Thursday, 1 March 2012

Learning and Eating Ensenada Style!

Life's been good here in Ensenada.    Since last Thursday (The 23rd of Feb),  the routine has generally been the same.  Wake up about 7:30ish,  breakfast is served by the ladies about 8,  class starts around 8:30.  A point to note for those of you who aren't accustomed to local living here.  There isn't really lunch at noon, more of just a coffee/snack break, then back to school or work.  School ends at 2:30 pm and lunch  follows shortly after, and is the main meal of the day here in Mexico.

So really there hasn't been much exploring in the last week.  My last day of school will be tomorrow, and I will take a break on the weekend and check a few things out, before Dan finally arrives on Monday.

In the mean time, I present to you, a few pictures that slipped by before and didn't make it to post.

This Larger than life Jesus can be seen on the road from Rosarito to Ensenada.  I know I've seen pictures of this before, but I don't know any background on it and a quick search didn't turn up much.  Drop a comment if you know anything about it.

Just a pull out on the side of the road I popped in to check out.  Nice view from this spot

Looks like my self-timer and tripod work.  One of the hazards of going solo, is no one in the pics half the time!  It's gonna be nice to have Dan around.  Tell me that yellow lid doesn't stand out.  I'm hoping it saves my ass one day.

I'm guessing a little preview of the sand that lies ahead.

So my home stay here, through the Baja California Language College has been great.   The cost has been roughly $285/week (5 days) for school - and $210 /week (7 days) for the home stay including meals.  So about $500/ week including all the meals that I want to eat at home.  Considering the amount of time they spend on you here, and the knowledge I'll take away with me, it's a great deal.   It's unfortunate that this recession and the lack of tourism here in the Baja due to the crime scare has really hurt these people and the school has taken a beating.  They had a beautiful huge school full of students from the US, Canada and all over the world and now there is just a trickle of folks coming through here.  I sincerely hope it gets better for them soon...they are wonderful people here.

This is one the friendly Students here at the school; Elizabeth from Walla Walla, Washington.  Elizabeth works in the wine industry and is spending three weeks here at the school.   Elizabeth's Español is a bit further along than mine, so we have different teachers.

One day after school I'm feeling lazy, but a little disgusted with my dirty bike.  After talking to the ladies here, i'm off down the street looking for the car wash.  I talked to the owner Danny and after he realised I only had 60 pesos instead of the 80 he wanted he said it was "ok" and I'd get my bike washed up.

I talked with the owner Danny for awhile, and he was happy when I told him my brother had the same name as him.  When I told him I was travelling to Argentina he had the same look in his eyes that most people do.  It's the "your crazy, but I wish I was doing that look".   Difficult to describe, but always interesting to see, and I find it's different from men to women down here.  Women... it's more bewilderment, like "holy shit" and with men it's surprise that quickly turns to respect then silence with some head nodding (which I think is most likely envy).  It's worth the trip, just to see the look on people's faces!  Anyway, Danny was super nice guy, and I got my bike sparkling clean for about 5 bucks.  How can a guy go wrong?

Surveying the damage incurred to the tank bag in the upset.  Appears to be only the harness which is a good thing.  The buckle on the left side is pretty much pooched.  The other side the buckle ripped right out of the harness, but I just twisted it and stuffed it back into the hole in the material.  Really hard to fix a plastic buckle like this and since it's pretty unique it would be very hard to find a replacement.  After thinking over my options, I ordered a new Wolfman tank bag and Dan will grab it for me before he heads down.  The thing will be impossible to fix properly and in my mind it's a liability.  The fact that this thing broke now, before Dan left, was a blessing in disguise.

No clue how a guy would do a decent job of fixing this with out a major sew job and new buckles.  Time to let it go.

I cover the bike while it's stored in the yard and good thing I brought the cover.  It packs up small and so far it's already rained a few days.  The bike basically "disappears" with the cover on; and in turn, interests thieves less.  Thanks for the great idea Horizons Unlimited!

Just a shot of the building with the classroom at the back of the property.  It's pretty basic, but what more does an ADV rider need?  Word is, the school is looking a for another location.

Fish Tacos down the road are delicious.  Sometimes, you just need a snack at noon.

Two gentlemen playing a huge xylophone for our dining pleasure.

The next day I go for a walk with Elizabeth and she says I need to try the Ceviche at this stand.

Until recently I wasn't a big avocado fan, but it's sooo good here and they put it on tonnes of stuff.  Geez that was good ceviche.  Next time I'm going to get more.

The huge sculpture on the malacon looks like it's made with whale bones.  I guess the whale watching here is pretty incredible at times.

Sign at the South Side of Ensenada.

On the way back I spot this rental bike and I can't resist a picture.

For some others, this dinner looks more like something you'd get at home.  Fried chicken, steamed vegetables and pasta salad.  It's nice to have something like this once once in awhile.

This breakfast is a little more Mexican.  Fried eggs, beans and...I'm not sure, but it was good and I didn't feel like asking questions that morning! bahahahaha.

This is Lupita, who has been my teacher for most of my time here.  This lady is wonderful.  Great teacher, very patient, great sense of humour (she even laughs at my jokes), great stories and an angel too.  She goes to the hospital to pray for sick people and visit women in jail that have no families to visit them.  
Muchas Gracias for everything you do Lupita.

Our field trip to the "Super Marcado".  There is a lot the same as back at home, but a lot different.  In the bakery department; I'd say these guys have us beat, hands down.

I love the look of all these pastries and they are so inexpensive.  I can't wait to go back and try some when I 'm a little more hungry.

Huge Selection.

This cake is 129 pesos or 10 bucks US!
They call a cake a "pastel" here in México

Lupita tells me this dried beef is delicious and perfect for camping.  I would of never known about this!

Looks like beef tripe, aka Cow's stomach.  I'm gonna pass this time.

Major staple of the diet here, and a lot of varieties.

Back at the school in the afternoon, it's cooking class!  This is a day filled with food.

Edith shows how us easy these recipes are to make at home.

The marmalade is 50% sugar.  The sugar we used looked less processed than the stuff we have back at home.

The one type of salsa calls for a nice char of the peppers.  While the other with chilli's is pretty much just boiled.

Sauteing the peppers for the salsa.

The ladies posing for a pic.

This finished product.  Three types of salsa from mild to hot and two different marinades.  Of course the salsa is great with the chips and the marmalade with the baguettes and cream cheese is wonderful.

So, enough about food!  Tomorrow...last day of school and a huge field trip to see "La Bufadora".  Lonely Planet Guide says, "La Bufadora is a popular tidewater blowhole 40km south of Ensenada. Technically just a notched rock, it sends a jet of water up to 30m into the sky, drenching cheering onlookers."  Sounds like a blast!

Just talked to Dan and it looks like he's mostly ready to roll and will blast off from AZ on Sunday.  I should see him here by supper time at the latest Monday.  

As you can see from the pic, Dan and his wife Sue have a sense of humour.  Haha, nice one bro!

Other than that,  I have a big excursion planned for the weekend with the possibility of some real adventure.  Hope to see you all real soon.

Clay D


  1. Awesome stuff Clax . I was wondering when we would next hear from you . I still have not seen any hints about the mystery item that you were questioned about. Jimbo

  2. Hey Jim. Try to be patient. The mystery item will be showing up soon : )

  3. Your blogging skills are awesome Clay! Sounds like you are living it up down there. Glad you are having a great time.... For the record, your bro sounds like a rad dude (and I LOVE his bike-my dreammmmm bike! drooooool). Hope your weekend was adventurous and that Dan arrived safely. Hope to hear more soon.
    Take care friend!