Going to Mexico

Published: December 15th 2016
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Mexico F1 Race & Mexican Lunch, fabby.
So, having eaten some very odd meals to use up the items in the fridge that couldn’t go through to Mexico; thrown out anything that potentially could be illegal to take over the border (details of acceptable food stuffs etc. were a bit variable); purchased spares for anything we thought could go wrong on the Rig; bought the maps and books required to make life easier; plotted our first few stops; photocopied all the required documents; filled with fuel and bought some Pesos................. we set off for the border.

We followed the road signs to Mexico. Oddly the Sat Nav appeared to be giving instructions to stay. We had bought it in Florida, perhaps it was pre-programmed to stay in the States? Take the next exit, it said. As we passed the exit it instructed us again, TAKE the next exit.....Nope. TAKE THE NEXT EXIT........... We ignored it and approached the Mexican border.

As usual, we found that crossing a border is neither frightening, with Bandidos standing on the other side waiting to rob us, nor a life threatening environment.......just a bit confusing.

A lot of people use the Tecate crossing in preference to Tijuana, they say it can be difficult but we had no problem. The Freeway leads straight to the Border, & we went straight to the Autobus lane.

We pulled over and got out, were shown where to go to fill out our forms and pay for our Tourist Cards (FMM to give them their official title). Whilst I completed & signed both of our forms, Graeme went off to show the documents for the Rig. I went to pay for the Tourist Cards and then returned to the office to make sure our passports were stamped. A bit of chatting took place before they indicated we should drive the Rig onto a narrow ramp, park up and then stand outside behind a concrete wall?

We had been wondering at what point they would want to enter the Rig to check out the (very well prepared) interior. I was so happy for the fridge to be inspected. Usually, when any Rig inspection occurs, we prefer to be able watch but as that was not possible behind a wall, we just did as we were told.

Then with great interest, we
On The Road to Mexico .......On The Road to Mexico .......On The Road to Mexico .......

Adios USA, Hola Mexico
watched as a large x-ray machine on a mobile gantry scanned over the bus. What an easy way to check us out. Scan completed they indicated we should pull over to a parking space until they checked the result, and soon after they waved us on. How easy was that, Graeme said as we drove off, which it was but I was silently mourning the loss of the blue cheese, (not that easy to get in Mexico) I had, perhaps unnecessarily, thrown out.

As we set off we viewed our surroundings. The first thing you see is ............. a very long wall, well wire fence, snaking over the desert hill side for miles in each direction. We made a guess that Mexico probably hadn’t paid for this “wall, partly because it was finished. It made me smile because the day before I had seen in the newspaper the Border patrols had found a huge tunnel. To make things easier the "builders" had laid rails for carts to transport the "goods", going under the fence. ...... Necessity is the mother of invention. Where there’s a wall there’s a way, & I think the sale of ladders and shovels
More a fence than a wall. More a fence than a wall. More a fence than a wall.

Not sure how far it goes or if it will be filled in by the time we return. Perhaps the Mexicans will build it......... to keep Donald out!
may well massively increase!

We headed towards our first destination, Ensenada. In our book it said the park we were heading to was possibly one of the best in the country, and the road to it, which offered up beautiful views as it followed the coastline, was a really good four lane highway. Well, if it’s on offer you might as well start the easiest way possible

We stopped to stock up on food and Cerveza, then continued to follow the instructions to the park. As usual, there is always a moment when you think... “Really? Down there?”, but down there it was. We had arrived at Estero Beach for our first stop.

“Nice” in Mexico is a little different to “nice” in the USA; your expectations need to always be, well ......... managed. Often beautiful views, people & experiences make up for a noticeable lack of five star or even standard amenities. We were hopeful that this time the book may be near the mark.

The place was nearly empty, we picked a site with a beautiful view, there was a small pool and hot tub just for the RVers, and a larger main pool nearer to the hotel. A restaurant & bar were a short seafront stroll away and (rather strangely, it was quite isolated here) a great little museum? We settled in to enjoy it for a few days

Our new blinds had arrived the day before we left the USA, so we decided we would take the time to install them. It was probably now or never. It takes the “Blind “man a full day to do, (along with $750) so we expected it may take us a while. It is a simple enough job, but fiddly & you have to contort into some tricky positions. These jobs never turn out to be as easy as you think, so we were delighted to achieve it in two half days of effort. Almost professional speed.

We then realised it was the weekend of the F1 Grand Prix in Mexico City. We thought if we could watch the race on TV in the restaurant we would stay for the weekend. We asked if this was possible, they were more than happy to oblige.

