“When it’s fiesta time in Guadalajara,
Then I long to be back once again in Old Mexico.
Where we lived for today,
Never giving a thought to tomara.
To the strumming of guitars,
In a hundred grubby bars
I would whisper “Te amo.” (Tom Leherer)
The above is presented here in homage to that masterful exponent of the excruciating rhyming couplet, Tom Leherer, who’s ability to wed the likes of ‘…lajara’ and ‘tomara’ in such gentle poetic unison puts my own meager efforts to shame.
I must admit (obviously putting my self-proclaimed hard-core credentials at risk) that it was with a sense of trepidation that I crossed the border into Mexico having taken some of the received warnings of impending danger a tad too seriously. It is all too easy to let your imagination run away when presented with exaggerated warnings from one side of a border about the impending doom that lurks on the other. Long ago crossing from Turkey into Georgia I similarly started to believe the hype that on entry I would be strung up on the nearest tree. So much so that I ended up spraying my bike black and brown to make it look cheap. On entry to Georgia I then received nothing but assistance from the Georgians. Regrettably somewhere along the line I must have un-learned this lesson so was somehow expecting bandidos to be lurking with pistolas behind each bushel just over the border in Mexico.
It has been three weeks since I was on the bike and it can be difficult to get back on and going again. A week in Vegas and one in The Maldives on a dancing gig to instruct a wedding party in the art of Samba, and another in San Diego made the idea of getting packed up and pedaling off in the morning a particularly difficult one to process. However, am now back into the swing of things and with the border formalities negotiated without problem, the Baja Peninsula now lies to the south. Tijuana was a bustling border town and venue for a bikie gang Christmas teddy bear hand out which belied the image I had acquired recently of a place to be pedaled through as quickly as possible.
The sea-side resort town or Rosalita a mere 20 miles south of the USA border has a long photogenic wharf (refer photo) and a load of cheap motels within which a cyclist can recover from a cold and sleep deprivation and the rigors of the first Mexico road – sans road shoulder. Armed with my five words of Spanish I can now embark on the route down through the Spanish speaking Americas