Riviera del Pacifico


Ristorante La Forchetta

Ristorante La Forchetta had eluded me in my ten years of living in Ensenada until last night, Saturday, 2 December, 2017.  Il migliore!

Decided to make a reservation at Forchetta for 6PM.  Meet and greet was welcoming and easy.  Menus and wine list were delivered and Javier, our server, immediately asked for our beverage order.  Glad to see a good selection of beer here.

In addition to our Indio, Tecate Light and Bohemia Clara beverage selections, I spotted a Sangiovese Cab blend from Casa Magoni.  Ooh, I gotta go to Magoni and discover more as that Sangi was perfect for our decadent food choices.

Forchetta Menu is easy to handle with 3 short pages of straightforward descriptions:salad/appeteasers, pasta and main plates. Wine list is post card size with friendly pricing.

My role was as guest to my VIP visitors this evening and one of my hosts jumped first ordering the antipasto board.  This elegant presentation was a fun prognostication for some taste bud tango-ing tonight.  I have never had fresh basil leaves with an anti plate before.  Will add this to my own home appetizer menu.

Guessing that Forchetta capacity is approx 80, including the small bar and tables out on the patio.  Prefer smaller venues like this.  The Italian art and brickwork provide a romantic Italian getaway for a couple of hours.

Lucky us had Chef Ernesto come out to welcome us and have us ask him for any help or suggestions to enjoy our evening.  He suggested the marinated portobello as another appeteaser and we were amazed at the flavors and textures of this elevated serving.  This combined with the garlic bread “trains” would make for a grand meal.

Our seafood and chicken pasta/risotto plates were served steaming hot and flavors were full of love from the chefs.  One of my VIP hosts mentioned that if this restaurant were in his home town, he would dine here at least every other week.  I’ll take that hint and promise to stick my fork into more of Forchetta’s tastes soon.

Ristorante La Forchetta gets our coveted 5 Chianti bottle candles(out of 5 possible) award.  This was one of the two best dinners of 2017 for the Lusty Napkin of ‘Nada.  Warm atmosphere, attentive service, excellent food presentation and bountiful flavors have Forchetta rocking. Can’t wait to explore more of the menu.

Ristorante La Forchetta is located on Blancarte, a few meters from Costero Blvd.  Forchetta Facebook

646-178-3408 and noticed that they are open for breakfast at 7AM.


San Diego Border Wall

Ensenada El Sauzal Road Collapse Warning

Bajadock:  K105 is just north of Las Rosas Hotel on north side of El Sauzal. Two maps below are my added editorials to original El Vigia article.


Given the wear and tear of the coastal strip at kilometer 105 of the Tijuana-Ensenada highway and the risk that such erosion could damage the road, hoteliers in this city requested the prompt action of the authorities.

Víctor Celis Dueñas, president of the Association of Hoteliers of Ensenada, informed that in that place it is observed how the tides eroded the coastal area, wear that already affected the roadway and is a few meters from reaching the asphalt roadway.

Erosion worries
He indicated that specialists in the construction branch were asked for a technical opinion on the matter and they indicated that protection works should be carried out immediately to prevent erosion from reaching the road and prevent vehicular traffic from being affected.

“We already had the experience in 2013 of being cut off from the highway, and although in a smaller dimension, in this case one of the main accesses to the city could be affected,” the hotel manager said.

He added that it was already investigated who would be responsible for carrying out the protection works and it would have to be the XXII Ensenada Town Hall, since that section of the road is under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

He noted that in addition to initiating work to stop the erosion should be placed warning signs to prevent motorists could park in an area of ​​the boundary that can collapse at any time.

Fat Chick in Pink Leotard

Years ago, a friend of mine, who was not in great physical shape, poked fun at an obese woman in a pink leotard, ambling through a park as we drove by.  Yes, she was large and it was a struggle for her to move beyond snail’s pace.

“Hey, she is out there doing something about it!”, was my retort to my buddy.

As the dumb jock of my neighborhood, I have a bunch of experience in athletic training, exercise physiology and physical therapy.  “What’s the best exercise equipment(aka “latest gimmick”) should I get to start my new exercise program?” is a question I have heard hundreds of times.


