Breakfast in Mexico

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Santa Elena Canyon - The Rio Grande River separates Mexico (on the left) from the Big Bend National Park in Texas (on the right).

Santa Elena Canyon – The Rio Grande River separates Mexico (on the left) from the Big Bend National Park in Texas (on the right).

We’ve been to Big Bend National Park more times than I can count. It’s located in the middle of nowhere and is one of the least visited national parks in the lower 48. We’re traveling with my sister and her husband and since they’ve never been, we decided to make one more visit on our trip through west Texas. Cindy and I have seen just about every inch of this 800,000 acre park, including the back country only accessible by 4 wheel drive. But the one thing we’ve never done is crossed over the Rio Grande to visit Mexico.

There's no road at the Boquillas del Carmen border crossing in Big Bend  National Park.

There’s no road at the Boquillas del Carmen border crossing in Big Bend National Park.

There are two ways to visit the Mexican town of Boquillas: 1) walk or ride a donkey up a 1/4 mile dirt road from the river at Big Bend National Park or 2) drive 4 hours on a 150 mile stretch of poorly maintained road from Santa Rosa de Múzquiz, the nearest Mexican town to the southeast. Boquillas, a former 19th century mining town, is now totally dependent on tourism from Big Bend.  The border crossing was closed in 2002 following the tragic events of 9/11, devastating the economy of Boquillas and reducing its population by half. In 2013, the new Boquillas Port of Entry was officially opened thus restoring the town to its former self.

For $5 each, a friendly man from Boquillas will row you across the Rio Grande or you can wade across the river and save yourself some money. It was cool the morning we crossed over, we took the rowboat.

For $5 each, a friendly man from Boquillas will row you across the Rio Grande or you can wade across the river and save yourself some money. It was cool the morning we crossed over, so we took the rowboat.

There’s not much to do in Boquillas. There are two cantinas, one known for its patio and view of the Rio Grande and another known for its margaritas. Since we were crossing in the morning, we chose to have breakfast at Jose Falcon’s, the restaurant with the river view.

Once you cross the river, you can hire a donkey, horse or car to make the 1/4 mile trip to town. We chose to walk.

Once you cross the river, you can hire a donkey, horse or car to make the 1/4 mile trip to town. We chose to walk.

In addition to the two restaurants, Boquillas has a few curio shops and some B&Bs in case you have one too many margaritas and don’t make it back to the US by 5 PM when the customs office closes.

The dirt road from the river to the town of Boquillas.

The dirt road from the river to the town of Boquillas.

The US border agent advised us to check in at the customs office in Boquillas but it was closed when we arrived so we headed over to Jose Falcon’s for breakfast.

The patio overlooking the Rio Grande at Jose Falcon's. We were the only visitors in Boquillas at this early hour.

The patio overlooking the Rio Grande at Jose Falcon’s. We were the only visitors in Boquillas at this early hour.

This picture shows all there is to see in Boquillas. We'll have to visit the bar known for its margaritas on  our next visit.

This picture shows all there is to see in Boquillas. We’ll have to visit the bar known for its margaritas on our next visit.

The Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park as seen from Jose Falcon's patio.

The Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park as seen from Jose Falcon’s patio.

After a wonderful breakfast at Jose Falcon's, we met this guy on our walk back to the river.

After a wonderful breakfast at Jose Falcon’s, we met this guy on our walk back to the river.

 

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