Well, we made it through the border. Left yesterday quite a bit later than anyone would like and thus spent hours at the border. Colin and I had planned on camping close to the border but after a huge dinner of teriyaki neither of us were up for another 30 plus miles of riding and then setting up camp in the dark at a place we´d never been. So as seems to be the case all the time these days we got a hotel and spent the night in luxury.
Eventually the other guys showed up sometime around 10 am or so and we were off to the border at 11 or noon. It´s amazing how long it can take to get 6 people on the road.
The road to the border was pretty twisty (as all roads seem to be these days) and while I was able to keep up with they guys mostly I was definitely pushing harder than I would have alone (and yet still the slowest by far!). Rolling through the border is nothing and were it not for the tourist card it would have been simple. Getting a tourist card basically entails going into the immigration office, getting a form and then heading 4 blocks down to the bank to pay for the card, then back to the office. Even in the states this would be a slow process but here, not having an account at the bank puts us in a special line, and just the line at the bank alone took at least an hour.ç
We had split into two groups so we could keep eyes on the bikes which means the entire border crossing was probably 3 hours or so. Painful, though the fabulous signs about earthquakes and fires at the bank did entertain us quite a bit. The pictures basically insisted that in case of fire we should punch someone in the chest and get a bucket of KFC. All things considered I suppose it´s not a bad plan?!
Through the border we headed to Ensenada, ate some tacos and then headed to the hills to camp. At this time it was already dusk but the camp spot is really close. Of course it is. Later we get to the hot springs which are of course closed and now we´re riding twisty roads in the dark in Mexico… not at all what I had wanted to do (or what any of us had wanted to do for that matter). Eventually after a ton of failed camping attempts we settled on a hotel in some tiny town the name of which I can´t remember and can´t find at the moment. I´ll try to remember to post it as the hotel there was actually quite nice and at 350 pesos for one HUGE room it was not a bad deal at all. We got two rooms and spent the night chatting, the boys drinking.
And now we´re to this morning. We got up on the later side and went to breakfast. I´d already started to think about going my own way just to avoid riding faster than I´d like or holding anyone up and at breakfast I decided to do just that. The guys are headed East and eventually will work the dirt road back to the main road south of here. I´ve headed West back into Ensenada (where I am now) and plan on heading south along the major road.
Riding here alone was nice. While I don´t mind really enjoying the twisties on occasion my riding isn´t good enough to really keep up and I wind up feeling like I´m pushing it to stay with the group. More importantly though I like to ride slower and take in the sites. This may be motorcycle blasphemy but frankly there are twisty roads all over the place. I´m here to look around and suck in the scenery and I can´t personally do that at 70mph.
As an added note, yesterday from the border of Tecate to Ensenada we rode in both dirt and sand. Seems that they´re redoing the road. I hadn´t planned on riding dirt quite that soon but it was good to get it out of the way I suppose. And hey, I lived through the sand, though it was obviously packed fairly well underneath.
I will admit that riding alone is a bit on the frightening side. Not for the riding though the traffic here is beyond frightening… defensive driving is constant, but mainly that I don´t speak any real Spanish and very few here speak English. We´ve all been depending on the few in the group that can speak Spanish and now that is gone I´ll need to get out that phrase book and muddle through.
I´ve got some pictures (most still taken with my iPhone) but as I need to hit the road that will have to wait. Let´s hope today goes off without a hitch and that somehow Spanish will stick to my brain and stop coming out French!