Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 4 of the Cruise: Ensenada, Bartering and Rip Offs

On Thursday we woke up already docked up in Ensenada, Mexico.

I don't have many photos of Ensenada because we didn't take the big camera with us. However, I have my words to paint a picture. *coughcheesycough*

Right off the ship we hopped on a bus that took us downtown. It cost $3 a person, and was a complete rip off. The bus took all kinds of unnecessary turns just so the ride seemed longer, and so that the bus guide had time to tell us about the great deal they had today only for a ride to La Bufadora (advertised as a 20 minute drive, which was actually 45 minutes each way), and a city and shopping tour. Only $15 a person. The whole family signed up because it sounded like a great deal.

So we went to La Bufadora, which is pretty cool.

And we saw the blow hole.

By then I needed to use a restroom real bad. Real real bad. Luckily for me, there was a restroom right by the blow hole, for only 50 cents a person, plus tips. At least the bathroom was clean.

Man with a guitar. Your tips is his salary.

Right by the blow hole is a flea market. Man those sales people are aggressive. There were several pharmacies selling Viagra that called out to my Dad (he's the right age, I guess) that they had something for him.

Dad posing with the Viagra Man.

I was looking for an embroidered top. That was my one want for our time in Mexico. So we went in to nearly every shop that had the kind of top I was looking for and in the end still left La Bufadora empty handed.

I did however spend 30 minutes bartering with a man we will call Jaime for an embroidered sundress. It was their display model and had obviously been outside in the sun for a long time. It had some light stains (which when I pointed out the "manchitas" Jaime said, "Ah, pero eso se lava" or "But that will wash out."). It also had taken on the form on the hanger it had been hanging on for a while. ("We change those dresses every day. We only just put that out there this morning.") The price started at $65. That's dollars, people. WAY too expensive. I would only pay that much for a dress if it was very well made, one of a kind, or a fantastic brand. This was none of the above (maybe one of a kind, MAYBE). Jaime tried every trick in the book. He tried to appeal to my sympathies. ("This will be my first sale of the day. I have children [college-aged] at home to feed. I came in to work yesterday despite the storm and bad weather and today I have the flu, and I'm all achy and everything.") We got him down to $30, but by then I was tired, and didn't want to pay more than $10 for something so poorly made, so we walked out. Jaime was not a happy man. It's too bad that I don't care about Jaime's happiness when it involves ripping off tourists.

Not to worry though, we still had our shopping and city tour. The shopping area is really just along one street, four blocks long. The tour was like this: "There's the main shopping area," as we drove by. What a chuckle.

After the tour all twelve of us settled on a restaurant to have lunch in. It was called Habana Banana. Once we got seated the waiter tried to pull a fast one on us. He said that the prices on the menu were all wrong; they had just changed their prices yesterday and hadn't had a chance to update the menu. So instead of just a little more than a dollar for a drink, it was $3. We walked out on that place, and some of us returned to the ship. TC and I stayed with Polly Tishan, Dough Boy, and CK1 and CK2. We found a little taco shop to have lunch in, found a grocery store to buy candy (Mexico has like the best gummy bears ever), and I eventually found my embroidered top, which I found out once I brought it all the way home was poorly made. The seams are not finished and many of the seams don't match up. What a rip at about $20. But it has the embroidery I was looking for. I just may pick that top apart and resew it.

Frosted Flakes!

Good deals everywhere.

After some shopping, we walked back to the cruise ship (seriously, it was like a 15 minute walk so the shuttle bus in the morning was completely unnecessary).

In summary, I wouldn't return to Ensenada on purpose. But it was fun while we were there.

1 comment:

  1. We went on that cruise a few yrs ago. Ensenada was not my cup of tea. At all. I loved Catalina Island though. I really think they should change the Ensenada stop to another place. But as you said, I wouldn't return to Ensenada on purpose, ever.


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