Sunday, October 12, 2008

san Elijo State Beach to Mexican Border 54 miles

The morning breaks early..
The joggers start at 6am (can you believe it!!) No respect for the elderly who want a lie in..
Jim and I rise and get set for the day. Break camp for the last time and decide to go and have breakfast together before we take on the day.
A young guy came to the camp last night to introduce himself. He lived in the town and had just completed his Canada to Mexico border trip yesterday. Came down to see if we needed anything. I dont know how he knew we were there but I suspect he was so full of his trip.. he didnt want it to end. I think i know how he feels....
It was he who told me about the great breakfast place.
Over we go, and as we enter this crowd of guys say... 'Where you coming from?' We say 'Vancouver' and they exchange to each other 'didnt I tell Ya' RESPECT!!
Great breakfast!
Jim and I decide to say our goodbyes, in case we do not see each other on the trip today. He has his stuff to do.
I head off apace down the road. Feeling elated and excited about the day ahead.
There are so many joggers on the bike path its like there is a marathon going on, Ladies in there shorts and T shirts, all carrying these big bum bags with water and the like. I cant imagine what is in there. They look like a SWAT team. But its probably like their handbags. Full of junk and change...

I thought all the climbs were behind me but entering Le Jolla (pronounced Le Hoya) there's a 3 mile climb about 6%. Im passed by many many road bikers. You get the impression they are trying to impress... fly by.. then run out of legs and slow. But great support... guy goes by.. tips me on the back and says 'awesome climbing man, fully loaded'. I get near the top and a biker who has stopped shouts ' thats great climbing buddy, with all those bags'. Its enough to lift you over the crest. Also guys going down on the other side shout encouragement when they see me.
This has to be one of the great things about this trip. The support and the encouragement i have got.A true bonus!!
Over the top and spinning now through La Hoya on the outskirts of San Diego a nice area.
As I wend my way around, following my direction book up hills and down dales I join a short bike path that brings me out into a quiet estate of houses and as I slow to check my direction a voice comes from a garden. 'Where you coming from?'.. 'Vancouver!'.. Awesome!!
I stop for a chat and in the conversation I say I am surprised by the support and encouragement I am getting, especially from people like him. He says ' well man, your a traveller, you deserve encouragement'. I tell him I thought all the climbs were behind me and I refer to the climb at La Hoya. He says , I know, I saw ya'. So he knew I would come by some time later and waited for me. What about that?
On I go into San Diego. What a beautifully situated city. Lots of water, outdoor life. A great place to live from what I can see.
Im sitting at a light and this guy in a pick up leans out the window.. ' Where you coming from?' 'Vancouver' I say... 'Didnt I see you in Oregan a couple of weeks ago?' ' You could have!' 'Way to go man!!' ... and he is gone...
No time to dawdle, the border beacons..
In my enthusiasm, I lose my way in National City. Its like driving down the North Wall in Dublin only miles longer. I miss my turn and have to go into a Wendy burgers place to find my way.
I meet some State Troopers who put me right. Soon Im barrelling down through Chula Vista. Getting distinctly Mexican now. And on into San Ysidro. I didnt ask for a pronunciation here. Just go... your nearly there........I see the huge city ahead, of small houses and soon enter a conjested town full of money changer places.I know im close now.
My map holder has fallen apart now and my directions are confined to my back pocket. which means I have to keep stopping to refer to them....
Pass under US 805 freeway...right on Camino del la Plaza... cross the interstate 5.... and take the first left.. follow the signs for bus and taxi parking ...
Then I see it ... like the M50 Toll Plaza except its got MEXICO above it.... WOW!! Im Here!!
I cant believe it... I cant be here ..after all this time.. 37 days with two days rest. 1984 miles.
But I must be .. there is a barrier says I cant go any further.. 100's of people streaming into Mexico on foot through barriers.. it has to be true.
And in a strange way its an anti-climax......


Amanda said...

Wow John, what an amazing day for you..I can only imagine how you are feeling right now. You have had good and bad days, but you always turned the bad ones on their head and moved onwards and upwards..many lessons can be learned from reading your blog.
You have done amazingly well,you must have discovered so much about yourself on this trip and hopefully you have made many lasting friendships also.
We will meet up soon to have a good chat,roars of congrats from all here...time to open the bubbly!! :)

mary said...

its goodbye to the blog and well done to all your bike trips and welcome home at last

eileen said...

Hi John
Congratulations, you've done it. It certainly was not easy but you kept going. We're proud of you brother. Hope to see you very soon. Much love x

John said...

Thanks Amanda
Getting home Tuesday hope to see you soon.
Ah Mary.
Nice to hear from you. See you soon
Thanks again. Ill be home Tuesday morning