Our friend, Barb had the opportunity to go with Gretchen last week to Algonones, Mexico, so she wanted to share the same experience with us. It’s a little bit of a drive from Quartzite, AZ to Algonones, Mexico (88 miles +/-), so we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and share stories. Driving up Hwy 95, Barb asked, “Do y’all see the Scotty dog on the mountain?”
|See the nose, forehead, ear, and the little tail?|
Shortly we made our way to Algodones, Mexico which is an unusual little border town. What’s so unusual about Algodones, you might ask? Within a four block radius there are more pharmacies, doctors, dentists and opticians than any similar four block area anywhere else in the world! And, this “border medical land” attracts thousands of Americans and Canadians weekly. What’s the big attraction? You can find heavily discounted prescriptions, eye-glasses, and medical and dental care. And, if you listen to your friends in the snowbird RV parks, they can tell you that the care from their Algodones doctor or dentist is as good as anywhere back in The States or Canada.
First building you see when you walk out the corral, dentist office with a Mercedes in front. Huh...what does that tell ya?
The guy in the white sweat shirt is trying to convince Barb and Jerry to try this dentist office. He was offering teeth cleaning for $20, however we all passed.
Just like any border town in Mexico, it’s best to look around before you attempt to purchase anything. That goes for pharmaceuticals, vanilla, souvenirs or liquor. Remember, the Algodones shopping area is only four blocks. Once you find your deal, don’t stop there! Jerry was looking for a nice leather belt, he finally found one, starting price… $35. He finally got it for $18!! Sweet Deal!!
After walking and dodging all the vendors, we decided it was time to grab some food. Good news! Most people can eat the food served in the local restaurants and have a margarita without worrying about water-related and food issues. We had chicken fajitas, however no Margarita’s this time as it was just too COLD to be drinking for us, however no problems with the food. We enjoyed dining at El Paraiso, The Garden Place. The patio is not easy to find as it’s in the center of one of the shopping blocks, however locals can direct you. Of course, dining in Mexico is quite different than in the states, as vendors went table to table trying to sell their treasures. While this added to the color of the experience, we were glad that they easily took “no, thanks,” for an answer.
Adding to our experience; we had a good waiter as well as a great sense of humor. Being a chilling day in Mexico (around 50 degrees), Deb was freezing!! This is after having several layers of clothes on, plus her jacket. Well, Deb was treated like royalty!! Our waiter noticed Deb was cold, so came over and said, “He was going to build a fire right next to her.” GREAT, jokingly Deb said “you do, get a BIG tip”…LOL. Next came new mittens, then this colorful yellow table cloth draped around her. Jerry asked “How much is a BIG tip to you?” Oh maybe $5, then we noticed the bill had and extra $6.50 added to it, so guess he did get a BIG tip!!
After that dining experience it was time to head back to do some more shopping in Yuma, AZ. First, the true fun begin; trying to get back to United States soil. One vendor was saying; “You want to avoid the lines, let me know.” We were thinking; just another way to try and get your money before leaving!! And we continue walking….. Shortly we found ourselves standing in a LONG line, about an hour wait.
Avoid the lines? A sweet escape route only cost $5/person. Only wish we would have ask how to avoid the lines earlier!!
After a day of shopping; Barb wanted to take us through the farm land, which you could find different types of lettuce, spinach, date palm trees, and different fruit trees. Stop by Imperial Date Gardens (location Bard, California on Road S24) to get some ice cream, however we elected to try a Medjool Date Shake. Not something you get every day, but quite tasty. They even shared their recipe, so we decided to pass it along.
Imperial Date Shakes
2 Scoops of vanilla ice cream
8 oz. milk
2 Tbsp. of Medjool date butter (or 3 dates)
Blend to thick consistency
WARNING: You may not be able to control yourself after you’ve tasted one.
The Medjool is the gourmet date unquestionably the largest, meatiest, and most favorable variety we have ever tasted. For more details or ordering, click here
|Medjool Date Village with some farm land in front.|
|Mexico December 2011|
Happy Trails, now to leave you something to think about….