Dr. Mary Travelbest in Mexico Baja
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Welcome to Dr. Mary Travelbest’s Bucket List Travel.
We share the travel tips and guide you, sharing our missteps along the way.
FAQ-Why should I go by myself? Should I go with a friend instead? Won’t I have a better time since I can share that experience with another?
Independent travel is for all, especially if you DON’T have someone to go with. Don’t let that stop you from going.
Today’s Independent Destination-Ensenada and/or then the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Wine tasting.
On the way there, stop at The Door of Faith Orphanage and say Hi.
The way to get there is Highway 1, the toll way, and exit at La Mision. Directions below.
· Take the southbound 5 or 805 freeway to the San Ysidro border crossing south of San Diego.
· After you cross the border, move to the right and head up the FIRST ramp on the right Follow the signs to the Ensenada/Rosarito Toll Road – also called the Scenic Route. After about 2 miles, the first right (ramp) will put you onto the toll road.
· Keep following signs toward Ensenada and Rosarito. You will remain on the toll road for approximately 50 mins. You will pass through two toll booths. About 25 minutes beyond the second tool booth you will see a sign for La Mision and/or La Fonda Hotel and Restaurant. Take the off ramp and turn left onto the “free” road.
· The orphanage is 1½ miles (2 km) up the dirt road on the left side.
Baja, is a rustic wine destination that’s already being called the Napa of Mexico.
Napa (pricier, more developed).
Hire a Tour Guide
Club Tengo Hambre: Started by two Mexico-focused bloggers, this hip gastro tour company dubs itself a “roving supper club.” Its organized wine and craft beer tours of the Valley include pick up and drop off in San Ysidro — the group will walk across the border together — transportation to each of the stops, and tastings and meals at up to six establishments.
Baja Wine and Dine Tours:
The majority of the drive from San Diego to Ensenada is a picture-perfect cruise along the Pacific Coast on a paved toll road. Bumpy dirt roads connect the wineries in the Valley, however, so be sure your car can handle the terrain. Logistics vary based on whether you are renting a car or driving your own vehicle: I drive my own vehicle.
Uber has made it easier than ever to explore northern Baja without a car, even if you’re coming in from San Diego or Los Angeles. Expect prices to increase for rides that involve border crossings, and double-check that your data plan will work in Mexico if you’re going to rely on Uber.
Uber in the Valle: Time Your Border Crossing
The Valle de Guadalupe is close to San Diego, but crossing back into the U.S. often involves long lines and hefty wait times.
- The U.S. Customs and Border Site offers real-time updates on waits for drivers, commercial vehicles, and pedestrian and land ports of entry. Use the site to monitor traffic and head to the border when wait times are minimal.
- Take the Ready Lane: select identification — including passport cards, Global Entry cards, and Sentri passes — may use the Ready Lanes, which are slightly faster than the general lanes. The system works by detecting RFID chips in the cards; standard U.S. passports do not comply.
- Apply for Sentri: If you expect to travel across the border frequently, consider applying for a Sentri card, the land-border version of Global Entry. Candidates who pass an advanced screening and pay a fee may use an express entry lane for five years; all passengers must have Sentri.
Today’s Mistake-Getting sick in Taipei. Food poisoning. 24 hours of misery. Don’t eat shellfish if you have any doubts about the food. Street vendors may be ok, since they may be here for many years and know better than a “restaurant”. You never really can tell.
Today’s Travel Advice-How to meet other people.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem the shorter, Izaak Walton, 1593-1683)
Wear a smile, ask for time of day, if they have an accent, ask them where they are from, share a common problem, tell a joke, comment on the weather, ask about a news event. Research an interest, such as scuba diving. Then make appropriate contacts when you arrive.
I wrote letters to advertising agencies in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan telling them of my pending trip. Then I called agencies and went to visit the people who worked there. My circle of friends quickly multiplied.
Be your best to be polite and friendly and hope that they will meet you halfway.
When you travel independently, people will come to you. They seek you out. They will be happy you were there to talk.