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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 3:55 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Ensenada, Baja California (featuring Long Beach, CA): Better Late Than Never (2009)

Hell of a title, no?

I struggled with whether I should post these photos. In many ways, these felt exploitative.

For my father's 50th birthday, we booked a 3-day cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada in June 2009. Afterward, we spent a couple days in LA.

For my entire family, the highlight of this trip was seeing a taping of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which should give you an idea of what we thought of the cruise experience.

If you've never been, think of the worst elements of Vegas (drunks, white trash, pasty Midwesterners like yours truly) all crammed on one vessel for three days.

To my surprise, the family wanted to check out Ensenada rather than go to Senor Frogs or whatever dive bars and/or other tourist traps people go to when they're in port. We had a fantastic tour guide who took us through the city as well as up the coast.

Maestro:
Video Link


Long Beach, from a slightly different angle


The Queen Mary


Junk!?


Industry!


Farewell, Long Beach (for now)


Onward, to Mexico!


June Gloom was present the entire day we were in Ensenada



Our first stop was the Civic Center







I can't for the life of me remember our tour guide's name, but she was very good


Civic Center plaza


After the Civic Center, we took a bus up the coast. Here's a couple of photos I took as we drove through town












Farther up the coast


We stopped at a little cafe about twenty miles north of town


My OCD went into overdrive trying to figure out a pattern to the mosaic stairs


The entire time we were at the cafe, the guys on the beach were unable to get that aircraft off the ground




Go figure, I like cloudy weather more than I do sunshine


We stopped at a lookout point on the way back to town


According to our tour guide, people would drive their cars off a nearby cliff and collect the insurance money, claiming their cars were stolen


Keep in mind we took this trip right after the Swine Flu scare, which had seriously hurt the Mexican tourism economy




Now, this is where I start questioning the ethics of how these photos were taken. I didn't think much of it at the time: When my family and I went back on the ship, I decided to go out and take some "skyline" shots of Ensenada.

I may be making this into a bigger deal than it really is, but given the amount of poverty seen on the trip through town, the more I think about it, something felt wrong/hypocritical about taking photos of the city from the relative luxury of an ocean liner.

Yet here I am posting these anyways?






















The next couple of shots were taken the next day


Yes, they're exactly what you think they are: Pretentious Asshole Shots




Back in Long Beach


And heading back to Arizona...


So thanks for taking a look (and putting up with my hyperbolic self-loathing/bullshit). Sorry I didn't get the latest installment of the "Better Late Than Never" series up sooner, but I've been busy changing jobs and dealing with other crap the last few months.

Next up, we skip forward a bit to February 2011 in my old stomping grounds around the City of Orange and Chapman University
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 4:10 AM
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Cool thread! Ensenada is def. a place we don't see much of around here.

When I was a kid my parents kept their yacht in a Ensenada marina (next to Hotel Coral) for tax reasons, so we would often go down there from San Diego and spend the weekend. I LOVE the drive down the coast, and I actually like Ensenada way more than Tijuana, as its infinitely safer and more welcoming. However, it has a depressing/abandoned feel I can't quite put my finger on, but which can likely be attributed to the slump in tourism.

I wouldn't feel "guilty" about taking the pictures in any kind of exploitative way. First of all, Northern Baja state is the most developed in the country, and arguably the most middle class (the highest wages in the country). You don't see extreme poverty there like you do in say, Chiapas...but even then, people have this idea of Mexico being such a omgpoorcountrylookhowhardtheyhaveit when it's one of the most prosperous countries in all of Latin America. Ensenada is generally a lower-middle class town; we in the US are just not used to seeing half-assed put together houses, esp. made out of cement blocks (this is the norm in MX) and therefore misconstrue them as being shacks. If you go inside these homes, they're like any normal home.
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Last edited by destroycreate; Apr 4, 2012 at 6:33 AM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 4:26 AM
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Gracias blanco!
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 11:35 AM
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interesting pics, thanks.

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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:01 PM
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Smile

Thanks for your pics!

Very nice area. Very nice pictures. I like Ensenada´s skyline. Wonderful views of the ocean!

Of course, it´s better late than never.

Congrats and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:50 PM
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Man, I haven't been to Ensenada in ages... Great shots, Buckeye!
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 12:28 AM
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Interesting timing. Just yesterday I was looking up info online on Ensenada. No particular reason, just wanted more information about the city. Good to see some photos!
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 1:04 AM
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I like.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 2:51 AM
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Well better late than never and I'm glad you shared them, thanks. I really like the first photo of the Long Beach skyline, never seen it from this angle.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:15 AM
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I agree with you about cruises. I have never taken one and I have very little desire to do so.

I've been through Ensenada a couple of times. I don't know if it is still safe to do so because of the narco-violence along the border but the way to see this town is to drive south on the toll road from Tijuana. This is a bit like Highway 1 through Big Sur, as you have the road right along the cliffs and some pretty dramatic views.

A must-see attraction in Ensenada is la Bufadora (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Bufadora ), toward the southern end of the region. This is a pretty spectacular natural attraction. Afterwards, get some shrimp tacos from one of the local taco stands and you have yourself a pretty decent day trip.

There is also some great fishing, surfing, and diving off the coast there at Islas Todos Santos.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 5:15 AM
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Nice pictures. It's good to see a place in Mexico on here, especially one that is close to the border.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 6:13 AM
Omaharocks Omaharocks is offline
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Ensenada looks interesting - despite being fairly close to the border, it doesn't have a border town vibe from what I can tell (though I'm only really familiar with Juarez and Agua Prieta), and seems to be relatively prosperous.

Thanks for the pics!
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 7:28 AM
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This is the first photo tour I've seen of Ensenada on here. Thanks for sharing!
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 4:34 PM
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Omaharocks:
Quote:
Ensenada looks interesting - despite being fairly close to the border, it doesn't have a border town vibe from what I can tell (though I'm only really familiar with Juarez and Agua Prieta), and seems to be relatively prosperous.
That seems to be my experience. Although Ensenada is still a bit of a tourist town, it is far more authentic than Tijuana. I consider Ensenada the start of real Baja (which is a great vacation if anyone is looking to take a road trip).
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 1:50 AM
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The white dome next to the Queen Mary...that's where the Spruce Goose (Howard Hughes' mammoth wooden plane) was housed until it was moved to another state. I saw the plane (and the Queen Mary) in 1984, before a lot of forumers were born.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Thanks for these photos. I took a cruise in early 2002 that went through Ensenada for a family member's birthday and I hardly took any pictures on the trip. So, other than seeing La Bufadora and navigating the long line of vendors on the way, I have no visual memories.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2012, 4:19 AM
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Hell yeah an Ensenada thread, I missed this in April. Oh and you went to eat at La Fonda! That is so cool, my dad used to take me there all the time as a kid. For those who don't know this area pictured is an easy day trip from San Diego.

This brought back memories Buckeye, good on ya mate! And don't worry about taking the pics from a cruise ship. Hey you were just documenting a city you visited, yes it happens to be poor but it doesn't mean you can't take pics from a ship.

Oh and the coastal scenery on the drive down there is epic, sweeping coastline and super high hills next to the water, can't beat it especially on a sunny clear day
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2012, 9:31 PM
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Wow, there's something amazing about Mexico and it always draws me in. I love it. Thanks!
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2012, 10:28 PM
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Pretty cool looking place, would love to walk around and explore it.
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