I spent my first night in Mexico in a hooker hotel. I was one of only a few quests not paying for his bed by the hour. While I didn’t know this until the following morning, El Conquistador Gentlemen’s Club, directly across the street from my hotel and visible from my room window, should have given me some indication that I wasn’t amongst the prudish or celibate. Additionally, all manner of meds available in the States only by prescription could be had at any one of the many pharmacies outnumbered only by bars and nightclubs. Viagra, natch, being the most popular and boldly advertised – ten bucks for the real deal or just five for the generic. What!? Since when was this magic available in generic!? But, I digress…
Welcome to Ensenada. If Baja California is a gringo playground, Ensenada serves as its southernmost outpost. Here dollars are accepted as readily as pesos, English is commonplace, reservations are verboten, and inhibitions are abandoned. Ensenada appears on the cruise-ship circuit. This cursed blessing brings boatloads of money into the local economy but irreparably alters its identity and authenticity. The cruise-shippers, for their part, get to return home to their cul-de-sacs duped into believing they actually visited a foreign country and meet the natives.
I happened into Ensenada between two cruise-ship visits and missed them both. The town was relatively quiet and peaceful, the bars empty, and hotel rooms, hookers and johns notwithstanding, mostly vacant.
“Too bad for you,” Rudy the bartender told me. “We got ones come in Thursday… thousands of peoples.”
“Thousands huh? Ahh” I replied. “Not my scene at all buddy.” I’m riding a motorcycle solo across six countries; crowds clearly ain’t my thing. Besides, I’ve got to get movin’ and don’t care to wait around on cruise-shippers.
“You like this scene.”
“Yeah? How’s that?”
“Lots of young womens from L.A., thousands on two ships. They come here to get drunk, party, have good times. Walk around with they tatas out.”
“Hmmm… Thursday huh?”
I left the next morning.