(October 6 – written by Dave)
We had a relaxing day here in Ensenada – a quick internet search told us that there was a highly rated Mexican brekkie joint just around the corner from our house – how could we refuse. And the beach is only 4 blocks away – again, how could we refuse. We had a great brekkie, and then walked to the beach to watch the surfers. Later we hit the mall for free WiFi and a coffee. We had the chance to look up a couple things that we’d been wondering about in our short time in Mexico.
License plates on cars in Baja – They are required. But oddly, there seems to be about a 50/50 ratio of California and Baja plates. The Baja plates seem to mostly be current with current stickers. California plates are more often not current or have expired tags. It seems that you can register your car in California, not renew the license and sort of plead out it if you get booked in Mexico. You would rarely be pulled over for expired plates in Mexico anyway – according to our host. Mexican registration is quiet expensive and much more expensive than in California. This all sort of explains the number of California plates we’ve seen. (I took a few photos at the mall today – my stats are completely unofficial – gleamed from the same unofficial car park survey).
I know that TV shows and movies blur out license plates – woops, I hope no one gets busted for this post! I can’t imagine that Mexican Police are reading, or would care about my unofficial carpark survey. Only one plate below is valid.
Tacos Al Pastor – one of our readers suggested that we try the Tacos Al Pastor. We posted the other night that we’d had delicious tacos called Tacos Abodada. Last night we had what we thought were Tacos Abodada again but when we got home and looked at the photo I took of the menu, there were no Tacos Abodada listed. Well, it turns out that Tacos Abodada and Tacos Al Pastor are exactly the same thing – they are simply called something different in different parts of Mexico. Central Mexico they are called Tacos Al pastor, in Baja they are called Abodada.
The story of these tacos is pretty interesting actually. Lebanese immigration to Mexico started in the 19th century back when Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Lebanese brought the humble kebab with them, morphing it into a Mexican style taco. Today, the meat (pork) is marinated in a combination of dried chillies, spices and pineapple. In some places, achiote (Mexican spice paste) is also added. The skewered meat is topped with a piece of fresh onion, a pineapple and then slowly cooked with a gas flame on a vertical rotisserie. When ready, the meat is thinly sliced off the spit with a large, and scary looking, knife – read, lots of crispy bits. (Anyone hungry yet?).
We head south again tomorrow – with another short day planned to a campground in Santo Tomas. I hope the campground is nice (or at least not too “un-nice”). Also, for readers who remember our old friend Frederik, you will be interested to know that we may see him tomorrow. He was supposed to fly back to Italy today but the airline he was flying went out of business so he’s decided to ride down Baja – I know – we’ve said our last goodbyes to Frederik a few times now. Anyway, we are hoping to see him tomorrow or if not, maybe in the next few days. There is basically one road from here to La Paz (if you want paved/sealed roads) so he can only pass us silently if we aren’t paying attention. No word on his board shorts and if they are still on the trip with him.