San Diego to the borderMay 21, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
We left Nacho's about 1am, following Toni and Mariana to the 805 freeway which we followed to our reserved Travelodge at the border. At the hotel now about 1:30am we were advised that our reservation had been cancelled because the travel card was declined and that there were now no rooms available. We protested, why hadn't they called to tell us? What were we meant to do now? Sleep on the floor? 'Then I'll call the police,' the attendant said. He seemed to think it was funny.
We wished we had accepted Nacho's offer to say stay at his place, but by now he and Mafe would be in bed asleep. So we drove to the airport where we would have to return the car in the morning and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. It was now 2am and we decided it was impractical to meet Toni at 8.30 at the car return, for him to take us to the border to cross by 9.30 to meet Quique and see his daughters Maria and Fernanda at a Jiujutsu competition. Luci messaged them both to cancel.
In the morning I woke at 9 showered and got ready, then it took 10 mins to wake Luci who was so asleep. Breakfast was curious: cereals, turkey pattie, perfect peeled boiled eggs that apparently come in a can once a month, a machine that makes hot cakes.
Filled the car with petrol and the attendant told me better pay with cash because with card they charge an extra 30¢/gallon (about 12% surcharge.)
Returned the car at the airport, where they refunded the extra charges the woman in SF had placed. Ask the people here couldn't be friendlier. Then airport shuttle to the terminal to take the bus to town. Curiously I noticed that the bus schedule is consistent up to 11:17am, then changes to 1 minute later. Why would they bother?
The trolley to San Ysidro took 45 mins, slowly filling up the closer it got to the border. At one stage inspectors came checking tickets, with belts full of compartments, extra pockets strapped to the legs and a pistol in a holster. The lady in front didn't have her pass and tried to talk her way out of it by being vague and going on and on. The inspectors were very polite but firm, the last I saw she was walking happily arm in arm with one of them down the platform.
Entering Mexico I was worried because there was a big queue waiting to get tourist cards. Turned out they were Chinese on a tour, none spoke English, and Mexican officials encouraged everyone else to just walk through, no problem.Read more