Saving Private French Guy

I was playing guitar in my favorite café which is hidden in the depths of some apartment building in Tijuana, when a random guy that looked like Luigi (from the videogames) walked in asking for work. His name was Alex and he was clearly not from the area. After a brief chat I learned that he was from Paris, he was traveling around the world and that his credit card, camera, laptop and more things were stolen in a hostel in San Francisco. He arrived in Tijuana because his visa in the USA had expired and he had to leave the country. I told him about Tijuana Adventure gave him my business card and offered my help.

A day later he called me asking for a place to stay. He reminded me of the first person I hosted, another French world traveler. Just like the rest of people that have joined me in many of my Tijuana adventures, he fell in love the city and hopes to visit it soon again.

He stayed in and out of my apartment for 2 weeks and also bounced back and forth between some of my friends, hotel rooms, other couchsurfing hosts and more. His adventures were more enthralling than those of Bilbo Baggins.

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Unfortunately, not that many pictures were saved from all the time he spent in Tj. The only pictures that were saved came from friends or other world travelers that we met, like Joaquin (Argentina) and Zoe (San Francisco) who were hitch-hiking to their way south in Mexico and beyond. Alex is also on his way south. He intends to spend two more weeks in Mexico before making his way to Costa Rica, from there he will fly to Sao Paulo (Brazil) and finally back home to France.

Edit: Forgot about uploading this video! More pics might come soon!

October Wrap Up! Three Tours and Medical Tours Now Open!

The first group came from Santa Barbara, Ca. They have already bought tickets to an all include spa in Rosarito, so it was never their intent to stay too long in Tijuana, but they still wanted to see a bit of the city. I met up with them by the arch in Tijuana and gave them a quick tour of downtown, we had some home-brewed beers at Mamut Co, followed by some of the best street tacos in the area. After that, I guided them to a collective cab that charges $1.25 to take them to their destination all the way in Rosarito (saving them over $30 in transportation and delivering with a true Tijuana experience).

Next was a photographer/videographer from Colima who ended up in Tijuana because he was hired to shoot a wedding. After his job was done, he decided to stay some time in TJ to check out the city. I gave him an extended tour of the city, took him to Playas de Tijuana and let him crash on my couch. I pretty much convinced him that he should move to Tijuana in the near future and I know that he will.

To finish up the month, one of my best friends from my hometown came to visit Tijuana. It was his girlfriend’s first time here and he hired me for private tours of the best parties, more specifically during Halloween. That night had an overwhelming number of parties and more than half the people on the street were wearing costumes. We went to Zacas bar near Zona Norte where DFMK and San Pedro el Cortez were playing a Halloween special. After the show, we bar hop for a while, showing them the very best of Tijuana, stopped by amazing tacos in handmade tortillas and finished up the night at Chips bar.

Also, to finish up the month, Tijuana Adventure is expanding from night time tours to more! Medical tours are now available for those who are in dire need of healthcare or dental care. Tijuana Adventure works with Club Medico USA to provide you with the best healthcare available at an affordable price. Tijuana is full of surprises, is not only the place to party all night, is also the host of the top doctors in Mexico and the world.

The Adventures of Jesse, Max and Banana

I expected these guys to show up to Tijuana during the weekend, but they ended up backing out and partying in San Diego for their Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Hmm… another no show for my tours, they were probably too afraid for Tijuana. But I heard from them early on Monday, they have decided to check out TJ and were on their way down here. Little did they expect that Tijuana’s Monday nights are way wilder than any night SD has to offer.

The tour started at lunch time, they drove their car across and I met them in “La Corriente” a fancy place with amazing fish tacos. As we chatted and got to know a bit about each other, I find out that these guys have had adventures around the world and they take a stuffed banana with them (water guns and more fun stuff also available in the trunk of their car). After eating, we walked around the city on the quiet Monday afternoon as I showed them everything. With not much activity until the sun is down, the best option was to go to the beach.

