A friend of mine recently returned from a visit to California, which included an unhappy side trip into Baja, Mexico. It reminded me of a trip my wife and I took to that area a few years ago, which was not a hell of a lot of fun either. (Although we didn't get pulled over by the Mexican police like my friend did.)
The one good memory I have of that trip was of driving on the all-but-deserted highway between Rosarita and Ensenada at dusk. The stark and lonely landscape, broken every couple of miles by a decaying farmhouse, was like a Tom Waits version of a Wyeth painting. The Baja Peninsula seems particularly evocative of all kinds of existential despair.
Lyle Lovett's "Road to Ensenada," from his 1996 album of the same name, and one of my favorite songs from the happy-go-lucky '90's, perfectly illustrates that. Sadly beautiful, beautifully sad.
Lyle Lovett - Road to Ensenada
Purchase Road to Ensenada on Amazon.