And just like that we have been transported out of the US and into Mexico, out of the bicycle life and into the problem-solving, Spanish remembering, attentive world of foreign travel. And many have told us that going to Baja Sur is like being in a US resort and I can see how that could be the case. However, with the way we travel and with the way we spend our money, we have already found that in the past 24 hours we have had to utilize a lot more Spanish than we would have thought and that we are certainly not in the States anymore.
For starters, we decided to fly out of Tijuana instead of San Diego because it was half the cost of the San Diego tickets, even with the Greyhound fare to get us to the Tijuana airport, it was still half price. To start our day yesterday, we walked half an hour from Chris’s place to the train and then took the train to downtown San Diego. From there, we found the Greyhound station and found our bus to Tijuana. It was at this point that we could tell this wasn’t going to be a typical travel day as experienced in most US airports. We were with almost all foreigners at the bus station and we already had to start utilizing some Spanish skills. By the time we got to the US border, all the customs and border crossing folks were speaking to us in Spanish. Thankfully, even though Julie can’t speak much, she understands pretty well. I on the other hand can communicate fairly well but my Spanish listening brain has yet to ever turn on. So together, we have managed to get by pretty well.
We got to the airport and had to get our tourist permit and pay the 260 pesos fees. We had our passports stamped for the first time since ’05 and were in the terminal waiting for our plane. It was a smooth ride from there and overall it was a really smooth day. When we arrived in San Jose del Cabo we were bombarded with taxi guys asking us what we needed and where we were going (we were warned about this so it wasn’t a surprise). Ricardo was actually very helpful and we ended up on a shuttle to the center of San Jose del Cabo. We were dropped off in the center and quickly found the little hotel we booked online two days ago. It was little but close to the artsy, touristy center of the town. It was also less than half the cost of the other, well known hotels around here ($45).
We toured around town on foot checking out all the restaurants and finally found a good place to grab some grub. We even tried our first Raja con queso (like a tamale, with corn meal, chiles, and cheese) from a food truck lady for $15 pesos. We then had a great night sleep and are now getting ready to get out into the world again with our Spanish brains on, so we can find the bus station to our bicycle trip’s end destination of Todos Santos about 70 miles up the west coast from here. From there, we will figure out what our next 18 days in Mexico have in store for us. We’re staying with friends in a small, second home they have. We have open minds and open schedules; who knows what the short term future holds?