Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Border with Mexico, again
26 januari 2017
Border with Mexico, again
We did not go to the same border crossing as I went to a while ago to get my visa renewed. The Tijuana border crossing is the busiest crossing in the world. On top of that, Tijuana is in the news quite negatively lately. It has drug wars going on, violence, and if you want to believe the rumours, all that awaits you across the border are rows and rows of beggars. On top of that, while we were in San Diego, the border was often closed because of protests on the Mexican side against the elevated gas prices. In short, it sounded far from attractive.
So, we chose border crossing number 3. You must bike up some hills, but it’s the quietest border crossing between the US and Mexico and that sounded a lot better. The day we went biking up on the US side it was raining so badly that there were constant landslides in our way and we were passed by ‘snowplows’ trying to keep the road passable. We heard later that it was closed for a while. Potentially when we were on it? We don’t know, we don’t go up that fast ;). About every third car that passed us was from the US border control. We heard rumours about helicopters, but the weather must have kept them in cause all that we saw in the sky was gray, cloudy and lots of raindrops.
When we got to the border we decided to wait for tomorrow, since we didn’t know how long the crossing would take. We could be waiting in line for an hour, we might have to open our bags and have them look through them.... There was a campground nearby where we planned to stay. We followed our stomachs to a restaurant that unfortunately was closed, but we must have looked so sad that the lady there organized a bungalow for the night for us for a low price, which was great, because we were soaked and the thunder just started.
The next morning it was time to cross the border! It was dry-ish, so we biked the 10 km to the border easily. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get a visa for Mexico. Not because the border agent was difficult, but because we couldn’t find him. We got through a gate, followed some pedestrians, there was an x-ray machine, but the guy waved us passed, and we were in Mexico. The whole process took about 2 minutes. But Leigh realized that we needed a visa. After some asking around, we found out we passed the immigration office somewhere on our way through. So one by one, one person staying with the bike, we looped back. It seemed that you could walk back into the US, but there must have been guards somewhere preventing that. The official crossing into the US was a block next to us, both are one way. And also here, in Tecate, just like in Tijuana, is a fence that marks the border. Leigh let me be illegal for a while longer and went first. When it was my turn, I found a little sign saying “foreigners this way” and following the arrows. At the end was a guy in an office that let me fill in some papers and asked for some money, and gave me a 6 month visa in return. Easy peasy and it took 5 minutes.
In Tecate, apparently known for its beer though I’d never heard of it (does anyone?), we met our host for the night, and he guided us around a little bit. Great fun and we learned some important words in Spanish, like laundromat. The next day we started biking again, and saw some big landslides on the Mexican site of the border. Two more days of rain were in the forecast, but we did pretty well and were lucky that our first campground had a shelter under which we could pitch the tent so it was dry in the morning. The next day was going to be a bad day, but rain was supposed to start at 1 pm, so by making an early start we rolled into a hotel just as it was starting. We tried to do laundry in that place, Ensenada, but some streets were turned into rivers, and it rained so badly that it just wasn’t doable to be outside. Luckily, we had an inside, and around dinnertime it got a little dryer so we could eat some delicious food :).
Roads in the north of the Baja were surprisingly good. All newly build, no potholes, and broad shoulders. We feel safe, and where the road gets smaller, cars and trucks are taking care of us and often giving us an enthusiastic wave or honk. The Baja is a big vineyard area, so lots of grapes on the sides of the roads. We learned that its fashion among rich Mexicans to have their own winery in the Baja as hobby.
And we learned another thing, the Baja is definitely not flat :).
Foto's bij verslag (9)
26 januari 2017 20:24 | Door: Lodey
wow wat spannend allemaal en wat een boel regen. Als ik aan Mexico denk denk ik alleen maar zon. Groeten uit de sneeuw.
Lodey, Rob en Frida ( Jorinde in Stockholm=
27 januari 2017 00:36 | Door: Tobias
Superleuk om weer een verhaal te lezen. Heel veel succes en plezier voor het vervolg.
27 januari 2017 22:20 | Door: Frank (the closet Canadian ... je weet wel)
Annette ... ik geniet volop van je verslagen. Please keep up the good work.
9 februari 2017 19:06 | Door: Fritz en Anneke - Zwitserland
We vinden het fijn jullie te volgen.