Previous entry: Day 1: Los Angeles to Ensenada
Total distance for the day: 302 miles, 486 km
I headed to the Customs/Immigration office in Ensenada and was told that they only gave Tourist Cards to people arriving there by boat/ship, no exceptions. This meant that I would have to go back to hectic Tijuana to get it. I cringed at the thought of that. I begged but it was of no use. I went back to the Tourist Office where they sympathized with my situation and suggested that I go to the border town of Tecate instead. They said it would be faster to go there and the town is not as hectic as Tijuana.
It took me 1 hour 15 minutes to ride to Tecate. After asking for directions I was able to find the place to finally get the Tourist Card, which cost US$23. I was helped by a very friendly guy at the immigration office. I have to admit though that on my way to Tecate, I did entertain for a few seconds the idea of just crossing the border back to the US. The first day and a half hadn’t gone exactly great and I was just not feeling it. I’m glad that I decided to stick with this trip.
After filling up at a gas station and grabbing something quick for lunch, I made my way south again. Most gas station don’t take credit cards, so you pay cash, either pesos or dollars, but the exchange rates are usually not great. There are attendants that will come to you and take the cash. Gas prices are about the same as in the US.
The road took me back to Ensenada, then its outskirts. The traffic was pretty dense there since it’s a very populated area and there are a lot of stop signs and traffic lights. After a long while I was able to escape the madness and into the countryside. I was delighted to find some fun twisty roads.
Mexico’s Highway 1, which goes from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, is generally in good condition. The road gets a little worse when it goes through towns. In each town there are also multiple bumps to slow down your speed. There was a lot of road construction/repair going on, and they would build dirt detour roads. Sometimes it’s for a couple of hundred meters, sometimes much longer. I also passed through a couple of military checkpoints, but they just waived me by.
Traffic got pretty bad around San Quentin. It is two-way two-lane highway, so not much I could do but to be patient. Speed picked up after San Quentin and I rode the last hour or so before El Rosario in the dark.
I stayed at Baja Cactus Motel which is an amazing deal for US$30 a night. It can rival any $100+ hotel in the US and it was by far the best hotel I’ve stayed in during the whole trip. Very clean and modern. Dinner was lobster burritos at Mama Espinoza’s. It was alright and a little overpriced.
Next entry: Day 3: El Rosario to Santa Rosalia