Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Viva Mexico

Last monday was Presidents day, which is a holiday here, so me and Dorte decided to leave the country and head down to Mexico. Despite leaving early on friday it of course took about 3 hours just to get out of LA. As we crossed the border into Tijuana it was like driving into a completely different world. The poverty was shocking, although there is alot of poverty in LA, then it seem much worse in Mexico. We drove down to Ensenada, which is famous for a couple of things. First, Jim Morrison used to hang out there alot drinking margaritas and doing some other things/stuff... And second, Ensenada has Mexico's largest flag, as is shown in the figure to the left. Anyways after spending an hour finding our hotel in a city with virtually no street signs and street signals we went to out on the town to enjoy the carnival. Our hotel room was right next to the huge festival, thousands of drunk mexicans and americans were drinking and dancing in the streets. Seeing me and Dorte standing still a nice mexican couple in their 40's from the southern part of Baja found it as their goal to get us dancing. It was quite funny.

The next day, we walked aound in the morning saw pelicans enjoying their sun at the peer (to the right) before leaving the city for San Felipe. The nature we saw on our was amazing, especially as we entered the desert.

(A typical desert view below) We saw amazing cactuses, and desert trees against the setting of beautiful landscape. Personally I was very impressed by all the different and awsome cactuses living in the wild. (I'm standing besides one of these cactuses on the right.)

San Felipe is a small coastal town on the east side of the californian peninsular. Since the californian gulf is much warmer than the pacific its nice and warm there also in the winter. Like in Ensenada they also had a carnival, although on a much smaller scale. Again people were dancing and drinking margaritas to the sound of neverending mexican music. They seem to party all the time down there in Mexico. (Below some traditional mexican dancing is performed on stage.)
Me and Dorte joined in with the festivities. Somehow every time I had to go the bathroom or something Dorte was always surrounded by mexicans when I came back. (In the figure below Dorte enjoys the company of her new mexican biker friends??)
The next morning we spent our day lying on the beach, completely alone. Later we went to the worlds biggest cactuses which apparently live in the desert surrounding San Felipe. When driving in the desert sand our car decided it didn't want to go any further, I had to send Dorte out to push but we however luckily made it back. So after consulting a local, we decided to go for a walk in the desert. We however soon found out that it's quite hot and dry in the desert, and it's hard to find a shade. Sonn we also noticed a couple of vultures, like the ones you see in old westerns, sitting on the top of cactuses carefully watching our tierd steps. Luckily, an all-american family Jeff, Doloris, and Jeff junior came along in their enourmous jeep and asked us whether we needed a ride. They then drove us the rest of our trip through the cactus park. (Below to the left Jeff's jeep and us are tiny compared to the ginourmous cactus. These amazing cactuses are up to 20 meters tall and up to 1500 years old!)

(An overview over the desert showing hundreds of these enourmous cactuses rising up from the desert plain. )On monday we finally drove home to LA. It was a long day where we had to wait for over 90 minutes at the border in Mexicali just to get into the US. They then of coure seemed surprised that we actually only went to Baja for travel... Again the contrast between the US and Mexico was like night and day .

(A small desert storm on the way back to LA)


Ólafur Jens Sigurðsson said...

Those cacti are really something. Had no idea they could get that big, to me they were just small plants that you would grow in a flower pot (ok, I had seen pictures of bigger ones but that was nothing compared to those you show here).

Good job your doing down there, keep on traveling to interesting places and showing them to us :-)

marta said...

Great you got to taste a bit of Mexico. You should come further south... I've made it all the way to Oaxaca. It's awsome!