Tecate!

Tecate Travel Blog

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Mexican "Pilot" runs ahead of the train "es nessisario!"
After the proper paperwork is filled out for an antique train to enter the country, we continue to grind down the slope to Tecate, following a pilot car required by the government. This is deep backcountry with only scattered ranches amongst the brush.


Closer to town an occasional broken car starts to appear along the tracks, until both sides are surrounded by thousands of cars! This is the graveyard of all wrecked southern California cars- they pass through the junkyards along the border until the most valuable parts are sold, then the "carcass" continues down here. The rural yards are interesting. one guy will have hundreds of ancient, broken televisions, surrounding the house, filling the nearby canyons, another guy has thousands of broken toilets.
Into Mexico!
..


Everyone comes out to see why there's a train rolling down the old tracks. Kids line the track to wave to the engineer. The old tack has ended up in the middle of the main street, so the train wreaks havoc with traffic as it comes into town. Ok, it would wreak havoc if Tecate had traffic...


Tecate is built around the huge Tecate Brewery. It sort of looms over the town, everywhere you can smell the fermenting beer. Tecate is the "rural beer" of Baja, so there's a lot of loyalty, Pacifica and Corona are for city folk! Visitors to town receive a can of Tecate as they arrive.


The plan in Baja is to eat from taco stands along the streets. The food is cheap, hot and fresh. This time we learned our lesson after being lured into an indoor restaurant by overzealous hawkers "My friends, free pitchers of margaritas for all of you, very good seafood- mariscos!" Well, like any time I've ever gone indoors, it was reeeally bad.
There are about 20 broken cars per mile
Finally had to sneak outside, stock up at the taco stand, and smuggle the replacement food inside...

Then it was time for a siesta at the Plaza. This is the most active plaza I've ever seen- it was siesta time, so everyone from town was hanging out, getting their boots polished, playing cards, little kids dancing to boom boxes. The park is decorated by the ever-present busts of minor presidents.

Rolling back to the U.S., customs agents combed through the antique train for terrorists and drug runners. There must be incredible paperwork involved for the volunteers to run the train across the border and back! I asked the brakeman (his hat says brakeman) what happened to the steam powered engine they used to have. There's a 1940's diesel locomotive was pulling the train. Guess it didn't pass an inspection so they had to retire it. These guys were so happy to not just restore the trains, but to actually get to run their own little railroad on weekends. They run the train down as far as the border each week, if you ever want to go for a ride. It runs to Mexico only for special trips.

Such a slow, relaxing day on a train.
annadean says:
hi again
nice read & great pictures thankyou
regards Denise
Posted on: Jun 09, 2007
vances says:
Please let me compliment you on a terrific blog. Well written, engaging, and best of all --> enjoyed ALL your photos! As much as I love this site, it is sometimes wearying to scroll through a lot of aimless pictures...but all the shots you included were exceptional...thank you!
Posted on: Jun 01, 2007
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Mexican Pilot runs ahead of the …
Mexican "Pilot" runs ahead of the…
Into Mexico!
Into Mexico!
There are about 20 broken cars per…
There are about 20 broken cars pe…
All southern California cars event…
All southern California cars even…
This guy has hundreds of 1970s te…
This guy has hundreds of 1970's t…
The grade gets steeper as you appr…
The grade gets steeper as you app…
Hmm, a train doesnt usually come …
Hmm, a train doesn't usually come…
More kids lining the track
More kids lining the track
A railway workers home along the …
A railway worker's home along the…
Exciting downtown Tecate!
Exciting downtown Tecate!
Pretty much everything in Tecate h…
Pretty much everything in Tecate …
Each visitor is handed a free can …
Each visitor is handed a free can…
Tecate is pretty much a brewery (t…
Tecate is pretty much a brewery (…
Fire-water at the brewery!
Fire-water at the brewery!
We usually eat at the taco stands …
We usually eat at the taco stands…
Lonche, not comida near the bo…
'Lonche', not 'comida' near the b…
Every Mexican town has a plaza.  T…
Every Mexican town has a plaza. …
Ah, the lost shaker of salt...
Ah, the lost shaker of salt...
Tecates a dusty place; shiny boot…
Tecate's a dusty place; shiny boo…
Mariachi players relaxing in the p…
Mariachi players relaxing in the …
Old ranchers playing dominos
Old ranchers playing dominos
Conductors try to decide if its a…
Conductors try to decide if it's …
16 km (10 miles) traveled
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Tecate
photo by: diisha392