So after 81 days overall I have made it to Mexico having run the full length of the United States of America (and 1 day in Canada). Before I started this expedition this was my minimum target. No matter what happened I just had to complete this stage. To me it meant I would have achieved something significant, done something that no many people had achieved. But while it was a target of achievement it was also the training mission for when the real adventure begun and that was today.
It was weird crossing the border almost an anticlimax. I thought I would be filled with elation, fist pumping and celebrating but none of that happened. I walked across the border, sorted my exit visa for the US, acquired a tourist visa for Mexico and made my way to where I was staying. The fact that I immediately got lost may have had something to do with the mood but it made me think “What if this is how I feel at the end?” And more worryingly “why am I really doing this?” The latter is a question that has surfaced before and I am sure will continue to do so throughout my expedition. I can only hope that the outcome is positive.
The questions of records has been asked and I honestly don’t know if there are any. I suspect lots of mad bastards have run the length of America over the years and decades. But I am glad I don’t know because it means that I have succeeded in something quicker than I had ever imagined (by 10 days) and that was with about 16 days of rest.
Once all the formalities were taken care of and I made it to where I was staying. Now there was a really simple route but I of course didn’t find that. I put all my faith in my map and ended up zigzagging through Tijuana in the dark.
It always amazes me how everything can change so dramatically when you cross a border. San Diego is very civilized (obviously) and beautiful. The streets are clean and the shops expensive. When you hit Tijuana its all so very different. To heighten the perception of change you actually walk through a premium brand outlet mall just before you cross….
When you enter Mexico everything gets crazy!!! My host for the evening made sure I saw as much of it as possible and for that I am grateful. We first visited a small taco shop of Aviende 2 where we ate the most amazing tacos. I had two – the chorizo and the pork, both with melted cheese inside. We then went on a tour of the town and visited 4 very different bars. The first was your typical bar where a few young professional types were enjoying beers and pizza. The second could not have been more different. It was set off the main drag but didn’t look like much from the outside. We passed through a dark room and then entered the garden. Unlike most beer gardens this one had no plants, was covered in graffiti, lighting was sparse as were chairs and tables. To top it all off there was loud grunge music blasting out of the speakers. It may sound ghastly to some but it was actually quite cool!
We then made our way to the red light district but not till we had passed the Caesar hotel which was were, in 1929, the Caesar Salad was invented! Came as a surprise to me too!!!
The red district was as you would imagine it. Lots of seedy bars with half dressed girls lurking on every corner. Prostitution is legal here and they make that abundantly clear. After a quick drink in a bar we then made one final stop at another nearby bar before heading home. To ensure I had the full tour my hosts detoured through the transvestite district.
Quite a full on introduction to Mexico…
Written on my Nokia Lumia 1020