Everyone ready but not quite rearing to go this morning. All luggage loaded like a perfect tetris board by Megzy and off we went towards San Diego. I had bought some blueberry bagels and cream cheese last night when I bought the washing detergent so we could have a bite of breakfast on the go.
Not staying right in San Diego but at Carlsbad near Legoland (our destination tomorrow). Stopped at our hotel to see if room ready and if not, we could leave our baggage there instead of leaving it in the car at the border crossing at San Ysidro. Not a problem there, we loaded it all onto a luggage trolley for them and they would keep it safe until we booked in later in the day.
Excitement from the back seat as we approached the border and saw the huge Mexican flag. Better still, there was another Ross store right next door for later on!!!!!
Parked and made our way over to the border crossing. It was quite amazing how much it has all changed since I was there 10 years ago. Didn’t even have to go through Immigration clearance at the border, just walked right through. Didn’t like the look of the line going back to the USA though!
Short walk to the taxi depot for a $10 taxi ride to El Centro. Immediately we all hopped out of the cab, we had invitations into the stores along the street, each vendor assuring us he was cheaper than his neighbor and would give us a 100% discount. Hmmmmm………….
Made our way along Revolucion Avenida looking at bits and pieces. Up near the top of the avenue we came across a concert band of possibly school students and listened to them playing as we continued to look in the shops. When we decided to turn back, there were 8 dancers in beautiful bright costumes and headdresses for the girls and the traditional black striped trousers, red cummerbund and black sombreros. We stopped awhile and watched as three couples performed some national dances and then finally the last couple performed the Mexican Hat Dance. Couldn’t have planned a better introduction to Mexico for the three first timers.
Getting towards lunchtime, we proceeded down another street with beautiful green, white and red garlands strung overhead with cantinas and stores lining both sides. Did a walk around the block then headed back to one particular cantina to order lunch. We enjoyed a feast of quesadilla, tacos and fajitas after which we enjoyed a chat with our waiter Eric who told us he used to live in Anaheim for 12 years before he was “naughty” and was sent back to Mexico. His wife and 2 kids still live there and visit him frequently in Tijuana.
When he asked us what other countries we had visited, Carly mentioned Fiji and he proudly took a Fiji $2 coin from his pocket. He asked if we had any Australian coins to show him. Unfortunately, none of us had any with us but I still had a $5 note in my wallet so gave that to him. He had become BFFs with Carly at this point so he asked her to sign the $5.00 note for him!!!! As we left the restaurant he was downstairs talking with another waiter and proudly showing his money to him. Probably straight down to the Cambio to change it into pesos after we left!!!!!
Another wander down the Revolucion back to the bus station where we thought we would take the shuttle back to the border. Alas, the last shuttle had gone so it was a taxi. Hailed one over and young Pedro at the wheel of somewhat clunker taxi that strained at the axles once the 4 rather well built Aussie chicks and one scrawny nino crammed into his poor cab. Now every bump and pothole the cab went over you could almost hear the poor vehicle groan. The roads on the Mexican side are somewhat in disrepair once could say and it was like a slalom course for him trying to avoid his cab bottoming out. Just as we rounded a corner onto an overpass we came across one of those wide speedhumps and Pedro had to slow down to crawling pace and head crablike over the hump. Despite his best efforts, we did bottom out and scraped over the last bit of the speed hump. Felt sorry for the poor guy as we reached the border. Don’t think his $1 tip will cover the cost of repairs after that ride.
Back at border control, we joined a massive queue for our return. From comments we overhead from fellow queuers, this line was moving extremely fast for a Saturday and it can take anything up to 3-4 hours to get back in. the Gods must have been looking after us as it took a mere 45 minutes to get to the desk, hand over our Passports, put our bits and pieces through the xray machine and hop over that imaginery line.
Glad to be back, we just had to celebrate with yet another visit to our friend Ross stores to search for more bargains – success yet again.
All of us were tired little campers by now so back to the car and a quick drive to Carlsbad for the night No energy left and not really enough time by now to go to Seaworld unfortunately.
Time for bed and tomorrow Legoland – something new for both Megzy and myself.