio

  2. Great pictures. Can't wait to winter in south Texas next year. Just a thought about ATM fees. We don't use ATM's at all. Walmart, grocery stores, Walgreens, & CVS (even Target) will all give cash back if you use your debit card, and there is no fee. I usually can think of something we need to avoid those ATM fees.

  3. Nice pics of Algodones - we've never been there and probably don't need to go now!! That casino ATM price for withdrawing money is outrageous - worse than the slot machines. It's surprising to me they don't let you withdraw as much money as you want for free, because in most cases, the casino is going to get it right back anyway!

  4. I'm with Rick on those ATM fees. They shouldn't charge anything. God knows most people just leave the money there anyway. --Rod

  5. Thank You for the Casino info, we will overnight there in Nov whhen we drive back to Pendleton. I really enjoyed the trip over the boarder with all the detail. I am trying to see how I can use a pine straw basket in my life. A lot of work went into those. That new roof construction gives me the jeebees, looks unstable to me. Thanks again.

  6. Sani Dental Group was originally established in 1985 by D.D.S. Enrique Jimenez in Guadalajara. S
    everal years later, he decided to move the center north to Los Algodones Mexico
    where established a new office.