Category Archives: Maps

Ensenada Crane Chaos Trip


This is an official Bajadock Ens-SD-Ens whirlwind trip report

My day began at 6AM in the fog on my way out of Ensenada up to San Diego for a Saturday shopping adventure.

One of the interesting observations was the speed of the San Ysidro border SENTRI lanes Saturday morning at approx 08:30.  Happened to have friends approx 10 minutes ahead of me in lane 3(counting right to left) of SENTRI.  I chose lane 1.  I could spot them way ahead of me and we conversed about our positions.  For whatever reason, they took approximately 10 minutes longer in their lane(maybe a 20-25 minute wait) than my spot.  I waived bye bye to them as I swiftly moved toward I-805 to my first stop in Mission Valley, San Diego.

Checked southbound traffic coming opposite way into Mexico at 9AM and it looked to be a significant(40+ minutes?) wait.

ACT II this morning was my rare visit to La Jolla.  I happened to be in a shopping center on Nobel Drive featuring Whole Foods.  I have never seen so many perfectly sculpted, manicured and tailored ladies out shopping on a Saturday morning since Tina Louise and Nanette Newman’s performance in Stepford Wives.  Perhaps it was my filter, but, where were the matching Ken dolls?

Needed coffee and wifi at this shopping center.  Tried Rubio’s(“we don’t do coffee), a juice bar(shouldn’t they provide noise cancelling headphones for the cacaphony of Ninja blenders?), a Peet’s Coffee(closed/moved) and one other shop.  For the love of godesses, how do I find coffee?  Stopped into the gigantic Whole Foods and found a bar, a deli, some other food cafeteria, lots of juice and other stuff.  “Do you have coffee brewing around here?”. The coffee was way over on the other side with a lineup of 10 people ordering their caffeine and sugary cake/doughnut/chia seed bar experiences.  My “small brew of the day” order clearly screamed that I’m not from around here.

OK, back to road conditions.  The SoCal beaches should be avoided at all cost during summer.  I was meeting a friend in funky little Ocean Beach for happy hour.  I’m a fan of O.B., except for this Saturday.  Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off had several blocks closed, parking limited and traffic in grid lock.  After one loop, found a parking spot .9 miles away from my destination. Finally reached the best fish tacos on the planet.  Enjoyed a fun conversation, fabulous grilled wahoo fish tacos and a cold beverage to soothe my traffic stress.  Great news was that my well practiced O.B. exit strategy of Narragansett to Harbor Drive to Grape Street to I-5 was without traffic.

San Ysidro/Tijuana southbound border wait was only about 10 minutes at 8PM last night.  So many try so hard to merge to the right hand lanes at the El Chaparral crossing.  I go with the flow and find it easy to navigate after the inspection stations from left to right to gain access(red dot, above photo) to Playas Tijuana and the Toll Rd/Scenic Hwy.

Approx 45 minutes south of the border, the Scenic Road merge just south of Baja Mar for approx 2 miles into 1 lane was not so easy at night.  There are some reflectors, but, please take it easy through both the choke down ramp to 1 lane and the ramp back to two lane just before the Sempra energy plant.

Same precaution needed for the K87 – K91 one lane merge ramps, both southbound and northbound through the Salsipuedes Bay stretch. At night, the lumps, bumps and turns from the height of El Mirador all the way to the ‘Nada toll booth is danger zone.

 

This flustercluck was Saturday’s big news in Ensenada beginning mid-morning.  This happened near the Las Rosas resort, approx 3 miles north of downtown Ensenada.  Reports are that it was cleared at 4-5PM.  But, traffic throughout the day was backed up all the way to the Ensenada toll booth for southbounders.  A similar event closed Hwy 1  in a spot just south of Coral Hotel in December 2016.  Thankful that noone was hurt and that ‘Nada traffic was easy during my 9pm passage.

 

 

 

“We’re going to need a bigger crane”

 

 

 

This is my fuzzy after-DUI-checkpoint view through my rear window on Estancia, just inland from Playa Hermosa(Ens largest beach).  They move these checkpoints around and were reserved for just the major holidays.  The new Ens administration has them out for most Friday and Saturday nights.  Saturday’s checkpoint here has approx 6 vehicles and 12 dudes.  Saw two cars pulled over into a “secondary” closer inspection.  I simply offered the officers a cold six pack of Colt 45 for my easy passage.  8)

So, don’t drive at night, y’all!  Hey, I needed to get home and my eyes are good at my advanced age.  Most frightening thing was a tumbleweed that attacked me from nowhere, just after Sharkey’s bar.  10PM Saturday and Sharkey’s was still doing a decent beverage business.

