Sarah’s Travels

Mexico: The Oh La La! hill of Ensenada...
Date: 18 September 2010

For those of you who follow the adventures of my bike Baby Buell and myself in Mexico, you will remember that there was a Lala truck a few days ago that almost turned the undersigned into an ex undersigned.

And a few days ago, there was the Oh La La hill.

On Sept 16, Mexico's celebrations of its 200th annivesary of Independence (from Spain), the Policia closed the main road to downtown where I go and have my breakfast every day. As Ensenada is located between a half ring of mountains and the sea, the alternative route was over a mountain. The very nice police officer explained left, two lights, right, and he made a sign with his hand showing that there would be a hill going up and then going down. Gracias, thank you.... and I left happy for the hill.

Left, two lights, right, yep there is a hill going up... I arrived at the top and GOOD GRIEF!!!! I froze...

That was an Oh La La! hill...

You remember the Eddie Murphy movie The Golden Child where Eddie Murphy has to go to Tibet to retrieve a dagger that will allow him to fight the Devil and free the Golden Child? Part of the hardship in Tibet includes walking on vertical poles that seem bottomless. Eddie laughs at what he believes is the illusion of bottomless-ness... saying something like "Ah Ah Ah you want me to believe that there is no bottom, right?"; he takes a coin from his pocket and throws it down... the coin keeps falling and falling and falling... it never bounces on the bottom. At that moment, Eddie gulps: He can't afford to fall... There IS no bottom...

I felt the same when I passed that short space at the top of the hill between the moment when we don't see anything except the sky and the moment when we see the hill going down... and possibly our destiny too.

The Oh La La! hill:

I first thought "No Way!" But then I thought that everybody in Ensenada uses that road, so if they can, I can... I clenched the break handle and the clutch handle for dear life, with all the strengths of my wrists, and I proceeded SLOWLY thinking "Are the breaks on my bike strong enough for this?" Of course, they are. My bike is a Buell, a real good bike. So, I had the downhill ride of my life, comparable in emotion to roller coasters at Disney Land. I felt that it must be close to 80 degrees. It felt like it was as close to standing vertically on my head as I was doing in my yoga days 40 years ago

I did not take a picture of the moment when we see the hill really going down because I was afraid that gravity would pull my bike from between my legs all the way one mile down and I would just be left standing there with the camera in my hands while the bike would be going down...

And here is the view from the top, on the port of Ensenada (can you see the container cranes behind the weed?). Everybody needs a hill like that once in a while. It puts life under a different light.