Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Algodones, Mexico....and More...

What a flurry of activities we've been living since our arrival here in Yuma, AZ.  No complaints!  Well.....at least not till yesterday.
One of many market squares in Algodones, MX.
Shortly following our arrival in Yuma, we rode to the parking area near Algodones, Mexico, - crossed into the town - primarily to order some new glasses for Jeanette and I.  Yesterday was our planned return visit there to pick up our order.  It was not without a hiccup though!  Jeanette's frames and prescription were perfect; as were the replacement lenses on my existing frame.  The problem was with the new frame and lenses I had ordered.  When I put them on, my vision was blurry!  No....not due to too many Margaritas!  It was morning, after all.  Thus began the colossal waste of time and energy.
The beautiful, artistic colours....
In short, the prescription was wrong.  The vision centre asked if we could hang out for two hours to allow them to correct the prescription and replace the lenses.  OK, said we! 

Jeanette and I chose to get our hair clipped.  We found a great little hair dressing shop and, for the very first time ever, we had our hair cuts while sitting side by each.  With tip and service charges, we left $10 at the till before heading to a nice open air restaurant for some well earned lunch.
Our lunch spot....featuring really good entertainment.
Our lunch ordered, we enjoyed a couple of Coronas while taking in the musical performance.  Oh, so, good!
The tourists had this large outdoor facility loaded to the gills.  It was a busy place.
With our hunger and thirst quenched, we still had some time to kill before picking up the eye glasses.  Hmm.....what to do?  Well, my motorcycle riding boots were in need of a good polishing and the town square was an ideal spot to have that done.
These young fellas work well to get the job done.
My boots looked near new once the shoe shine fella had worked his magic. With no social services in Mexico, everyone has to work to eat and provide for shelter.  Work they do!  That is to be admired.  I often feel our social service system in Canada is so easily accessible, it takes away the need for welfare recipients to have to try harder to earn a living.  OK....enough about that political comment!

Back to the optometrist clinic and my glasses are returned from the lab but.....and it's a major one, the lenses were cut and shaved but no longer fit the frame properly.  That was clearly not acceptable to me.  To cut this story really short, by 4:15 pm, - following so many return trips to the lab - I refused to accept a botched up pair of glasses.  I was not a happy camper!  Having spent the entire day there was not my idea of time well spent.  
Begging for money - along the line up to US Customs.
We paid for Jeanette's glasses and the new lenses in my old frames.  Off we went to patiently (and I mean patiently) stand in a long line (1 hr. 20 mins.) to get through US Customs and back to the parking lot.
Food vendors tempting the patient tourists in the customs line up with ice cream, drinks, etc.
One of the many eye glass clinics in Algodones.....and not the one we shopped at.
While waiting in the line up, the locals try hard to sell everything from jewellery to pottery ,to sun glasses, to trinkets and hats.  It can be annoying to constantly be harassed to buy stuff.  But, it is their livelihood.  Who can fault someone who is trying hard to earn a living.  I only wish that, once in the customs line up, the sellers would be prevented from pushing their wares.  Tourists have already exhausted their shopping and only want to get through Customs and back to their domicile.
Begging for money....
Many use little babies and young kids to tempt one to give.  It's endless begging for money.  It's painful to watch....but, it's part of the way they live.
We finally got through US Customs and happily rode out of the area.  It was almost 6:00 pm by the time we got back to Yuma.  

When our day started, we anticipated crossing in to Algodones, gather our purchases, have lunch, scoot out and back into the US by 1:00 pm.  Not to be!

Today is reserved for running those errands, we had planned for, yesterday afternoon.  By 2:00 pm, I'll drop by Hector's RV site and we'll drive off to Coyote Wash for 18 holes of well deserved golf, in a pastoral and peaceful environment.

And that's the way it's been!  Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Too bad about the eyeglasses, such a frustrating day. A few years ago got ours at a place downtown and we both had to return and get them redone. My wife eventually got hers replaced a month or so later in Canada.
    Last time there went to Algodones Optical right across from the customs Line and the two pair were perfect first time. Nut we had heard that a lot of people had good luck there.

  2. Glad that you had a nice lunch, and all the better with a couple of Corona's along with music. Sorry to hear about the problems with the optical shop. Hope you enjoy your afternoon round of golf, sounds like a nice setting to do so. Good polish job on the boots.

  3. We've never tried eyeglasses in Algodones--friends did and had much the same experience as you did. Enjoy that golf game, you earned it!

  4. Too bad you had to waste your time for nothing in the end...we have been there and know how busy it is!

  5. Sounds like a pretty long day for sure. We've never been to Algodones so I can only imagine what the poverty is like for some folks. It's sad for sure.

    At least you had a good lunch and good haircuts!

  6. hmm the many times we have been in that line up there was no vendors selling anything. It must be something new. I don't buy any eyeglasses or dental work from Mexico. I have heard to many stories like yours.

    Have a great golf game and a big hello to Jeanette from us.

  7. I have bought every pair of glasses from Algodones Optical since I retired in 2000 and have never been disappointed. We have been told from time to time that one place or another place is better, faster, cheaper but we have stuck with our favorite. The optometrist in their main store there actually discovered my glaucoma before my eye doc back home did. We have both been very happy with Algodones Optical over the years.

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