So we experienced our
Sunset from the RigSunset from the RigSunset from the Rig

Its great how we stay home but the view always changes.
first real Mexican moment. As we sat at the Bar, watching the race, drinking margaritas & eating cerviche, with the gentle sound of the sea lapping on the beach in the background...... Oh and the loud joyful tunes of a Mariachi band as they wandered around the restaurant tables. Happiness.

So with new blinds in situ, up to date with F1 situation and well rested after a week or so, it was time to leave our comfortable sanctuary and head off. We knew this part of the trip was about the scenery, & were looking forward to it.

We had driven the best of the road already. From Ensenada onwards the road is of a changeable status but at least there is a road (mostly). Until the 70s the tarmac road stopped about 200 miles south at El Rosario, once past there it was only a dirt track, and it took a week or more to travel the remaining 800 miles.

Once over the Border you meet a different, more independent type of person travelling in or on all sorts of vehicles. The assortment is great, there are RVs, home converted buses, converted vans, Motorcycles, camper trailers, overland vehicles & cyclists. Many are cycling from Halifax Nova Scotia to Tierra Del Fuego! Now, that is impressive

Information is passed on, & updates and opinions shared. We listen to all the advice, warnings and information, take note and go for the middle path. Some people tell us “oh I wouldn’t do that” and other say “yeah, it’s simple. We keep our expectations somewhere in between, probably the best approach.

I didn’t know much about The Baja other than it is the long peninsular bit down from California and lots of people go there for the winter.

I now know The Baja is the world’s second longest peninsular at approx 1000 miles long, and is a land of extremes.

It is divided into Baja California and Baja California Sur, has the powerful greener Pacific Ocean to the west and the tranquil blue waters of the Sea of Cortez to the east. At its narrowest the peninsula is just 28 miles across and at its widest, 200. There is approx 1.900 miles of coastline.

The geography you travel through

Didn't spot the UFO though.
varies between cacti-scattered desert, coastal, tropical & mountainous scenery. Each beautiful in its own way.

I hadn’t really thought about there being mountains in the Baja but there are. In fact there are 23 mountain ranges, Picacho Del Diablo being the highest peak at 10,000 ft.

At the foot of the sierras lay the vast desert areas which cover approx 65% of the peninsula. Scientists have identified more than 120 cacti species here. The largest, the “Cardon” can grow to 28 meters and weigh 12 tons, not including the roots. This must be one of the world’s biggest cactus gardens.

More than a hundred islands lay just off the coastline, which makes it a very attractive area for diving, kayaking, fishing and other water sports. (The San Andreas Fault runs through the middle of the Sea of Cortez, which could make for one very big wave one day). The Baja is also visited for whale watching; the grey whales come to these warm shallow Bays to have their babies. Then there are the tropical canyons and oasis, which take you by surprise as you travel through the desert areas.

San IgnacioSan IgnacioSan Ignacio

An oasis in the otherwise dry desert landscape.

There are a few small cities & towns but mostly you find there are just dozens of tiny settlements.

From Tijuana there is only the one main highway (Mex 1) which crosses from the Pacific side to the Sea of Cortez several times along its route. That helps big time with the map reading decision making. Particularly useful if you are a map-reading-challenged person (who could that possibly be?)

Our plan was to follow the road....... (Pretty easy plan really considering the above information), and stop at Big Rig friendly sites that were identified in our travel book. The campsites themselves are fairly easy in Mexico because they are usually just a large flat piece of land with few trees to entrap you. However the entrance or approach is often interesting as the road conditions change all the time, usually some bit or another has been dug up or just crumbled or been washed away.

You don’t want to be on the road late in the day here due to the above mentioned conditions. In addition you need to consider the other challenges. There are the infamous “topes” (concrete bumps) randomly placed on the road with the aim to slow you down as you travel through small towns & villages. Fair enough you think, you shouldn’t speed through these rural communities. The problem was we were a bit slow in spotting one, because we didn’t think two small houses and a closed gas station = a community. If you are a bit late spotting them the resulting bump is jaw clenchingly horrible. Current casualties so far - two dishes, a glass, a beer bottle and the tea pot handle. Then there are the canine topes. The dogs are cunningly disguised, camouflaged in the same colour as the dusty road surface. This makes them harder to spot, as they casually lounge in the road. They wait for you to almost slow to a halt, look at you get up and saunter off. There are people on motorcycles & bikes, large trucks behind, beside and coming towards you on the narrow roads with crumbling edges (actually the Truck drivers are very good & courteous, they probably don’t want to be one of those who drop of over the edge, their demise to then be represented by a roadside truck shaped memorial!) The odd horse or cow, which for some reason best known to itself, is happily grazing on a blind bend, and the occasional Military or Agricultural vehicle check. They usually wave us on, but sometimes like to wander through the Rig and open a few cupboards. So, there are a few of the reasons why we always aim to stop well before nightfall.

