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4083 kms: A Big Buffet at La Bufadora

Written on: Friday February 29th, 2008

A journal entry from: North America in our Camper Van!

We enjoyed a delicious crepe breakfast this morning prepared by Graham and hit the road before 9 am, destination: Mexico! I picked up our Camping Mexico book and decided that it would be a good time to read the Chapter on ?Preparing the Cross the Border??.. actually yesterday would have been a better time, just in case it told us something we weren?t prepared for. Oh well.
As we approached the border crossing located on the north side of Tijuana I was busy preparing passports, vehicle registration papers, maps to answer any destination questions, etc. There was a very small lineup and within a minute we were at the front of the line at a red light. Within another moment the light flashed green. Through the border we drove. No questions, no hassles, no problem. Looking around we felt that we had driving into another world. On the north side of the border, clean streets, new vehicles, and large colonial homes. On the south side the population exploded, the streets suddenly narrower and full of potholes, wooden shacks scattered amongst worn down and what seemed to be half completed buildings. I don?t think that there is any border in the world that one can cross and see such an extreme polarity. Tijuana was a bustling city and based on numerous recommendations we drove right through without stopping. The Mex 1 is the main highway that runs down the peninsula and for much of the northern part, it runs along the coast. We spotted some dolphins playing in the water and set our first destination Ensenada, where we had to purchase our tourist visas. We found the Migracion office easily and were advised that the procedure was as follows: (i) Go to window #1, pick up a form from the customs officer, (ii) walk several blocks to the nearby bank and pay 55 pesos, (iii) return to Migracion and pick up another form, (iv) complete the form and go to window #2, (v) pay the man there another 100 pesos and he will stamp your form, (vi) return to window #1 and get your tourist visa. Forty-five minutes later we were set and decided to check out the famous local fish market. By far one of the largest fish markets that I have ever seen. We decided to feast our first evening and bought tuna steaks, a kilogram of shrimp and some smoked fish. I noticed one vendor pull a quick one on Gilles, he indicated that the fish would cost 25 pesos and when Gilles gave him the money he changed it to 35 pesos. We were all a little too confused and slow to react. Lesson learnt, be more careful next time. We hit a Supermecado and bought some cervecas and tequilla before setting off for our evening destination- La Bufadora. This famous tidewater blowhole periodically sends a jet of water 30 meters into the sky. We were impressed with the natural beauty of the site and found a low-key campground nearby. In fact, we were the only campers there that evening and got to choose the best spot- atop a small private hill and cliff overlooking the pacific ocean. 50 pesos (5 bucks) for the night was a great bargain! After we had overcome the initial excitement of having found such a great campspot for our first night we set ourselves up and barbecued our evening feast.