Updated:   Monday, 16 April 2012 Visit our friends at:
Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
26 July 2009

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The Missions of Baja California

Google Earth Placemarks


WOW! Once again, like Vancouver, Rosarito Beach & Baja feel like home! Only with a lot less clothing, bare feet and warm Pacific sunshine and cool breezes. I've resurrected the 1993 Baja Peninsula map, taped the edges, added photos and am debating how far for how long to go. Maybe a zero budget isn't such a bad thing. I know how to get by on minimal Spanish, nearly no money and feel comfortable in the culture and with the people. Since I'm not mechanically inclined, if the VW Jetta doesn't poop out, I could be okay. Barbara is making the usual summer sojourn to Los Cabos, but this time in August, just several weeks from now. Could be an adventure.
Be sure and open the Google Earth KMZ for Baja Norté locations.

"Communicate" song by band Strive Roots


Google Earth Placemarks

Fun Facts


Southern California
Set terrain = 2x for best effect.  

Missions of Baja History
Set terrain = 3x for best effect.  

aaa_baja.jpg (6222791 bytes)Ever wonder why Loreto, San Felipé, Los Cabos and other select Mexican destinations come into being and grow like crazy? It's not luck or coincidence. It's all very well-planned. Thanks to FONATUR, the "institution responsible for the planning and development of sustainable tourism projects." And with respect to the Baja Peninsula specifically, there is the vision of the Escalera Nautica, the Nautical Ladder --- a mega project.   

CLICKABLE Baja Norté map.

Video Clips

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Driving in Orange County (00:32)
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Driving in Tijuana (00:32)
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Lunch at a taco stand (and José) in Rosarito Beach (00:32)


Left Anaheim at 7:45 am, later than I wanted to. Today is my day to relax, enjoy and get re-acquainted with Mexico. Northern Baja. I love it down here. The lifestyle. The culture. The people. This history and geology. The marine life.

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jul26_plates_barbsss.jpg (38739 bytes) Although it didn't photograph, I saw this Honda CRV going down the road with the plate "BARBSSS"

A quick side trip down a side road took me to the Estuario del Rio Tijuana (Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve) on the US side and a state park and all sorts of neat things. Insurance. Ugh! What a rip-off. $21 for one day full coverage. jul26_114.jpg (170254 bytes) jul26_115.jpg (99533 bytes) jul26_116.jpg (197267 bytes) Notice my new prescription, mirrored, polarized sun shades?

jul26_new_glasses.jpg (870443 bytes)How about my new eyeglasses (bifocals)?

I wanted to drive the free road through town, but as usual, even after dozens of trips down here, got confused. So on down the toll (scenic) road it was. Decided to drive to Playa Tijuana and learned it's a "cul-de-sac" part of town that I had to double-back on to get back on the highway. It's hemmed in by the toll road. jul26_117.jpg (150683 bytes) jul26_118.jpg (174217 bytes)
They say fences make good neighbors. Hmmmm? I'm not so sure about that. I hate that "our" side is building this wall instead of finding solutions, all while encouraging other nations to "tear down their walls." jul26_119.jpg (795430 bytes) jul26_120.jpg (131956 bytes) jul26_121.jpg (166960 bytes) jul26_122.jpg (163434 bytes) jul26_123.jpg (123918 bytes)
Alas, the Rock and Roll Taco is no more. I last visited in 1993 on the back up the peninsula from the cape. jul26_124.jpg (171263 bytes) jul26_125.jpg (144466 bytes) jul26_126.jpg (203905 bytes) jul26_127.jpg (171937 bytes) jul26_128.jpg (172374 bytes)
It seems that the Rosarito Beach Hotel has put on a "small" addition during the boom years. WOW! jul26_129.jpg (238655 bytes) jul26_130.jpg (190851 bytes) jul26_131.jpg (196756 bytes) jul26_132.jpg (181918 bytes)
Who would of guessed? They built themselves a pier!  jul26_137.jpg (201731 bytes) jul26_rosarito_pier.jpg (394234 bytes) jul26_138.jpg (198929 bytes)
The from the beach in from of Pappas & Beer jul26_rosarito_beach_60.jpg (320238 bytes) jul26_140.jpg (256423 bytes)
Pappas & Beer jul26_pappas_and_beer.jpg (379001 bytes) jul26_139.jpg (200445 bytes)
Two tacos for $2.00 & a Sol beer for $1.25. WOW! I could do this every day. jul26_133.jpg (162868 bytes) jul26_134.jpg (735983 bytes) Got a little shopping in. I despise shopping. And bartering. But, you know what. Change the attitude.  People are just trying to make a living. So I got into it. Used what little Spanish I know. Said "no, thank you" and "nada hoy"  alot in Spanish. And to my chef and others, always asked "como se llama?, said "me llamo Andres" and "mucho gusto" using their name, and, of course, "gracias, buenas dias."
La Policia. And horse-drawn carriages. jul26_135.jpg (177570 bytes) jul26_136.jpg (191641 bytes) That gained me two free shots of tequila from Juan at the mercado. Of course, I brought him a couple dollars after the fact. Ditto for the poor guy collecting 50 cents for use of the porta johns.

