Waking up in the hotel room, my body was achy, we haven’t exercised in weeks. Sitting on a motorcycle all day, eating and drinking afterwards were not easy on our bodies.
We slowly got out of bed and opened up the curtains to embrace the blinding rays of the Los Angeles sun. I was feeling good with a side of anxiety.
The good was coming from being in LA with my best friend, taking on this challenging adventure together, experiencing new cities and meeting new people. These are the things that make me feel alive.
The anxiety I was feeling was the fact that I had to go through the Tijuana border. The shit people have been feeding our heads concerning the border crossing has ruined my day before it’s even begun. With Neil telling me not to worry, all I could think was, “how do you know I don’t need to worry? You’ve never done this before either”
After we both had a shower, we felt more awake, slightly less stressed and got on with our packing. We had friends heading to Long Beach for the day who wanted to meet up with us, but we declined the invitation because we needed to hit the road.
After we packed up, went and got our predictable continental breakfast. This time we had frozen waffles and peanut butter, this surprisingly was an upgrade to what we’ve been eating. After stuffing our face, we geared up and said goodbye to LA, not before stopping at Long Beach for a quick look. Honestly, Long Beach is pretty, but we’ve seen much more beautiful beaches in our previous days. After our sudden awe moment, we headed out.
The Tijuana border was only three hours away. My nerves were getting the best of me. I had no idea what to expect, except for what I’ve seen in movies, and that didn’t make me feel less stressed. I’ve been to Mexico, but that’s flying in on a plane to Cancun a couple of times. This time I’m riding my motorcycle through a Mexican border; the experience is slightly different. I’ve encouraged Neil to make this trip with me, even though he thought it was somewhat insane with me being a new rider. The conversation wouldn’t go well if I made us stop now.
During our ride, we saw some ‘beach-like’ campgrounds. We haven’t stayed at a beach campground yet, and we mentioned a few times on this trip that it was something we wanted to do. This was literally our last chance to do a beach campout since we’re not going to camp in Mexico.
Being only two hours into our ride, but wanting to experience a seaside campsite, we decided not to go to the border that day. Instead, we both agreed to find a campsite and do the border in the morning. I rode up to a campground and asked for a site. The girl I spoke too was snooty, she responded to me like I was an idiot. Like, why would I even attempt to get a spot there? Anyways, long story short, they had no space.
Ten minutes earlier, we had ridden past another seaside campground called Carlsbad, so we thought we’d go back and try there instead.
We had a hell of a time trying to find the entrance to the campground. We did a lot of u-turns and turning around as there is a large barricade separating the opposite side of the road, and we couldn’t tell where the entrance was. Eventually, we found it, but not short of a pain in our ass.
We rode in, and I asked the much more pleasant lady if they had an opening for oceanfront camping, and they did, we paid, and went into our site.
Setting up a tent on sand is almost unachievable. After fighting to keep the tent standing, our bellies began to grumble. The foreseen discussion of food arose. Also, we smelled terrible, like, our clothes did. I suggested that we also find a laundromat and wash them while we eat.
We are both considerably strict when it comes to our riding gear. We wear a proper jacket with armour, boots, pants and helmet on at all times. However, the weather was painfully hot and had us both wanting to ride naked. Riding a motorcycle naked is frowned upon; alternatively, we wore all our safety gear except for our armoured jackets.
As we were riding, Neil in front, I was admiring his look. He was wearing this Hawaiian flower T-shirt, had on a white helmet and cradling his white and orange KTM. He looked very Beachy cruising through the streets under the hot sun. The light breeze while we were riding kept us comfortable. I notice that you find yourself quickly fitting in with the rest of the beach bums here. Nobody likes to wear clothes in South California, and now we know why.
We made it into town without a scratch, feeling good, refreshed, and we had the feeling of being badass. I went into the laundromat and was in search of a place to change out of my riding clothes, but had no luck. Next door, there was a Mexican eatery, and I used their restroom to change.
I made it back into the laundromat, purchased a small thing of tide soap from their vending machine, got some loose change and started to wash. We quickly got out of there to find dinner.
We walked around a bit but not too far off track as we needed to go back and put our clothing in the dryer as well. All we could find was Mexican food, which is a commonality of food in this area being so close to the border. We love Mexican food like the rest of you all, it’s just that we will be in Mexico the following day and wanted to save our craving for tacos and quesadillas for when we get there. But, Mexican food it was.
Neil ordered chicken, rice and beans and I ordered a tortilla bowl with salad and chicken. After we finished our dinner, we went back to place our laundry in the dryer and shopped around for a little longer in the shops, found a gift for one of our boys, purchased some firewood, wine and snacks for later.
We went back, dressed in our clean clothes, and then back to the campsite. The sun was starting to set, and this was my cue to open up the bottle of wine. Sipping wine, and thinking about how we’ll be in Mexico tomorrow had us feeling accomplished. My nerves have subsided a bit, still fearful of the unknowns, I told myself that being scared wasn’t going to make the experience any better. Taking this to bed with me had me relaxed and excited for the following day.