As you can see, even without the lovely scenery the journey is never boring.

After visiting La Bufadora (a natural water spout), our next overnight stop was high on a cliff top overlooking the ocean. Sheltering from the wind in a palapa we cooked supper on the BBQ and watched the sunset.

Next was Fidel’s. We had driven down a long winding lane and were sitting in the Rig gazing at a completely empty sea front lot wondering if this was the RV Park, when Fidel appeared to wave us in. He was so happy to demonstrate the electric socket nailed to the palapa frame.

It was so beautiful we loitered here an extra day.

Now it was time to leave the west coast and head across the peninsular to the Sea of Cortez on the east.

To cross to the other coast you drive through Baja’s Central Desert. The valley is known as the Valle De Los Cirios (the valley of the candles) and is a Federally protected area for fauna and flora. Its unique scenery is formed by massive Dry River beds, hundreds of species of cacti, many of them found nowhere else and huge strange shaped boulders that have been formed over millions of years by the harsh sandpaper like winds

The Cirios cacti really do look like candles scattered over this otherwise apparently barren landscape and, when after plentiful rainfall they sprout a flame of yellow flowers at the tip it must be a spectacular sight. We saw only a few in flower.

We pulled into Rancho Santa Inez and gazed at a huge flat area. There were a few trees, a cow and right in the centre a solitary rusty tap. We needed to fill with water so pulled up by the tap, checked the flow, very very slow. We decided to park there and just let it drip into our tank. It was here we met Tim, a young guy in his twenties who was heading to Chile on his motorbike, and Ralph, an American expat who lived here. On his quad bike and with dog in tow he visited the site each night to see if any travellers required repairs to their vehicles, and if so was more than happy to help fix it. He had welding gear, generators...the lot.

We carried on along Mex 1 until we saw the sign to Bahia de los Angeles This is one of the few side trips you can take from the Mex 1 that does not require a high clearance vehicle. There is a lovely, brand new, empty 45 mile long tarmac road, so we took it. What a difference it must make to the locals I thought. Well, I hope it does. The scenery and coast were absolutely beautiful, worth every extra mile. We parked up in a sea front site with our own palapa, said Hi to the other campers and then cycled in for a look at the town. It looked almost abandoned with the main touristy places derelict. There was a closed
Tim. On his way to ChileTim. On his way to ChileTim. On his way to Chile

Hopefully he will get here. When we saw him the next time he had just fallen off the bike and was getting it repaired.
RV park on the sea front, crumbling buildings, empty shelves in the small shops. It was as if it had just been forgotten. We passed one of the few open cafes only to see Tim sat at a table, so we joined him for a beer.

We had a great few relaxing days here.

We met Jane and Rainer who were travelling in a Truck Camper from British Columbia, Canada to La Paz to spend the winter in an apartment. Jane is British & Rainer is from Germany, although he is very definite that he is Bavarian! They have lived in Canada for 20 odd years & have had a very interesting life, including running a team of Huskies! We watched the Pelicans and dolphins, walked along the empty beach and enjoyed beautiful sunrises before setting off back towards Mex 1 and further south.

Although mostly remote, you do come across a few towns along the way. In San Ignacio, an oasis town, we stayed at the fabulously named Rice & Beans RV Park. We cycled into town to see one of the few intact remaining Missions. We noticed here there
Vulture Warming its Wings Vulture Warming its Wings Vulture Warming its Wings

As you drive through the boulder fields there are rows of vultures perched on top of the cacti
was a lot of flood damage which was really odd to see after miles and miles of dry desert land.

Next there was Mulege, the first real “town” we had come through. We pulled into a park the guide book noted as the prettiest and best place to stop. No one else was there and it looked a little worse for wear, we were wondering whether to go on to our next destination......it was only about 20 miles on..... when the owner came up to speak to us. We chatted for a while and then thought we might as well stop for the night. The next day we walked into town along the river, well we tried but the path had been destroyed in the hurricanes and floods. A bit further on we saw many destroyed and abandoned houses and the wreckage of the main bridge into town. The destructive force of water is amazing and this area frequently suffers major damage.

