08 - MEXICO
Tijuana to Loreto - 07/10/03 - 12/10/03
So here we are in Mexico. Managed to land on our feet again and have found a gorgeous little bungalow to hole up in for a week and let it all sink in.
What wheelchair access?
On Tuesday morning we headed for the Mexican border with a little trepidation. We just didn't know what to expect. It all went very smoothly but took quite some time. First job was to find out how to get our entry cards to the USA removed from our passports. If we didn't we may have trouble coming back. There is no US control going out of the country as they are really not interested. We came off the highway at the last exit and ended up in San Ysidro, what a dump. Eventually found an official looking person to ask and he explained that we had to go through the border, come back into America on a footbridge across the highway, get the passports sorted out and then walk back into Mexico. Bit of a pain, but we worked it out, and then got our tourist cards for Mexico stamped. We then had to find the vehicle permit office in Tijuana. Luckily it wasn't too far and this was pretty simple but time consuming. We got back to where we had started on the highway out of town by cutting through a taxi rank. The guy on the gate looked slightly confused but we smiled sweetly and he let us through. Laird had given us very specific directions away from the border which were perfect. Thank you Laird!!
You can't come in.....
The North West part of Baja was not much to look at so we just kept going till the towns got smaller and further apart and the traffic thinned out. We stayed out first night in the La Pinta hotel in San Quintin. These are government run hotels, all through Baja. We have stayed in a couple on the way down here. They are strange places, huge and spacy with long corridors and almost deserted. A bit like The Shinning but sunny. A kid on a tricycle or twin girls would have totally freaked us. We tried our pathetic amount of Spanish and everyone just spoke English back. We have to do some serious studying!
We visited San Ignacio on our way south which was our first experience of a real Mexican town. It was really small, set round a square, just like the movies. It has a lovely old mission on one side and lots of curious dogs.
We have been chased by a few along the road but none have come close so far. They charge along the side of the road at full pelt, barking madly. No rabid ones yet but we're glad we had the shots!
We went over the mountains from San Ignacio to the east coast in really low cloud. It got quite cold and felt very damp. It was like riding through thick fog on the North York Moors, but with cactus. We came out of the clouds and down the mountain and it was blue sky and 34 degrees almost instantly. As we looked back it was as if the mountains were covered in a big thick white duvet.
We spent the afternoon riding along Conception Bay which is just gorgeous. It has lovely beaches and mountains rising out of the sea.
We arrived in Loreto early evening and found our little bungalow. We had met Joyce & Beth who own suKasa bungalows at the La Pinta hotel. They had seen us on the bike and said if we needed somewhere to relax for a while they had the perfect place. That is exactly what we wanted and they do have the perfect place. Its right on the front at Loreto, overlooking the Sea of Cortez.
So here we are chilling out and catching up on stuff. We may just finally get the website up.
On our way here we passed three girls on bicycles and gave them a wave and a big thumbs up. Joyce and Beth had seen them too and they turned up later and have been in the bungalow next door. They are Canadian and are riding from Victoria, on Vancouver Island to Panama. Now that's brave. They are in their early twenties and all as fit as anything.
Sarah, Kate and Emily - Mad Canadians
They have had a couple of days off here as Emily has a swollen ankle. Last night we had a few beers with Joyce, Sarah & Emily and then headed off for late night tacos. Joyce took us to this tiny place that does the "best tacos in Baja". The others tucked in while I watched. All beef sadly. I think this may happen quite often from now on!! We joined in the Saturday night ritual of cruising the Loreto strip in Joyce's 4WD, with Shakira blasting out on the CD. It was a blast.
This morning we said goodbye to Beth, back off to San Diego and to Kate & Sarah. They have gone on and Emily is going to catch the bus and meet them on the ferry to the mainland, her foot is not yet better. Hopefully we will meet them again some where down the road.
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