Posted on 1 Comment

East Cape, La Paz, the wind & sinking in!

After visiting Cabo Pulmo, I started to make my way up the coast.

I was supposed to meet a friend in La Rivera who became sick with Covid-19, and unfortunately our rendezvous never happened! So, I continued up the coast alone to Los Barriles and met up with some friends I’d made on the beach in Santispec!

I camped on the beach at Playa Norte but opted to stay at the RV park as I wasn’t sure of the area. It was a great place to get to know the area from. The bathrooms and location are good and at $10 a night for dry camping, I had no complaints. On my first night I was invited to join a wedding party, and we celebrated into the night with some local Tequila! These kind of invitations only seem to happen when you travel alone!

I stayed a couple more nights and then moved to another great camping spot called Baja Sunrise RV Park. I ended up staying ten days here enjoying my beach front spot, the hospitality of the Owner, Manager and a new friend who was staying for the winter. I took these shots and scouted the area from here!

While in Los Barriles I did a lot of day trips. El Triunfo is high on my list of places to visit in the mountains. The quaint village is in the midst of being renovated which could take a while. Visit the bakery and buy a loaf of their home baked bread. Their almond croissants are the best!!

I got lost on the way to the waterfalls and hot springs near Santiago, but once I finally made it (the next week with friends) I was so glad I had made the effort. What a gorgeous place! Get there early and stay all day hiking the falls, swimming and soaking in the hot springs!

I love taking photos of doors, plants and churches! Oh, and of course food! Here are some of my favorites……

Swimming at Los Barriles is great. The sea is calm, easy to swim in and so clear and blue! I really enjoyed dropping in deeply to the area at my perfect beachfront spot. Across the road next to the gas station is a tiny rustic restaurant which is well worth a visit or two!

La Paz was my focus on the way back up the peninsula. I just love the Malecón. I found a local spot to sit and people watch as I sipped my coffee. The water was calm and perfect for a ride on the SUP. I felt like I was in the South of France! The beaches to the North of La Paz are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. I spent a wonderful day frolicking in the water, hiking up the rock between Tecolote and Balandra and and hanging out until sunset. My only complaint was the food at the main restaurant in Tecolote. Eat at the smaller less touristy ones, or bring your own picnic and only buy drinks on the beach!

As I slowly meandered my way back to the USA, I stopped at mostly local restaurants and cafes where I was greeted with the kindest of smiles and grateful restaurants who were happy for my business. Speaking Spanish fluently definitely made a difference to the way I was able to drop in with the locals and chat about my adventures. Not once did I feel unsafe or unwelcome. At the security checkpoints I was definitely a curiosity and at each stop they wanted to have a good look at the inside of my van. One security guard was happy when I offered him my guitar to play, and he turned out to be really good!

My next stop was Loreto. I stayed at the Rivera del Mar RV camping for $5 a night! This place is great for a couple of nights to regroup. They have laundry facilities, clean bathrooms/showers and an outdoor communal kitchen area. It’s such a great deal! I took myself out to dinner and walked to Orlando’s Restaurante. It was excellent!

I had been told to visit Bahia de Los Angeles on the way home. I’m glad I took the detour and spent a couple of days resting at Archelon Eco Camping. This was one of my favorite camping spots of my trip. There’s a little cafe/restaurant at the campo called Siete Filos to sit and watch the world go by, read and rest. It was such a relaxing place. I took a long blustery walk on the beach to view the lighthouse on the sandbar and watch the gulls dropping shells. There’s a little museum to visit here called, Museo de Naturaleza y Cultura.

Beware of potholes on the way back to the main road!

After Bahia de Los Angeles I was ready to go home and only stopped to sleep. I returned via Mexicali instead of Tijuana and enjoyed the newly finished road north. I’d like to return and check out the beachside communities of this area.

It was a relief not to have to watch out for potholes all the time, and I soon began to get excited of seeing family and friends back in the US. As I approached the border, I put my GPS on and followed the directions. As I drove by a very long line on my right, wondering what they were waiting for it I dawned on me that I was in the wrong lane!!! I could only go forward, so I made my way to the gate and started to explain in Spanish what had happened. The border patrol quickly informed me in English that all was ok, and I didn’t have to go to the back of the line! Phew! It was the only time I felt nervous at a checkpoint during my whole trip! Haha!

This will forever be a journey to remember!

Thank you Baja!

Posted on Leave a comment

Baja Adventures in my Eurovan! Part II…… continued from Finding my way during the Storm

This is part II of my adventures camping in my VW van through Baja, Mexico for two months……

After a short overnight stop in Loreto to reconvene, do laundry and get out of the wind, I continued South to El Pescadero to visit friends who had planned a rooftop concert on their ‘pizza oven’ home, for their live music starved friends! We gratefully soaked up the sun and the music! …….Loreto will get a bigger mention on the way back!

El Pescadero is a really lovely area on the south west Pacific side of Baja, near the trendy town of Todos Santos. I literally went from sunrise on the Sea of Cortez to sunset on the Pacific Ocean in one day! Here you can find everything from a good cappuccino (Baja Beans) to a Pickleball game, sip cocktails while watching whales frolicking with their young just off the coast in the sunset (the Green Room) , surf to your hearts content and walk for miles on sandy beaches. My only gripe is that the Pacific here is too dangerous for a good swim. I ended up going to Los Cerritos to swim in the gorgeously warm and shallow water there. It’s a kid friendly beach and a good beginners surfing spot. A visit to Sunset Restaurant at Cerritos Beach Inn is well worth the effort. The owner, Julie, is a gem and the food is excellent!

After driving too fast over ‘Topes’ (speed bumps), dipping into potholes and the relentless washboard roads leading out to the sea, my van started to rattle more than I felt comfortable with. I was extremely hesitant at first to find a mechanic in Mexico. My van is a 2003 VW Eurovan, so, I knew parts could be a problem along with anyone who knew anything about them. But low and behold, I was recommended a mechanic in San Jose del Cabo who I could trust to do the work and who specialized in VW’s!! I could hardly believe it! So, of I went in search of repairs.

I made my way to San Jose del Cabo. After sleeping in my van since the start of my trip, I treated myself and stayed at El Tropicana Inn. It’s in the old part of town; the Arts District, and it’s lovely! Restaurants in the area are spendy, but I was on a mission to fix my van. I had the place to myself as the pandemic was rife at this time. I couldn’t resist a morning visit to the French Riviera Bistro and Bakery for a freshly baked almond croissant and coffee! The sign outside the pharmacy made me giggle. What the heck is an Intelligent Pill?!

I received excellent service and work on my van at Frenos y Embragues! My van sounded great, and I felt confident for the rest of my trip! I guess I’ll be going to Mexico for car work and dental from now on! 😉

I was told the best place to snorkel was at Cabo Pulmo, and I have to agree! Well, just south at Playa los Arbolitos is actually the best! Definitely stop at Cabo Pulmo for Tacos and Beer and then drive the extra 10 minutes for fantastic snorkeling in the sea that Jacques Cousteau called the aquarium of the world! You can van camp at Los Arbolitos for 50 pesos or stay at Cabo Pulmo for a whole lot more. Both are amazing. You’re off grid here. The landscape and silence is intoxicating.

That’s part II….. stay tuned for Part III