In the afternoon we drove on to the northeast, leaving Hwy 1 to Tijuana in favour of the safer and, as we were to discover, far more beautiful Guadalupe Valley route to Tecate. This is vineyard country, and the wineries here make little known yet very good wines, the style of which are predominantly Italian. As planned we stayed at Rancho Sordo Mudo. If your Spanish is good then you know that Sordo Mudo means Deaf Mute. This RV Park across the hwy from a residential school ranch for deaf mute children. It has been operated since the 60’s by a Baptist mission. The simple, clean campground, where you pay by donation, is beautifully set among large palms beside the the vineyards with large boulder hills all around. When the director came over from the school to say hi and collect any donations, Emma must have really been paying attention. After I paid and the director went to the next camper, Emma, on her own decided that she wanted to donate some of her money. We are very proud of our 5-yr old!
Oh, and as part of the deal, we were all invited to join the students and teachers for breakfast the next morning. I must say the burnt french toast and soy-milk were kind of beside the point. The experience of watching these kids go through part of their day is one we will never forget. Sensory and communication challenges, and being away from family seems to be more than offset by the enthusiastic team of professionals who are doing their best to give these kids the communication and social skills they’ll need.
L.A. Cetto Winery Tour
After our breakfast at Sordo Mudo we headed over to the L.A. Cetto Winery, just a few miles down the road. This is a first class operation, producing award winning wines from a wide variety of grape types. They own or control all of the grape production used for their wines. We took the free tour and wine tasting, which inevitably lead to the purchase of a couple of bottles. We watched countless others leaving with cases of wine. Hope they are headed South, ‘cause if they plan to cross the border with that much alcohol they will be very, very sad when it gets confiscated.
Speaking of the border, that was our next stop. One always hopes that the border won’t be too much of a stop, but these days it’s part of the deal going back into the States. We crossed at Tecate, a much less hectic and less desperate place than Tijuana. Nonetheless, the line was long. We inched forward for about an hour watching the hill and bush on the other side of the tall fence (no wall here yet). I could see various border patrol vehicles either parked and observing or patrolling. Mobile high power spot lights sit in the bush also for use at night.
And even though security appears to be beefed up here, our crossing was rather uneventful. They did card us for secondary inspection, for which we waited five minutes and which took evne less time than that. The officer was courteous and smiling. We waited on the other side for our friends, Joe & Dawne and Roland & Marge to cross. It was time to say goodbye to Roland & Marge. They were heading West and we and Joe & Dawne were heading East. Thanks for the wonderful time guys and good luck with your rig and your truck!