Sunday, April 13, 2008

En Senada

Sunday we mostly spent on the road. For being so close to California, it takes a darn long time to get around and to Mexico.

First we hopped a locals' bus to La Bufadora, which is a marine geyser. In the heat, the occasional spray of the ocean and staring at the moss-covered dripping rocks was great to cool off. Afterward we climbed down some rocks to a pebbly beach. The water was rough and cold, so I tried to stay only knee deep, but a wave took my flip-flop. I made a daring save, but got pretty soaked in the process. 

While I frolicked Alejandro was followed by a local kid who sat down with him and grilled him about Argentina, America and who knows what else. They made a cute pair on the big rock, talking and staring out into the ocean. Enrique had walked 4 hours that day to get to La Bufadora, which is surrounded by stalls and stalls of shops and food, and hence, tourists, so he could beg. We ended up taking him out to lunch at a taco stand. Afterwards I bought mango for dessert. He shaked his head and I told him to ask for whatever he wanted, which turned out to be doritos loco. Here's the recipe--take a small spicy doritos bag and slit in sideways. Pour in hot sauce, calamari (I think that's what it was), chilly powder and use a spoon to eat it. No Rico I say!

We ended up paying for him to take the bus home and we bade farewell as we both transferred to our respective buses from the Bufadora route. It makes you wonder what kind of life this kid will have. He was bright, spunky, smart, with a lot a personality, but if he's reduced to begging, what will he get to grow up to be?

We continued onto a third bus and then two trolleys before getting back to our car for the walk home . .  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Mexican than LA!


After weeks of talk and being an armchair traveler with my Rough Guide to Mexico, we finally hit the road.  The trolley in San Diego actually drops you off right at the border and after grabbing my obligatory coffee we started hiking the ramp up and over.  There was, suprisingly, no line, and more suprisingly, no passport check.  It is silly for Mexico to spend money posting guards checking all those crazy Americans coming to Mexico to stay illeagaly, but I was hoping for a Mexico passport stamp.  Our stay in Tijuana was short and uneventful.  I ate the most amazing churros I've ever had on my life and hopped aboard a more comfortable than greyhound bus to Ensenada.  

We found a hotel right in the middle of downtown.  After flinging our bags down we headed over to the local winery--Santo Tomas.  It was packed with short-wearing, white tube socks up-pulling, camera clicking, plastic cup wine-chugging tourists.  It was recommended we wait until they left.  

Good thing we did.  The second they were gone, the real glasses were brought out and our pourer, Alex, proceeded to take out for us great wines from the region.  The first one I ended up buying was a white semidulche wine that was so full and smooth.  Alejandro ended up picking a complex red we had later.  We spent almost an hour tasting and buying while in that time 2 tour groups quickly came, tasted (or chugged) wine from little plastic cups and left.  As Alex pulled out a 7th (or 8th?  I lost count) wine to try--a rose', he gave us recommendations for places for dinner, wine festivals in the summer (in Mexico, who knew?), and espoused the virtues (yes, I said virtues) of Tijuana.  He finished pouring us the rest of the bottle of rose' and we walked out signifigantly buzzed and ready to see Ensenada.  

Other highlights of the day included getting asked every 5 seconds if we wanted to buy something, getting stared at by guys, even as I held Alejandro's hand, Los Tres Cabesas Plaza with 3 giant gold heads, the largest Mexican flag and eating amazing sushi with melted cheese on it from a make-shift tent at the port.  

More on day two later . . .