Day 7: Mexico, TijuanaDecember 26, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
Mexico, Tijuana... what an interesting and different place.
Mexico, Tijuana... what an interesting and different place.
Being a bordertown and the gateway to so much of Mexico, Tijuana has a sampling food and customs from many many different regions of Mexico. Ilan and Emma, our hosts in LA had given us some tips of places to check out to take some of that in, although it being our first time travelling in Mexico, we may not have appreciated all the subtleties that will surely become apparent after we pedal our way through the country. We started our tour by finding the Mariscos Reuben food truck that had been recommended to us and took the opportunity to change a slowly leaking tube while our delicious food was prepared. Almeja grantinadas (clam with melted cheese) and toasted fish tacos with fresh guava juice made for a great first meal in the county. We did a quick tour of Hidalgo Market, perusing a variety of spices, fruits, veggies, cheese and meat all new to us. Lastly we tried to find a bank to stock up on pesos for the road ahead. All of these stops, and the challenges of navigating the city and the traffic, added up and before we knew it it was 2:30pm - with only 2 hours until it would be dark at 4:30. We decided we didn't want to race out of Tijuana and try to find a place in Rosarito before dark, so headed to a hotel that had been recommended to us by a helpful Warmshowers host in Tijuana who was unable to host us, but happy to provide info to help us along. After pozoles for dinner (a traditional corn soup) we settled in at the hotel to catch up on the blog and get a good nights sleep.Read more
I thought I'd do a quick write up of our amazing tour of the US of A. It's hard to believe it's been 6 months since we left NJ, but at the same time it feels like we've been on the road for ages as we've seen so much.
We often get asked our favourite state, but that's almost an impossible question as we've had so many incredible experiences. The most surprising (to us, and to those who ask) is Texas. We weren't expecting much of the largest lower 48 state, but we found it had the biggest variation in scenery, from coast, to swamp, to dessert, to mountains. It had a great state park system (as do many southern states who have to work harder to attract visitors). We were almost stuck without somewhere to stay for the 4th of July weekend and were forced to drive miles through the desert to a SP right on the Mexican border (we even went through border security check points to get there), but found it an amazing place where you could imagine ancient people living and it had fantastic rock art.
Most of all we've loved the mountains, and the Rockies in particular blew us away. The big peaks in Colorado were hugely impressive but it was really jagged and scary looking mountains of Wyoming and Montana that we most enjoyed. The National Parks of Glacier and Tetons were definitely top of the list (followed closely by Yosemite), but the shear scale of everything out there is hard to describe. There are bucket loads of public lands and things are so well set up to enjoy it that sometimes the areas outside the parks were more enjoyable.
The Oregon coast was incredible - all public with great camping - although we were both ill and it was a bit foggy which took the shine off it a little, but we've both realised we are really mountain people as there's so much more to explore when up high, and the views can be just breathtaking.
Over the past couple of months we've stayed with lots of friends and relatives (thanks again to those reading this) and that was a really nice change of lifestyle for a few days that kept our batteries fully recharged, not to mention the TV that we downloaded on their WiFi :)
I think we are leaving at just the right time, with Trumpton just getting into full swing and before the wall goes up! I'm already planning where we shall go when we inevitably return stateside, but bring on Central America!Read more
We woke up early to get a good start to our day. Our plan was to ride 100 kms to Ensenada where we had a host to stay with for the night. There are two highways out of Tijuana, the 1D, a toll highway forbidden to cyclists, but apparently with a good wide shoulder, and the 1, a free highway with lots of traffic and no shoulder. We had heard about cyclists riding the 1D but getting kicked off at each of the tolls or guard stations and then sneaking back on, but decided we didn't want to add that kind of headache to our day, so set off on the 1 up a big hill out of town. The traffic was crazy and we were definitely sucking in fumes wondering how long the hill could be, when a car pulled over and out jumped a guy and girl - Roberto and Annika. They told us they had been cycling around the world, but were taking some time off in Tijuana for the holidays since that is where Roberto's family is, and we were the first cycle tourists they had seen since arriving in Tijuana - did we need anything? Roberto told us about the 1D highway and how beautiful it was, and encouraged us to try to ride on it if we got the chance, and that was convincing enough for us to get on it later in the day (we had already missed the first part by taking the 1 out of town).Read more
