Driving home from Baja, April 16th, and 17th 2004.

In the morning, after Dave bought a new tire, we drove from Guierro Negro to Encenada. On the way we stopped for lunch at Santa Ynes, the place that Penny often stops to stay at on trips into Baja. The prices there have risen dramatically and they are now charging "tourist prices" of $8 per person for lunch. Don says that was it, they were never going to get his business again. We intended to drive all the way out to San Diego, but dusk arrived and we were only in Encenada. Out the corner of my eye I saw a hotel in the south end of Encenada that had an enclosed courtyard. An ideal place to park a bunch of cars with kayaks and other expensive gear on them. After dinner at the taco shop (still a bargain) next to the Gigante Super Mercado we drove back to the enclosed hotel and crashed for the night.

When we had driven in to Baja through Tijuana we had seen the same old terrible traffic jamb of people trying to get out. I told everyone about the wonderful crossing at Tecate and they didn't believe me. However, on the 17th they were willing to follow me up highway 3 to Tecate to try it out. The advantage of this border crossing is that it has only one lane, so it is fair. While in Tijuana the two lane road widens into 10 lanes that then neck back down into two or three open gates. You spend hours jockeying for position in the wide section, trying to guess which lane actually goes somewhere, watching people zip past you who guessed better, fending off beggers and people trying to sell you junk. In Tecate the border crossing took only 25 minutes!

Once across the border we stopped for brunch at a strip mall and then continued driving all the way home. Dave and Chris went their separate way, then we dropped off Joe, Dave and Fred in the south bay. By the time I dropped Don off in Vallejo and Roger in Santa Rosa, I didn't get home until after midnight.

All text and images Copyright © 2004 by Mike Higgins / contact