Cycling to Ensenada :: Time for a Break

Riding into Ensenada on Highway 3, local cyclists ahead of us.

We left the beautiful Rancho Santa Maria Teresa behind as we continued down Highway 3 toward Ensenada.  As we neared the city the quality of the highway improved and we found ourselves riding, once again, on nice, wide, shoulders.  The weather and the views were spectacular.

We had planned on staying in Ensenada for a few days, to hide out from the forecast of rain on the way, to explore the city and to take care of that pesky business of filing taxes (*blech*) but we ended up staying for a few weeks.  Beyond the fact that I had been having some indecision on whether or not long-distance cycle touring was for me, a couple of unexpected things had popped up back home that required us to have a consistent and daily internet connection.  We decided to just stay put so that I could take a break from the road and bounce back from my recent doubts and insecurities as well as allow us the time to take care of all our business while we had a stable internet connection.  We’ve since come to the conclusion that sometimes you have to be willing to blow the travel budget if it means it will help you to recover and it keeps you rolling down the road in good spirits versus returning home (not that there’s anything wrong with returning home if it’s the right thing to do).

Our first glimpse of the ocean from Highway 3, heading into Ensenada

Our first view of the ocean from Highway 3

View of Ensenada, entering the city.

Entering Ensenada

Found on top of a bridge entering Ensenada

We found this on top of a bridge while cycling into town.

Riding into Ensenada

Cycling into Ensenada.

Kai had researched places to stay in Ensenada before we left Tecate so we rode straight to the “America Motel” without checking out other hotels in town.  This quaint little place offered clean and spacious accommodations and a kitchenette at less than half the price of the hotels just a few blocks down in the “tourist section” of town.  The owners actually live in the hotel so they are always around to keep an eye on things and the police station is across the street so we feel really safe leaving our bicycles and gear in the room.

Signing in to Hotel America's ledger.  Cash only & your signature, please.

Signing the ledger at Motel America. Your signature & cash only, please.

Our hotel room, Ensenada, Baja

Our hotel room, Ensenada, Baja

View from our kitchen window in our hotel room, nice to see them drying our sheets & towels!

View from our hotel kitchen window. It’s nice to have air-dried towels and sheets.

Waiting out the rain in our hotel in Ensenada

Waiting out the rain day in our room.

Filtering water in our hotel kitchen, Ensenada

Filtering water and making dinner in our hotel room.

Vent over the stove in our hotel room,  a simple hole with a cap.

Our stove venting system: hole punched through the roof. When it rains it leaks.

The only place we can get wi-fi in our hotel room, Ensenada.

Siting in the window of our room, where we get the best wi-fi signal.

Our hotel, Hotel America

Hotel America

As usual, we spent some time wandering around town and investigating the local food markets, eventually finding several natural foods markets and bakeries that offered good bread.  I found my addiction of choice while in Mexico: empanadas de manzana (apple turnovers).  Yum!

Interior of Hogaza, Hogaza

“Hogaza, Hogaza” bakery

Day old bread 1/2 price, Hogaza Hogaza

Half price day old bread.

Organic veg/fruit market, Ensenada

“Pares and Pears”, Market selling organic produce.

Wall Hanging, Ensenada

Mural in Ensenada

Interior La Milpa, Ensenada

“La Milpa”, Natural Food Store

Ades, our soy milk option in the stores.

The local supermacado (supermarket), where we find our soy milk.

View from streets of Ensenada.


Hotel & streets in tourist section.

Hotel & streets in the tourist section of Ensenada.

Streets of Ensenada

Streets of Ensenada

Cruise ship, Ensenada

A cruise ship in the distance. Ensenada is a port town.

Ensenada streets

Sometimes you have to “alto” and assess.

Our time in Ensenada has offered us a good break from the road, allowing us time to assess and reorganize.  After drowning ourselves in our computers, late night movies on the tele and a semblance of “home life”, we’ve had plenty of time off the bicycles.  Tomorrow we happily and whole-heartedly hit the pavement again.  Time for us to climb more mountains (both the physical & the mental).

Our route from Tecate to Ensenada.


Next stop :: Carnaval in Ensenada

5 comments to Cycling to Ensenada :: Time for a Break

  • Mel

    A friend showed this to me. My husband and I ride a tandem. We do some long rides 50-70 some days. You two are awesome!!

  • Hi,

    just saw that you’re cycling down the Baja. I was cycling from Vegas down the Baja in January (check out some of our pics:

    We had a brilliant time 🙂

    Some highlights you shouldn’t miss:
    – camp next to the lagoon in San Ignacio (you have to leave the highway).
    – camp on one of the beaches on the Bahia de Conception (south of Mulege).
    – Leave the MX1 just south of Loreto and head into the mountains. You’ll pass San Javier (really nice), getting to MX53 and back to the MX1 in Ciudad Insurgentes. Dirt track and therefore no traffic. Kind of similar to the MX5 between Puertocitos and Chapala (just more sandy parts).

    Enjoy the Baja.

    Travel Nerd (currently in Praha).

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