I am still vertical. The reason for the absence of a blog yesterday was difficulty in finding a wifi connection out here in central Baja.
Quite a day yesterday! Up at 4:30. To ATM and cambio for Pesos. Then to McDonalds for egg white breakfast. Then to border.
Not a friendly place. Pitch dark. Uniforms everywhere. No idea what is really going on. After a wait of 10 minutes for unknown reasons, me and my “rig” (2007 Jeep Liberty ) pass through USA side and then thru Mexican side. No one stopped me. No one asked me a single question. No one inspected my rig. No one checked my passport. No one checked to make sure I had a Mexican Tourist Card. Nada.
After I got thru all of a sudden I was faced with a decision of whether to go downtown Tijiuana or proceed on Route 1 south to Ensenada and beyond. The reason this was an issue is that I had planned to get my tourist card at the border.
So not wanting to be driving around Tijuana in the dark at 5 am I opted for heading south on the cuota (toll road).
It is still ptch dark. Moon is a sliver of a crescent. The Mexican authorities apparently do not believe in street lights. It is really dark. And I am saying to myself “what am I doing driving in the dark when I established before the trip a rule that I would not drive in the dark.” And I am saying to myself “do I need a tourist card since no one asked me for it? If so what do I do now?”
Needless to say both of my hands were on my steering wheel and they were gripping it tightly.
Make it to Ensenada by 7 and stop to relieve myself. In the process reread the guidebook and find out that Ensenada is the end if the “free zone” where one does not need a tourist card. But if you are going further south you do.
So I seek out advice. ( using my Spanish language skills) of where to get the tourist card. Go to state tourism office and wait till 8 when it opens. They inform me that I need to go to the Immigration office in another part of town. Do so and sign up for and receive my Mexican Tourist card! Yes! I’m legal! Yes!
Here is a picture of the beautiful office that processed my paperwork.