November 20 delayed

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.


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