Babylon By Bus

I was fortunate to enjoy the beautiful weekend in Baja, both the eating at Laja and Manzanilla and Tacos El Fenix (thanks for the tip, Masa Assassin) and Sunday’s festival of shellfish and wine on the bay, which brought out many some great chefs of Mexico along with many farmers of interesting and delicious shellfish. (I think we even found a couple new shellfish to rotate onto our menu.)

Apparently all the gangs were home with swine flu, because yet again we saw no hint of trouble.

The big revelation — and I can’t believe that it took me so long in life to find out about this — is that the easiest and most pleasant way to get to and from Ensenada is by bus. A company called ABC runs nice charter buses every half hour from the border to Ensenada, for about 8 bucks each way. They show movies (southbound was a Mexican picture from the 50′s centered around gridiron football, singing and dancing; northbound, Babylon AD). It’s 90 minutes. It’s an awesome service.

Our transportation was to walk to the trolley, take the trolley to the border, walk across the border, going right at the Tijuana tourist office and then walking into the Plaza Viva shopping center (to its back left corner, sort of). Bought our tickets and they took us right to Ensenada. The first stop in Ensenada is at 6th Street, apparently the second stop is on 10th. On the way back you have to be sure to catch the bus to “La Linea” (the border) and not downtown Tijuana (unless you want to go to downtown TJ, but from there there are also border shuttles.)

Over the weekend, I mentioned this to Andres from Laja and Eileen from the La Villa del Valle bed and breakfast, and independently they both said that with a few days notice they would arrange transportation from Ensenada to their places, which would be much cheaper than cab fare for that 30 minute drive to the Valley. In either case, you can reach either of them at email to set up the details.

So, if you’re thinking of going to dine at Laja or stay at La Villa del Valle, but don’t really want to drive in Mexico, it’s just about as easy as could be.