Sunday, 26 February 2012

On The Road South

After a good night's rest in Rosarito,  and a little prodding from a special friend,  I decided to try and get into a Spanish school for a few days.   I had talked about it back home, and now it was time to put my money where my mouth was.  I'm finding that the path of least resistance, is the one most commonly travelled, and maybe it's not always the most interesting and enlightening one?  Hmmm.

Anyway, I hit the road, stopping here and there along the coast, to take peeks and glimpses of the ocean.  I went into one little tourist area, which was quite deserted and found access to the beach.

I can't believe now beautiful the beach is!  Everyone says the water is freezing, but it can't be nearly as bad as home.

A path down to the beach. Very tempting, but the bike it so heavy with all the luggage and I'm alone, so I decide not too. Too bad I hit a unexpected soft piece of sod and dumped my bike turning around. I managed to snap the buckles on my overpriced tank bag : ) Day two on the bike and my tank bag won't stay on without a bungee cord. hahaha.   If it wasn't so funny; I'd be pissed off. Next time I'm not gonna be in such hurry and take a pic.

After a small cry over the tank bag, I decided I better treat myself to a good lunch to help forget.  I rode 5 minutes up the road and ducked into a breezy little place on the ocean.  Just as I was parking the federales pulled in, and from my experience cops like to eat, so this had to be a good place.

Sopa de frijoles negros or Black bean soup. I think it's pretty 
common here, and man is it ever good!

You are supposed to be able to get "The Best" lobster in Rosartio, which I just left, so I decided maybe the stuffed shrimp would be good since it has some lobster in it.  It was amazing.  If I keep this up; I might have to start a dining blog.

Look at the huge chunks of lobster.  Not bad for a $15 lunch and I feel like a "Stuffed Shrimp" myself after I'm done.

After a military check point and toll booth I roll into Ensenada.  I can't believe it, but this little town is buzzing with activity.  I don't find out until later, but this is the last day of "Carnival".  I hit a cafe with Internet and try calling and emailing the Spanish school, but I didn't get anyone on the phone or get any emails back yet.  I was kinda hoping I could get right in a home stay as well.  Looks like I'm gonna have to start looking for a cheap place to stay after the extravagant stay last night and lunch today. I get a hotel right downtown for $320 pesos and I can park right in front of my door. 

My chain is looking mangy, so I try to throw the bike on the center stand, but to my surprise this is no easy feat.  I manage to get the tiger on the centre stand once, but I'm at an incline and the bike is resting on the back tire.  I take it off and try to put it on again.  No dice.  I can't get it back on the center-stand until I take one of the panniers off.  Really???

Anyway,  the bed is hard as a rock and the WIFI doesn't work, so I can't find out if the school has replied back to me.  Guess you get what you pay for.

Everything in the room is actually pretty clean; it's just not that comfortable and the noise from Carnival is constant all night long.  Part of me thinks...."just go out and see what's going on, maybe have some fun." But I've got a bigger plan in my head and I don't want to be tired for it.   I think I'd be more comfortable camping.

In the morning I lube the chain and pack up the Tiger.  Since I can't check my email, I decide to go to the school address in my Lonely Planet guide, and it doesn't take me long to find the very nice looking school, but it's vacant.  The old guy that lives next door, doesn't speak English, but I understand when he says, "No mas", which means "no more".  Discouraged, I head to a cafe to drown my sorrows in coffee and figure out a plan.  To my surprise, I have not one, but two emails, from the school.  After some fun trying to call with Skype, Janice helps me and calls one of the #'s, and they have a place for to me to go.  

Within minutes I have the address programmed into my GPS and head out.  In about 10 minutes I start wondering if my GPS is taking me on a wild goose chase.  It leads me up into the back roads which seem quite ridiculous.  Either this is a set-up, or the GPS is wrong.  I try the GPS again, and it takes me in the opposite direction.  Gotta love technology.

When all the dogs in the neighborhood start to chase me; I decide someone is barking up the wrong tree.

These roads are fantastic!

After a short ride, I turn down the street and see one of the teachers waving me down.  His name is Dey, and he tells me to pull my bike in through the gate and to the back of the house.

The gate and long driveway between the houses here.

I have to take the panniers off to get the bike into the walled yard, but it's safe in here and I go a step further by covering it up.

There are 3 housed here, each one owned by one of three sisters and there is a small building with a classroom at the back.  There are three students here right now, but we are all at different levels, so we each get our own teacher.

This is Claudia, the lady of the house, where I am staying.  I am not here more than 15 minutes and she is cooking for me!  I haven't had a bad meal yet : )

I decide I'm gonna stay here for a week and brush up on my Spanish.  The next day I meet my teacher and start class at 8:30, after a nice breakfast of Hueves and Fijoles.  Turns out I have not one, but two teachers! Yolanda in the morning and Edith in the afternoon.  Both are really friendly and great teachers.  One of the students here, a 75 year old sailor, is also getting his boat hull painted here in Ensenada. He tells me it's expensive to take classes on the weekend and I'm better off taking a break and commencing on Monday.  So after my first two days; I welcome the weekend and the rest that comes with it.

This is Edith in the class room trying to teach a chimp to read & write Spanish.   Let me tell you, this lady is awesome.   Great teacher with mucha patience.

Well, there's more to write, but I'm gonna save it for next time!  Thanx all for checking in and hope to hear from you all real soon.

-Clay D.


  1. Ahh something tells me by the end of your bike tour you should be fairly good at haebla espanol...

  2. Clay,

    Great photos and blog. Thanks for sharing your adventure! What camera are you using? Did you happen to bring along a video camera for action shots? Have fun!


  3. What a great blog Clay! Dylan and I are really enjoying following you on your adventure. It sounds like you are having a great time. I really admire your courage and confidence in trying new things whether it's eating new food, meeting and living with new friends, following your GPS... these are things that I know I would have a real difficult time with. Your faith and positive attitude is definitely working out in your favour! Keep up the explorer's curiosity and who knows what other unique and exciting new adventures will be coming your way :-) Thank you so much for keeping us all posted. Been checking the blog daily for updates.Super enjoying the stories and photos. Keep safe friend. XO