Maintainance again, the hunt for spares and my first days in Baja California…
During my stay in San Diego I didn’t have much time to do a lot of sight seeing. I was mainly busy with doing some maintainance together with Ken (thanks again) on my DR and getting some spares to carry around in latin america, just because I do have so much space left on my bike :) I also stayed with Michele, a swiss AirBnB host. It was fun to go out with him and we did a little tour to the Potato Chip Rock where a foto and film shoot was happening when we arrived at the top.
Crossing into Baja was fairly easy, hardly any other people on the Tecate border. However the process involves walking back and forth quite a bit. Fill some forms for the visa inside the office, go outside to pay, back inside to get your visa, outside again to get the vehicle import papers for which copies of the visa are needed so back inside, and so forth… Best however was the official taking care of my visa. While I was filling out the form he carefully pulled out some salsas and dry meat which he tried to sell me :)
For the first night I had arranged to stay with a family over couchsurfing, we messaged back and forth and talked on the phone. I told them I would call them once I have arrived, my US sim card does still work in Mexico too! So I arrive around 6pm in Vincente Guerrero, but my phone shows no signal. Sometimes iPhones tend to lose signal and not reconnect, so I tried several restarts of the device, without success. Must be my phone or the US sim. I head to the next Telcel shop to ask about local sim card packages. I am still not sure as of today what kind of packages they have. The young girl in the shop was speaking very fast, even after asking her to speak slowly. Ok, it was my first day back in a spanish environment after learning the language 13 years ago, so maybe it was just me.
What I did get however was, that buying a sim card would not have solved my problem. There was a complete system outage, no cell signal, no landline phone, no internet… so there was no way to reach my hosts and I didn’t have their address. Dusk was just beginning and since I didn’t want to ride around in the dark looking for a cheap hotel I took the one that presented itself right in front of me. I managed to get the price down from 750 to 650 Pesos, about 32 USD, which is over my budget for a hotel, but it was a very nice hotel.
After some time in the hotel the communication system came back on and I could get back in touch with my Couchsurfing hosts. They were actually just a few hundred meters behind the hotel I was at. I was invited to dinner, a really good italian style pizza. I can only reccommend the restaurant they have! If you pass by Vincente Guerrero, and you will if you go down in Baja, you should go there (https://www.facebook.com/restaurantlosfrutales)! I also met a lot of people from their family, all very kind people.
The next day I moved from the hotel to their place to spend a couple of nights there. It was great to meeting even more people, talking about all kinds of subjects with them and getting some great mexican food! Thanks again Carmen and Israel! I also had a great day trip with Israel on his BMW F700GS. We headed up to Sierra de San Pedro Martir national park, all the way to the top to visit the big telescope. It is said to be the third best location of all telescopes in the world (light pollution wise).
It was great to stay with Michele, a swiss AirBnB host.
Enjoying the view from the potato chip rock
Fotoshoot on the potato chip rock
Michele on the potato chip
The border crossing at Tecate was fairly easy, and besides preparing my visa the official wanted to sell me some salsa and dry meat as well
My wonderful host Carmen in Vincente Guerrero
Preparation for a mexican family dinner
Taking a spin with my Host Israel
Visited the Telescope in the San Pedro national Park, it’s the third best telescope location in the world!
The Cactus in Baja are HUGE
Taking a break in a restaurant in the middle of nowhere
It was great to chat with Hector, the owner of the restaurant who proudly gave me a tour around his property
More huge Cactus