Monday, March 31, 2008

Tijuana and Imperial Beach to El Cajon

Note: El Cajon is pronounced "El Cahone"...not El Cayjun as I first thought. Many of the street names and communities have spanish names. I've misprounced many...for instance I was asking someone for directions and told them I just got off a street called Jamacha pronouncing it phonetically Jam-a-cha. The lady laughed and said: "You're not from around here, are you?" It's actually prounced hamashaw


Jack and Sally's place in Imperial Beach is fairly close to the Mexican Border so Taran and I planned to spend some time in Tijuana before heading to our next warmshower location. It was our plan to leave our gear at Jack and Sally's and return for it in the afternoon. Probably to Sally's chagrin, she said we could come back and stay for another night if necessary. We got up and out the door fairly early. We were going to take the bus and trolley to the border, but Jack kindly gave us a ride instead. It probably saved an hour or more. Consequently, we made it to Tijuana around 9:30...Daylight Savings Time. Unfortunately, Tijuana does not recognize DST so it was only 8:30am and nothing much was open. Also, I had forgotten my walking tour paperwork so all we had to do was wander around. We saw a tortilla making shop, a few ladies of the evening/morning, a cool restaurant serving food we did not recognize, the friendship "half-ring" that is very visible in downtown Tijuana, lots of pharmacies and lots and lots of signs in a foreign language. Taran got bored which I could understand, so we headed back to San Diego. We had some shopping and running around to do and we stopped at the Library. When we were done all that, it was too late to head to the next warmshower so I called everyone and made arrangements to return to Jack and Sally's for another night.

Upon our return at 6:45pm, Jack suggested we head out to the "Most Southwestern Point of the United States". Taran was too tired, but I was up for the adventure so Jack and I took off. When we got to the parking lot the sun was getting fairly low in the sky. The trek to the MSP was approximately 1 miles and would take 1/2 hr to get there. As we started walking a border patrol vehicle drove by and said "you realize you are not supposed to be in the park after dark". We just nodded and the fellow drove off. It kept getting darker and darker and the next US Customs officer said we shouldn't be in the park after dark. Jack demonstrated an amazing ability to assuage their concerns because they did not ask us to turn around and go home. We finally made it to the MSP which has a monument installed by Nixon many years ago. Unfortunately, after his 'retirement', funding for the the monument and facilities were cut and the site was heavily vandalized. Although it is not open yet, it is in the process of being restored. The site is right beside a 20 foot steel fence that marks the border between Mexico and the US. The border patrol have numerous gas powered lights strung up all along the fence line. Jack said that there were many monitoring devices in the bushes and hills. I took a couple of pictures, but I'm not sure they turned out because it was very dark. It was quite an adventure.

Jack and Sally - Warmshower - Imperial Beach

We really enjoyed our stay with Jack and Sally. They shared some of their experiences with us such as their canoe trip in Bowrin Canada - a 10 day portage trip and some of their experiences in the desert. Jack was intimately familiar with the topography of the area we were heading into which helped in planning the next phase of our trip. On top of it all, Jack got up early this morning and went and got egg burritos from a local shop that turned out to be super delicious.

Dennis and Karen - Warmshower - El Cahon

We got off to a good start from Imperial Beach but we did not have too far to go...maybe 30 miles. We stopped at many places along the way to pick up things we needed. It was a bit hilly, but not too bad. Taran got pooped out a bit...partly cause he's been staying up too late recently and partly cause he didn't eat enough breakfast. We got to Dennis and Karen's place a bit early so we were waiting down the road a ways when Dennis drove up and said "you look like Canadians!". He showed us to his house and as we proceeded into his garage, I noticed he had a recumbant. Dennis provided another testimony to the comfort and ease of using a recumbant. I gotta look into one for Phaedra. Dennis had hurt his back and finds the recumbant does not bother his back. He also handed over the TV remote controls to Taran who, I am sure, thought he was in heaven. Later, Dennis took Taran, Brian (his son) and I out to an authentic Mexican restaurant where he bought us Mini tacos Aspago, Polloaspago, and something else. They were very good, but I think I liked the beef one best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ian and Taran,

Thanks for spending the evening with us, it reinforced our impression that 'all Canadians are nice'.

Wanted to make sure everyone knew what we had for dinner:

pollo asado - marinated chicken mini tacos

carnitas - pork mini tacos

carne asada - marinated beef mini tacos

You forgot the shredded beef burrito and spicy carrots with jalapenos.

Dennis, Karen, and Brian