Rosarita, Ensenada & Punta Banda: Eating Our Way Through the North & The BEST DAMN MEAT EVER

I spent a long time watching old Mexican TV shows in the small motel we stayed at on the night we crossed the border. I got such a kick out of them – couldn’t understand anything they were saying but who cares?! I can’t hear anyway! It was fun. Ladies in early 80’s Jane Fonda-esque getups, silvery eyeshow and hairstyles that spoke to Prince and Apollonia. Diggit! Radness.

In the morning I felt hungover – what was that about, staying up till 11?! 9 is pushing it, normally. Ha. But my kids sure were perky, and as we headed out for pure morning deliciousness in the form of Gorditas.

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That breakfast place was the best. Run by a bunch of mamas, they served up Moxie and MacQ some kind of beans/salsa (- without us ordering it), which, coupled with them dragging out a couple of high chairs, kind of made me want to hug them and be best friends for life. One older lady even came and took MacQ from me so I could eat, taking him around to everyone for introductions and such.

I’m sure there are a few mothers reading this who just know what I’m talking about, how awesome it is to have someone kind, clean and trustworthy-looking just loving on your little ones with that sweet touch so they just sink in and and the back-arching screams are tucked up and put away.

On that high note, we left Rosarita for Ensenada, stopping along the way at Puerto Nuevo for lobsters and some beach walking. The beach was a huge hit with the kids

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The lobster was a huge hit with us* (see footnote for more info)

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Ensenada is this city that feels like a Mexican suburb of an American city, what with all the dollar prices and Starbucks, Office Depots and Walmart. Big box heaven! But then you look up and see the largest Mexican flag ever made and can rest assured: you are in Mexico all right.

We decided to camp that night – why? I don’t know why. That was pretty dumb. The campground was a butt-ugly pit stop with gas stations around it, the toilet in the ladies room was revolting and the wifi only worked if you sat next to their modem. And it was $25. You read that right: TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. There were motels around that were cheaper, and not all of them pay-by-the-hour either.

Boy, did we ever feel stupid. SO STUPID!!

But we were like, okay, let’s just make the best of the situation. Let’s get our own modem taken care of, let’s get the fan clutch for Myrtle, let’s EAT SOME ADOBADA!

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IMG_4350Adobada is this insanely delicious meat that has been marinated in vinegar. Vinegar and meat… yeah – doesn’t sound that great, does it? Only it IS, like, it’s so good that if there was an adobada stand on the far side of a lake and you didn’t know how to swim, you’d learn how to swim super fast or die drowning trying to get to it. Just thinking about it now as I type – the deep red/brown of the meat, the succulent juices dripping off and down, the tender co-mingling of the onions, cilantro, spices and avocado, the fresh tortilla embracing it all in a loving clasp…

 

ANYWAY! (*head snaps back to reality) Yeah! Adobada! We went for it, and went back and back some more!

Mexico won’t make thin people out of us, that’s for sure.

Moving on, we bought the Telcel modem that Jessica recommended (- and it works wonderfully), bought the fan clutch. Stocked up at Soriana, that big box store of Mexican generic awesomeness where there seem to be just as many carts for kids as there are just plain ole carts. Our kids were smiling.

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Got all set up in our Myrtle and took off – but only as far as Punta Banda, 10 or so miles away. We parked on a beach, paid $9 for our spot (- hot water, clean bathrooms, no wifi), and were so psyched to be there that we thought we’d stay more than a couple of days.

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There were hot springs on the beach! (-you’d dig through the sand to make a hole large enough to sit in)

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There was a beach RIGHT IN FRONT of our camp!

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There were hot showers (- perhaps funneled from the hot springs?) with lovely water pressure

There was NOONE ELSE THERE!!!

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Wheeeeeee!

Mikey worked his magic on Myrtle

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It was the fan clutch, all right. Changed on up, we decided to leave even though it had only been two nights. The thing was, the ocean water was too cold to swim in and we had hoped for it get warmer (the weather AND the water), but neither happened.Worse, it started raining and grew considerably colder and windier. FREEZING!

We packed up. Headed south, in search of baked clams at San Quintin.

More Info:

Rosarita:

  • Hotel we stayed at: La Quinta, 500 pesos/double (- about $40). It seemed to be the safest-looking cheap place in town
  • Breakfast place was right around the corner on the same block as the hotel, specializing in Gorditas
  • Taco shop with insanely delicious tacos was right across the street – dish your own salsa, honor paying system

Puerto Nuevo:

It’s famous for lobsters. There are a ton of restaurants here, running the full gamut, price-wise. We scoped them out and went for one that 3 lobsters for $15, including drinks, rice, beans, tortillas and tostada de ceviche. Yum.

Ensenada:

  • Playa de Campo was where we stayed and I’d avoid that place at all costs in the future. Awful. Don’t make the same mistake we did
  • Adobada: we found the best adobada in the small stands that came out at dusk. Just walk around
  • Telcel modem: at the shop by Soriana – this deserves its own post because it is so important

Punta Banda:

This is a small village next to La Bufadora. Evidently, there is a blowhole called La Bufadora that you can catch if your timing is miraculous. Ours wasn’t – not this time nor the last time we were at La Bufadora, trying to see it.

Punta Banda, like La Bufadora, has a lot of campgrounds and most of them seem RV-welcome. I think they all range in price from $8-up, with the emphasis on “-up”. Laundry is at La Bufadora which is about an hour walk away. But who walks, except for us? We didn’t see anyone

PS

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kelp man
Meriah
is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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