I spent over twelve hours in Mexico recently - a quick, fun trip filled with new food, pretty views and driving along in a mini van!
My family booked a whole day tour with Baja Border Tours. Our guide, West, was lovely. He’s Colombian, but knows lots about Baja California, the state of Mexico we visited. We left at around 9 am from our hotel in San Diego. West helped us with the border requirements, and soon we were in a new country.
Our first stop was at a beach in Tijuana. We had beef tamales, which looked… interesting but tasted really good. I was waiting for the sun to come out; it was still cloudy, as Mexico was in the ‘June Gloom’ season. West said I’d be complaining about the sun later on, and he was so right.
Next, West drove us to a market in Rosarito. It was so colourful and full of so many beautiful bags and ponchos (and cheap sunglasses, of which I bought a pair). I picked up a patterned tote bag for myself from one of the market stalls. I can’t wait to use it now I am at home.
|Loving those two cream-covered mosquito bites on my leg|
We made our way to Popotla beach for lunch. While we waited for lunch, we walked up and down the beautiful beach, packed with stalls and young families. Boats drive in to bring in fresh fish, gutted and prepared for local restaurants. It was very busy and fun, and the blue sea looked so inviting, but we didn’t bring any swimming gear.
Lunch was a typical Mexican fish dish which was shared between us all - delicious! We made tacos with the fish with rice and guacamole and thinking about it makes my mouth water.
We stopped at so many cool places on the way to Ensenada. There was a hotel that has the walls of the ‘Titanic’ set in it, a huge Jesus statue with an unreal view, and cliff top area that resembled Greece that had an even cooler view. West stopped at an ice cream stand which sold ice creams of exotic Mexican fruits, which were sweet and refreshing.
Near the end of the evening, we arrived at a wine tasting place outside of Ensenada called Cuatro Cuatros, where we got another lift to a rural, scenic cliff side area. My parents and brother and sister all enjoyed a glass of wine, water for moi, while the sun set. It was at this point I had realised I was sun burnt on my back. Fun.
We viewed the city Ensenada from up high on a hill, and it was beautiful. There were so many lights twinkling in the distance. It is a huge city of a population of half a million people. I saw that the nightlife was pretty energetic when we passed the streets in the car.
Our night was finished with a visit to a taco fast food-y kind of restaurant in Tijuana city. The atmosphere was buzzing with lots of people chatting and the cooks making the tacos insanely fast. It was one of the best tacos I’ve ever tasted in my life. If my family had visited Tijuana without West, we would never have found this place, which could be said for most of the things we did that day.
It is always exciting visiting another country. In the car driving along the Mexican roads, I’d watch the scenery pass by, the dusty and dry mountains and blue sky. It is crazy how much the landscape changes when you drive from California, USA to Baja California, Mexico.
West, being Colombian, spoke in Spanish to all of the locals, so we didn’t have to be lost in translation with any Mexicans. The people of the places we visited were friendly, smiley and proud of their craft, whether it was tacos, tamales or sweets. West successfully showed the wonderful side of the country. I felt we got an authentic taste of Mexican life, nothing compared to what any other one day bus tours could do. It is a beautiful place with beautiful people.
This day in Mexico was probably one of the most memorable of the whole trip, probably because of how different it was to anything we have done before. West truly made it a successful day; the tour was over 15 hours, including queuing in and out for the border, and we arrived back in San Diego at 1 am. Wild!
Thanks to West for making our first ever time in Mexico an unforgettable one.