A Vacation with Friends – Ensenada, Mexico

We had thoroughly enjoyed our day on Santa Catalina Island.  The ship was now docked in Ensenada, Mexico, which is a very busy port.  Due to lack of space at the shipping ports in the US, 97% of the cargo that comes through the port is then put on trucks and driven to San Diego for distribution. This is a city of more than a half million people.  As they grow, they are meshing culture, agriculture, and progress.

Most cruise travelers choose one of 3 options, a wine tour (90% of all Mexican wine is produced on the Baja peninsula), shopping, or La Bufadora. We chose La Bufadora as we don’t drink and there is some shopping there.  This was the Packs first time in Mexico so we had to document it 🙂

We hopped on a tour bus for the 40 minute drive to La Bufadora.

The area south of Ensenada is a very agricultural area.  It used to be all small family owned farms.

However, the area is now ran by American owned companies, which was evident with the addition of crop tents.

The ocean surrounding Ensenada is well-known for it’s fish.  It is the Tuna Capitol of the world.  The juvenile tuna are caught and then taken to large holding pens to mature.  Blue Fin tuna can be worth up to $300,000 per ton.

The bus dropped us off at the far end of the merchant area.  It was a slow day for tourist, so there was quite abit of banter over the products. We had string bracelets made.  It always amazes us, how fast they can twist the thread into letters.

At the far end is La Bufadora, but first we had to act like a tourist and take our picture.20181212_125431

La Bufadora is known as a marine geyser, also known as a blow hole.  The burst of water is the result of air trapped in a sea cave, exploding upwards.  It repeats every few minutes and the volume, depends on the size of the waves.  It is one of only 3 blowholes in the world and is the second largest.

This area of coast, is extremely rugged but beautiful

At the recommendation of our tour guide Belen, we grabbed “snacks” for the ride back to Ensenada. Pork and fish tacos, chips salsa and guacamole, they were very good.

Once back in Ensenada, we stopped at the Hotel Playa de Ensendada.  During prohibition in the US, the California Baja area became popular for drinking.  The residents of Baja spoke English, there was abundant activities like fishing and gambling.  The hotel was built as a precursor to Las Vegas.  The rich and famous from California either flew or sailed to Ensenada for vacations.  One of the original investors of the hotel was the boxer Jack Dempsey.  In it’s heyday, the resort covered 75 acres.  It cost 2 million dollars to build and an additional 1 million for furnishings.  The resort opened in October, 1930.

All that remains today is the original casino which includes a dance hall and bar.

The ceilings are very beautiful

The building is covered in tiled floors and murals.

Being a casino before modern technology, there were peep holes so that the gamblers could be watched.

The bar contains murals depicting the seven Deadly Sins.

The outside of the building is impressive as well.  With the end of prohibition in the US and gambling becoming legal in Las Vegas, the glory days of the casino ended.

Just outside the courtyard there was a small church, a botanical garden and an awesome craftsman from England selling hand-drawn metal pictures.

Our time in Ensenada had passed quickly.  We were back on the ship, ready to enjoy our evening. We had dinner and dancing waiters in the dining room, and a midnight snack of pizza at the buffet

We had a Day at Sea…there was Bingo and comedians

A cruise is not complete without an assortment of towel animals…

Holiday displays, Christmas music, and Santa Claus.

An ice carving demonstration

And we said our final goodbyes to our wait staff and fellow table mates.

Our time on the Inspiration had come to a close.  We had enjoyed showing our friends the Packs, a small taste of the cruising experience.  We made many memories, had lots of laughs, and enjoyed every moment.  Ellie and Darrel had never been to Los Angeles so we had decided to stay an extra 2 days and have a bit of an adventure…LA here we come!!!