Today we are cycling the Mexico 1 all the way to Tijuana, go directly to Tijuana, do not pass go and certainly do not collect 200 pesos.
A quick visit to the local Oxxo shop (a corner shop chain in Mexico), to get water for the day and some milk for our cereal (as our cereal does like a glass of it to start the day).
The mexico 1 runs parallel to the toll road for the first half of the ride, the most noticable thing all along the 1 is the amount of land and part finished apartment complexs for sale. I think the 2008 bank crash must have had a huge impact in all of the border area of mexico, the demand for property from americans must have vanished overnight.
The road itself has a very variable shoulder, but initially it was not too busy making nice cycling. We passed through La Fonda, Alisitos, Prima Tapia, Puerto Nuevo and Rosarito. By the time we had reached Rosarito the traffic had increased to very heavy and fast moving, more care was needed here, in particular any entrance and exit from the 1 was quite a trauma to cross. The road into Rosarito was lined with dozens and dozens of skilled trade shops, door makers, granite and polished stone suppliers, pottery makers, upholsterers, metalworkers etc etc, I am sure you could get a hand made anything here if you looked hard enough.
The centro (center) of Rosarito was a lovely peaceful oasis of calm (from the traffic), we were so relaxed we stopped for some tacos, the pork ones are the best. We got 4 for $63 which is less than £3.00 and mighty fine they were as well. Also eating there was a brazillian and an american, both agreed on the merits of Mexico and how nice it is. But just in case you are cycling in Brazil, don’t. The car drivers have no respect fot cyclists, you have been warned.
Then came a long climb up a hill, but it did have a good shoulder, again drivers were very fast down all the exit and entry roads care needed. A car did stop on the shoulder ahead of us, 2 female mountain bikers got out asking if we needed anything and checking we were OK (did we really look that bad?).
Once we crested the top, the shoulder vanished and we had a “wild” ride down into Tijuana, by wild I mean from mildly concerning through to very worrying. Once we got to the main part of town, the traffic slowed considerably and you could relax more. It was here we met Archimedes (yes the real one from 287 bc, or it could have been a local biology teacher) he very kindly gave us his details and pointed us in the direction of downtown where we can find a hotel. Archie said to call him if we got stuck, and he would help us.
When in downtown we did find a very nice 4 star hotel at a very cheap price, it was actually a 4 star hotel as well, everything was lovely (we even had someone carry our bags to the room! This saved Janet he job anywsy). We did have a short wait while the room was made ready, we got talking to a local souvenir shop owner who was a big cyclist (he was also very big as well). He suggested a bar so what else could we do but grab a drink there, Janet had a fantastic margarita (containing tequila) and I sampled a local beer.
Then it was dark and the day almost over. When another Day of the Dead celebration passed.