That’s right, WANT TO, is your best exercise equipment.  If one is serious about reaching a goal or improving, your desire and focus will get you there.  If you are unserious and unfocused, your result will be the blur of scattered energy.  LIKE TO is a different universe than WANT TO.

Photo above is the hill that connect our local Campo 9 neighborhood to Colonia Puerto Escondido, my little hood.  The complete hill goes from sea level at Crocodile Cove to 850 feet and is approx 2 miles in distance.  But the stretch from the casa chocolate for approx 1,000 feet(300 meters) is a 19% average grade that will kick your bunz if you do repeats on it.

Got in 8 repeats and the complete workout had me just short of 2,000 vertical feet in climbing Wednesday.  Thrilled that my seven time surgically repaired knee still performs, although it’s creaky in old age.

The fat chick in the leotard is as inspiring to me as a few of the world class athletes with whom I have enjoyed training.

What are you wanting to do today?



New Gasoline Brands in Ensenada

Bajadock: Recent sighting saw regular gasoline prices at four different Pemex stations of .20 mnp.  The trick is still to find which pumps give you a full liter poured for a liter paid.  Saw this liter proofing device(photo right) at a station in Chapultepec Sunday.  Did not bother to ask for a test.


Of the 50 gas stations that exist in the municipality of Ensenada, around seven have changed the image of PEMEX to another with their own brand, informed the president of the Association of Gasolineros, Juan Manuel Arellano.

The modifications in the different stations are due to the Energy Reform, which promised a significant benefit for the final consumer, that is, said the leader, “for the newspaper’s motorist”.

He warned that no buyer will see significant changes in the performance of gasoline but there will be competition of cents, that everyone will notice gradually, and insisted that they do not expect a reduction of 12 or 13 pesos.

“Make it very clear to the public! not because those brands enter will lower the price but it will be the same but with a difference of cents, between 15 or 20 below, “he estimated.

The representative took a risk, and did not doubt that the price per liter of gas reached 18 pesos at the end of the year.

He compared the prices of the fuel with those of the LP gas and mentioned that although a few years ago the tank cost 400 pesos now round in the thousand pesos, the increases are unstoppable.

“Everyone will trust the brand that best convinces them and each one will decide with what brand it stays,” he said.

The brands that entered Ensenada are ARCO and PB and in process are Chevron, Costco and Shell.

Employees remain the same.

Personnel of one of these new gas stations denounced that, while the design of the expended ones improved, for them there are no benefits neither in salary, training, much less incentives.

They assured that the salary they receive weekly for working eight hours a day and six days a week is only 850 pesos, but the tips are an extra.

“They just gave us a jumpsuit and … envelopes! they put us to work without explaining anything, “said one worker.

In United States stations gasoline pumps are automatic, however, in Mexico there are more than half a million employees who live from this activity, so companies in the country are far from doing without them.

San Diego Tunnel Rats


It’s a name only a bureaucrat could love: Confined Spaces Entry Team.

Squad members call themselves something else: Tunnel Rats.

For the past seven years, they’ve been going underground to locate, map and seal off the tunnels used by cartels to smuggle drugs from Mexico to San Diego and beyond.

Theirs is a little-known part of the high-stakes hide-and-seek game that plays out daily along the border. While much of the attention, especially lately, has been focused on walls and what happens above ground, more than 80 tunnels have been found in California and Arizona since 2011.

San Diego is a hotbed for a lot of this. Warehouses constructed close to the border in Otay Mesa and Tijuana provide camouflage: an out-of-view place for a tunnel to start and another for it to end.

It’s also where the clay soil is especially good for this kind of thing — not as soft and collapse-likely as it is to the west, and not as rocky and hard as it is to the east.

“This,” said Lance LeNoir, gesturing at the warehouses and the ground between them, “is what makes San Diego grand central for the long, sophisticated tunnels.”

Discovered in December 2009, it stretches 762 feet from a warehouse in Tijuana toward a warehouse on the U.S. side, just west of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The tunnel is 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide, large by tunneling standards, and 100 feet below the surface in some spots, sloped to allow groundwater to flow out of the way.

