Friday, February 3, 2012

South of the Border...A day in Los Algodones

We pulled into Yuma, the snowbird capital, and knew the pickins would be slim.  Having checked out the Indian reservation parking and the casino, though free to cheap, we would be right in the path of wind-blown sand from the many surrounding dunes.  We decided to take our chances on getting a boondocking site at the Escapees KOFA park, $5 per night and crammed in like sardines, until we found out the prognosis from the dentist on Thurs.  This is a mighty leap from our acreage in Anza Borrego!

With passports in hand we crossed the border at Andrade, CA, on highway 186 off I-8, into the town of Los Algodones, a community of medical and dental professionals catering to snowbirds and seniors, and self-described to be as safe as Disneyland!  We don't need convincing, we love this town.

A typical street corner
We arrived early for my noon appointment as I wanted to check in with the office of Dr. Alma Luna to be sure I was scheduled since all our communications had been by email.  There are hundreds of very reputable dentists but I chose Dr. Luna on the recommendation of a friend who had been going to her for many years, plus the good reviews found in the Mexico Premiere Blog's article on Dental Care Across the Border.

With about an hour and a half to kill, we wondered into BEST Optical for a quote on replacing the lenses in my old glasses with my new prescription from Kaiser with progressive, transitional and the new polycarbonate, ready in about 3 hours, a total of $230.  Kaiser's charge was $345 with at least a week to prepare and then mail.  We also picked up a hundred tab supply of Howard's blood pressure meds for $3.68 and a new leather watch band.

Howard writes a check to BEST Optical
So on to my appointment with Dr. Luna whose office and examining rooms were spotless and the newest in equipment and technology evident.  The digital x-rays showed up instantly on the computer screen she worked from showing a broken old filling, a small cavity, and the location of the nerve. Thankfully, a rather large filling did the job for now with a root canal and crown postponed indefinitely.  $100 cash please, and thank you very much!  I did question the cost of root canal and porcelain crown and was told approximately $600 depending on how many roots were involved.  She refers patients to a specialist, Dr. Hernandez, for the root canal.  He uses his famous "tooth-cam" for a more precise view of the nerve's path on the computer.

Colorful location in Mextlan Plaza
It is now way past lunch time and Howard is ready for some fish tacos and a cold Corona.  I, on the other hand, am numb and drooling so eating for me is out of the question.  We chose Restaurante El Paraiso for the outdoor plaza location plus the great music.  The fact that it was very crowded surely meant that the food was good...and it was, according to Howard.

Lunch at El Paraiso

Delicious fish tacos
So by 3 p.m. we queued up at the long line to get through US Customs and 20 minutes later were on our way back to Yuma.  What a great town and marvelous experience with lots of $$$$ saved!  We'll be back next week just for the lunch experience!
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