This week has been a total change to the trip and I am really enjoying it.
Earlier in the week we left the States and headed for a very early border crossing at Tijuana, a busy border crossing entering the Pacific side of Mexico, taking us onto the Baja Peninsul
a. We started at 4am and got there just after 6.30am. A border town we had read extensively about and had received lots of different views on; from American citizens, the media, the British Consulate, BBC websites or fellow bikers. We were nervous, we were prepared and all in all it was really easy – best to be prepared right!
There were border Police everywhere, cars were being checked left right and centre and the authorities just waved us through. So we just followed their directions then, before we knew it, we were in Mexico.
There was a dramatic change in everything! Buildings, people, signage, quality of road and we were there for rush hour Mexico-style…shit! Hitting rush hour anywhere on a fully loaded bike has its challenges but, before we knew it, we had passed straight through the town and we were on our way to Ensenada which is the largest city south of Tijuana just a couple of hours drive away.
Ensenada is twice the size of Brighton in population so it has 500,000 people. It is a busy Mexican tourist town though recently it has suffered with lack of tourist visitors because of the perception of Mexico to the neighbouring Americans. So here you have it, a large tourist area ready to deal with all the visiting tourists but the town is a little quiet in our opinion. The tourist strip is a bit like Benidorm and most days there is a massive cruise ship which arrives in port and keeps all the bars and restaurants busier.
We are here to start a Spanish course and we are staying with a very nice Mexican family/couple called Diana and Roberto. They are our host family as we attend school, enjoy the city and they are looking after us with 3 dishes per day. I think we are eating more than we need to so we are burning excess calories off through Yoga, lots of walking around town – plus we are combining this with lots of siestas… a nice pace I think! I also met Josh in Orange County recently and he introduced me to his ‘Bucket list;’ these are basically the things that he wishes to do in life whether ambitions, targets, personal challenges and he has been doing 100 press ups a day for about 11 months. This is something I am now doing to keep me strong on the trip. The rules are basically you do 100 press ups a day before midnight each day and you can do them anywhere and anytime. Most days I do them when i get up but I have also done them in a lift and in a car park! Thanks Josh and good to meet you!
Yesterday we met a couple of Australian bikers called Maggie and Mark. We met them through a motorcycle forum called Horizons Unlimited as I basically posted that we are traveling through the whole of Mexico on this website and wondered if there were any other fellow bikers out there?
After an initial rendez vous in a coffee shop, then five
s in the afternoon we agreed that we would catch up with each other further south in La Paz, then hopefully we will be able to travel through the mainland part of Mexico together. This will be great because there is always safety in numbers, it sounds like Mark is a very handy chef and it is good to hang out with others. Mark and Maggie have been on the road since December 2008 and they have travelled from Sydney to Singapore, Laos to Nepal, plus they have also managed a ski season in Switzerland. We look forward to getting to know them better.
Today is Sunday and we meet our language school for a ‘test’ so they can see how well we understand Spanish. For the following 5 days we will be intensively learning from 8am to 2pm each day.
All is going well. The bike is off the road until next Saturday and then we head south in search for some idyllic beaches and sunshine. Southern Mexico is very rainy at the moment so we need to take our time.
The beard is getting to a nice stroking length.
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