Right, from here on in, I will be braking the updates into state, the first being Baja California (the thin little stip on the west of Mexico). On our trip down Baja we stopped at several locations, Tijuana for an afternoon, and believe me that was enough, Ensenada for three days, Mulege for two days, and La Paz for not enough time, it was great. We crossed into Mexico from San Diego on a Grey hound bus. This was pretty routine as so many Americans cross over to Tijuana for cheap pescription drugs amongst other things. Tijuana has a reputation as an outrageous border town where Americans come to party,drink, take drugs, shag prostitutes, and generally debauch them selves before being robbed and stabbed. I didn't see any of this, I just thought the place was a bit s***ty. Not as many beggars as I`d been told, many, many Pharmacias and a great taco cafe where an English speaking Mexican Lady took great joy in helping us order some tacos. Best damn taco I`ve ever had, and after three weeks in Mexico, still the best. Then we left. Oh, one thing I liked was the customs officers method of determining who to search. They get everyone to queue up and, in turn, press the button on a traffic light. If the traffic light goes green, then you can carry on about your day. If it goes red, they search you. Very simplel. Onto Ensenada. We arrived late at Ensenada, but after a couple of minutes fumbling with a payphone we were able to get the lady from a hostel we had booked to come and get us. A few minutes later, a fat American lady in a written-off car arrived. The car was unique. The door handle came off in my hand when I tried to close the door, and there was even a bullet hole in the back from when the ladies daughters born-to-be-bad boyfriend stole it and was stopped by the police. Fairly strange folk in the hostel, very religious, to quote "I've seen a man walk on water and the hungry fed blah , blah, blah...". Ensenada itself was quite nice. Another border town, very Touristica, this time aimed at cruise ships. There was a very nice see front, backed with several rows of expensive restaurants, bars and shops. Any further back though and you are just in a normal, shabby looking Mexican town. I had a very nice fish Taco. It was great. Not even walking past the fish market put me off it. No siree, that was a good taco, no matter how many flies are on those fish - after all, there are men swiping the flies off with those bloody mops. It didn't even bother me that the fish were not on ice, just straight on the table under the hottest sun in Mexico. Hmmm. Fish taco. We stayed in Ensenada a day longer than we intended so that we could get over our hangovers from our first night out in Mexico. We found this fantastic, sawdust on the floor, classic Mexican cantina, with a great Mariachi band and 3 for 1 Margritas. Before we knew it, we were in a strip club. Sharon loved it. Any way, once we had recovered from our hangovers, we bid farewell to Ensenada for a place called Mulege. Mulege is a town on the sea of cortez, about half way down the Baja strip, a stones throw away from the sea. Or in our case, a lift in a van full of americans away from the sea. They were all medical staff from the US, voluntering for a week in a local hospital, and catching some beers and rays before heading back to Chicago. One of them had travelled extensively through Central America and gave drew us a map from memory, high lighting the not-to-be-missed places, the most interesting sounding place being a howler monkey reserve in Costa Rica. Apparently you can stay for a few days and see what goes on there in exchange for a few dollars. Mulege itself was fairly quiet, although Sharon and Dale did manage to find the reason - a beach party to celebrate independace. I had long since gone to bed, for our early morning departure to a beack 20k or so out of Mulege, called Playa Santaspoc. The beach itself wasnt much cop - quite dirty sand, and RV's parked along the sea, but the ocean looked fantastic (most of the sea views in the photo section for Baja were taken here). We pitched our tent up under a pagoda and got straight into the sea, ready for a totally relaxing day...... Until near disaster struck. We were in a lagoon type area with an Island in the middle. Dale and Sharon made it their goal in life to swim out to the island. And then around the island. So, about 15-20 after they had disappeared from view, I thought I had better do some thing, so walked around the lagoon to see if I could find them with my binoculars. No luck. I managed to talk a guy into taking me around the island on his speed boat to try and find them, and still no luck. He dropped me off and I was left wondering who to notify. I was just about to empty thier back packs and take there best possesions in order to make one Uber-survival backpack when I saw two tiny heads on the ocean, very far in the distance, swimming verry slowley to shore, mostly in the wrong direction due to the current. Rather than watch the heads disappear one after the other, I asked a man with a Kayak to go out to them to see if they were okay. They were, although very pruny, tired, a bit cut from the island and Sharon was quite sun burnt. Later on Kayak man made us cofee, beans and eggs. What a guy! Well, that was the relaxing day at the beach. A million Mosquito bites later (all on me for some reason) and we were off to La Paz! La Paz was a really nice place. I really DID relax here, A few beers, a cheap-compared-to-England-but-not-for-my-budget-steak, a Karaoke bar and bed. I am really happy to say that nothing eventful at all happened in La Paz, other than I couldn't finish an enourmous piece of chocalate cake for breakfast. The photo above was taken sitting on a pier in the ocean, my feet in the water. Bliss. Well, La Paz ends our travels down Baja California. Next stop, Los Mochis and the Copper Canyon railway, after an even more relaxing 6 hour ferry trip across the sea of Cortez. The trip went very smothly, and as the moon was awol (quite common in the southern hemisphere, apparently), and we were out to sea, the stars were brighter than I have ever seen them. Very stunning.