Calexico, California

Rather than go for a walk yesterday afternoon we decided to take a one-hour drive to Calexico, California. There were two main reasons for doing this, hubby thought I might like to visit the outlet mall for my birthday and most of the route is along Highway 98 and we had never traveled that route before. After turning off I-8 onto Highway 98 we drove through desert, into farm land, and then into the City of Calexico which is right on the US Mexico border.

Border fence in the parking lot of the Calexico Outlet Mall.

The presence of Border Patrol was very strong in the area; I think we saw at least 30 vehicles in and around the area. This fellow was sitting in the mall parking lot, probably watching for illegal drugs to be thrown over the fence and picked up on the US side.

Shopping at the outlet mall was a breeze since there was nobody there, really, we would go into large stores and be the only people there. Since the mall was still playing Christmas music and still had their Christmas decoration up we suspected that many people in the area were celebrating Epiphany or The Day of the Holy Kings, which is a religious observance in Mexico on January 6th. I asked a sales clerk about this and she said that we were right and that 90% of the clientele in the outlet mall come in from Mexicali, Mexico to shop.

After we wandered around the mall we took a drive through town. We were really surprised at how the border fence divides Calexico from Mexicali, it looks like there was a large city and the government decided to build a fence between the main roads. The picture below was taken while driving down one of the main streets in Calexico and you can see the traffic on the other side of the fence in Mexicali, which according to our GPS is also a main street.

You can also see the border patrol vehicle on the left of this picture.

Driving out of town we followed the border fence and commented on how Mexican citizens and US citizens could probably stand at the fence and talk to each other. In some cases the border fence ran between back yards, imagine talking to your neighbours through the fence but not being able to invite them over to share a meal. Hubby found the picture below on the Internet and I could really envision this happening!

We passed the Calexico Border Patrol Station and I was surprised at how many vehicles where in their compound considering how many we had seen out on the roads.

We also drove past this field where you can see the water pouring into the field to irrigate it and along the left of the picture is a Palm Tree nursery.

And then as we neared the end of Highway 95 we were treated to the beautiful views of the desert again:-)

Until next time …

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