Total distance for the day: 190 miles, 305 km
The day started late as I left home at around 9am. I made a stop at my friend Phillip’s house to pick up a Gorillapod tripod plate for my DSLR camera, and he was gracious enough to cook breakfast for me as well. I made my way down to the Tijuana, which now has a new border crossing.
I knew I needed to get a Tourist Card since I was traveling south of Ensenada and staying for more than 72 hours. As I crossed the hectic border, I saw no signs telling me where to go to get one. All I saw was a couple of signs for Customs. Four lanes become about 20 lanes, and then they all merged into 2 lanes and before you know it, you are on a highway in Mexico with a million ramps going to a million places, but with no way to make a U-turn and go back to the border. Since the guidebook stated that I could also get the Tourist Card in Ensenada, I continued on.
It was a little nerve racking to be riding in a different country, but since I can read Spanish I was able to understand all the signs. People also drive pretty decently, so after a while I was able to relax and enjoy.
I got on the toll road with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. There are 3 tolls on the way to Ensenada, each costing $15 pesos (or US$1,20) for motorcycles. When I arrived at Ensenada, I headed to the Tourist Office where they told me that I could go to the Customs/Immigration office the next morning to get the card.
I settled into cheap US$30 Motel America and walked away from the tourist area of Ensenada to Tacos Don Zefe, which was recommended by my Lonely Planet guidebook. The fish and shrimp tacos were excellent. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped at a coffee shop for some wifi and guidebook reading.
I didn’t find Ensenada particularly exciting.
Next entry: Day 2: Ensenada to Tecate to El Rosario