|Steve and Pat|
We boarded a bus at 9:00am with our guide, Larissa, and our bus driver, Martine, for our trip to La Bufadora and a city tour of Ensenada. Larissa explained that Ensenada means “bay surrounded by mountains” and that fishing, farming, and tourism are the three largest industries. We saw round fishing nets in the lagoon that looked small but are actually about 500 feet. One of the main catches is tuna, which is mainly sold to Japan for sushi.
Our first stop was La Bufadora. After disembarking the bus, we walked down through several streets of shops and restaurants which were closed.
As we got closer, we heard a loud bellowing sound, and then saw the water blasting high up the cliff before receding and leaving a momentary rainbow. This phenomenon only occurs in two other places, Hawaii and Australia. It is caused by air being forced into a cave by waves and then it is released when the water recedes. The height and sound is based on the level of the tide, sometimes blasting 80 feet high. We watched this happen over and over again.
On our way back to the bus, some of the shops had opened. Several people stopped to enjoy pina coladas served in pineapples, churros (crispy cinnamon treats), and grilled clams. There was a lot of shopping to be done, but very little time. The vendors were very willing to negotiate since we had a bus to catch and couldn’t haggle for long.
Our next stop was at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural and Convention Center. This was a huge opulent casino and hotel for the rich and famous in the 1930’s. It was managed by Jack Dempsey, the boxer. The list of stars who visited included Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth, Myrna Loy, and Lana Turner. The building has had many ups and down, including becoming a Mexican military base in the 1940’s, a beachfront hotel in the 1950’s and a haven for vandals in the 1960’s. It has been beautifully restored and is now used for community events, weddings, etc.
Our next stop was the shopping, restaurant and cruise port district. On the way there, we saw a line of soldiers unfolding the huge 500 pound flag of Mexico that can be seen from almost all parts of Ensenada. Larissa pointed out Hussongs’ Cantina, where the first margarita was made, and several other restaurants, shops and the fish market. After that we were free to explore on our own for a while. Some of us had lunch, some went to the fish market for the last chance to get shrimp at incredibly low prices, some shopped, and some managed to do all
Back at the campground, we ended our day with a delicious potluck dinner. Since we will be departing Mexico in two days, we all needed to use up our chicken, potatoes, eggs, hot dogs, and other assorted items that will not be allowed into the U.S.
After the potluck, we ended the evening playing our last rounds of Mexican Bingo for this trip.
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