Roadtrip Travelogue, Part II

3.17.03
Still in la Fonda…
Having seen Rosarito, and its dirtiness, we opt to stay in la Fonda, assuming Ensenada to be largely the same. We are somewhat enamored with our chilly room with the slow drains that nevertheless continues to tantalize with its amazing and romantic views of el Sur Pacifico.

Ensenada is a bustling port town, part industrial, part slum, part tourist, all “depressed”. There are not many signs of wealth here, which is its charm, and I am glad that I have an already beat-up pick-up truck to take into Baja. I blend in like a local. Driving through the main part of the city, I count some half dozen auto-parts stores. This is, possibly, a good sign (indicating modern convenience), but then possibly a bad one (indicating the obvious). Do they need all of these stores, and if so, what is going to happen to my truck?

The few signs of affluence are regrettably in the form of McDonald’s Burger King, and KFC, all with Playlands bigger than I’ve had experience with; and all in blazing stark contrast to their soiled surroundings.

We make our way through the town and the surrounding countryside (reminiscent of what I think of Vietnam… green everywhere, low trees, hovels and sad farmland) to La Bufadora, the northern peninsula�s main claim to fame.

Tricked into parking at the head of the calle, we are subjected to a walk through the knick-knack quarter with shouts of “Come in, Amigos, give me a chance to rip you off! Let me sell you something you don’t need!” before we make it to La Bufadora., a natural blowhole in the side of a cliff that spews water hundreds of feet into the air in response to the waves. It is beautiful. It is also somewhat sad, this being the best Baja Norte has to offer, other than the surf spots and discotecas, that is.

Aterwards, back into Ensenada in search of the best Margarita in town. While there, President Bush comes on the television to tell the world he is taking the US to war. The few gringos in the bar all crowd around the television while the native Mexicans show no interest. This is another world.

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