We had a busy morning getting to the border as we had to mail our cherished "Google Phone" (a phone with 3G for all our direction queries, awesomely lent to us by Ellen and Taras) back to San Francisco, pick up a few last things, get some US cash and then change it into pesos so we could buy our tourist visas as we went through immigration into Mexico. The border crossing itself went smoothly, but stepping outside into Mexico was a bit of a shock despite our attempts at preparing ourselves. The walkways were full of people also crossing into Tijuana, or selling things to those passing by with pop-up food and drink stands lining the way. Every inch of road was full of cars and taxis heading through the border or picking up those who just had just entered the country. It was noisy, and grimy and full-on. Apparently the Tijuana border is one of the (the?) busiest border crossings in the world, and that was quite apparent. We felt our way along the walking path over the river to Avenida de la Revolucion and pedalled through downtown Tijuana until we found a free city map and directions to a cell phone shop where we could get a Mexican SIM card for our phone and get our bearings for the journey ahead.Read more
Heute morgen war ich mir nicht sicher, ob ich es nach Mexiko schaffe. Ich befürchtete, wenn ich zu spät zur Grenze komme und die Beamten das gleiche Theater machen wie an der nordamerikanischen, dann wird das langwierig. Nein, die relativ einfachen Formalien habe ich über mich ergehen lassen, 20 $ dafür gezahlt, dass ich es nicht schaffe Mexiko innerhalb von 7 Tagen zu verlassen, und dann ich konnte die Grenze passieren. Hier kostet ein Hotelzimmer 20 $ und das Essen ist auch erheblich günstiger.
15 Kilometer vor der Grenze traf ich einen Radfahrer, der mir das Angebot machte, mich bis zur Grenze zu begleiten. Ich durfte Spanisch sprechen, und er freute sich einen Gesprächspartner zu haben, da er sonst immer alleine Rad fährt.
Von der amerikanischen Seite sieht man diese hässliche Mauer. Sie erinnert mich stark an unsere deutsche Vergangenheit. Mein Reisebegleiter schüttelte über diesen Unsinn seinen Kopf.
Die heutige Tour verlief gemächlich. Die landschaftlichen Eindrücke entsprachen denen der letzten Tage. Mehr überraschte mich die Strassenqualität von den USA zu Mexiko. Gerade eben waren die Strassen meistens noch gepflegt, nach der Grenze liegt ein Loch neben dem anderen.
Bilder von San Diego, wo auch Steffi Graf wohnen soll.Read more
A day trip into Tijuana for sightseeing and shopping. Very interesting :)
Day 38: Muchos saludos de México! 🌵
Today I left the USA and jumped over the border to Tijuana.
Better to say: I jumped into a new world. Yesterday I wrote about pure richness. Today - just a few miles more southern - I gonna write about pure poverty.
The main street where I arrived "Av Revolución"was was very touristic and every two metres someone was speaking to me to sell me something.
So I wanted to go off that street very quickly.
I went into backstreet and there it was the Mexican lifestyle. All along the street musicans with their Mexican hat on played salsa music and people danced on the street.
Yes, this definitely was a good place to rest. So I chose a restaurant and had a Mexican lunch. It was delicious!
Afterwards I took a taxi to the beach. That easy? Not in Mexico! I walked about hundred blocks to find a taxi that brought me there. Not every taxi brings you everywhere. But the price was so cheap! I paid 1 dollar for a 20 minutes ride.
At the beach I enjoyed the seaside and was able to stand next to the border with nice drawings on it. You was able to see helicopters of the US military for border protection at all time.
At the end of the day I drank a coconut drink 🌴
Before I got here I read in the internet "in Tijuana everybody speaks English". Never! The border officiers and the hostel stuff was able to but the rest? Mostly when they spoke spanish to me I was able to understand them 💪 But I wasn't able to reply 🙈 So I got hands and it worked 🙌
Tijuana Arch ✔
Torre de Aqua Caliente ✔
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe ✔
Playas de Tijuana ✔
Mural Esta Es Mi Tierra ✔
Monumental Plaza de Toros ✔
El Muro en la Playa ✔
South Dekota ✅
Crossing through the San Ysidro Port of Entry. With fruits and churros!
You might also know this place by the following names: