|Subject: Bi-national GTG|
Hello fellow Ziners!
I'm happy to report that a contingent of the Travelzine pulled off the
first bi-national get-together yesterday here on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Amelia Meyer-Hesson, her husband Ken, and Mark May; all from Los Angeles, joined myself, my wife Sara and our friend Tina Miller for a full day's excursion down to Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico.
Our group met at 10:30am loaded into my Suburban and made for points south. After crossing the border and navigating through Tijuana we jetted down the coastal toll-road admiring the surf and gawking at the unrestrained growth along the coastal corridor between Tijuana and Rosarito.
A short stop at the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel allowed us to wet our whistles and snack on some rich chunky guacamole while watching the crowds of weekend vacationers playing in the surf and lazing on the sand. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, the usual clouds associated with Southern California's notorious June gloom having given up the ghost earlier in the week. Sunscreen was definitely the order of the day.
Continuing south we made another stop at El Mirador (the viewpoint) at the north end of Todos Santos Bay. Although the southern end of the bay some ten miles further south was obscured by haze, Mark's keen eyes picked out a large pod of porpoises feeding in the waters several hundred feet below our rocky perch. Everyone took a turn with the binoculars to marvel at the speed and grace of these animals as they glided through the waters making a quick meal of any fish too slow to avoid their deft skills.
Back into the Suburban we passed through Ensenada and made our way out to La Bufadora, one of North America's largest blowholes, located at the rocky headland at the southern end of Todos Santos Bay.
Of course, during the drive the conversation flew fast and furious, the subjects drawn from a broad spectrum of topics but always returning to our shared love of travel.
At La Bufadora the Mexican entrepreneurs exhibited their country's grasp of the capitalist spirit enabling us to window shop at the innumerable stalls of souvenirs. Despite the huckster's claims of our being big spenders we made it through the gauntlet (twice) relatively unscathed on our path to and from the mighty show put on by Mother Nature. A few of us moved in close enough to actually be cooled by the pounding sprays of sea water as it was forced high into the air by the ocean's surge into the narrow chasm in the rocks. The return through the souvenir stalls found our resolve waning and we capitulated to the seller's never-ending calls for commerce. But, alas, we chose well with every purchase representing something edible fresh mango &coconut, candied lime and coconut cakes.
Already mid-afternoon it was time to head back to Ensenada for a meal, a little shopping, and a photo opportunity. The streets of Ensenada were filled with weekend and day visitors. Hundreds of additional sightseers were in town from the two cruise ships berthed in the harbor. After searching up and down the main street (Calle Lopez Mateos) which the city has recently revitalized with a nice makeover we finally selected a sidewalk restaurant. Fish tacos, enchiladas, chips, salsa, cerveza, refrescos, pescado al mojo de ajo and al estilo veracruzano were quickly devoured while the conversation continued to flow unabated.
Fully rested and re-energized we hit the streets for a few more shopping opportunities before I dragged the group through Ensenada's fresh fish market down by the harbor. While some made a quick pass through the market (the strong bouquet of fish a little too much for their recently sated appetites) a few of us lingered, admiring the fresh catch and purchasing a little smoked fish (lunch today).
Regrouped on the malécon, we took advantage of the afternoon's last few rays of sunshine and Ensenada's huge Mexican flag, waving in the cool bay breeze, to orchestrate a group photo for the Travelzine files.
With the day almost gone we fled back up the coast towards home enjoying the last few rays of sunshine sparkling on the glassy waves of the Pacific. However, the real test lay ahead crossing the San Ysidro border, the world's busiest border crossing. Despite a ten minute gridlock we still managed to get across in average time, approximately 50 minutes.
The day finally finished we exchanged our good-byes and extended future invitations at 9:30pm making this eleven hour GTG perhaps the Travelzine's lengthiest get together also.
John Rule San Diego, CA