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Old 04-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #31
PirateJohn
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That looks like Garcia's, upstairs. If you're ever there again have the Bananas Foster. The best I've ever had.

...

Enjoying your RR very much. Thanks for taking the time to share your trip with us.

Excellent ride report!

Yup, he was at Garcia's, a/k/a the Canada Store. Great place:



For folks that don't understand part of the attraction, take a look at the menu and the prices:




I'm not sure if the OP posted a photo of where he went to see the dentist, but it's a really neat looking New Orleans-style building:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannda View Post
As for the top pic, the time I was in Progresso they had a small sand-bag bunker in the middle of the 5-way, star shaped intersection as you come into town with a 2x12 across it on which they'd mounted a machine gun. Scared me at first until I was told that it was to assure the tourists that they were serious about keeping the town safe from the drug gangs that had taken over Matamoros.

I was intrigued when the OP said that the soldiers left around 11PM. At around 10PM the garbage trucks from Rio Bravo show up and clean the town, and most of the bars close down (the tit bars stay open a bit later, however), and that's about the time that I usually leave.

Anyway, the soldiers used to be camped in tents underneath the International Bridge, so they may not be on duty but they aren't too far away if needed!

They are usually pretty laid back, but they generally check vehicle trunks and interiors these days, looking for weapons I presume.

A few months ago they did want someone that drove across the bridge so a couple of soldiers walked to the US side and asked the Border Patrol to detain someone. The Border Patrol declined, saying that they couldn't come up with any guidelines for holding the person.

There was also a shootout last year on one of the side streets and the soldiers got 1 or 2 bad guys, depending on who tells the story.

Just a little extra free entertainment

Yes, the armored car runs. Most of the border crossings around here have them, and the Army drives them around. They alternate between a .50 caliber machine gun and a big automatic grenade launcher. Every so often there will also be a HUMVEE with a .50 in it backing the guys up.

And their rifles are indeed loaded. Mostly they have .30 caliber Heckler and Koch G3's, but every so often there will be something different, like an MP-5 submachine gun or an M-16 variant.

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Old 04-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #32
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Great RR!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:24 PM   #33
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Edit #3: If I'd read to the end before posting I'd have seen you'd been in contact with PJ. I feel like a dope.


Friend, if that's the worse thing that you do this month then you need to be nominated for sainthood.

On the subject of people getting dental work done in N. Progreso, we had another thread awhile back about Mexican dental work.

At the height of Winter Texan Season there are swarms of folks going across for the dental work. It's amazing - folks like to brag about their new choppers and how much they save and I have seen this over and over at the restaurants. Just a sign of getting older I guess.

I had a bridge put in a few years ago, and had a canine extracted, which got to be a real bitch because of the condition of the tooth (I had troubles with it for decades). The deal went smoothly and I have no complaints.

I do know that there is a dental lab in town, so while you are getting lunch (or drinking lunch as the case may be ) the lab is getting your dental work done; in that States in some places that can take days but it's a matter of a few hours in N. Progreso.

To bk brkr baker (the OP), just as a bit of trivia, there used to be a small town in Kentucky that specialized in discount dental work years ago. I want to say that it was Burgin or Burnside, or something like that, but it was during my parents and grandparents time.

Things change!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:12 PM   #34
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The dentist did my xrays holding the film in a pair of forceps, and just blasted it wherever. Worked though, and I wasn't planning on having kids anyway

Funny!

Just came back from hangin' in downtown Reynosa with an ADVRider who is on his way towards Acapulco.

As weird as our part of Mexico has gotten lately there are still tons of attractions. Cheap dental work, cheap booze, and very nice people to mention just a few.

Anyway ... this is a great thread.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:02 AM   #35
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Great real life ride report.

Love the econmising.

Page 2 with the New Orleans report section really does it for me.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:48 AM   #36
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Great Ride Report ! I may head south of the border for my next crown. Thanks
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:18 PM   #37
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Oh yeah, I got the AC fixed on my Blazer too. Cheap. Good time for sure. Probably get shocks put on next time.

(I hope this isn't a thread hijack; I sure don't mean for it so be. The OP did an excellent job, and I'd just like everyone to know what a neat little town N. Progreso can be, especially considering many of the misconceptions about Mexico these days).

Plenty of mechanics in Progreso doing air conditioning, brakes, that sort of stuff.

The economy has weeded out quite a few of the shops of all kinds (my dentist has evidently folded her tent and moved on for example) but there used to be several upholstery shops there that seemed to do some really great work and I have been planning to give some of them some business.

You just have to walk outside the tourist areas to find them.

Progreso also has a small casino, which is weird since supposedly gambling is illegal in 99.9% of Mexico but they tolerate it here.

The Lucky Seven, where SWMBO'd drops all of $20 every so often for maybe 5-6 hours of play:

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:21 PM   #38
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The Lucky Seven, where SWMBO'd drops all of $20 every so often for maybe 5-6 hours of play:
I didn't know that anyone but my mother played nickle slots.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:00 PM   #39
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Appointment?

