We got up early on Friday, hugged a good friend goodbye, and set off into the sunrise…at one mile an hour for four blocks to get onto the on-ramp of the 405. One of the great aspects of being on a bike (I think these exist to make up for the ever present danger of death by riding) is that you can use the carpool lane, and we buzzed on down to San Diego to pick up parts and a last list of tools and supplies (thanks for the suggestion John!) before heading to the border.
In San Diego we stopped for lunch, and it was there that I really started to freak out about this trip. If someone would have asked me a month ago if I thought I would be scared to go on this trip I would have said no. All of the platitues about fear (nothing to fear but fear itself, you should do something every day that scares you, fear of the unknown) came to my mind, but channeling those did nothing to make me feel better. Finally I just had to turn it over, the fear was going to be there, but I had to admit not going on this trip would haunt me for the rest of my life. The dream was about to be real.
From San Diego, the border is maybe 13 miles (something absurd) and the process for crossing was even more bizarre. After entering the border crossing, Alex and I were put into corrals to wait to be processed. The gate came up and I inched forward, waiting for someone to flag me down and start searching the motorcycle. That never happened and before I knew it I was back on the freeway in Mexico. I pulled over to the side to wait for Alex, and she came cruising along a couple seconds later, that was our border crossing into Mexico.
As a side note, I later read in the AAA map we brought with us that we should have gotten an FTM card at the border becuase we are staying longer then three days and are going beyond Ensenada. It’s going to make leaving Mexico interesting.
After a quick stop at Santander (they are linked with BofA and will not charge you international banking fees!) it was off down Mexico 1 on our way to Esenada. We arrived at 4:30 and Alex’s hand drawn map was all we needed to make our way to the backpacker’s hostel. Our first question was if they had a place to stash the bikes and of course they did!
With a little help from the main desk, we backed the bikes into the alley on the side of the hostel, locked them up and went for fish tacos (way better then the ones Alex had in Santa Monica, and signifficantly cheaper). A short stroll around town after dinner was nice, good to stretch the legs a bit.
After all the driving and the early morning, we had to call it an early night, and the sun was coming for us for another long ride, to Catavina.