Some days later we stopped at Loreto. Loreto has the distinction of being the first and longest inhabited place on the peninsula. It has a splendid recently upgraded Malecon (walkway along the sea front) The Mission Nuestra Senora de Loreto was beautiful. Inscribed above its door it says “Mother of all the Californian Missions”, it remains a focal point for the community. When we looked in there was a service in progress and beautiful, uplifting singing drifted into the square. There was a traditional Spanish Zocolo where the locals were practising their dancing, and people just hanging out enjoying the nice bars and restaurants. For me it was the first small town with a real “Mexican” feel to it. We were also entertained here watching a film crew filming possibly a "Soap", there was a lot of gazing into each others eyes going on.

The earliest people to inhabit this peninsular probably crossed the Bering Straits about 50,000 BC. Different tribes continued to live in the area but there is little evidence of how they lived. Approx 2,500 ago the Yumanos created cave/rock paintings that survive to this day. They depict humans, animals, birds & fish.

There was an indigenous population of approx 50,000 when in 1697 the Jesuit Missionaries arrived. The Jesuits set about building 22 Missions and converting the locals. It didn’t go that
Campfire beers Campfire beers Campfire beers

We were in Catavina overnight.
smoothly, there were several uprisings, rebellions & a few killings. However Religion and European diseases prevailed and eventually had their usual outcome. By the 18th century more than 80%!o(MISSING)f the indigenous people had died.

By 1767 only one member of the entire Huchiti tribe of the Guaycura nation survived. Ironically, now, with almost no native people left alive or to convert the Missions began to close. I guess they considered that was a job well done. In June 1767 the Jesuits were expelled by King Charles III of Spain and replaced immediately by the Franciscan Order. I bet the remaining Huchiti person didn’t leap forward to greet them off the boat.

However as you travel down the Peninsular and see some of these buildings you do have to admire their vision and determination to build the Missions in this harsh & difficult terrain.

Along the way everyone we met (and the travel book guide) says THE most beautiful place is the Bahía Concepción. We were heading that way, who isn’t if you are following the only road. We were looking forward to staying there.

The bay is just over 20 miles long and in total has over 50 miles of shore land. The rugged eastern peninsular of Bahía Concepción remains mostly unexplored, and almost completely uninhabited. The west side consists of about a dozen small protected beaches, most of which you can camp on.

The width of the bay varies between two to five miles wide and contains a scattering of small Islands. The geography of this Bay means it has protected warm, calm & clear blue shallow waters which are great for kayaking, snorkeling, and water sports.

Again we met Jane & Rainer, parked next to them and settled in for a few days. We were not stalking them, you tend to meet the same people along the way as you leap frog them along the stops. We also kept meeting up with the "Baja Amigos" an escorted group of eight vehicles on a 38 day trip of the Baja. That was quite useful to us because if they could all stay somewhere, we would definitely fit.

One of the joys of Mexico is that if you are camped in a fairly remote area, the shop comes
There is always a dog.........There is always a dog.........There is always a dog.........

Graeme checks out the Rig before we move on!
to you, a sort of Baja direct, only you don’t even have to order first. A man in a van will appear to sell you fresh fish, shrimp, veggies, eggs, empanadas, tamales and water. The only thing missing was the beer. However this particular beach had a restaurant that did very good Margaritas and coconut shrimp. Perfect.

Also in Mexico there is always a man who knows a man and one of them will have a boat.It was here we took a boat trip to see the Whale Sharks.

The man washing Rainer Rig said he could take us out to see whale sharks the next day at 8am. As our group consisted of one German, oops sorry Barvarian, one British (now Canadian) and two English people, at 7.50 we were all ready and waiting to go. When he arrived in his truck he was just selling the usual daily goods. It didn’t look like he was going on any boat trip. Jane asked him where the boat was he, with a casual shrug he said the boat had gone somewhere else, maybe, he suggested, tomorrow?

We looked up and down
Campo no 5 Campo no 5 Campo no 5

These are known as Ejidos. Basic areas, usually with beautiful views where you can just pull up and stay. Someone may call for to collect a few Paso's as a fee.
the beach, there were a couple of small boats but not his, and there was no one else around. Then Jane, in impressive commanding Spanish said, well, go and find a boat or someone else to take us. Without a pause off he went. Almost instantly a man arrived, waved to his boat, so in we got and off we went to Bahia Coyote where we were assured the Whale Sharks would be.

