Thursday, February 10, 2011

A good day

Sorry for the lack of updates, but things have been a bit chaotic. Let me give you the short of it. I am in Rosario in Baja California Norte, why am I back in the norte? Because I did something a bit out of character, and went back to San Diego for less then 24 hours. I needed to get some supplies for the bike, and most importantly to see my friend Dani. She flew out yesterday to Hawaii, and other destinations unknown (I hope India or south east Asia). I jumped on a bus after my cycling partner Chris decided it best to part ways at Coyote beach south of Mulege BCS.
The bus ride north was expensive and long, the bus broke down in San Vincente. I awoke at 3 am to the sound of a diesel engine, and the sounds of metal hammering metal. The driver and his associate were banging on something in the rear of the bus, with the engine compartment door open, letting all the noise and fumes throughout the cabin.

Well, instead of getting into Tijuana at 6am, I got into Tijuana at 12pm Mexican time :)

I was pretty bummed, because I barely had enough time to get my supplies, as I only intended to be in town for 24 hours. So I didn't get a new memory card, and my current card likes to eat photos and spit them out as a big fat X. I also didn't get the chance to see anyone that I miss dearly, so sorry I didn't call yall, but I couldn't be distracted from my mission. Bike the damn Baja! No quitters here.

So I had a great time in SD, but it was very hectic. I walked across the TJ border late on Wednesday praying to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
I was so unsure of what to do once I was in TJ, it is not a good place to be at night, especially if you stick out like a sore thumb like I did. I just trusted that things would work out, if not I was going to retreat to San Diego and stay with a friend. Anyhow as soon as I was over the border, I ran into a Mexican who told me that I could get a bus into downtown. From the downtown I could either look for a trucker at the market, or catch a taxi to Rosario where the M-1 and the 1-D meet. So I ended up in El Rosario via taxi, and spent several hours trying to get rides. I was having very little luck, and was growing very disheartened. I just wasn't in the head space for the bi-polar feelings that come with hitch-hiking.

However, I did run into a guy at the Pemex gas station, who recommended another gas station that was down the road a few miles. He was so kind and sympathetic, I was walking away when he pulled up and gave me 20 pesos. I told him I couldn't accept, as I didn't need it. Granted I don't have much money, and the adventure north to SD cost me about $300, but I still have money in my account. I was just hitching to save money for my road trip back east, or whatever else wants to take my hard earned dollars down the road. So he told me to take the money, and to help someone else down the road. I accepted: As they say on the trail, Pay it Forward.

I did pay it forward, I met a guy who was digging through the trash at the gas station. I was asking people for rides, and this young guy whos father I had asked for a ride with, came over and asked me why I was in the cold at 9pm at night. I told him I was trying to get to Ensenada, where I was going to crash on a friends couch. He said he wasn't heading that way, but he offered me a Fanta, and some more money. I once again declined the money, but accepted the can of pop. The guy was digging through the trash when I returned, and I started talking to him, his English wasn't bad. He found some coffee that someone had left on the table,a nice table dive, but no food. I started to make myself a peanut butter and Bavarian bread sandwich, and he asked if he could have one. So I made him a big heaping PB sandwich, and he really enjoyed it. I then thought about the money I was given to pay forward, so I gave it to him. Thinking back on it, I wish I had just bought him some food, as I am unsure what he would have used the money on. :(

I ended up getting a ride to Ensenada from some college guys who drove way to fast. My shoes really smell, I shouldn't have used them without socks. Good way to ruin a pair of beautiful  Brooks trail runners. I just bought some foot powder, hopefully that will help with the funk

Or maybe its Jazz baby.... Check out Rob Longstaff... Much love Rob

Anyhow, I got to Ensenada crashed on my couch surfing friends.. you guessed it couch. Thank you Adrianna and Marion for putting me up late notice.

I awoke rested, had my grapefruit and a cup of green tea, and chatted with Marion about this, that, and the importance of honesty with those you love. Not easy to find. I started walking to the bus, and just had a sense of joy about my hitching adventure, which wasn't present before. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing, and so was I. I think it was the Black Keys, tighten up. 

It took me almost two hours, but I got a ride, and it was on of the best I have had. I got a ride from a couple (Maria y Robert) in a pickup called 'tortilleria' or something along those lines. I don't think I will ever learn Spanish with how fast people talk down here. They make a journey 110 miles south to San Quintin every Thursday to sell there home made cheese. There family of 5 children make the cheese and sell it locally in Ensenada, but once a week they deliver south to local businesses. When I first got the ride, I was so happy, as I thought the place I was hitching was hopeless. Yet this couple slowed down from 60mph and picked me up.

When they pulled over, I could see that there was little space in the cab. So jumped in the bed, which had several coolers. I wedged my legs in the coolers and then gave the side a few thumps to let them know I was good to go. It was very uncomfortable... but I couldn't sit against the tailgate because it didn't exist. 

So was a foot or two of the floor where the tailgate once existed. So I did my best to keep my foot wedged, keep my head out of the wind, and hold the side of the bed. Well, I felt a bit wobbly as we went down the road, and kept adjusting myself, but something didn't feel right. I then noticed it wasnt me that was swaying, but the side of the truck. 

Have you ever taken a piece of thin metal, and worked it back and forth until you have created a seam? When you continue to work said seam, it gets more and more flimsy, until the metal tears, snaps in two. Thats what the side of the truck was doing. Needless to say, I made my move into the cab between my two large friends :)

They were the nicest people I have met in Mexico, seriously, we had the greatest adventure. It was a slow ride with all the queso stops, but I know have some new friends in Ensenada. They told me I must stay with them on the way north to San Diego, or they will be very upset :)

Does anyone have a contact in the US immigration/embassy? Maria is trying to see her mother in Riverside, CA who had a stroke in October. Her mother is on her deathbed, and she can't get a visa to visit and say goodbye :( 

Breaks my heart, fuck the borders.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Coudbuster. What a saga... ~ Goat (