Pacifico and a diy pizza at 11PM were fabulous rewards.  Slept great last night.  SALUDOS.

Tijuana Grave Digging Business Expands


fox5sandiego.com

A drug tunnel under construction was discovered Tuesday morning by Baja State Police in an unusual area of Tijuana.

The tunnel was found in a nondescript structure across the street from one of Baja’s largest cemeteries, about a mile west of the San Ysidro border crossing.

Most of the tunnels that have been discovered have been further east in the Otay Mesa area, where the soil is softer, sandier and easier to plow through.

According to investigators, the usual suspects — members of a Mexican drug cartel — are involved.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the discovery.

Michael Lettieri of the Trans-Border Institute says while drug tunnels continue to be used primarily to smuggle marijuana into the U.S., it’s actually an old strategy.

“Cartels are making most of their money, and what they’re fighting over now, is increasing the heroin and meth into this country. Heroin and methamphetamines are really easy to smuggle in cars, in water bottles. It’s small, it’s compact and it has tremendous value once it gets across for a very small amount,” said Lettieri.

Lettieri said cartels are likely to turn to other smuggling strategies such as catapults, submarines and drones to get drugs north of the border.

New Tijuana Border Car Wash


Sunday noonish vehicle accident on westbound Av Internacional in Tijuana caused a geyser of water to slow vehicles on the big hill leading toward Playas de Tijuana.  Nice to see that water pressure in this area is excellent.

Video above is from an eastbound vehicle.  uniradioinforma.com

Ensenada Interactive Map


Our team of cartographers began plotting popular restaurants, taco stands, wineries and other spots in the Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe area about 5 years ago on the Ensenada Interactive Map.  Click the map above or click here to access it.

The map is constantly updated with new discoveries and is always available on the left side of this website.

No, Hernán Cortés, we can’t possibly map every churro, chicharron and chocolateria location.  The good news is that the map also shows google maps locations that our team has not yet found.  The new Carl’s Jr near the flag in downtown Ensenada is an example.  Blame me, as I’m not a fan of U.S. fast fooderias.

As of May 2017, over 520 locations have been plotted on the map.

When first opening the map, the view can be quite a mess, as Ensenada Centro is dense with business locations.  Zooming in(hit the legend button to remove legend and unhide zoom: lower right) will focus on a more specific area of the city or wine valley.  Click and hold the map to move around.  Hit the legend button again and choose vino, hotel, cafe/Wifi, etc. to search.

The locations plotted by our team, when clicked, will open an info bubble that includes an underlined link to that business website or Facebook page.

Youbetcha, we gladly accept requests to plot on the map.  We will only focus on Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe with the area from La Mision as a northern boundary and Santo Tomas as southern boundary.

Thanks for any suggestions, criticism and commentary on our Ensenada Interactive Map.

ensintmapvino

Valle de Guadalupe area of map showing winery locations plotted.

Otay Mesa Ped Crossing


Had a friend needing my limo services from Ensenada to San Diego airport yesterday.  She had never done the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing, so I gave her my best verbal description on our commute.  Above photo shows the Otay Sentri entry and the spot to drop of your non-Sentri passenger.  It’s approx 200 yards from the ped drop to the ped crossing gate, then another 200 yard hike to meet your vehicle on the USA side.

Northern Baja map showing border crossing options and routing.  Northbound to San Diego I use the TJ Free Road to either San Ysidro approx 80% and Otay approx 20%.

My preferred route from Ensenada to the Otay crosssing is the TJ Free Road(North Rosarito Exit) that is a direct route to the TJ Airport and Otay(see my white dot plot).  Many friends prefer Blvd 2000(amber route), but I find that road to be no fun and it takes longer.

That Free Rd to Otay route also includes a clean rest stop, approx 1/2 mile north of the Rosarito Toll Booth.  Unusual and unfortunate that the men’s room this Wednesday was “no papel”, so always have your spare roll of TP in your vehicle when traveling Baja!  That rest stop also has a snack shop with coffee.

This was the scene at theRosarito rest stop Wednesday mornign with birds and squirrels enjoying the peanuts these ladies were offering.  Lucky pajaros and ardillas were enthusiastic about gourmet breakfast.

