The road was curvy, like most of them in Baja California, so it took longer than I expected it to from looking at the map.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
This day seemed to go on for a long time. We left Guerrero Negro (literally "black warrior") towards Loreto.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
The map of Baja California is displayed in almost every restaurant around here, even the McDonalds (Playplace!!!! It was needed!) in Calexico had a huge map on its wall. (And a huge sword fish.) In the beautiful coastal town of San Felipe this was also true:
The waves were a decent size due to a fairly strong wind and it wasn't very hot here for that reason.
Most of the terrain between San Felipe and Guerrero Negro looked like this:
Part of the highway between these two towns hasn't been developed yet; so one and a half hours of driving was on bone-rattling rocky road. We were so glad to see pavement again!
If you want "comida economica" here the option most of the time is "burritos de mancheca". This is like a beef jerky they cook with onion, tomatoes, or peppers sometimes to make it taste better and wrap in a tortilla.
In Guerrero Negro the temperature was really nice and the locals said it was like that year round.
Ben has long held a special place in his heart for Arab refugees. When we heard that an acquaintance of his was teaching what is called the "Chaldean" refugee students in San Diego and requesting books for her classroom, It made sense to visit. In the "El Cajon" district we found Spanish and Arabic intermingled. It was one of Ben's dreams come true! And there were Arabic pastry shops:
The San Diego consulate refuses to give work visas without appointment and since every consulate is different and they don't always answer their phones, sometimes it's tricky to figure out where to go. The San Diego actually answered that we'd have two extra weeks of waiting for an appointment via a Tweet on Twitter. Since Calexico didn't need an appointment, that was where we went.
At the Calexico consulate we found out that immigration had sent Ben with one number different on the work visa code: a number which made the difference of six months! My visa was correct saying that I could work for a year but Ben will have to return to the States within 6 months to correct his. For a fee. After paying a fee for them messing it up; once to the Calexico consulate and once again at the border!
Speaking of which- we got to cross the border!!!
The consulate visit took a good four hours, so we were able to drive to San Felipe, Baja California.
When we heard we would be staying an extra week and a half until the guy ("delegado") who needed to sign our papers got back from vacation, Ben looked for a cabin in the mountains where it was a good 20 degrees cooler than Calexico. The week and a half spent in the mountain community of Running Springs, California was an interesting look into a part of the States I had never visited before: mountains, beautiful views, hiking trails, and really friendly people.
Everyone we met here was super friendly! People walk around the neighborhood ALL the time and you might even see a random group of walkers all meet and start a neighborhood conversation. Our host said it had been too cold a few weeks previously, so perhaps this is a seasonal thing. In Texas, it's hot and everything is built very spread out, so walking happens, but not like I've seen everywhere else in the world.