Bienvenidos A Mexico!

We absolutely love Mexico so far! After spending the night in Encinitas (North San Diego) on Thursday night, we decided to take the train as close to the border as possible. San Diego has an amazing array of transportation system. We got to ride the train and the light rail which drops us off 30 miles or so to the Mexican border at Tecate. The border crossing is East of San Diego and took us to 2000′, which we had to do during the hottest part of the day. It was HOT HOT.

thumb_IMG_2900_1024Going on the wee bit of downhill before Tecate– you can see the town of Tecate sprawling in the background.

The border crossing was very surprisingly easy. You can just ride/ walk/ drive into Mexico without much hassle. We did have to stop by the immigration office and paid $$ for visa for staying >72 hours in Mexico.

After a hilly but short and sweaty day, we decided to stay directly after the border. Literally a block away. It was so cheap! $16 for the both of us for a room with ensuite bathroom, AC and free wifi. We love Mexico already.

thumb_IMG_2905_1024Walking around in Tecate– this street was haphazardly demolished without clear direction of what the heck they were doing. There were no signage and no flow of work… (rubbles, 5′ exposed excavation, piles of stuff all over the place.) Sigh. Ps: I’m wearing a new addition to the wardrobe– a skort 🙂

thumb_IMG_5526_1024We went to El Major Pan– a huge huge bread store that sells ridiculous choices of bread– look at this! In this picture is only half the selections available. How can one choose from 20 different kinds of empanadas?? AND we are almost back to Peru price. A bread is ~50-75 cents and they were amazingly delicious.

thumb_IMG_5525_1024At the Plaza at Tecate where there was an enactment of Alice in Wonderland.

thumb_IMG_5529_1024To celebrate arriving in Mexico in one piece and the upcoming cheap prices, we dined at the best (and maybe fanciest) place in Tecate- called Amores. Very highly recommended.

The next day (Saturday), we only rode 88km because we feared that we wouldn’t be able to find hotel in Ensenada that is only 1 hour South of Tijuana border. We couldn’t find any hotels online that was available– I think it gets pretty hectic here for the summer weekends for Californians driving South to enjoy the good food and cheap prices. Majority of the license plates of the cars we saw on the road were from California.

thumb_IMG_5536_1024Heading out of town, we encountered plenty of roadside vendors again. What joy! Brady immediately beelined towards the OJ guy. The huge glass that he had was only $1.50. For lunch- we went to roadside Taco stand and paid $8 for the both of us (7 tacos and 2 cokes!). We LOVE the prices here. And dare I say it: Brady claims it’s the best Tacos he’s ever had. Boy, he’ll be in for a treat down here in Mexico.

thumb_IMG_5542_1024We rode through Ruta Del Vino from Tecate towards Ensenada– It’s Napa Valley-esque with 50+ wineries that have been established for >10 years or so.

thumb_IMG_2916_1024Wineries!!

We stayed at KM88 of why 3 where there is a nice ‘campground’– it’s basically a couple of swimming pools with grills that are open for people to use (for a fee). We paid $15 for the both of us to use all the facilities and camp overnight. Since it was a Saturday, it was cranking with Mexicans enjoying time with their family and eating lots of amazing looking food. We jumped in the pool and splayed under the sun for a bit before hunting for dinner. We ended up biking 7 miles to get to a fancier restaurant.

thumb_IMG_5548_1024Fancy dinner at a nearby winery. We got this grilled meat platter with 2 wines each for $40. We could get used to this (but absolutely shouldn’t).

thumb_IMG_2919_1024Brady took this fancy pic on the way back.

Turned out that we were the only people camping at the campsite. It was quiet and nice. We finally got to see the stars again.

thumb_IMG_5551_1024In the morning, we left the campsite early since we were woken up by the many roosters. One of them even came within a foot of our tent and did the cockledoodledoo right next to us.

Short day to Ensenada since we wanted to check out the town on a Sunday. We quickly rode the 17 miles downhill to town. The road got busier as we neared Ensenada, but nothing too bad. We saw a bunch of serious looking road cyclists, clad in normal super tight stuff.

thumb_IMG_5562_1024Fish market in Ensenada– yum.

We did a lot today (Sunday) in Ensenada, walked around to fish market, at lunch at $1/taco Taco stands, at anything and everything, visited the place that made the first Margarita ever, went to a wine festival. It was busy here with tourists, half of them speaking english. Weirdly, there were not many gringos at all.

thumb_IMG_5563_1024By the pier- they were renting this mechanical animal that took the kids round and round in circles. We have these in Indonesia too, only in the malls.

thumb_IMG_5566_1024Hand churned ice- they had 20 flavors. Worth it for $1/ cup 🙂

thumb_IMG_5571_1024Walking round town, we found this wine fest. For some reason, all the wine booths were selling wine AND sangrias. Nobody was drinking the wine, but everybody had ice cold sangrias ($4 for a huge glass!). They had great blues live band playing.

thumb_IMG_2924_1024Hussongs Cantina, enjoying a $3 margarita from the place that’s rumored to have made the first margarita ever.

thumb_IMG_5572_1024They had a mariachi band playing full on in the bar.

thumb_IMG_5569_1024Extremely pleased with the dollar tacos.

We’ve had our share of relaxing and eating amazing good food. Tomorrow, we head South and hopefully we get to ride more.

Before we part– here’s a picture of Brady’s newly acquired sun-blocking device.

thumb_IMG_2926_1024We modified a brand new perfectly functional sombrero ($6!) to put over a bike helmet to block the scorching sun. Will let you know how this goes. This absolutely cracks me up every time.

 

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