I’d been to Mexico before–many years ago. Tijuana. But I’d never been to any other cities in Mexico. Last Thursday, my husband and I went with a tour group of about 30-35 people from our small town down to Algodones, Mexico. We kind of knew what to expect. Algodones is known for its low-cost prescription drugs, mostly which you don’t need a prescription for in Mexico (that’s what we were told). It’s also known for low cost dentistry and optomology.

Okay, well, we weren’t really after any of those things, but we thought it would be fun to go check out the town and do some shopping. We were looking for leather belts for my husband, souvenirs, a leather purse for me, pottery, etc.

Our tour guide told everyone on the bus that the medical/dental work down there is good and trustworthy, as were the medications. But she said, ‘Don’t drink the water. You can drink canned and bottled drinks, margaritas, beer, etc. but avoid glasses of water.” Okay, good to know. We had brought a couple of bottles of water with us.

Food was a problem for my husband and me, since we’re on restricted diets. We didn’t get any food at all until the bus stopped at Gila Bend for a half hour and everyone got to choose between three fast food restaurants for their dinner. We chose Carl’s Jr. and ate lettuce-wrapped burgers.

The town of Algodones is . . . well . . . hard to describe (and I’m a writer). There are dentist offices and optometrist offices everywhere. Pharmacies, too. I took some photos of the town, which I’ll show you. The town was not really a scenic destination. There were small, pretty spots, hidden inside some shopping areas.

As we walked through the outside shopping areas, the sellers constantly bombarded us with sales pitches. Our tour guide warned everyone in advance to never pay the asking price. She said they would laugh at anyone who did. Shoppers were expected to bargain with the sellers. We did find a few items that we wanted, and we got some good deals.

For me, one of the highlights of the trip was bumping into two friends, Gail and Nan, from our town. They were sitting on a bench, waiting for another friend. Wow, were we all surprised. These friends hadn’t come on the bus from our town. They’d arrived the previous day. That was fun!

I’m not sure if my husband and I will go back to Algodones. Maybe. We would be interested in visiting some of Mexico’s resort towns. There are lots of places all around the desert Southwest to explore, and we’re just getting started.