Journey’s End- Monday October 15th
Our final travel saw miles and miles of desert, a couple more Border Patrol Station and miles and miles of border fence. The desert took on many faces from the high desert of AZ down into the Calif desert that has been irrigated by the river and is a prime growing area for Southern Calif. We spent the night in El Centro,Calif. which is in the heart of the Imperial Valley.
Our final morning of travel we got off to a late start, the sun was already heating up the day after a very cool night. This last day we had only 133 miles to travel to our new home, but it was the most interesting as well as challenging travel we had to do….we had the border crossing. After following I 8 across the Imperial Valley at below sea level and then back into a mountain area we turned on Hwy 94 a secondary harrow little windy highway that didn’t allow RV’s or large trucks. We had The landscape was rocky with some sage brush and hills of beige with border fence sightings from time to time and little horse ranches. We had about 45 miles of this to travel to the border town of Tecate, which is where I planned to enter Mexico. After the miles of beige color we arrived at a vibrant little settlement of a town, first there was a sign that said Tecate and then a mile on down the road was the border crossing, The road narrowed you into the lane stations with a mechanical arm and red light for you to stop. I stopped and then the light turn green and the arm came up and we drove through….that was it no fanfare, person asking questions, no inspection, nothing just a few seconds stopped at a signal. There was only one other car coming up alongside me and they too, just drove on through in a few feet we were in the middle of Tecate.
Here the confusion and visual overload took over. Now we were on a narrow main street crammed with shops, cars, pickup trucks all a profusion of bright colors. Everywhere I looked there where brightly dressed people, buildings with colorful signage, fast moving bright colored vehicles everything felt like it was in motion. There were tiny little signal lights hang in the middle of the narrow street that were easy not to notice for the trees, trucks and people walking across the road. For sure we had arrived, absolutely no question about it we were in another country. Then there was all the roads signs in Spanish and I didn’t have a clue where I needed to go. There was some road construction and I guess signs telling me about it. This was the part I was totally unprepared for not being able to read the wordy road signs. I got the simple things like stop sign that look just like ours and say Alto which I didn’t see the first one at a corner with trees and store signs helping to hide it and run right through it…the car coming at me making a left turn looked surprised, but didn’t honk their horn or anything. . I had planned to sight see but between the heat,(leaving pets in the car) and the nerves of driving a few blocks I gave up that idea and just followed the big green highway sign pointing me west to Tijuanna on the toll road out of town. Plan to visit Tecate another time. The home to the Tecate Brewery and a valley know for it’s wineries.
Once out of town, which was only a few unnerving blocks it was smooth going on the toll road to Tijuanna/Ensenada. We returned to beige mountainous desert, past more border fence this time on the right side of the car instead of the left. There was a US border patrol helicopter at one point flying along the fence, sometimes well into the Mexican side because of the mountains. Our super highway had us passing along the southern end of Tijuanna which was down below us in a valley of smog packed tight with little box housing for its 2.5 million people. I am in no rush to be a tourist there. In a few minutes we had past Tijuanna and soon saw the turn for Rosita, got stopped in road construction for a while and had a detour then we were on a narrow street right at the Rosita Hotel that was setting in the fog. We meet my friend and followed her to our home along the coast highway but no ocean in sight just lots of fog. She said that the fog had come in that morning the first time she had seen any fog. We fog drifted in and out so even at the house we couldn’t always see the waves breaking on the sand…..still we had made it to the Pacific Ocean!
First look at Rosito and then on to the house with help from our handyman who unloaded our car for us.
Patches smiling at our beach. Daily walks are wonderful. More stories to come.