Sitting with Saskia and the kids behind a 2 foot thick concrete wall at the Mexican Tijuana border as our vehicle was being X-rayed, I think, “We made it!” The Mexican border was some kind of unstated goal or threshold we chased to cross for two and a half months and almost 6500 miles. Ever since we started talking about this trip, Graysen has been talking about going to Mexico. When people asked where we were going, we told them, “Mexico!” It always seemed so far away and suddenly it was happening.
Luckily they didn’t find anything in the trailer like the fruits and veggies we forgot to use up or the boxes of wine we had stashed. They didn’t care about the proscuitto we’ve been carting with us from Alaska. A huge weight falls off our shoulders as we pull onto the Tijuana highway. We sing songs of being in Mexico and Graysen yells over and over again, “We are in Mexico!”
The excitement is real, yet begins to fade as we drive south of Tijuana and the realities of being in a 3rd world country sink in. There is garbage everywhere, vacant properties, abandoned projects, and derelict businesses. It was a strange juxtaposition next to the beautiful Baja coast.
We head to an RV park south of Ensenada that the guide book recommended. It is on the ocean and cheap so we are thinking we might hang out for a week to acclimatize and “catch up.” We drive in past permanent trailers modified into little houses and find more of what we have seen so far, a place 20 years past its heyday. The road is rutted, bathrooms are awful, and there is trash everywhere.
We are the only campers here, so we pull right up to the beach wall and step out of the car. The wind and the stench of rotting seaweed make us quickly change our mind. Matt checks out the beach and declares that no member of his family is to go out there. The kids are still sleeping, so we toast our arrival in the front seat of the car.
We set out early the next day to find a nicer/ better/ warmer spot. It seems to be a very common theme on this trip. We were certain that once we got to Mexico we could relax. Will we ever find a place?