The drive to the Mexican border at Tijuana was lovely. We asked the Sat-Nav to take us on a non-motorway route, which she did. Through the mountains. It was very scenic but very winding too, so slow. Made slower by having to stop several times as the wooden electricity poles beside the road were being replaced by metal ones. This meant single file traffic on a number of occasions.
Our first stop was at Julian. A pretty little place with many historic buildings. We would have liked to have lingered longer, but we wanted to cross the border in good time. We used the library for wifi, I managed at long last to find a post office and we went to the bank for some more US dollars. Think they may be useful to have in Mexico, as well as pesos.
Our next stop, a bit later in the morning was for fuel. We also decided we should top up our petrol can too. We use petrol for the cooker. Whoops. The can sprang a leak and the petrol had to be transferred to a plastic bottle. Not a very satisfactory method of carrying petrol. So, yet another stop to buy a new petrol can.
By this time it was after 1pm so we decided to stop for some lunch. Soon after we were on a highway for the last few miles to the border.
The border was very efficient and moving quickly. First was a customs check. Very cursory. Have you any guns, ammunition or alcohol? “No”, Dennis said holding up the fridge lid where there was a bottle of beer. The customs official didn’t even notice and just waived us through. Next we needed to go through immigration, so we had to park up and walk back inside the building. How long would you like to stay asked the smiling lady immigration officer? 6 months we said, which was no problem. After she had issued all the paperwork, we had to go to the bank and pay for the visas. Once we had paid we had to take the paperwork back to her for stamping.
We asked the man in the bank if we could purchase the Temporary Import Permit for the vehicle from him. “Yes”, he said. Back to the Land Rover for the documents. Obtaining the permit was straightforward enough, but took a little while to do the paperwork. A $300 deposit was necessary, but we get this back when we leave the country and cancel the permit.
Unbelievably in the US we were never ever asked to show any documentation relating to the Land Rover. Not when we crossed any of the borders in Alaska or when we entered from Canada, on two occasions. We were never stopped by any officers or rangers either, although a couple of cops did follow us for a while.. We thought they might stop us, just out of curiosity, but no.
Once in Mexico we headed south towards Ensenada on a toll road. We passed a very impressive wall. I don’t know if this has been there for a while, or if this is Donald’s wall. It looked very new and totally uncrossable. A double wall with space for vehicles to patrol down the centre and about 6 – 8 metres tall. We stopped twice to pay tolls before finding a campsite on the iOverlander App. It’s called K58, but we are not sure of the name of the place it is located in. It is a glorious location though. We are parked overlooking a magnificent surfing beach. The facilities are a bit basic, but you cant have everything.
As soon as we had the tent up we went for a dip. It wasn’t warm. I was quite happy paddling up to my knees but Dennis had gone ahead and dived into the surf. He came back though and dragged me in protesting and screaming. Afterwards I had an outdoor cold shower and washed my hair. This seemed warm compared to the sea.
While cooking dinner we watched the sun fall below the horizon and the most beautiful red sky develop. Once the sun has gone it gets dark very quickly.
Not sure what is wrong with the Sat-Nav. She is supposed to have a Mexican map but so far she has been quite crazy. We have become quite dependent on her and only have a very basic map, We will have to buy a better one tomorrow.
I am just rereading this and it is the morning after writing. The Land Rover is parked on the clifftop in a line of vehicles full of young guys in wet suits with surf boards lined up everywhere. Many are already out in the ocean. I feel a bit out of place among all these young surfing dudes. Watching them in the water is making interesting breakfast viewing though.
Keppel Sands just out of Gladstone Q. Will have to get a rattle on soon to be home by mid Nov. Glad the crossing went well, hope the rest goes as smooth.