Mexico! (Decembre 1.-17. 2006)

Posted by on Dec 20 2006 | 03 Mexico 06/07, English

No hablar ingles

All four of us were quite nervous about the border crossing. The road surface changed already about 5km before the border. The higway was now narrow and ruff. The houses on the US side were more or less sheds, everything was dusty. nobody was in the inspection house, nobody checked our passports. There was a patrol officer sitting in his car watching us on the mexican side. We tried to ask him where we had to go to pick up our tourist cards. He just said:” No hablar ingles!” The rest was far to fast for us to understand. But we could make out of his gestures, that we had to park on aparking lot like a car. He would not let us use the side walk to lean our bikes against a wall. So Florian went to the immigration office with all our passports and I held on to our bikes on the parking lot. Getting a si month visa for Mexico was not a problem at all as soon as Florian told the officer, that we were travelling on bicycles. He even put Chan on Flo´s tourist card, so that we didn´t had to pay for him.

Andrea and Joerg had arrived at the border as well and we all went to the famous Tecate panaderia a nd got bread and sweets. Then Andrea and Joerg left, they still wanted to cover some 70km, far too many for us. Our destination was a village about 30km south of Tecate. So we checkt out the first mexican mercato (supermarket) and then climbed out of the city on Mex 3 ourselves.

In the US people had warned us about the roads on the Baja many times. But as usual, advie not from bicyclists who had really travelled the same roads, is no advice to us. We were pleasantly surprised how cars any kind of trucks slowed down behind us, giving us space and passing carefully. Of course there still is the odd driver who either needs glasses or doesn´t care, passing us dangerously. But we were stressed out about traffic much more inthe US, even when we had good shoulders!

We were slowly climbing a hill when it went BOOOOM! behind our bakcs. The car right behind us let the opposite traffic by, then quickly passed us and drove off. The second car honked and stopped on the road. Only in the next village he caught up to us and pulled over. Three mexican men got out. One of them acting quite the show, clapping his hands and rubbing them together while walking in circles, then abrubtly walking straight up to Florian who was in front of me, signing him to stop. He was pointing out his broken front light. The three of them didn´t speak any english, we didn´t speak nor understand spanish, but it was clear, that they wanted money from us gringos, because they bumped into that other car. It was also clear, that it wasn´t our mistake and that all of us knew that. So Florian told them a few times just that and then we left and they drove on.

Anyway, by about 3pm we made it to Valle de los Palmas and didn´t really know where to go or ask for a place to stay. So Flo asked for the Police Station and the officer there was super nice, trying to understand our three words of spanish. He let us stay in the town park. We bought chips and water and cooked dinner. The park was quiet, no one was there. At dusk a car arrived and then another one. They played loud music, then after some 30 minutes drove off again. We crawled into our tent, ready for the night, noises of roosters, chickens and horses all arround us. Then more cars arrived and suddenly there was a party all arround us. Mexican lifstyle or friday night party? Chan fell asleep quickly, but Flo and I sank into sweet dreams only when the last car left with thundering bass sounds late that night.

IMG_0002.jpg

IMG_0008.jpg
Ensenada was noisy and stinky too. We had a flat entering the city because of glass splinters on the highway. We bought groceries at the Gigante supermarket and at a bike shop replaced one of Flo´s pedal baskets which was broken. The four lane highway south was busy, but we had a good shoulder. Past Maneadero traffic wasn´t that bad anymore. The road was winding its way up into the hills through farmed land surrounded by dusty rocky landscapes.

IMG_0012.jpg
A frozen tent and 40km/h

We celebrated Chan´s third birthday still on the pacific side of teh Baja. We went for diner in a restaurant and ordered cooked cactus, beans and quesadillas and they even brought decorated chocolate cup cakes and candles for him.

IMG_0016.jpg

IMG_0018.jpg
Then we headed into the central desert of the Baja, the first difficult stretch for us for supply of purified water. There were long stretches without towns, ranchos or roadside restaurants and we had to carry water for two days. For seven days we had to ride at least 50km a day to be sure to eb able to stock up with water again. Food wasn´t a problem. The first day was a long climb up, up, up onto a high plateau. The winds were really strong pushing us arround and slowing us down. we spent the night at a llantera (truck mechaninc) in the middle of nothing but the sonoran desert. In the morning our tent was frozen and frost all arround us. Chan asked for his gloves the first time.

IMG_0024.jpg

IMG_0023.jpg
By now we knew enough spanish to ask for water, directions and a place to stay and to understand about a third of the answers. We never had a problem finding a place for the night, people alwasy let us stay either on their property or in the village park. Our bodies are craving sweets like crazy and we are always asking for panaderias to get some yummy cookies and bread and at lunch we empty a bottle of “sugar water”!

The road was leading us slowly back to the pacific side of the Baja now, out of the mountains into flatter terrain. The wind for once stayed in our backs and blew us over an arrow straight road towards the ocean. To the left and right saguaros, barrel cactus and chollas as well as Dr. Seuss trees (boojum trees) agaves and mesquite trees.

IMG_0030.jpg

IMG_0031.jpg

IMG_0036l.jpg

IMG_0040.jpg

For over 20km Flo´s bike computer showed a speed of 40km/h! That day we rode 103 km – two days in one. In Rosarito (there is maybe 5 towns on the Baja called Rosarito) we could stay with Manuel and Maria, a mexican couple who had passed us a few days earlier and had invited us to visit them. We took the first shower in days at their place and they were feeding us with a beautiful meal for dinner and in the morning waited with breakfast for us. They both loved Chan who finally spoke his first spansh words.

bild 12, 13, 14

Now we are getting some rest in Guerrero Negro, fixing our tent (again) getting the laundry done, before we once again head inland and this time will cross the Baja all the way to the Sea of Cortez.

4 comments for now

4 Responses to “Mexico! (Decembre 1.-17. 2006)”

  1. Merle and Linda

    Rebekka and Florian,

    We are so glad that Mexico is working out for you. We were so worried about the road conditions and the traffic. It is apparent that you are living out the dream that you kept alive for so many years. Bravo!! Thank you for posting your progress in such vivid and wonderful detail. We’re jealous of your youth and your courage and your adventure.

    Hugs to Chan,
    Linda and Merle

    27 Dec 2006 at 2:23 pm

  2. Daniela

    Queridos Rebi, Flo Y Chan
    I will submit my Comments in Spanish as it is only appropriate since you made it into Mexico! Fabuloso!! (plus it will be a good practice as you learn more Spanish) Muchas gracias por compartir sus historias y sus aventuras. Me encantan y los admiro demasiado. Les deseo todo lo mejor en el 2007. Mucha salud, alegria, paz y amor. Sigan su viaje con mucho cuidado en Mexico y el resto de los paises Latinoamericanos.
    Un fuerte abrazo,
    Daniela

    02 Jan 2007 at 9:24 pm

  3. James

    Family Fisch!
    You are very brave and an inspiration to us all. much love and safe travels,
    James from west 6th house

    10 Jan 2007 at 7:40 pm

  4. congratulations on your trip so far. We are staying at merle & linda’s house, and he passed on your journal website to us. plus we saw your wonderful pictures in the paper guestbook!

    my girlfriend kristen and I have cycled from vancouver to san diego, arriving just today. we planned to cycle the baja, but kristen got a job and is flying back. so i am going to ride it solo. perhaps I will catch up to you guys on the road! ha, probably not. but ill be keeping an eye on your journal to see what is coming up.

    good luck
    ryan

    10 Jan 2007 at 8:57 pm

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Bad Behavior has blocked 10 access attempts in the last 7 days.