Friday, March 23, 2018

Day Trip to Tecate and Other Stuff


About a week ago I developed a toothache, which was better the following day but the gum was sore and swollen. We had planned to go to Mexico soon since I needed two old crowns replaced and Jim needs one also, but I thought I should get this checked out right away and surprisingly found a dentist in nearby Temecula who could see me on Saturday. She found nothing wrong on the x-ray but gave me a prescription for antibiotics and recommended I see an endodontist for a possible root canal.

Not wanting to spend well over $1,000 on another root canal, since I had one on the same tooth years ago, I asked around at Jojoba Hills and found that many people recommend Adame Dental in Tecate, Mexico, about 100 miles from here. Jim got an appointment also and on Wednesday morning we made the scenic but winding drive south through Julian to Tecate.

We paid $5 to park in a small dirt lot about a block from the border on the US side.


Walk past the duty free store and straight through the turnstiles to enter Mexico. After that there is a customs office where I had to put my purse on a conveyor belt to be x-rayed.


It was so nice to enter Mexico and not be immediately accosted by vendors or panhandlers, since Tecate is not a big destination for winter snowbirds looking for cheap dental, optical or drugs. Adame Dental is just a couple blocks from the border in a very attractive building.


We both saw Dr. Ramirez, the endodontist, and had a consultation and x-ray. He told Jim he thought they could just replace his old filling instead of having to do a crown. He did not want to do anything to my tooth until the infection improves, so we are going back on April 10 when I will have a deep cleaning around the tooth that has the infected gum, and then he will determine if I should just have the crown replaced or if it needs another root canal. The antibiotics have kicked in, my tooth does not hurt, and the gum is feeling much better so that sounds good to me. He also gave me a recipe for a solution of peroxide, baking soda, salt and water to rinse with three times a day, and an antibacterial mouthwash to use at bedtime.

After our appointments we walked to the town square, Miguel Hidalgo park, just a few blocks from the border. The population of the greater Tecate area is over 90,000 but it has a small town atmosphere.

Cute house along the way.



Benito Juarez, President of Mexico from 1861 to 1863 and 1867 to 1872 spoke the timeless words on this memorial “El respeto derecho ajeno es la paz”, meaning “Respect for the rights of others is peace”.




Tecate was designated a “pueblo mágico” or “magical town” in 2012. “The government of Mexico created the 'Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique, historically significant, with great traditions and offer magical experiences to its visitors.”



The largest employer is the Tecate Brewery, which stretches on for blocks.


Since we didn’t have numb mouths, on the drive home we splurged and stopped for a slice of pie in Julian, which broke up the drive nicely. Looks like we’ll be making more trips to Tecate over the next couple months.

In other news from Jojoba, we will be moving to a different site after the first of April. As much as we like where we are, this site is unimproved and with the rain we’ve had lately we have standing water and mud in places and don’t want to deal with getting dirt and rocks to fix it up. The couple in the site next to Terry and LuAnn are leaving the park so we are doing a site swap, as they call it here. On paper we are swapping sites but in reality we move onto their site when they leave and they give up our site. In the deal we are acquiring a golf cart, which we may end up selling, and a lot of things we want like a gas grill, patio furniture, some garden tools, a fountain, lawn ornaments, and a very nicely landscaped lot with trees and a lovely view. Pictures to come after the move.

We attended a New Member coffee last week, where we got to meet all the members of the board of directors and also the park employees. Next week there is a block party for the 400 sites, our new neighborhood, to say goodbye to Kent and Cookie, who are leaving, and to welcome us to the neighborhood. It will take place on the newly redone patio next to the pool and spas.



Other than that we’ve played a bit of pickleball and have started playing ping pong in the evenings. There is a good-sized group that plays three nights a week on three tables, doubles only, which gives everyone a chance to play quite a few games. It’s been a lot of fun and a good way to meet people. So far life is not bad here at Jojoba Hills. Just waiting for it to warm up so I can use the pool.

And although I don’t usually talk politics on the blog, I had to share this about the spending bill that was passed today. Nice to see something positive about public lands in the news for a change.


  1. Hope you enjoyed your trip to the puebla Tecate, it really does feel like 'small town' Mexico. We typically get our FMMs stamped here, so easy and a very comfortable area to walk. Once the cavities are fixed check out El Mejor de Pan, and get some new ones!

    Thanks for the tip on a good dentist, we usually go to TJ, but it's a big city.

  2. Tecate looks like a great town in Mexico. I might even be able to go to a dentist there! Hope the rest of your visits are as successful. Congrats on your new lot! Sounds like you are quite at home in Jojoba. There certainly are endless activities if that is what one wants. Looking forward to photos of your new place.

  3. Jojoba Hills looks like a beautiful place to spend some time...and congrats on the new site.

  4. Tecate is quite different from other border towns isn't it!

    Sounds like you're settling in nicely to Jojoba. Looking forward to pics of the new site.

  5. Thanks for sharing about Tecate. It looks like an interesting town, and having a good dentist there is a bonus. Sounds like you're enjoying life at Jojoba Hills. How fun that you'll be next-door-neighbors to LuAnn and Terry!

  6. You will be able to write the book on Mexico dental tourism one of these days. Tecate definitely looks to me like a better option than Algodones. The new lot sounds nice. I think you better hold on to that golf cart though ; )

  7. The Adame clinic is a good one. My only problem was the winding road to Tecate, but it is nice not to be accosted by people wanting you to buy something when you crossed the border. Clean little Mexican town. Looking forward to our new neighbors when we return.

  8. Really sounds like your dentist is an honest one. Glad you are feeling better and hope both of you have the easiest procedures. Love the idea of “Magical Towns”. Your pictures of Tecate are great. Looks like a much better border town than most. And Julian pie mid way makes it more than worth the drive. How cool that you can move in right next to LuAnn and Terry and to what sounds like a better site. Pretty perfect that it came open when you needed it. I love that you can just move from site to site and own whichever one works best. Sweet! Jojoba sounds like a really great place to call home base. Boy that is some beautiful gathering space. Hope you will do more politics especially when you have something great to share like the link. Thanks for it!

  9. Great news, glad you are finding a solution to your dental issue. We are taking in the last of our days in San Miguel, and looking forward to the summer in AZ. It's time once again to put some money back in the bank so we can go play again. Good to know you are both happy and I look forward to seeing pictures of the new site.

  10. Having tooth or teeth issues are never fun, and I am living proof. It sure is good to know that there is a town in Mexico that does not harass tourists crossing borders. It also looks like a cleaner and less crowded city.
    Jojoba must be really a nice place to live in. I did not realize that there are 400 sites there. Knowing you I think you will be in the board and active in your new community.

    1. Actually there are fewer than 300 sites.

    2. Oh I read that the block party is for the 400 sites in your our new neighborhood :) did I misread it?

    3. You read it correctly but we didn't make it clear. It should have said it was for the 400 block or street.


  11. Sounds great! You must have had a wonderful time all the time.
    Take care of your teeth:)