I love it down here. It was a wonderful day, with wonderful people experiences.

Fox Studio Baja, located just south of Rosarito Beach was mobbed. See the pirate ship in the background? Think Johnny Depp. A mini Titanic is also located inside.  jul26_151.jpg (166741 bytes) jul26_152.jpg (155249 bytes)
The obligarory military checkpoint on the free road. Looking for drugs and gun runners. jul26_157.jpg (126832 bytes) jul26_158.jpg (141354 bytes) jul26_160.jpg (164314 bytes)Along with the occasional personnel carrier that goes into town checking on things.
More than one large construction project is shut down. Bankrupt. I asked. But real estate re-sales and existing inventory are apparently doing well. And beach-front / beach view apartments can be rented for under $400 per  month. jul26_153.jpg (201780 bytes) jul26_154.jpg (79463 bytes) jul26_155.jpg (72544 bytes) jul26_156.jpg (123488 bytes)
Km 38 Surf Shop: My surf instructor Ché (19) on bongo and store owner Jacinto. jul26_161.jpg (154323 bytes) jul26_162.jpg (178744 bytes) jul26_163.jpg (97233 bytes) My surfing never got off the ground (wave). My upper body strength is not good to paddle out beyond the shore break. And while my neck and shoulders didn't hurt until the drive home (yes, I threw the spine out of alignment due to the paddling and diving), surfing is definitely a skill of strength, balance and patience. I did enjoy being waaay out there on a point and a rocky beach at kilometer 38. But I need to weigh the costs of playing versus the fun and my own commitment to pain. Three minor feet cuts.
Km 38 Surf Shop: My instructor Ché (19) on bongo and store owner Jacinto. jul26_che.jpg (869568 bytes) jul26_jacinto_andrew.jpg (709102 bytes)
Coming down from the new inland highway that leads to a point between Tijuana and Tecate. jul26_159.jpg (179972 bytes) 
WOW! If you take the free road, it's like in the USA --- sprawl! Inland is almost completely developed now between Tijuana and Rosarito. Check it out using Google Earth! jul26_164.jpg (156779 bytes) jul26_165.jpg (140664 bytes) jul26_166.jpg (118311 bytes) Border wait: 30 minutes.

Secondary Inspection: rude & about 15 minutes.

Was moving fast up I-805. Then at the I-5 junction, I dropped to 20-30 miles per hour all the way to Dana Point, 2 hours later! Ugh! Traffic is awful in southern California. jul26_168.jpg (706257 bytes) jul26_167.jpg (88163 bytes) Hot air balloons out for Sunday sunset flight.