Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 85

I skipped another run today as I am still trying to recover. Instead I went to a cafe called It's A Grind in Lickl Itly for a coffee and piece of cake. I ended up staying for ages surfing and downloading some music (legally).

Once my belly was full of coffee, I went back to the hotel to discuss plans with the chief and then I shot off to Ocean Beach. Paulo went into town to do some shopping. He was a bit concerned because he had to buy gifts for all of his fam and so far had - nothing!

I laid in the sun for about an hour then had a gander around Ocean Beach. Newport Pizza looked good so I stopped in for lunch where the pizza slices are all named after famous people. There is the Chuck Norris (cheese), MC Hammer (pepperoni), Donald Trump (everything), Hulk (greek) and of course the Ron Jeremy (meat lovers). It seemed like a really cool spot - there was a fair bit of stuff on draft as well and like the sign read "No crap on tap".

I drove back to the hotel for a Papi and then hooked up with Paulo. He had managed to go power shopping and found presents for his entire family in only a few hours. Fair play.

Although the afternoon was getting on, we decided to go to Tijuana on the trolley. Mostly just to say that we were there.

The trolley to Tijuana arrived around 6pm and took about forty five minutes to get to the border. We walked straight through and we were both equally unimpressed. A total dive. We walked past some stalls, crossed a bridge and were quickly in the center of town. We walked down Avenida Revolucion and were approached / accosted by loads of punters. Some wanted us to look in their shop and spend some money while others were trying to lure us in to avail of cheap women. Since this is a bit of a family blog, I won't repeat what they were saying to try and entice us in but needless to say it didn't work. The sun was dropping in the sky and we were both feeling a bit edgy about things. Then a truck passed us with police men carrying semi automatic machine guns. That was it. We decided that we should chuck the proverbial (u-turn) and head back to the US. Wrap it up and exit stage left.

The other side of the street wasn't any better and we were actually approached more but had a bit less hassle making our way back to the bridge. Once there, I managed a few snaps.

As we were coming back down off the bridge, two police men stopped us and wanted to see our IDs. It seemed like a fairly reasonable request but I couldn't help feeling a bit anxious. I had to show the entire contents of my camera bag while Paulo had to empty all of his pockets. But, in fairness, they seemed to be more curious than anything else. I spoke in my best Spanish and had a conversation with one of them. I told him about our road trip and that we were staying in San Diego. He wanted to know what I did for a living and how I learned Spanish. I explained things to him as best I could. Then he asked me about Ireland because he realised that we both live there. I told him that it was beautiful and very green but that it rained a lot. He laughed. By now the other cop had finished searching Paulo's things and was shouting rather loudly Irlanda! Irlanda! He also kept saying U2, Bono! U2, Bono! Having made a couple of new friends, we were allowed to go on our way - thankfully. I'm sure that things could just as easily have gone pear-shaped.

We walked over another bridge, back into the US and we were hit - a serious queue going through immigration.

But it moved quickly enough and they let us both back in without too much hassle.

We went back to San Diego and called into the local English Pub in Lickl Itly called Princess. They had some great beers on tap but they were very prizy. And the staff was terrible. Still, we managed to knock back a few pints. They rang the bell for last call at 11:00 and by 11:15 they were giving us grief for not having our pints finished. Of course we decided to start drinking more slowly. They were really obnoxious as well saying things like, "guys, you have to be done - now!" We continued to ignore them and the waitress as well who was yelling from across the bar that we had to pay our bill. The money was on the table but since she was too lazy to come and get it we didn't move. Fuck them. We were very unimpressed.

Then, it was the usual - back to the room and crash time.

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