Colonia Vincent Guerrero to Ensenada, Day 27
Mar 1, 2006
|Wednesday, 3/1/2006, Day 27
We pulled out of the Posada don Diego RV Park at 6:45 AM so we could get to the next RV park in Ensenada early. Estero Beach, which is a 5 star (Mexican) resort and RV park, has full hookups, hot water showers, flush toilets, grass between rig sites, a superb restaurant, waterfront bay views, beautiful gardens, and many other amenities. All this, we presume, to start our re-acclimation to life back in the USA.
The drive between Colonia Vincent Guerro and Ensenada was along the Pacific Ocean costal plain. It was predominantly agricultural terrain. It is still a desert, but with the addition of irrigation and condensation at night, the land is predominately green with shrubs and grasses. There is sparse moisture, but moisture all the same. We passed some of the largest vineyards outside of the CA central valley and many fields of prickly pear cactus. An interesting bit of trivia: prickly pear cactus is what the Mexicans use to treat diabetes. When ingested, it has the same effect on the body as insulin.
The Estero Beach Resort and RV Park was all it was purported to be. Once everyone was parked and settled in, we boarded a tour bus for an afternoon excursion to La Bufadora (blow hole), one of three or four places in the world where the ocean spouts, geyser-like, out of a rock cavity in a cliff. The waves crash into the cavity in the rocky cliff and a gush of water and air is forced up and out of the hole. It was very impressive, and the spray from this one was about 70 feet high.
The walkway leading from the parking lot to the Bufadora was lined with up to 50-75 tourist kiosks and food stands. Most shops or stands had 1 or more persons out in the street trying to get you to go into their shop. They were very aggressive, more so than in any country I've ever visited. We felt they were more aggressive than the panhandlers in Tangiers, Morocco. They did not touch or threaten us, they we just in your face offering you free Viagra samples and huge special discount coupons for items that had no price tags. One flyer even read: "Shop with us. We cheat less here!" A quick poll of our group revealed that we were not alone in this assessment. We, like others, tended to avoid shops using these tactics and instead meandered in and out of those without such pitchmen.
Good Sam treated us to fresh churros, which are deep fried strands of bread dough coated with cinnamon sugar. They were very tasty, and so fresh out of the pan you had to be careful not to burn your mouth.
On the ride back from La Bufadora to Ensenada the bus wound along some scenic cliffs that dropped precipitously to the sea without the benefit of any guardrails. Esperanza, our tourguide, asked if anyone was nervous, and said we had no need to be since her name meant "Hope" and our driver was named "Jesus".
We spent the next couple of hours in the downtown tourist shopping area of Ensenada which catered to the many the cruise ships that stop here. The quality of handcrafted Mexican merchandise in the finer shops was similar, but not quite as high quality to that in both Cabos at the south end of the peninsula. The vendors were civil and pleasant. As in the Cabos, some of the shops sold more raunchy t-shirts and drug paraphernalia aimed at the tourists and cruise ship revelers. There are more loud glitzy bars here than in other towns we visited. In one bar, Beer & Papas, someone blows a whistle, a client (victim) is selected, he/she downs a shot of tequila and he/she is turned upside down and shaken, all to the delight of the other patrons. And this is a chain restaurant!
We missed Carnival, the pre-Lenten celebration much like Mardi Gras, by one day, but the remnants of the calibration were still evident. Looks liked we missed a good one. The highlight of our visit to town was an ice cream party arranged by Good Sam: all the homemade ice cream you could eat in one of the specialty shops. All flavors tested were truly delicious. We ate so much we did not feel the need for dinner. Pig heaven, junk food all day long!
We found out that the very large and impressive Mexican flag we saw on the harbor in Ensenada is the largest flag in Mexico. It is the size of a foot ball field, weighs 300 pounds and requires a crew of 28 soldiers to take it down. Like our American flag, it is never supposed to touch the ground.
Today is Ash Wednesday and one of the churches we passed on the way back to Estero Beach was just ending its evening service. People were dressed nicely in their up-style casual attire, exiting the building, with ashes on their foreheads. The bus wound further through the neighborhood and passed a couple of internet cafes along the way. We took note of their location so we could visit them tomorrow ore the next day. Our 5 star resort is still lacking in this amenity. Many RV parks in Mexico are in the planning stages of having systems installed for their guests. Typical fees at internet cafes are $1.00 for the 1st hour and 50 cents for each subsequent hour.
At the Villa Serena RV Park in Cabo San Lucus the caretaker's daughter, Kathy, was befriened by many of us. She was 4 years old, shy, affectionate, very small for her age, not very verbal and had severely crossed and wandering eyes. Near us at the Estero RV Park we saw a motorhome we had seen in Villa Serena. The owners, Angleo and his wife, had been at the Cabo RV resort for a month. Angelo is a Rotarian and in looking into the posibility of flying Kathry to the USA for an eye opperation, he met Kathy's doctor and discovered that Kathy will get the same care for free from the Mexican government. Kathy was born premature and was put on 100% oxygen for too long resulting in damage to her opitc nerve and brain. Her operation will be to correct the optic nerve. The irony to this is that Nandy had purchesed a roll of quarters for the laundry from Kathy's mother. The quarter's were wrapped in a scrap of paper. On the paper was written: Rotary International, Kathy .... West Hampton, NY and several NY phone numbers. Steve was going to contact the phone numbers when he got back to the USA assuming they were about the Rotary Youth Exchange in which he is also invloved. You guessed it, the phone numbers were Angelo's. You should have seen Angelo's face when we asked him if his phone number was xxxxxxx? We showed him the scrap of paper we had carried up the Baja for 1000 miles just to meet its owner weeks later. Gus is going to check up on Kathy during his next several visits to the Baja. If the government does not come through for her, Steve's and Angelo's Rotary clubs will try to help.