Week 7 of our vacation 2022

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022: And we are blasting head first into the second week of our Baja Adventure, we are at Loreto Shores Villas & RV park in Loreto. We slept with an air conditioner running last night, we had turned it on to cooldown the coach for Mister Sam before we went out for dinner with the gang, and decided it would be a quieter night with the windows closed and the air conditioning on. And I think it was a good choice, as in Mexico everyone seems to have chickens and multiple dogs, so barking dogs and crowing roosters are a very common event at night and sometimes all night, so it was a good choice. There was no exceptional view of the water this morning but our fearless leader Paul has an outing planned for us today, it involves a trip to into the nearby mountains, to a small village with a 320 year old mission, the mission was amazing but fell short of surpassing the views of the trip up the mountain. To reduce one vehicle we rode with Al and Carmen in their Jeep Wrangler, allowing us to just enjoy the view and the adventure a little more.

Upon our return to Loreto, we ventured to the Malecón to stroll along the water’s edge, we made it to the end of the pier amongst the flocks of sea gulls and pelicans. From here we walked to the downtown area again and settled into a brew pub to sample some local brew, I decided on a wheat beer, and found it to be very good, maybe not as smooth as some but certainly more than acceptable for my pallet. We returned to the campground for some dinner, and to prepare for our travel day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10th, 2022: Well today is our longest driving day of this adventure at least on the way south, we are travelling from Loreto to La Paz today, a distance of 345 kilometers (214 miles), our route is simple enough get on MEX-1 and just follow it south to La Paz, we will make a fuel stop along the route and we have reservations with full hook-ups at a campground in the La Paz area and will be there a couple of nights allowing us some time to explore the area. Our planned departure time is for nine o’clock this morning as we have a long journey ahead of us.

As usual it is like herding cats to get everyone ready to roll all at once, we can not hook up our tows until we are clear of the tight downtown streets, so a quick stop just before getting on MEX-1 and we are ready to travel. We start heading south along the sea of Cortez as we head south into the mountains, this is where the steep, tight twisty roads start as we climb up and turn away from the water of the Sea of Cortez and head into the high desert area. As we leave the mountain area we find our selves in a desert area, but not the lush deserts that we have experienced already, no this is dry lifeless desert, reasserting how important water is to life. After a couple of hours we find ourselves entering a farming area with irrigation and fields of green crops, all seeming so out of place after the last bit of our drive. Then the highway turns and heads us back toward La Paz and the sea of Cortez as we trudge through the desert, a fuel stop, a quick bite to eat, and we are back on the road. Back into desert with long straight stretchers of highway, then in the distance we can see the landscape change as our flat desert gives way to hills again, a indicator that we are nearing our destination then some of tightest turns and grades as we weave through this area to La Paz and back down, as the Sea of Cortez comes into view. La Paz in the capital of the Baja California Sur and home to a population of almost 300,000 people, it has major shopping with many American like big box stores.

Our campground is well taken care of with well manicured areas, the area that we are in has just been completed and is big and spacious, the hookups are new and the power supply seemed good for Mexico, voltage was 127 a bit high but not like we have seen, water pressure is better than our last connection and on first impressions the most negative item would be the pea stone that the whole park is covered in, very pretty to look at, but seems to track everywhere, no good for wearing any type of open footwear, sandals and the like.

Our leaders are feeling exhausted so have turned us loose on our own this evening, so we are heading to the Malecón this evening to see the sights and have some beverages at a rooftop bar, we walked the beach strip and then made our way to the Harker for a drink, a couple of rooftop patios, where the bar service is on one roof and the kitchen service is on the other, and all items are sent from one to the other by a cable car system, with drinks coming our way and food going their way. Seemed to work well from what we observed, as nothing happens quickly in Mexico, after drinks we headed back to the campground where we sat around a propane fire before turning in.

Friday, November 11th, 2022: Let me start by thanking all veterans for their service on this Remembrance / Veterans Day, it is because of what they have sacrificed that allows us the freedoms to live our daily lives as we do.

Today we have a beach day scheduled, as we go to “Playa Balandra“, claimed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with white sand beaches, turquoise water, and it has proven to be just as beautiful as everyone had suggested. The access to this beach is now limited to 450 people in the morning and 450 in the afternoon, so everyone lines up for either the morning or afternoon beach time shift of four hours. This was done because on the weekends before the restrictions, there could be as many as 14,000 people there, which made parking impossible, and also made the beach not very enjoyable. But today the crowd was small and we were in the first ten vehicles allowed in for the afternoon entry. We made our way to a section of the beach that required a little wading through the water to get to it but it proved to be a great spot, the tide was going out so our return journey was considerably easier.

The water was warm and we were able to walk out in the bay a long way as the bottom was sandy and the water only a couple of feet deep, not a great snorkeling area, but it was a great day on a beautiful beach. We departed around half an hour before the closing time and headed back into La Paz and the Malecón, to look for a restaurant for dinner, we found a spot and the non-beach going part of the group joined us for dinner. Dinner was great, Laurie had coconut shrimp, I had garlic fish and Crème Brule for desert. Driving in this city after dark is in it self an adventure, as stop signs seem to just be more like a suggestion here than a rule, and the intersections take some getting used to as every one just glances and goes, and when driving here the traffic light when the green flashes you need to stop because the yellow light is just a flash before the light turns red. And it is nothing to see a left turn being made from the right lane across multiple lanes of moving traffic.

