Jim and I teetered on the edge of not going ashore, but the lure of another interesting travel adventure led us to the terminal and then onto the shuttle into Ensenada.
I have been to Mexico several times both on vacation and to Ensenada as part of an educational program, so I was prepared for the obvious economic challenges that this part of Mexico is experiencing. The most evident proof of this are groups of tiny children selling gum and dime store toys on the streets.
It was pretty sad that our shuttle driver felt compelled to reassure everyone that they would be safe going into town and that a shuttle would ready to take them back to their refuge on ship every ten minutes. I can only assume that the bad press has really affected their tourist economy. I have to admit, the streets and shops were pretty empty of tourists. It actually made me feel embarrassed to be walking around town with other Americans, so obviously tourists from the cruise ship, like aliens landing from another planet.
In light of these observations, what was most important and really impressive was that even with these challenges, the people we met in the businesses and on the streets are welcoming, friendly and helpful.
Inevitably, as we wandered through the shops filled with colorful pottery, interesting crafts and woven textiles, kiosks with beautiful abalone shells and carved ironwood art, we began to relax and enjoy the lively discussions that would bring about a mutually agreed upon price.
The highlight of our brief stay in Ensenada was our stop at a local bar where as we sipped ice cold Modelo’s while we were serenaded by a very talented guitarist with a lovely voice.
So I guess the point of all this is that you shouldn’t let bad press keep you from visiting Mexico. Be safe and be vigilant, but remember to enjoy the moment so that you won’t miss the unique experience of your travel adventure...