Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 2: San Diego, CA to Tijuana, BCN

Date: Sunday, October 2    Miles: 38    Temperature: 83-93 degrees     Flats (today; total): 0;1

Day two of cycling! And we did a couple things better, like mapping our route (mostly out of necessity as my phone/Google maps app stopped working at the border) and leaving at an earlier time.

Awesome bicis!

Excited for our second day!

We left San Diego at 10 (planned for 9-whoops!) and had a lovely first few miles along a some waterway. Once we got nearer to the border, it got a bit confusing and we ended up turning around a couple of times. Finally we crossed into Tijuana and were welcomed into our beloved Mexico with blaring Shakira music, the smell of roasting chiles and non-existent shoulders (on the road).

Riding along with the city busses roaring past was definitely the most nerve-wracking part- the sound of them grinding up through the gears behind you strikes fear in your heart, but you are scared to look back lest you wobble too close in front of them, then they pass you, just inches away, and radiate heat and blech exhaust, but at least they seemed to pull you forward a bit as they flew by, though Eric says it feels like they are sucking you in.
Eric at the Tijuana port of entry

We crossed through the East Otay port of entry (thus avoiding the largest port of entry in the world which is downtown! I hope to see it this week) and headed way to the outskirts of the city, to the last Colonia/neighborhood on the east side of Tijuana, Maclovio Rojas. It reminds me a bit of Juarez's Anapra.

The riding itself went pretty well. It was really hilly, but I am feeling a lot better on hills these days. Though, I admit, while I struggle up them, I fantasize about tunnels running through them and think why didn't these hill just get leveled when they built the road like mountain top removal or something?! But then I make it to the top and I come to my senses, a little bit stronger and a little more confident about the next one.

The most interesting thing we saw biking in was a shrine to Jesus Malverde on the side of the road.  He is the Narco saint and I am confused/intrigued/aghaust at his following.  See this National Geographic article for more information on the subject: Unholy Saints

So it was hilly, and we were dominating, resting only a couple of times at the crests. But nothing prepared us for our last 1/4 mile, which was steep and sandy and bumpy. Not a fun combination. The church we were due to arrive at was at the tiptop of a huge mountain. At least that's what it felt like when pushing my bike up it.

Steeeeeep hill
Pushing our bikes up was certainly not an easy task. Our bikes are heavy and the pannier boxes in the back made it awkward to push.

So we had to push!

But, after getting laughed at by some kids and resting every 30 ft in tree shadows, we made it! And it was a blessed sight!  We arrived ready to eat and sleep at the same time, but instead we showered and went outside to enjoy the sunset.

Sunset in Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana

 So excited to be in Tijuana!

1 comment:

  1. Had the true pleasure of meeting up with Katie and Eric in Bisbee Az..Took them to Naco Sonora for a meeting ..Plan Naco.. we are ,with the HELP OF Naco residents.. starting sewing, bakery and green house projects... They helped out with translating.. wonderful young people!! en paz..muy bien amigos... buenas suerte!!!!!!Carol