Again this evening we have made it back to the coach unscathed, we are getting some park internet, so I’m trying to catch up on the blogs and hope to publish one before we depart.

Saturday, November 12th. 2022: And we are still at “Campestre Maranatha” on the outskirts of La Paz, we made an early morning run to the Walmart in La Paz, for some supplies. Shopping here has been a bit of a learning curve, products and brands that we have known and used for years are just not available, and the different packaging and labels takes time to decipher or translate Today is a down day before we venture out for our 9 days of dry camping in our final push south to explore the lower region of the Baja.

I’m working hard on last weeks blog today, in between laying by the pool and having cocktails with some of the group. It has been a busy day for most of the group with people coming and going in preparation for the next week. The swimming pool here at the park was not heated which could explain why there was no one there, but of course being a Canadian boy I had to take a quick dip anyway.

This evening Craig and Kelly got their propane fire pit out and the group gathered around as everyone seems ready for the next part of our adventure. Paul explained that it would be three nights at Playa Los Cerritos, then three nights at La Ventana, and a final three nights at Los Frailes before we head to our final destination a full service campground at Los Barriles. We heard about everyone’s adventures today from visiting the farmers market, and the many grocery stores, even about some great little restaurants hidden away on the side streets in downtown La Paz.

Sunday, November 13th, 2022: Well that was one of our worst nights sleep in a long time, the campground we have learnt is a Christian campground and they have a group using the facilities for church services and bible study, and while we had noticed there was a lot of activity all day yesterday, as we laid by the pool there was a constant sound of lessons, song, and bells ringing. And we had sat out and enjoyed a propane fire with the group, and could hear them in the background, but they just never quite, in fact it almost seemed cult like and at 3:30 I finally got up and closed all the coach windows to deaden the sound!

Today is a travel day as we move further south and back to the Pacific coast of the Baja, our destination is Playa Los Cerritos, a beach on the pacific coast that allows dry camping for only 200 pesos a night. Our journey here was uneventful, although traveling through La Paz proved quite busy on this Sunday morning, our highway today was a combination of four an two lane highway as we finally left MEX-1 and took MEX-19 down the Pacific Coast and found a busy little parking area in the beach parking lot (no real surprise on a Sunday afternoon), but they found spots for us all, a little spread out but not really any issue.

This afternoon ended up being a beach day, and there were some whale sightings shortly after pulling in, a beverage at the bar on the beach and the day progressed well and as sun the began to set the majority of the beach goers were departing. This beach is a popular surfing area and a number of the campers are here for the winter to do just that, the waves seemed to crash hard throwing some surfers around, I’m not sure just how large the waves, but I think they were close to ten feet high.

Monday, November 14th, 2022: Today the group has an outing planned, to the nearby town of Todo Santos, it proved to be a clean, pretty little town that offered lots of sights to see and things to do, we started with a quick trip to the mission, than an old theatre, a beverage on the rooftop bar of a hotel with a great view of the ocean. We spotted whales just off the coast as Paul explained the water was very deep there, next we made our way to the Main Street where a number of the group sampled “The best Margaritas in Mexico” and according to Miss Laurie although more sampling may be required, it was pretty damn good. Next we moved to an open air food court where everyone got some lunch, we had steak tacos, which were excellent, by this time a few of the margarita drinkers were starting to feel the effects of the beverage.

And just when you ae thinking the day can’t get much better, we hear that there is a turtle release happening on a beach just north of the village, so everyone climbs into our vehicles and off we go. Miss Laurie called this the highlight of our whole adventure, a real “Bucket List” moment as she got to release two little sea turtles back into the ocean, let’s just say it was a emotional event for many in the group.

We made it back to the coach just at sunset, this has been one of those days that you imagine but never expect to come to reality, but everything just fell into place to make a truly memorable day

Tuesday November 15th, 2022: Today we are going to just enjoy a day at the beach, the waves seem bigger today, and there are surfers pretty much everywhere today. So we headed to the beach with our chairs and our coffees to watch the the waves crash on the shore line while keeping an eye on the horizon in hope of spotting some whales. After an hour or so we headed back to the coach for some breakfast before returning to the beach to enjoy the sun and the warmth.

Well it goes without saying, it seems that anything goes here in Mexico or at least on the Baja. And todays entertainment has taken many forms today from watching the way the natives launch their boats on the beach to the all the extra cheeks that were all over the beach. But the wildest was watching the boat trailer being backed up at high speed than the brakes applied to see the boat slide off of the trailer onto the edge of the shore onto the beach. Then the people man handling the boat into the edge of the surf and eventually catching a wave and then being pushed into the water as they charge through the waves. and on their return they pilot the boat out of the water further up onto the beach than winch it onto the trailer again, obviously boat launch ramps are just so overrated!

We ended the day pretty much how we started it sitting on the beach enjoying another beautiful sunset, before calling it a day and heading back to our coach, these have been amazing days with enough downtime to allow us to soak in some sunshine and warmth, with enough adventures to make for some great memories.

Be well, be brave and stay strong!

Blog 458

Day 1869

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