Today we started the check in process. We walked the mile to the Centro Integral de Servicios only to find out the person that we needed to see was gone and we should return in an hour.
We wander along the street and find a tourist information center. They are sort of helpful but mostly we get a map because data isn’t working on our phones. We continue down the street and find a Starbucks. Two triple shot lattes later we head off for the bank. We find a HSB bank and wait in line only to be told that there is a cash machine outside. We didn’t see it at all. At the cash machine everything is in Spanish with English subtitles for us gringos. Now it is time to select how much we want. The amounts start at 100 pesos and go up to 10000 pesos. Ok how much is that in US currency? Exchange rate at the bank is 17.5 per USD so for $200 the closest amount is 3000 pesos or $178.44. It will take some time to get used to this.
Now back to the Centro Integral de Servicios and see if the a immigration official has returned. We are in luck he has returned but now there are a dozen other people trying to check in. We get to the window and give him our passports and he asks for our Zarpe. “We don’t have one” we tell him. Well then I can’t let you into the country until you bring me one. This would involve going back to San Diego and filling out a CBP Form 1300 for a Zarpe. You can get it here. Fill it out and then see if US customs or Coast Guard will sign it. Probably not. Get it notarized and that has been good enough. Anyway he finally gave us our visas and now it is on to window 2. We give the NICE lady our papers and pay our fees and now it is time to go to window 5 and get our TIP. The bank is window 5 and now closing so we will have to return on Monday.