The traffickers had been working on it for about 18 months and had not yet finished when it was discovered after a tip from an informant. A dozen people were arrested inside.

Now what’s left of the tunnel, about 30 feet, is used for training by the Tunnel Rats. They practice rescues and test their equipment there.

It’s where they take government officials and the media when they want to show the kind of subterranean activity they are up against.

During a recent visit, LeNoir was asked whether he believed, at that moment, someone somewhere was digging a tunnel.

“Of course they are,” he said. “Of course.”

A Nod to Vietnam

The Tunnel Rats borrow their name from the Vietnam War forces who went underground in search of enemy fighters, sometimes engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

“They had it a lot tougher than we do,” LeNoir said. “We use the name in homage to them.”

 (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

They wear T-shirts with “Tunnel Rat” on the back, above a drawing of a fierce-looking rodent carrying a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Below the drawing is a Latin phrase, also from Vietnam, that translates into “Not worth a rat’s a–.”

Several of the team members are military veterans, although none is old enough to have served in Vietnam, and their uniforms resemble those worn by soldiers: camouflage pants, helmets, vests, guns.

Team members volunteer for the assignment, and to join they first have to crawl through a two-foot wide pipe for about 20 yards. That helps weed out agents who are claustrophobic and maybe don’t know it, and it also gets them ready for what they’ll face in the field.

Increasingly, the tunnels are getting narrower and shorter — quicker to build that way, and cheaper. One found last year was only 14 inches wide.

Getting inside the Galvez Tunnel is simple by comparison. Visitors climb down 70 feet of metal ladders, installed in a concrete shaft built after the underground smuggling route was discovered. It intersects the tunnel in a spot located between the primary and secondary border fences.

The air feels heavy at the bottom, and warm. Overhead lights illuminate the sides of the tunnel, which still bear the tool marks of those who built it.

Galvez gets its name from a street in Tijuana that runs next to the warehouse where the tunnel originated. It’s considered “sophisticated” because of its length and some of the things found inside it.

But “sophisticated” is a relative term.

“These tunnels wouldn’t meet any mining or construction standards that we are familiar with,” LeNoir said. If wood is found inside shoring up the walls and roof, it’s not because of a devotion to structural integrity, he said, but because a collapse happened while they were working and they had to fix it

“When you see 2-by-4s attached to plywood with drywall screws, you know you’re not looking at something that’s been carefully engineered,” he said.

Here’s what team members sometimes call the tunnels: “Holes in the ground at significant depth.”

What does impress them, though, is the persistence of the tunnelers, who aren’t always there by choice, conscripted at gunpoint by the cartels. Impressed by the workload. (Multiple eight-hour shifts, sometimes all day, using power drills, picks and shovels. They eat and sleep on site.) Impressed by the dirt removal. (It’s put it in sandbags and stored in the warehouses, or if there’s an empty room, just piled there.)

“They’re willing to dig and dig and dig without really knowing where they’re going to end up,” LeNoir said. “You have to respect their imagination and their audacity.”

Deja Vu

In our high-tech age, people sometimes think finding tunnels should be easy. Just stick motion-detectors in the ground, they say. Just use ground-penetrating radar.

It’s not that simple. Many such devices are susceptible to interference from passing cars and trucks and from underground power lines. They’re set off inadvertently by animals or the wind.

Still, the hunt for a silver bullet continues. The eight border wall prototypes recently built in Otay Mesa are being tested now for their ability to, among other things, deter tunneling. Each is supposed to include sensors that will detect someone approaching the wall or trying to breach it.

Until that kind of solution arrives, investigators usually find tunnels the old-fashioned way. They patrol the border. They talk to warehouse owners and occupants and ask them to report anything unusual or suspicious.

The Tunnel Rats are part of the Drug Tunnel Task Force, which also includes representatives from Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was formed in 2003 as officials noticed that even though most drugs are driven across the border at ports of entry, hidden inside cargo trucks and other vehicles, tunnels were becoming a major player.

At the Calexico one — the first time traffickers are known to have purchased land and built a house on it to conceal a tunnel — agents found more than a ton of marijuana. That was a small find: Other tunnels have led them to caches of more than 20 tons.

