My seemingly never-ending list of places to visit and things to experience includes driving to various locations in Mexico around Baja California. First though I needed to test my will to see if I could even survive a solo drive from the USA into Tijuana.

So last August, I take a weekend to get out of the heat of Phoenix, fly to San Diego, rent a car and drive to Tijuana. The border crossing was easy, even if it felt like cattle being herded across a field by ranchers.

About a minute into Tijuana though, and my phone GPS loses it’s connection, and I become lost. I don’t panic as I’m slowly making my way through bustling streets on a Friday afternoon, trying desperately to get my GPS to come back on so I don’t become one of those “lost Americans” that are never heard from again….

A couple minutes later, my international data plan kicks in, my GPS map to the hotel comes back on my screen, and it’s all good as I check into my room, find a local restaurant, and belly up to the bar for some fine cervezas and tacos.

The next morning I awake early, and decide to drive along the Pacific coast towards Ensenada. I love the ease of navigating the streets out to the coast, taking in the salty air and the sleepy seaside towns on a Saturday morning. It’s such a rush being in Mexico feeling like a local behind the wheel.

I find a place with a great cliffside view of the ocean. The parking lot has people in tents, camper vans, and on bicycles, all here to enjoy the laid back life style of the ocean mixed in the chill vibe of Mexico. Surfers, hippies and retirees are all mixed together in a potpourri of relaxed awesomeness.

I walk down the cliff steps to the ocean, lay down a towel, protect my skin from the sun and open a book. I read for a spell, nap, do yoga, repeat.

Eventually I decide to explore some more, and just starting walking down the beach, destination unknown. I marvel at the dwellings along the ocean, the camaron fisherman, tourists on horseback rides, surfers waiting for that perfect breaking wave.

Mile after glorious mile I go, feeling no fear as I walk solo in a foreign country. I love Mexico, and this quick trip solidified my resolve that I can do future trips to other great destinations in the Baja by driving across the border.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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