November 17 – 22, 2018.
A friend recently told us that he’d rather have dental surgery than spend Thanksgiving with his family. In the spirit of letting other people live their lives vicariously through us, Greg did just that.
Earlier this year, in February Greg, had visited the dentist in Los Algodones, México and we were both pleased with the experience. Unfortunately, that visit was just the start of the work that needed to be done to turn the jagged landscape of Greg’s mouth into teeth again.
We were moochdocking in Tucson planning our journey south when we decided to go ahead and get most of the rest of the dental work done. It was the week before Turkey Day by the time Greg made his appointments – 3 days, Monday, Tuesday, and Thanksgiving day.
Turns outs if there is an absolute best time to hop the border for dental work, this week of American overindulgence is the very best.
Since the usual masses of American and Canadian snowbirds had not made their journeys to their desert oases yet, the line to cross back into the US in the afternoon from Mexico was really really short all week and on Thanksgiving day non-existent (we walked through customs with only two people behind us).
But there was more than just short lines. November 20 is a holiday in Mexico, Día de la Revolución – which means, of course, a parade! And to top it all off, after Greg’s 3 hours with the dentist on Thanksgiving day we were offered to make a plate from the staff’s Thanksgiving potluck to take with us when we leisurely ambled back across the border.
When we went to Los Algondones this past February we stayed in the Quechan Casino parking lot. We asked permission and it was free. It is no longer free. There are signs posted with prices, $10 for one day, $25 for three days, and $50 for a week. There is free boondocking in many locations 20 to 30 minutes from the border crossing to Los Algodones, though. Consult iOverlander for locations. We did see quite a few people camped out on land south of the casino. I believe I read somewhere (maybe freecampsites.net ) that this is all Quechan land and a permit is needed to camp – but I don’t know this for certain.
There is a Quechan parking lot at the border. You can park here for the day for $6 to $12 depending on what size vehicle you have (we always have paid $6 for the van). You can also camp overnight with prior permission for $10 for smaller vehicles and $22 for larger ones. Many people park on the side of the road for free about a half mile away and walk. We have no problem paying the $6 considering that we are saving thousands of dollars on dental work.
To cross the border, just follow the crowd. There is no checking of passports or anything going south. There will be a bevy of guys wanting to take you to their dentist the minute you arrive on the Mexican side. Just smile and tell them you are good – they won’t push.
Coming back in the afternoon there is usually a long line. There was extra security at the border coming back to the US when we went (’cause you never know when an old person who just had dental surgery is going to make a dash over the line). You will need your passport.
We really like Greg’s dentist at The Bernal Dental Group. The root canal lady was super gentle. The office manager, Juan, is a real selling point. He is super friendly and grew up in the US so his English is great (And when we were there in February he gave me cake and this time Thanksgiving dinner).
* Click on pics to enlarge and open into a slide show.
4 thoughts on “The Dentist & A Parade”
Love the pics of the parade! All the little boys with their mustaches! And glad you found a great dentist.
I had my root canal/ temp crown done in Mexico the day AFTER Thanksgiving. So I could enjoy feasting all all the junk I wanted. But the procedure was efficient and since they gave me a “relaxing pill” beforehand, I slept through part of it!
Looking forward to seeing y’all later this month!!
Greg will have to ask about the “relaxing pill” next time! Looking forward to seeing you guys too!
I hope Greg healed well after his last dentist visit. Good idea to go over Thanksgiving and I love that place you found to camp in the desert. It’s so pretty down there. And I’m sure the weather is lovely as well. 🙂
We are in San Diego right now and still hope to head into Baja in February. Enjoy Mexico!
Thanks! Greg is so happy to have teeth! The camping was so much better than staying at the casino – we were really pleased to find great spots.
I hope you enjoy your stay in San Diego! What a great city. I was there once a long time ago.