From the Free Road/TJLibre/North Rosarito exit, it is approx 7 miles to this Airport right turn.  From this spot in above photo, you will wind through a commercial area and the big hill climb at the U.S. embassy that will lead you to the TJ airport. It is 7 miles from above photo to Blvd Bellas Artes at Otay crossing.

If you need more detail on Otay and the 8 photo locations in above map, click here

Back to Otay, that road bordering the east side of TJ Airport leads you to the regular lane, Ready Lane and SENTRI.  This entry to SENTRI is funky as the area has been under construction.  Instead of the bridge ramp after the Ready Lane Entry, meander right into the alley in the industrial area.  Mariscos Negro Durazo is on the corner, photo spot #2 in map above.

I have labeled it “Rumble Alley”, so just ease through the pot holes.  It will lead you to Blvd Bellas Artes headed east and ready to enter SENTRI lane.  Mariscos Negro Durazo on corner is blue building.

This overhead map mimics the first photo above in this post showing ped entry to Otay crossing.  The idea is to drop your non-Sentri passenger before you vehicle is visible to Sentri lanes.  According to rumor, Sentri frowns on this practice, but, I see all sorts of vehicles dropping passengers close to gate crossing, then U-turning back to TJ.  Hmmm.  And have your ped passenger cross with one bag on hand to ease credibility.  Jacket/sweater was also suggested as that office can be cold with A/C.  Got passport?

You cross in SENTRI vehicle lane, take first exit right(Siempre Viva Rd) and plan your meeting spot with your ped passenger on north side of border.  Make certain you plan a specific spot, as a friend of mine depended upon Mex cell service once for meetup w/ their ped passenger.  OOPS!

My friend mentioned one point of confusion, yesterday.  Two signs at ped crossing office were “SENTRI” and READY”.  WhereTheF does a “regular lane” pauper cross?  Just blame poor signage and pester a guard.

After the Ped crossing, your passenger should simply follow the others on the sidewalk for approx 200 yds north to your vehicle in the car queue.  Yep that spot has a red line on the curb, but I have never been hassled.  Or if the ped line wait looks long, Erik’s Deli is a decent, clean spot to rendezvous.

I’m usually crossing Otay at approx 10am-noon, so the rush hour commute is finished.  Max I have ever waited for my ped passenger here is 20 minutes.  That sure beats waiting in the Ready or Regular vehicle lineup for 2 hours.

Dia de las Madres(10 May) in Mex was likely the reason for an extremely expeditious ped crossing.  I waited 5 minutes max for my friend to meet me on the other side Wednesday.  She said they did not ask one question at the ped crossing.  She scanned her passport and she was FREE!

Alternate Route Weekly Update


Bajadock: In our weekly post during year four of disussion on an alternative route to circumvent another potential landslide collapse of the Ensenada Scenic Highway(28 Dec 2013 disaster), the Ensenada Chamber of Commerce, CANACINTRA, provides their opinion.  The shorter emergency route(orange route above) is favored over the alternative route(amber route above) because of cost and time involved.

elvigia.net

Facing the risk that the Tijuana-Ensenada Scenic Highway will collapse again, it is necessary to build the so-called emergency road, a six-kilometer stretch that would connect the Scenic Highway with the Free Tijuana-Ensenada highway, said Canacintra leader Jorge Cortés Ríos.

He affirmed that although the Federal Government has announced the construction of an alternative highway that would go from Bajamar to El Sauzal, it is a work that would have a cost of two thousand million pesos and that it is not even known when it would end.

We do not oppose the construction of an alternative highway, but building the so-called emergency road would cost a maximum of 240 million pesos and could be done in a few months, emphasized the president of the Ensenada delegation of the National Chamber of Industry The transformation.

SCT skepticism
He added that there is skepticism towards the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, because it has decades in the construction of Ensenada Libramiento and suddenly announces that it would build a new highway of 24 kilometers in a couple of years.
He pointed out that the so-called emergency roadway would allow vehicle traffic to be resolved in the event of a collapse in the fault zone of the Tijuana-Ensenada scenic highway and is a practical and very economical measure compared to what will cost the alternate highway.