My apologies bk brkr baker if this was mentioned earlier in the thread. I went back to try and locate the information but must have missed it. Did you make an appointment with the clinic prior to your trip? I could stand to have a couple of cavities filled and live fairly close to NP. I was wondering if they take walk-ins.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:04 PM   #40
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as great as the r&r is. as i sit here with an aching tooth please give a few more detail about how you found the dentist?
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:27 PM   #41
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My apologies bk brkr baker if this was mentioned earlier in the thread. I went back to try and locate the information but must have missed it. Did you make an appointment with the clinic prior to your trip? I could stand to have a couple of cavities filled and live fairly close to NP. I was wondering if they take walk-ins.



I went Stetic Implant and Dental Center . This branch of Stetic is located in the New Orleans Pharmacy building. They do mostly major work like crowns and implants.

In this shot you can see the name Dr Julio Alor on the side of a building. When I first got to Harlingen ,well after dark, I was looking for the town of Pharr because I'd seen they had some cheap rooms.
I turned into a subdivision and saw a guy walking a dog. I asked him directions and he had me meet him at his house up the street. His name is Dan and he's an inmate, had a Buell in his driveway and had ridden to Alaska. Small world.
Anyway he had recently been over the river to the dentist and was happy with Dr. Alor who is a general dentist. The office in the pic is on the main street in N.P. ,the one you are on when you cross the bridge.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:35 PM   #42
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as great as the r&r is. as i sit here with an aching tooth please give a few more detail about how you found the dentist?
I found the clinic by doing a search on the net and reading the reveiws by patients. I really had nothing else to go by.
I called the clinic and set up the appointment by phone. They e-mailed me back to confirm and be sure I was coming. But ,I was on the road by the time the e-mail came and having my net-book down when I left home, I had know way of knowing they were expecting me. As I walked through N.P. with my google map, that was off several blocks, I ended up getting Manny by cell phone. The problem with that is the thing kept dropping. He kept calling me back and then met me in the street.
They worked me in and got the job done.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:59 PM   #43
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I didn't know that anyone but my mother played nickle slots.

I don't see the attraction, except that it keeps SWMBO'd entertained while I hang at the Spot Bar, drink a bucket of 6 Indio beers for $7.50, and watch the TV and the tourists.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:32 PM   #44
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as great as the r&r is. as i sit here with an aching tooth please give a few more detail about how you found the dentist?
bk brkr baker has the right idea. It sounds like Dr. Alor did a good job.

If for some reason anyone wants a second opinion, or who knows ... maybe something special ... that shouldn't be that tough.

First of all, the town is properly called Nuevo Progreso in the state of Tamaulipas. Locally everyone just calls it Progreso, sometimes abbreviated to N. Progreso. It's across the border from Progreso, TX and the tiny little community (something like 350 residents) of Progreso Lakes, Texas.

Be aware that if you Google "Progreso" that's a fairly common Mexican town name. The best known Progreso is a seaport in the Yucatan that once requested to be annexed to the USA something like 150 years ago. That ain't the one that we are talking about.

(And for trivia, there is actually another Progreso in Tamaulipas, but that one must be no bigger than a crossroads and it's pretty well back in the sticks.)

Anyway, our local Progreso has one bridge crossing to it, and that leads directly to the main street. There really isn't anywhere that you can't walk inside Progreso, and little reason to get off the main drag these days as most of the gringo-friendly businesses that were on the side streets have closed.

Google. "Progreso dentist" will give you some hits.

This list is a bit out of date but it's a start: http://www.shop-progreso.com/dentists/index.html

As far as finding a dentist, the town is literally crawling with them. Before the economic turndown there supposedly were over 100 dentists in town; I'd say that there still must be 60-80 left.

Quality? Supposedly most of the dentists also have access to US practices. Remember, this area in Texas is 85% Latin and Spanish is more widely spoken than English. So that makes perfect sense to me.

Walk (or ride) across the bridge, and as soon as you get past the Mexican immigration checkpoint (where bk brkr baker took that photo of the soldiers) there is a series of dental offices on your right, across the street on your left, and you will see several other signs in the distance).

If you walk down the street sooner or later someone is going to offer to take you to the dentist, barber, get you a pedicure, or whatever.

It really is very, very simple. I am sure that for most procedures you can catch a dentist any time except Sunday, and even then plenty of them seem to be open. Be aware, however, that when things are slow it's Mexico, and they will close up. This being after tourist season I'd get there well before 6PM.

Google is your friend. So is Google Earth.

Anyway, the little town's economy revolves around the local tourists, and folks are uniformly friendly. Dollar$ are more accepted that pesos so this is the one place in Mexico where I wouldn't bother changing money.

If anyone has any worries or wants a guide, or just needs information, feel free to PM me. Information is free, and I'll play guide for a beer or two if I'm in the area (I live maybe 30 miles away but go to Progreso every few weeks). Maybe even for free if it's an inmate that pleads hardship (been there, know the feeling )

Typical pricing:

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Old 04-14-2011, 03:51 AM   #45
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Good on you!

I recently had a quote for 12 implants and two ceramic bridges from an Australian dentist. $35,000!

I thought stuff that, and went on the net. I ended up having it done in Hungary over two visits. The first they extracted all my teeth and did the implants in the morning, came back around 2.00pm and they put in the temporary bridges.

Scary, but it gets it over and done with.

I'm almost due to go back and get permanent bridges made and installed.

Total cost ?

$16,000, less than half the cost.

Modern equipment, good dentists and I get two overseeas holidays. Sadly, I couldn't ride my bike there.
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