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Parque Miguel Hidalgo

Tecate

Okay, we've all heard it. Tijuana isn't the real Mexico. For that, say the oh-so purists, you've got to go "deep down into the heartland..." Baloney! All you've got to do is take 94 a little past Barrett Junction to the two Tecates. Dump the wagon in American Tecate and walk down the hill into its bigger sister-city. Mexican Tecate. Three little blocks and suddenly you're in the cutest Mexican town square you're likely to see between here and Guadalajara. Tecate's Parque Miguel Hidalgo has it all. A café, tall rustling sycamore trees, statues, a gazebo in the middle, ice cream sellers, amorous couples, kids running round, and on Sundays, bands or folk dancers in swirling skirts performing in the gazebo bandstand. Sit at the Cafe TKT (get it?) and slurp down their wonderful garlic soup, dunk the great chunks of crisp Mexican bread in, and -- it would be boorish to drink anything else -- glug back on a caguama (large bottle, literally "sea turtle") of Tecate beer.

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