From Tijuana to Cabo (1691 kms) under our belt
Trip Start Jan 12, 2007
29Trip End Nov 19, 2007
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La Paz, on the east coast of the Baja and about 150 kms north of Los Cabos, is the state capital and an easy city to hang out in with a decent, if slightly overpriced ($18.50 US per night), campsite that is about a 20 minute walk from the centre of town. We have used La Paz as our rendezvous point for the last 3 weeks.
We first stayed here on our way to El Pescadero, a small town on the Pacific Coast about a 90 minute drive south. El Pescadero is little more than a gas station and a few taco stands but it is just a few kms south of Todas Santos, which has a lot of charm and has been designated by the government as one its "Pueblo Magico" (magical cities). It is also home to a "Hotel California", which reputedly inspired The Eagles song of the same name
We stayed 5 nights in El Pescadero at a little campsite with a palapa just off a beach that is known for its prime surfing waves. Our morning entertainment consisted of taking our coffee to the beach and watching the surfers tackle the waves. We rented boards one day at a nearby beach, Los Cerritos, where the waves were more forgiving, and managed to both get up for a few seconds in the wash just after the break. Adrienne thinks she was better than me...and truth be told she is probably right. But she is also 8 years younger.
We then headed back up to La Paz on Feb. 20 for the last night of Carnival, as the guide books said that the carnival festivities here were some of the best in Mexico. It didn´t disappoint.
About 20 blocks of the main waterfront street were blocked off and lined with street stalls, stages, booze tents, etc. The evening started with a parade - over the top beauty queens and dancers for the most part. The crowd was thick, similar to English Bay on a fireworks night. We´re not sure if it is a Baja thing or a Mexico thing but the cowboy theme ruled the day. The standard uniform: white cowboys boots, a white or cream coloured cowboy hat, black Wrangler jeans and a collared shirt of varying colours
The day after Carnival we headed down the Sea of Cortes coast, eventually making our way to Los Cabos, where we stayed for 5 nights at a campsite close to the centre of town and the main beach. After weeks of staring only at each other in the van, we loved the party games that were set up on the beach for the all-inclusive crowd. And by inviting ourselves into the hotel pools just off the beach, taking advantage of the various happy hour deals, clipping free coffee coupons from the local paper, and nursing hot chocolates in cafes for 3 hours, we managed to have what we felt like was a 1 week "sun vacation" for about $50 a day.
On the way back from Cabo, we spent 2 nights inland at some hot springs near the town of Santiago (east coast side), as the springs had been given rave reviews by some of the "younger" travelers we had met along the way. The springs were beautiful, and hot, but there were no facilities, and Adrienne was only willing to allow the swarms of flies to massage her bottom when nature called for a few nights before wanting to move on. We then headed back to La Paz for 4 nights, to purchase our ferry tickets, get the necessary paperwork to allow us to bring the van to the mainland, pick up a mosquito net and water pump for the van that we had shipped down from Calafornia, and do various other errands
Highlights of the last 3 weeks or so:
- the sunsets at our campsite in El Pescadero;
- the street vendor food at Carnival: fresh pan dulce, churros, tacos, and a local favorite of corn niblets, sour cream and hot sauce.
- with some help from the Home Depot employees in Los Cabos, we used all 20 thumbs and managed to build/install a nice set of shelves for "Adrienne´s "closet" in the van, which has increased our storage space 5 fold and has given us something new to admire and talk about in that sometimes longish 8 pm to 10 pm time slot;
- Santa Maria beach in Los Cabos. Not having spent much time in East Asia I rated it as one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches I have been to. Adrienne, the more seasoned beach traveler, put it in her top 20. We snorkled for the first time there; and
- The salsa bar at Felix´s restaraunt in Cabo
-the propane fridge, our first repeat entry in the "lowlight" category. We had it serviced in La Paz but alas we still can´t, for the moment, get it working. We are hoping to find a propane specialist in Mazatlan. In the meantime, I have told Adrienne that I am fine with having only pre-prepared food with my afternoon beer; and
- seeing a scorpion in Santiago. After seeing a black widow spider, a rattle snake and a now a scorpion, Adrienne has taken to carrying a large stick that she scrapes back and forth in front her as she walks whenever we are not on pavement. Admittedly, it somewhat compromises our ability to blend in with the locals.