After a very disappointing week long delay, we finally got on the road yesterday. Our experience through the border was organized, efficient and friendly. Absolutely no chaos or confusion. First they led us to the proper gate for our RV, and instructed Jorge and PJ to drive through the x-ray scanner in lieu of a personal search. I went to the immigration office where they checked my passport and then sent me to the Bancomer window where I processed my 90 day tourist visa for $26. Then back to immigration to stamp my passport. All this done within 10 minutes with a smile. I met Jorge on the other side of the scanner, and then he quickly went through the same process to get his visa. No one asked for the dog’s paperwork.
Since we crossed relatively late in the day, we opted for a campground just south of Rosarito. It was a pretty place situated on a bluff above the ocean, on the edge of a cove. There is a nice sandy beach below, and the fishing village of Popotla on the north end of the cove. It was the perfect spot to catch the sunset as we pulled in.
In the morning we met the blue-eyed Mexican named Manny. He was originally from Guanajuato, but I could tell from his English that he grew up in the states. He was dropped off at the Tijuana border two years ago after being deported. He went through the gate with a plastic bag containing a couple of personal items, and walked into a place completely foreign to him. He didn’t know a soul.
Fast forward to present day, he lives in a house across from the beach and works at the Popotla campground doing landscaping and specials operations (security). He was a cool cat who patrolled the camp on a fancy bmx bike.
He told me that the RV spots are $350 a month, or you can rent a small house for the same price. He knew all the full timers and quickly filled me in on their personal business.
We spent the morning walking down the beach to Popotla, and having some fresh fish tacos at a table on the beach. The fish was delicious, having come from the ocean that morning. The place was much more festive than the last time I was there. More interesting characters than you can imagine. PJ was in sensory overload. The highlight of the morning was when PJ saw the giant pig coming toward us, and he almost flipped our table over. He came loose of his collar, and went for the pig. Luckily Jorge reached down and scooped him up. Next thing I knew PJ was loose again and bolting through the crowd and all the tables, celebrating his freedom. He swerved back and forth through the crowd and into the ocean and back again. I have to say it was a beautiful sight and I was happy for him.
It turned out to be a great first day.