BootsnAll Travel Network

Day 1802: Tijuana tranquility.


Good old Tijuana, or I guess now, poor old Tijuana. Much like everywhere else, the economy has ripped it a new one. Being a thursday though so I hope that maybe the weekend picks up a bit. Towards the evening there seemed like a lot more camera toting tourists so possible instead of being a rip roaring 24/7, lose all your inhibitions kind of place, they have cut it down to a roaring weekend and a bit. I spent the day just wandering around the center as well as the regular part of town which was like any other town just seeing what there was. As I was going to be crossing back on foot I figured I would take a dry run so that I would be familiar with where I needed to go. I found the longer route which took you across the vehicle bridge and then curves down to the immigration stretch. From the top you could see the well worn paths through the surrounding desert hills as millions of people in search of the American dream had forged. Unfortunately to get there you had to make your way past the Mexican wall which was some haphazardly bolted together sheet metal wall as well as the formidable Israeli like cement fortress walls. I was kind of intrigued be the whole keeping me out thing so I took a walk away from the hub ub so I could scout out my escape plans (had I not been a passport carrying American tourist). There were the walls of course, but more questionable were the camera towers placed along the walls. Not sure how effective the response rate was so figured that it would be better to hike it for a couple of miles to a more desolate area and do the night crossing.

Back in town I found an excellent restaurant serving fish tacos as the daily special. For 10P each you could have fish or shrimp tacos as well as a multitude of other seafood options. I had always been wary of fish tacos as to me it seemed like kind of an odd arrangement. In the north of Mexico, fish tacos are a signature dish so I figured I had better give it a shot as I wanted a base line if I ever had some in the states. I tell you what, that stuff was really good. You could also tell that we were close to the US as all of a sudden the portions doubled. I’m glad I only ordered three at a time. I ended up eating there three times before I left. Definitely will be an order option from now on.

The rest of the day was just confirmation that it was time to head across the border as I originally planned on soaking up the last of my Mexico trip for a couple of days. As I had been getting closer to the end of the trip I had started to spend a lot more time thinking about all the stuff I wanted to do when I got home and it became to the point that I was really getting ansy to get home and on to something new. So, I spent a couple of hours researching escape options as well as transport as my home town of Fresno is still pretty far from the border. Originally I had planned on taking the Amtrak train back to Fresno as I hadn’t been on that train since I was a little tike. Coming back on a train seemed a lot more adventure like as well. In the end though, it would have been a three step process as I would have had to take the trolley from the border to San Diego, take the train to Los Angeles, change to a bus to go over the grapevine (the mountain range seperating Southern California with the Central valley, and then change to the train in Bakersfield which would take me the few hours back to California. I also had to deal with time frames as I didn’t want to end up in Fresno at night time as I was planning on taking the public bus to my parents house (another couple of hours to research that). So, in the end I decided it would be better off to just grab the Greyhound bus (which I had never used and didn’t really know existed until I heard from foreign travelers using them to travel throughout the US).

Once I had a plan and a route, it was pretty much hang around looking forward to adventures to come.

The not so mighty Tijuana river which sort of seperates the territories. You can barely make them out, but people use the left side of the bank as a staging area for mad dashes to the US. Coyotes (people smugglers are found there willing to take people across for pay. At night time it gets pretty packed.

The right side is still Tijuana with the US starting in the hills. You can just make out the hundreds of trails which zig zag up the mountains.

The hills.

Right side going to America, the left side going to Mexico. America is a popular place.

Backed up for a long way.

The rusty corrugated walls are to keep the Americans from crossing into Mexico. The fancy concrete walls with the cameras are to keep the French out.

High tech surveillance equipment. Thermal, night vision, etc.

More of the wall.

Business is so slow that they have to use the donkey for tourist photos during the weekend rather that his usual show.

My hotel/motel. 195P. Not bad.

In regards to prostitution, the only thing I could find were all these Mariachi hooker guys. They hung out under the archway with their instruments waiting to get picked up. Now, mariachi guys are not my thing, but apparently it’s somebodies. I guess the music business is slow.

Fishalicious fish tacos and fixings for $3US. You can’t get that at Taco Bell, although I think Taco bell is fantastic.


4 responses to “Day 1802: Tijuana tranquility.”

  1. Tania says:


    Such a long time without you, when are you coming back home ? Above all, what I miss is your sense of humour. Well, home home home … mine and your’s are not so close, how many miles France to Virgine islands ? No matter, Steve is lost and if he comes home (mine) he will be wellcome.


  2. Bob says:

    Hi, I stop by here to read your adventures every now and then. To clarify one thing, all of the walls in the pictures are on the US side, even the metal one. Once a long time ago I was a Border Patrol Agent in the hills that you picture, back then there was only the metal wall and it had bunch of holes in it.

  3. broomhat says:

    the fish tacos look delicious! can you tell what kind of fish it was? could it be tilapia, which is good tasting when fried in batter. too bad you can’t go to Mexico nowadays without worrying about that extra BP sauce. 🙁

  4. Paul says:

    The French dont like you either.

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