Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Algodones and Visit with Family.

The past two days have included a visit to Algodones, Mexico, a visit with family and some chores around our wheeled house.
Off ramp off I-8 heading to Algodones, Mexico
We left our fiver early Monday morning to beat the rush to Algodones.  The off ramp traffic was backed up.  Jeanette reminded me that it was Presidents Day.  OK, now we know why it was so busy.  I thought about turning around and heading back to our site but, we were so close to the parking area, near the Mexican border, that we thought we could easily turn back if it was super busy there.
Pulling into the parking site.
Parking was a breeze (usually is with a motorcycle) and we made our way in to Algodones with the stated purpose of ordering new prescription glasses and replacing the lenses in one of my frames.
Our preferred optical store in Algodones.
We beat the rush and received quick service in the purchase of new frames and ordering lenses.  Jeanette was looking for new frames and lenses too and an eye exam confirmed her eyes had not changed much.
Trying on some funky frames.
Daughter, Ginette, would likely choose the frames Jeanette is trying on.  After testing many frames, she settled on a nice frame that will include her new prescription.  I ordered a set of lenses for my existing frames and also ordered a new set with new frames.  We focused on high quality, non glare, progressive, transition lenses.  Our order will be ready for pick up within 10 business days.  The cost for this service?  Easily 1/3rd the price of the best deal back home in Canada.
Typical Algodones street with vendors selling everything from T-shirts to hats - jewellery to pottery - liquor to prescription drugs and hundreds of dental and optical services.
Canadians and Americans come here mainly for the cheap optical services, drugs and dental services. It is a busy little town with 100% Mexican flavour. 
There is plenty of (in my view) useless stuff that only serves to clutter one's life.
Other than our optical order, we purchased a few useful things but clearly avoided all of the other stuff.  It can be a fun experience to walk through the town, ignore the vendors, watch the talented artists work their clients in the town square and find a decent lunch place.   We did all of that!
One of the many buildings offering optical, dental and other services.
Hmmm, a Hawaii Club in Algodones, Mexico?  You bet.  The photo below bares proof of that.  So there is something for everyone who crosses into this small Mexican town.

The streets are truly tunnels of tourist oriented stuff for sale.
 Often, the only way to get to the door of a dental or optical store is to walk through these tunneled clothing, jewellery and pottery vendors.  It is a constant cacophony of sellers and buyers.
A typical and very narrow laneway between buildings.  Check out the staircase and the electrical wiring!
One of several major draws to Algodones is the low cost of pharmaceuticals.  I personally witnessed one  fella whose prescription order topped over $1,500. I'm told that the costs for drugs average 1/3rd of the cost back in the USA and Canada.
Lining up for pharmaceuticals.
Jeanette and I went to one of our favourite restaurants for a good Mexican feed.  The food was so good!
We managed to get in the long line - crossing back through US customs - at  12:15 pm.  Fourty minutes later, we were back at the motorcycle, readying to pay our $5 to exit the parking area, and soon to head back to Yuma and dropping by my brother's place for a visit and dinner.
Jeanette steps up to my brother and sister in law's door.
Bernie was home - sunning himself out back - and his wife, Rita joined us within a few minutes. She was busy checking on some pottery work she was creating at the clubhouse.  We sat out in the sun till it got too hot.  We then moved into the screened off area.  Not having visited since last summer - in the Province of Alberta where they live - we did some catching up.
Bernie....relaxing in the shade
They own their lot in a high end RV/Home park and, four years ago, after hauling a 5th wheel for years, they purchased and installed a brand new park model on their site.  It is a lovely spot for their winter getaway.
Because it was 5:00 pm....somewhere in the world....we enjoyed a cold beer in the warm sun. 
With chat and jokes a plenty, time moved on quickly and, before long, Rita and Jeanette shared the task of preparing dinner.  And what a nice dinner it was!  We sat outdoors and enjoyed the scrumptious meal.
The appearance of fog is the artificial result of the smudge.  Once cleaned off, the photos are clear!
Bernie and Rita.....OK'd the taking of this photo....cause they can be a tad shy around cameras.
It was a fitting close to a nice day enjoyed in Mexico and at their site here in Yuma, AZ.  Thanks for a nice afternoon and the lovely dinner, you two!  We'll reciprocate in the days ahead.
We returned to our RV spot in the Yuma Foothills, at 9:00 pm, and settled in for the evening.

Yesterday was a stay at home day with the primary focus on laundry and a lot of reading.  Later in the afternoon, we took a long walk in the area before dinner, and that was followed with a quiet evening of emailing, television and more reading. 

This morning (Wednesday), Jeanette left for a fun day of shopping with Diane, in Algodones.  The two girls will enjoy a fun day there while Hector and I test our golfing prowess on the 18 hole, Las Barrancas Golf Course in the Yuma Foothills. Yuma Golf - Las Barrancas Golf Course - 928-342-7130

That's it for now.  Thanks for dropping by.   


  1. great days with great friends and family..what more could you ask for...and cheap dental, drugs and optical...I need to be there I think

  2. Just love our day trips to Algodones good deals to be had there.

  3. Looked like a fun visit to Algodones. What a good size optical shop and looks like they had more then an ample selection of frames. Lolita and I should seriously think about going for our next pair with those kind of savings. You did the Eye exam's there too? Your tempting me even more by showing me that lunch, can never get enough good Mexican food. Well good to see that you had a nice visit with your brother. Til next time cheers.

  4. I've had lots of dental work done in Algodones--even a root canal. We waited in that line to exit Mexico one time for THREE hours on the day I had the root canal! Never had to wait that long ever again.

  5. We've never visited Algodones during our winters here in Palm Springs so it was great to see all your pics of the town and especially the shops.

    Your glasses sound like a pretty good deal, I might have to think about that.

    All those legal drugs crossing the border seems pretty ironic to me given the horrific border drug wars.

  6. Going golfing? There sure wasn't much of that done in the central part of Arizona. Snow golf maybe. Just what those of us from Northern Alberta can appreciate.

  7. Wow! It seems you and your family had a lot of fun in Algodones. And what a shopping day it was! It’s great that you got a great deal for the glasses. I hope everything turned out the way you wanted. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day in Algodones. Keep us posted!

    Doris Gibbs @ Moody Eyes

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