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We’re SO DONE with Mexico!

This will be a short post to catch you all up on the end of our Mexican misadventure.  

February 4th, 2023

We have to say as much as we’ve been waiting for all this whole Baja car accident fiasco to be done, we don’t feel as excited as we feel we should be; it’s almost anticlimactic for a few reasons:

  • we don’t have the reimbursement yet,
  • we are still unsure how the repairs will go and
  • the towing charge really hit us hard – especially when the truck and trailer were never towed!

After the hearing last Friday, the lawyer advised he needed copies of certain documents; Fran forwarded him everything via her phone on WhatsApp because we scanned ALL the documents we received and asked for  – again, we don’t know why he does not already have these – and then he advised he’s missing the DA’s estimate on the dental work and the copy we sent is insufficient.   Oscar volunteered to reach out to the DA to get this but as Monday is a holiday, we don’t expect to get it until Tuesday.

We spent our last night in the hotel and checked out Sunday around 10 am.  We arrived at Mario, the welder’s place and he had already begun working on the frame.  There were some challenges like lack of the exact materials but workarounds were found and we spent one night parked there with electricity.  The work was completed before dark on Monday and we spent that night parked on the public lands behind his place (he lives right on the edge of town).   Due to the location, Fran was reluctant to walk in this area due to the number of stray dogs around.  She stayed within the lot or took the truck to go places.

Mario had found us an auto body guy to fix the small amount of damage on the corner of the trailer and Juan Ramon came over on Monday afternoon to take a look and give an estimate.  Mario also referred us to his electrical mechanic for the taillight issue.

Mario also found a mechanic who came over and did the oil change on the Tundra – we already had the filter and oil.  He did it right where the Tundra was parked on the dirt lot.

So Tuesday morning we met Juan Ramon at 7 am as requested and although it took over 8 hours, that work got done and looks pretty good.  As he could not match the paint colour of the trailer, we had him paint the entire bottom few inches black to match the trim of the trailer on the sides.

While this work was getting done, we had not heard from Oscar so we decided to be proactive again, and Fran walked over to the DA’s office (we were back in the main part of the city and she carried some rocks in case she got nervous near dogs) to ask for the dental document that Jorge Gomez of Qualitas said he needed.   Within ten minutes, they gave her a copy, no questions asked.  It was a court document that had the dental estimate provided by the kid attached to it.  She scanned it and sent it off to Gomez hoping this now completes their files and the wire transfer to us can be done.

Doug kept trying to get the electrician to come over and take a look at our problem but that was hard to do since the taillight is the one located right where the body work was being done.  Finally, later in the afternoon they we were referred to a different fellow and after 90 minutes he gave up because the wire needed to get the light to work was tucked too far inside and it was too hard to get to.

A fellow who’d been at the auto body lot the entire time and who was trying to help, (Kiki) told us of an American guy who could fix anything and he was sure Robert could help us.  We left the auto body lot under his direction and he took us to Robert’s place – it was now around 4:45pm.

We parked on the street and Robert came out and he really tried hard to help using many of his tools and ours.  After about an hour it was getting dark and a plan for the next morning was made to access the wires from inside the trailer which meant making a whole in the wall, but at least it would be hidden as it was under the couch.

Wednesday morning, Robert showed up around 8:30, and between him and Doug they got the taillight fixed and that holes all patched up. We were able to repair the hole under the light and Robert had a blank switch plate to cover the hole under the couch.  We were on our way by noon.

So everything is up and working and we are happy with the results.  We spent less than $600 total so we did not even reach the deductible on our Mexican insurance.

So by now we’d heard that Qualitas wants their name on the towing receipt and needs a breakdown shown on it. WTH? – if it had their name on it and said paid – they could claim they’d already paid it!  So we’re working on that.  Doug has asked the woman in the front office for this via WhatsApp with no luck – seems she may have blocked him.  Fran reached out and she responded saying we must deal with her boss via telephone.  Well we know he doesn’t speak English so Fran started by reaching out with Google Translate via WhatsApp explaining who we were and what is needed.   As we drove out of town we noticed he’d still not read these messages so we stopped by the impound lot as we left town.  No one was there despite it being well before closing time which is 3pm.  There were three phone numbers on the sign so we called them all; one was out of service; one a Mexican fellow answered and Doug was able to tell him what we needed but he too, said we had to deal with the boss whose number was the third one which so far, was not being answered.  We tried calling the boss’s number once again and this time he answered.  Doug explained that he needed for him to check his WhatsApp and get us a new receipt.  In the meantime, Fran asked the fellow at the Tijuana office whom we’d sent the receipt to, to try and call him as well.  We noticed the next day that the “boss man” had read the WhatsApp messages but said nothing; Fran asked him when we can expect the new receipt – again, no reply.

Just before reaching San Luis, Baja, the border crossing we were going to use to get to Yuma, we saw a roadrunner cross in front of us! It was so cool as we’d been looking for these for years.  It was too fast to grab the camera from the back and the phone camera would not do it justice so we didn’t even bother to.  At the top of this post, is an example of what we saw (Thank you: Cornell Lab of Ornithology).

We made it to the border around 4:30 without seeing the Mexican immigration so we didn’t hand in our FMM’s but at this point we are beyond caring!  Have to say we were never so happy to be back on US soil!

Now the waiting game for reimbursement is all that’s left.  Fingers crossed!