The ship docked in Ensenada, Mexico the morning after our stop at Catalina Island and I was up early preparing for the two excursions that my family and I had booked. After stepping off the ship and taking some pictures to show that we had arrived, we found our tour group and were off on our first adventure of the day: La Bufadora.
During the bus ride there, our guide Belen spoke a little about Ensenada (which means “bay”) and its history as a city in Baja California. It was interesting to look out the window and take in my surroundings, which included several American staples such as Costco, Starbucks, and Office Depot.
After about thirty or forty minutes or so, we finally arrived and Belen led us through a strip of stores to the end where we would find La Bufadora, a marine geyser that shoots up a spout of water as waves crash against the rocks and push air upwards. The spout varies on how big the waves are and I think we saw a mix of weak and relatively large sprays. It’s one of the biggest attractions for visitors in Ensenada, but it can be a tad underwhelming. I am glad that I at least saw it once in my life, but I don’t know if I would go out of my way to see it again.
We had time to peruse the different shops on the way back to the bus, so I tried to haggle a little bit for some souvenirs. I don’t think I did very well, but I did come away with three painted skulls that I thought looked cool. At the end of the strip, we had some tacos at a place that Belen recommended and they turned out pretty tasty. I got one fish and two asada tacos, but I soon realized that the fish was definitely the better choice.
Everyone boarded the bus again and we headed to our second spot, the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural and Convention Center. This place was a gambling casino (as opposed to the other kind of casino that we saw on Catalina Island) and it was supposedly a place where Al Capone would frequent on vacation. It isn’t a casino anymore and can be rented out for various events throughout the year.
Part of the tour included a wine tasting and a choice of a beer, margarita, or Mexican Coke. There was also a courtyard that featured more vendors, though I decided to save my money this time.
Out in the garden, I saw a sign with the words, “El que no hace algo por la Ciudad en que vive, no merece vivir en ella” that is attributed to “Jhon F Kennedy”. Google Translate has it as “The one who does something for the city in which they live, deserves to live in it”. I like that.
We took the bus back to the port, but it was really only about fifteen minutes before we headed off on our second excursion of the day: horseback riding at Rancho Los Bandidos!
The first thing that we had to do was pick our helmets just in case we were thrown from the horses. Gotta protect that noggin! Afterwards, we stood in groups based on who had experience riding a horse and who didn’t. Practically all of us were in that latter half. Some of the guys working on the ranch then started pairing up people with certain horses and I am not quite sure what the thought process was as to deciding who went where. I ended up with a horse named Patrón.
So, I’ve never been on a horse before, so this was quite the experience. For some reason, another horse started to try and bite my horse, which startled it a little. For most of the trip up the hill and back though, all the horses were in a line and pretty well-behaved. We started off with a simple walk, but there were some points where our horses had to gallop a little to catch up. It is a little difficult trying to hang on to your phone with one hand and the horse with your other, but I guess I managed.
We had chips and salsa waiting for us back at the ranch so that was a nice treat. There were also the printed photos of us on our horses that were taken before we left on our journey. I’m not sure how much they were, but my mom got them anyway.
At this point of the day, I was completely exhausted. We took the bus ride back to the ship and I was just so glad to get back, take a shower, and grab dinner at the dining room again. This time, I got a quesadilla, some salmon, whipped Alaskan gold potatoes (which was AMAZING), and…I totally forgot the dessert. It was some kind of s’mores parfait, I think? Oh, it was good too.
There was also another towel animal in our room! This time, it was a gorilla.
The rest of the night, I did some more exploring and watched the Hasbro Game Show, a live show that takes classic Hasbro games and puts a twist on them to make it bigger and fun for the stage. For example, in the Connect Four game, the blue team and the red team had to take turns shooting colored basketballs into a grid to get four in a row. It was actually pretty fun to watch.
Nothing much else, I think. I did do some more on-ship exploring, but nothing too noteworthy. One more post to go!
Check out other posts in the I’m on a Boat series:
– I’m on a Boat (Part 1): Long Beach and Catalina Island
– I’m on a Boat (Part 2): Ensenada, Mexico
– I’m on a Boat (Part 3): A Day at Sea