Friday, August 15, 2008

San Diego to Mexico (The Trolley)

Getting to Tijuana from the San Diego airport can be very easy. There is a free shuttle bus that will take you to Thrifty or Budget (Across the street) rent-a-car.  From there you can walk one block (San Diego block) east and catch the trolley that goes straight to the Mexico border crossing at San Ysidro. ** If you are planing to stay in Mexico for more than a few days, be sure to pick up  tourist card at Mexico Immigration and get your passport stamped. You will need this if you are stopped at a check point anywhere besides TJ, Rosarito or Ensenada. You will also need this tourist card if you plan to leave Mexico by plane or if you plan to cross into Belize or Guatemala by land. Mexican Immigration at the Tijuana border may just try to wave you by but tell them that you definitely need the stamp and tourist card. I didn't get one because they just kept waving me by. I asked if I needed one and was told that it was not necessary but I failed to mention that I would be exiting Mexico at the border to Belize. I had to explain to the immigration guard at the Corozal border crossing why I didn't have the tourist card. Had it not been so early in the morning and had I not spoken to him so politely in Spanish, I imagine I would have had a pretty big problem as it was Saturday and that immigration office was closed until Monday.

So getting back to it, to get to Rosarito from TJ you need to make a right after crossing the border and walk passed all of the "Scalper" taxis. If you keep walking straight, through what looks like it was once a bustilng walkway with tons of shops, you will be heading towards TJ Centro. On your left you will see what looks to be a rather small bus station with considerably tall walls a couple of blocks before you get to the large arch of Centro. Make a left here and keep walking until you see many taxi vans that say Rosarito. This is what you want to take It is much more comfortable and costs about the same as a bus (around 14 Pesos). If you fancy talking to locals and insurance of sorts, just keep asking people," Donde esta el collectivo para Rosarito?" along your way and don't forget to pick up some delicious Al Pastor tacos(3 for $1.50 US) as you pass the taco stands.

My Experience:
San Diego was wonderful as usual. I am traveling with Talisa whom I met at a CouchSurfing potluck in April. Talisa have been dating for a couple of months. Talisa arrived a day before in SD. We decided to rent a car so we can enjoy a day of touring SD because public transit here takes a day to get anywhere. We went to Beaches and rode my favorite roller coaster at Mission Beach. Of course we had to visit La Jolla shores and after we got dinner with our CS host. We wandered and found ourselves at the giant and very brightly lit Church of Latter-day Saints that you can see from the highway. Tom from CS met us up at the temple then we went back to his place for chillin' and talkin' with he and his roomies. It was a nice day as I remember it. July, 12th, 2008 we headed across the border via the above mentioned route and made our way to Constance's house for an evening of conversation and relaxation which is what we did in Rosarito for a couple of days along with hanging out at the beach, wandering around Rosarito, installing a commode, fixing a roof visiting Ensenada and two tons of chatting. Talisa and I enjoyed out time here. The space in -la casa del la Constance- was very interesting, private and comfy. Constance was so kind and drove us all the way to Ensenada. Time to head down the Baja Peninsula to La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.


Anonymous said...

News accounts about TJ and Rosarito make it sound like it's not safe for Americans. What was your experience? Did you have any trouble? Was it safe?

Anonymous said...

I love your jounal... keep on posting :)