Scenic Road Landslides Possible


foto por Bajadock
Two years after various sectors were struggling to consolidate an alternate route, after a section of the Scenic Highway had slipped, they said there were “signs of sliding problems in the Salsipuedes area.”
They observed that the “reinforcement” works being carried out by Federal Roads and Bridges (Capufe) in this way, show that the risk of new landslides remains latent, as they are evident when passing through that place.
Mario Zepeda Jacobo, president of the Citizens Council, AC, said that although there are no official data, it is estimated that 2 billion pesos have already been invested and it seems that the final technical solution is not yet available.
“If we accumulate the 2.5 billion that SCT estimates of cost for a new highway of quota of approximately 24 kilometers to cover the stretch Bajamar Ensenada, that stretch will cost us 4.5 billion,” he said.
This will have to pay toll fees and increase in the costs of inputs and food.
However, he argued that there is at least one other option to resolve the stretch of failures and prevent damage similar to the collapse of the 2013-2014 quota road.
It is the construction of a section of road “feeder” that communicates both roads, the quota and the free Tijuana-Ensenada.

Salsipuedes

EMERGENCY ROUTE
That is to say a “Route of emergency of 6.4 kilometers, with which avoid critical areas of the highway of quota in the zone of Salsipuedes and of the free highway in the zone of the Mission.
Zepeda Jacobo explained that the “Route of Emergence” joins both roads, the quota at the height of Bajamar with the Free Tijuana-Ensenada highway at kilometers 74, estimated cost is 65 million pesos, if two Lanes or 125 million four lanes.
Faced with the authorities’ lack of resources, Mario Zepeda considered that the SCT has a budget for maintenance of roads or the own ones that the State Government has for road works.
“From there resources can be applied to build this road, which will certainly provide certainty and connectivity to the region,” he said.
 
He recalled that more than two years ago, on September 22, 2014, the various chambers, business and social organizations of Ensenada made the request for the alternate route.“We joined and signed a document to demand the president of the republic, various officials of the SCT, Capufe the governor of the state and the municipal president, the immediate construction of an alternative route of emergency.”
He emphasized that the objective was to avoid further damage to citizens and the regional economy.
The quota road, he said, was repaired until December 2014, we were practically a year without having this important route of communication for Ensenada and the peninsula.
“It should not be forgotten that when the highway collapsed, traffic flowed to the free Tijuana-Ensenada highway, causing 14 deaths, hundreds of accidents and multi-million dollar losses to all productive activities in the Baja California peninsula,” he lamented .
Zepeda Jacobo considered that such a situation can not be repeated.
“The authorities must be sensitive to the needs of society and anticipate situations totally predictable and preventable, they can no longer plead ignorance, they already know it and, once again, we are remembering it,” he said.

Hotel Burbuja(Bubble)


Bajadock:  Hmmm, count me as a questionable curmudgeon on “glamping”(glamorous camping).  At $200USD/night at Burbuja, am I in an observatory or part of a zoo(privacy)?  Wait, these are “state of the art” bubbles, not just any bubbles, Lawrence Welk.

Just met a couple who stayed at Encuentro‘s little boxes.  They described it as an “anti-resort” getaway from their San Francisco fast paced lifestyle.  $400+USD/night is certainly not my pop-up tent.  

Back to Burbuja, where is the complimentary champagne offer?  C’mon, Bubbles, pop your cork!

+52 (664) 380 6467

info@camperahotel.com

http://camperahotel.com/

 

Ensenada Latitude and Longitude


enslatlon

Bajadock

I’m a fan of maps and directions.  For some of my east coast friends that have not yet visited my home in Ensenada, they are surprised at how far north and east I’m located. My Florida buds always thought I was in the Miami range for longitude.

Ensenada is within a few miles latitude(North/South) of Savannah, Georgia.  Nada town is also within spitting distance of Boise’s longitude(East/West).

One of my surprises moving here 10 years ago was that sunsets are approximately an hour earlier than my previous life in Denver, Colorado.  Ensenada is Pacific Time Zone.  But, we are so far east, that we are geographically in the Mountain Time Zone.  The USA west coast darts toward the east from Northern California.  Though I’m on the coast, my longitude is more than 300 miles east of San Francisco.

Water sports fans are also surprised on their first visits to Southern California and Baja.  Thinking that the water is going to be the same temps as Southern Florida will cause you some major shrinkage, boyz.  Get your wetsuit on!

A fun world tour is to find out what cities are near your same parallel/latitude.  MapFrappe.com is a fun tool that lets you draw lat/long lines around the globe.

ensworldlat

Marrakesh, Jerusalem, Kandahar and Shanghai share the same blue line latitude with me.  Gets me in a travel planning mood.

Ensenada White Christmas


 

sanpedromartirmap

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