Staying overnight in Boquillas is fun, easy, comfortable and like being in a time warp.
It’s as if the flat-bottom boat that the smiling guide delivers you to Mexico in is actually a magic device – like climbing through the back of the wardrobe in “The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe,” or climbing down the rabbit hole with Alice.
Boquillas is another country and another world- especially at night.
During the day, the sun is out. Lilia and Bernardo, who own the best restaurant in town- Falcons, have a “George Womack installed” solar power system, and little solar panels dot yards all over town.
I went over to Boquillas along with fellow musicians Mike Davidson, George Womack, Laird Considine, Jeff Haislip, Charlotte Teer, to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the opening of the Boquillas crossing.
For over a decade, after the paranoid psychopaths closed the border, Boquillas suffered economically. All businesses except one bar closed, families either left or sent their children to stay with relatives in other towns. The 30 minute trip to the park store for supplies turned into a 6-hour trek over bad roads.
I’ve written about this before- it was a cruel, stupid decision based on “lowest common denominator” politics and needs to be reversed…
You can’t really understand Terlingua, or Terlingua Americana Music, without coming to grips with the other side of the border- and the nearest border crossing is at Boquillas, Mexico. Unfortunately, for the past 11 years, that’s been hard to do because the border has been closed.
Recently, a new border crossing to Boquillas, Mexico was opened in the Big Bend National Park. I made this crossing in the 70’s, and don’t remember much about it… but, I do remember that the process was informal. You just drove to the crossing, took the little boat across the river, trekked up the hill, and bought cheap tacos and beer.
Now, getting to Boquillas is a little more complicated. After driving an hour and a quarter from Study Butte through the park, you first go to the store at Rio Grande Village, where you buy your tickets for the boat- $5/per person.
Then, a short drive to the Boquillas crossing, a $2,000,000+ Homeland Security compound (my buddy Lance, who builds things, figures he could’a built it for $100,000… where does the money go?) where you show your passport and receive official permission to cross the border.
The crossing closes at 6:00 PM. I talked to the guard who told me the rules: “no mercy, no quarter.” If you haven’t been fully processed back into the U.S. by 6:00, you have to stay in Mexico. “Back at ya,” was my unspoken reply. Continue reading “Day-trip – Boquillas Mexico”