After I last updated my blog, I found Pantoja Park just a few blocks away; slept there underneath one of the fig (Ficus) trees; I tried one and it wasn't particularly tasty. I asked a caretaker about them and he said even the birds won't eat them! Nothing like those Calmyrna figs I ate a few weeks ago and then shit them out like a duck.

Woke up refreshed maybe two hours later and started towards Rosarito. Headed down Market to 32nd St., hung a right and proceeded to Main, bearing left at the Church's Chicken. Took that to National City Blvd, which later becomes Broadway and then Beyer Blvd., which of course takes you right to the border at San Ysidro/Tijuana. I noticed on the East side of Beyer some of those trees which I thought last time were loquats bore in fact full-size peaches, which were not yet ripe but still delicious and filling. San Diego area is a forager's delight; I've enjoyed prickly pear, barberries, pine nuts (very small and not very tasty, but my first success at extracting them), and now these peaches, since my arrival here what, two or three days ago. There's a notable absense of citrus though, except for some very tiny oranges I mentioned before, very near those peach trees on Beyer. Strange that people don't grow the bitter oranges, as in Tucson and Phoenix, or the lemon trees found all over LA and Long Beach.

Ate my last $1 double cheeseburger at the border. From now on it'll be tacos for a few weeks, probably. Since this was my first time in TJ on a bicycle, I stopped in at the tourist info center, and a young guy there confirmed that the road shown on the map, route 1, would take me to Rosarito. What he didn't say is that it's under construction for the first few miles, and so has no breakdown lane to ride in, and that it goes through what is probably the worst part of town. I ended up walking my bike through this skid row, on what Mexicans call a sidewalk: broken, few if any ramps, sometimes large drops and rises. After climbing a huge hill, I coasted down the other side in the wrong-side breakdown lane. Then I crossed over to where it showed "Playas de Tijuana"; I'd already been many times in a taxi on the more direct road to Rosarito and I knew how bad that would be for bicycles; I didn't know anything about this other road, route 1D, but figured it couldn't be worse.

It was actually pretty good; well-paved with a wide breakdown lane for most of it. This road, past TJ Beach, is mostly housing for Americans (Norteamericanos that is, gringos) with the signs alternately in English and Spanish, so I guess it gets better road service to keep the Yanks buying the properties. Drank my last swallow of water about a mile before Rosarito; rolled up to the house maybe a half hour later. [Trying to get rid of my scabies,] I've shaved almost completely from head to toe, I'll finish the job tomorrow. Nobody who's seen me only with my full beard is going to recognize me! I can even probably go back to that bar with the dollar drafts, El Museo de Pancho Villa, that threw me out earlier this year just because of the way I looked. If I forgive them, that is.

Tried a taco de tripitas that night, along with my favorite, carnitas. I like the tripe, surprisingly. Guess I'll try all the other stuff I've avoided before too. My budget here will go a little farther, US$8 is about 88 pesos, which I'll round up to 90 for convenience. Plus I already prepaid $3 per day for eating here at the house, which she didn't want to accept at first (this was back in March) but I insisted I wouldn't feel right about eating here unless she took it. So she did. I guess now I can't really continue my saga of living on $8 a day until I get back on the road...

I may not be keeping up my blog quite so religiously while here, but who knows. I'll try anyway. Haven't decided yet whether I'm going to head north in July for the Comeau family reunion in mid-August in Canada (not my immediate family, I'm talking about the 3rd World Congress of Acadians). I don't know if I'll be fit enough 10 years from now to make the trip, so this may be my only chance. We'll see... talk to you later!

Back to blog or home page

last updated 2013-01-10 20:24:16. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com