Originally, the underground team was focused on smugglers who used existing storm drains and sewer systems to move people across the border illegally. As more and more cross-border tunnels were discovered — 13 in the San Diego sector alone in 2006 — the team began focusing on that. They developed skills in geology, air monitoring and emergency extractions.

After a tunnel is found and cleared of smugglers, the Tunnel Rats are called in to check it for evidence and map it. They make sure the air is safe and the ground stable, and then crawl in with tape measures, compasses and lasers.

Then concrete is poured into the tunnels at various places on the U.S. side — “remediation” that has cost the federal government about $10 million since 2007.

Team members said what they like most about the work is the variety. “Every tunnel is different,” several of them said.

Their work ebbs and flows from year to year. Through the end of August, seven tunnels — three operational and four not yet finished — had been discovered in the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, 2016, according to the Border Patrol. In the eights weeks so far this year: zero.

Over the past 10 years, the number of tunnels discovered has fluctuated between one and nine.

Sometimes the work has a feeling of deja vu. Officials on the Mexican side of the border don’t always have the resources to seal tunnels there.

At least eight times in recent years, the Border Patrol says, newly discovered tunnels turned out to be old ones. The smugglers started in Mexico using what was already there and when they came to the concrete on the U.S. side, they dug around it.

Until they were found again, another round of hide-and-seek that shows no signs of ending.

tunnel rat T shirts

Parking Meter Editorial


With regard to the new occurrence of the mayor, last week we asked him if he agrees with the return of the parking meters to the downtown area of ​​the city.  7 out of 10 say no.  Thank you all for expressing your opinion.

Any administrator knows that to improve the financial conditions of a business or an organization there are only three soups: increase income, reduce expenses or sell assets.

True … the town hall is practically bankrupt and already tried to sell some properties, without success by the way.

Now it tries to increase the income via parking meters which is strange, because few measures of collection prosper in electoral times. If the PRI has it complicated in 2018, those who approve or reject these measures will think about it more than once, particularly because of the number of votes that they would be leaving to report to the central offices.

Nor has it been said what will happen to those who do not pay for the parking lot … with so much cars with Anapromex plates, who will they press?  The fine would be like the calls to mass. Immobilizers?  Cranes? More annoyance and less votes.

What they still do not try to control the City is to reduce the huge amount of expenses, particularly in the hyperinflated payroll that all citizens pay.

And it is not exaggeration … it is so inflated that it even reaches us to sponsor the escorts of a lot of people who do not deserve them.

It seems a matter of contradictions but in reality they are only numbers: If the city council does not have money to pay, for example, the escorts of Rosarito Eligio Valencia’s ruler, it is necessary to force the Ensenadenses to cooperate with the cause each time they are parked in the middle. It’s not politics…it’s mathematics.

Mexican Funky Phone Prefixes End


Say goodbye to telephone prefix confusion: all phone calls in Mexico — mobile or fixed — will be made using 10 digits, and no prefixes will be required.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) announced the change this week, but it won’t take effect until August 3, 2019.

The prefixes being phased out include the 01 entered before long-distance calls or non-geographical numbers (think 01-800 numbers), and 044 and 045, used to make local and long-distance calls, respectively, to a mobile phone from a landline.

A long distance call from abroad to a mobile number in Mexico will no longer need the number 1 before the area code.

The IFT said telecommunication service providers have more than a year and a half before the new system becomes active, enough time to adjust their networks and systems for proper implementation of the new 10-digit domestic dialing.

The agency said the system will allow for a more streamlined and standardized dialing procedure and a more efficient administration of numeric resources.

It will also save a lot of confusion for anyone unfamiliar with the current system.

Loncheria Lupita Los Globos

When you go segunda shopping in Ensenada at Los Globos, get on your sensory overload with a visit to Loncheria Lupita. Turn on your Google Nose app:

Five out of five molcajetes de salsa award for Loncheria Lupita at Los Globos Segundas.

Ensenada Interactive Map

Extra Bonus is Oroginal(hey, that’s how it is spelled on the map!) Polla a la Leña where you get two plump fire roasted birds plus all of the extras for 110mnp.  That’s less than $6usd, Bubba.


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