Jesse, Max and Banana enjoying fish tacos on the beach
Jesse, Max and Banana enjoying fish tacos on the beach

Honestly, these guys reminded me of all my white friends in the USA, so everything flowed in a natural course and after a few beers it was just like hanging out with my friends from college again. From there we went to Zona Norte, where most my tours tend to end up at…

… We were there in Zona Norte and they were basically out of cash. Sorry that I had to leave the details out of how that cash was spend, but trust me, it was fun. With the few bucks they had left, I took them to Dragon Rojo Bar that coincidentally was the last night of the 36 year old legendary bar. We had tequila and beers there… and then they wanted to go back to Zona Norte

(Goodbye Dragon Rojo, you will be missed!)

After hitting up the ATM, where both got plenty of pesos to have an even funner night, we went to a different Zona Norte bar that wasn’t a gringo favorite one. All their pesos were very well spent in what was one hella fun Tijuana Adventure… I expect Jesse, Max and Banana to come down again some day soon.

Jesse | October 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm: Mateo is the pinnacle of tour guides in Tijuana! He showed us delectable restaurants, the city, beaches, and all sorts of nightlife. Thank goodness he was there to assist with the language barriers. Take no visit to Tijuana without Mateo on your side!”

Giving the Tour Band is easier when you are in a band

On Saturday, September 28th, I offered a free tour of Tijuana because I had to play a show in La Legendaria bar with Buddy Banter, Habits, El Muertho de Tijuana, and Deer Dear. It was the first show organized by my friends from CaliBlaBlaBla and my first time on stage playing electric guitar since 2008. It started as a disaster, but I came to the rescue in more than one thing and we pulled through. The show started earlier than originally intended and the mixed crowd wasn’t what I expected. The reaction to my music was also not expected and people were loving it. El Muertho played after my set and some people left. But Buddy Banter played an incredible show right after, unfortunately I missed half the set because a friend of mine had a mission to score some drugs and I told him where was his safest bet to score…. however he came back empty handed. In Tijuana, you don’t look for drugs, drugs come looking for you.

HABITS closed the night in La Legendaria as the members of Deer Dear decided not to show up with the excuse that their equipment got stolen (not sure if that is the true story, word in the street is that they pussed out). With no one to tour around after the show, HABITS, the guys from CaliBlaBlaBla and Buddy Banter wanted me to show them around. It was a messy scenario trying to co-ordinate with 11 drunk people at once, but somehow I managed it. We hopped from bar to bar, ate tortas, and had a blast until 5 a.m. The guys from Buddy Banter took a taxi back to the USA and the rest crashed at a local’s apartment. It was a pretty wild Saturday night Tijuana Adventure.

Buddy Banter in Plaza Santa Cecilia
Buddy Banter in Plaza Santa Cecilia

Sorry mom, but XXX sales…

I must admit it, the idea of Tijuana Adventure is to show you the art, music, locals, etc. What I called the real Tijuana. But obviously, sex sales. My family told me I shouldn’t be doing it, but the main interest for many travelers is Tijuana’s Zona Norte (Red Light District). I had my first solo client for the XXX tour. He came all the way from New York, read much about Tijuana and really wanted to go to Zona Norte. The tour started way earlier than I would ever expect to do a nighttime tour, because it started at noon. The client needed to be back to America before 6 p.m. We started with the usual downtown tour, so he got a taste of the real Tijuana, then we ventured down to where he wanted to go, the famous Zona Norte. There’s a lot of brothels/strip clubs/whore houses there, call it what you want, you get the idea. There’s some that are the best and famous worldwide, there’s others that are virtually unknown and have little to no customers as of yet. My client read about a few of them, but due to the hour, the only good choices were the top 2 in all of Tijuana. I had a complete blast with the New Yorker that I felt bad for charging any money for my tours. But he was so grateful that he gave me a $$$ tip that I did not expect at all.

He made me realize the potential that XXX tours have, especially for daytime hours and on the weekdays. So I expect to start giving way more tours like that, though the main goal is for people to know that Tijuana is more than just that. It’s a great growing city with magnificent art, music and culture. All the beauty hidden behind a horrible façade of scary tourist traps, poverty stricken areas and sense of danger that does not exist if you are on tour with me.