Hanging out in Ensenada

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Thu 26 Jul 2012 16:44
Hanging out in Ensenada
We have been in Ensenada for a few weeks now - at the end of our travels through Mexico.  The map below shows more or less the route we have taken up the Pacific coast.
Mexico has been very interesting country to visit, with dramatic climatic differences, from the lush tropical south, where there are more mango trees than you can imagine - to the dry and barren Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California), with just a few cacti  - to the more  temperate Mediterranean climate of the north west, where there has been fog each morning and you find vineyards in the valleys.
Mexico is almost twice the size of South Africa, covering over 2 million km/sq and has a population of about 115million - (of which over 20 million live in the greater Mexico City area), making it the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world.  They have been independent since 1810 and had an election here earlier this month, when a new President, Enrique Peña Nieto, was elected. There is much talk of the drug wars and associated dangers, but we have seen nothing of it and have found the areas that we have visited, to be safe and non- threatening. The Mexican people are a delight, with a very friendly and helpful demeanor, the lack of aggression is notable!  While you hear of all the Mexicans trying to get into the USA, we have met many Americans who have decided to move to Mexico... a cheaper and more pleasant option!
On the topic of border crossing - Mike and I helped a friend take a boat to San Diego earlier this month, and then crossed back into Mexico by foot! What an interesting experience!  We took the San Diego trolley (tram) to the border then walked across a bridge through the border into Tijuana, where we then took a bus down to Ensenada.  This crossing is the busiest border in the world, and while fairly simple from the US to Mexico, is a much harder slog going the other way....something we are going to do on Saturday.  Mike and I have friends in who live on Coronado Island in San Diego and will visit with them again this weekend. 
Earlier this week we took a tour to the Guadeloupe valley wine country - on the outskirts of Ensenada . There are a number of large estates and then lots of small boutique farms. It was a great day and we got to try some new varietals that we had not seen before.  We did the tour with Bill & Lorell Alexander, who lived in the Sonoma/ Napa wine country for many years, which was interesting for the wine guides, given that we too come from a wine producing area.
At Santo Tomas with Bill and Lorell                                                                                                    New for us:  Barbera & Tempranillo
Time2 will be staying at the marina at Cruiseport for the next few months while we go home to Cape Town.  This marina is inside the commercial harbour and so a very good place to leave the boat in terms of surge and security. There is also another marina in Ensenada which we have visited for fuel, called Coral, a lovely place, but is an expensive option for long term storage.  However, we found out that the price of fuel is reduced if you stay at the marina - so we are enjoying the pool, spa, restaurant, etc for one night - and still saving money on the fuel bill! 
The CruisePort marina - Cruise liners dock here too                                                        We have some LARGE seals living in the marina