The Border Crossing
While running our last minute, early-morning errands before crossing the border, Andrew and I realized that we hadn’t seen his passport at all since leaving Ashland. I’ll spare you the details of the three hours of intense emotion that ensued for both of us and I’ll just say that at 11am Andrew found it. By chance, our travel companions, Julie and Joe were also running late and offered to meet us at our motel where we had spent the night. Only 1 1/2 hours late, we made our final departure from U.S. soil and crossed the border at Tijuana.
The border crossing was a breeze. It was efficient and painless. Cars are moved so quickly through the process that one might mistake the border crossing with a routine stop at a traffic light. There is no passport check entering the country and as long as you don’t get a red light when approaching with your vehicle, within a couple of minutes you are out of the U.S. Even the process of obtaining our 6 month visas at the border was pleasant. Before we knew it, we were over the border and in Mexico.
The roads out of Tijuana were fantastic with smoother pavement than most places in the U.S. (I’m in no way exaggerating). To top things off, there was no traffic at all. We took the toll road out of TJ and paid $4 at three different stops. Our rate was higher than a passenger car’s because of our tent trailer. For just a car, the fee is only $2.25. We were stopped at three military checkpoints and that process was also incredibly fast. It simply consisted of answering questions about where we had come from and where we were going. All the military personnel spoke English and were friendly.
Tonight we are spending the night at El Jardin in La Quintin with Joe and Julie. They have stayed here many times and it’s a great recommendation. The property is an oasis, set a good distance from the main road. The grounds are lush and tropical. Our room is very large with two queen beds, private bath, and even has a TV with various channels. We are well off the beaten path and feel really safe here.
The restaurant next door is closed tonight so we ended up opening our pop-up tent trailer in the parking area and had our first dinner party in Baja with Julie and Joe as our guests. We even managed to cook up a somewhat decent meal. It has been a wonderful, relaxing evening and we are counting our blessings that we met these two new friends.
So far…so good!!!