Sure enough there they were, about seven of them of varying sizes, from large to huge. I had never heard of these creatures so didn’t know what to expect, I can tell you they are really impressive. Whale Sharks are the largest known existing fish species. The largest one on record so far was 42 feet long and weighed about 21 ton, although there are fisherman tales of some being much larger. They have a lifespan of 70 -100 years and despite the size of their mouth which is up to 1.5 mtrs wide and their 300 – 350 rows of many tiny teeth are no risk to swimmers as they are slow moving filter feeders. This was good news for the Kayakers paddling
Whale Shark in the Bahía Concepción Whale Shark in the Bahía Concepción Whale Shark in the Bahía Concepción

Amazing beautiful creatures. They are slow moving filter feeding shark and grow up to 12+ meters long.
amongst them. We spent about an hour just observing these wonderful spotted fish.

As we watched them feeding we saw firsthand the effects of litter. As they take in & filter huge amounts of water, any floating plastic gets sucked in, presumably to lodge in their stomachs and cause them damage.

It was really beautiful here. As well as seeing the Whale Sharks, we borrowed Jane & Rainers kayaks to try our first attempt at kayaking, watched shoals of flying fish and sat on the beach and watched the super moon rise, all firsts for me.

We also met some interesting people here from, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Germany and Italy. I loved the Italian mans story. He was travelling in a small Fiat camper van with his (younger) Brazilian wife. He had lost his driving licence at home so was travelling for two years until he got it back! Everyone you meet has a different reason for travelling but that one is a first.

From here we were heading into more (it’s all relative) populated areas. We set off on the wonderful Mex 1 again. For a while it hugged the coastline, allowing us a cliff top view of all the tiny bays then turned west, across the mountains towards Cuidad Constitucion, where we planned to stop for the night.

We made good time to Cuidad Constitucion but it looked pretty horrible so, ignoring our own advice of, if in doubt stop early, we decided to would carry on to La Paz. After all it was only a couple of hours away. Previously someone had mentioned to us there were horrible road works somewhere along the way, which at this point had not yet materialised. Perhaps we should have factored that into our decision making.

As soon as we left town, we hit the road works! Really, do they have to dig up both sides for miles and miles, actually about 20 miles, at the same time, wouldn’t just a bit at a time be easier?

We took it slowly @ about 5 MPH, unlike the other cars overtaking us on either side leaving us in a plume of dust. It was not the up and downs that were the problem but the rocking side to side. Cupboards flew
Whale Shark mouth..Whale Shark mouth..Whale Shark mouth..

Can be up to 4.9 ft wide, but they are filter feeders and harmless to people.
open, stuff tumbling out. The blender hit the floor and bounced, whew.... cocktails are safe. I was about to empty the cupboards when we hit a particularly nasty bump. Until now I had forgotten we had Quaker oats on board. I was swiftly reminded as they shot out of the cupboard and hit the floor. Suddenly it was as if we were travelling inside a Snow Globe.

Oats floated in the air, covering everything. Little flakes of oats scattered on every surface. We were to find the odd one for days afterwards. I quickly forgot about this as I fielded tins of tuna on their missile like floor bound journey. Whilst I was lurching around trying to catch things I was somewhat disturbed to note that every now and then as we hit a particularly nasty bump I could see daylight between the slideout and the Rig wall as the slides tipped outwards! Not much we could do about that so I chose to ignore this observation to concentrate on saving the tinned goods.

Ignoring the crashing & banging & cursing coming from behind him Graeme quietly and determinedly carried on.

He then said “I can see there is a panel open and it’s not a bay door” Luckily we were at a wider bit of what one day may be a road. We pulled over, looked under the Rig to find the radiator panel had come unattached one end where a screw had been shaken out. Graeme was lying in the dust trying to fix it whilst Mexicans were racing by shouting words of encouragement, or it could have been abuse, we were in the middle of the road works, but it sounded friendly enough. Unable to refix the screw we resorted to Gaffer tap. Never travel without it.

We set off again, Graeme watching the road closely. Me? I’m watching the sunset. What was that I said about stopping early?

We arrived at our destination the same time as the dusk. Perfect timing. We set up, brushed a few more loose oats of the sofa, sat down, and had cold beer.

On arrival @ The Maranatha RV Park, just outside La Paz, we noticed that a mechanic was fixing the Rig next door (funny that). We spoke to the owner who mentioned that although it was Sunday tomorrow, they would be returning to continue to work on it. If we asked he would look at ours. Next morning the guys arrived, Graeme went over to speak to them. Within minutes, problem assessed, drill borrowed, bits purchased and problem fixed. Excellent work. In the future the Rig may fall apart but that panel will never come off.

It will be a great road when it is done.

In La Paz we met up with Rainer and Jane again, who had now reached their destination and would now be staying here for the winter. La Paz was originally a pearling centre and although it has become a tourist destination remains a proper working Mexican town. We spent a few days here and after putting the Rig back together wandered along the 5 km Malecon, admiring the sculptures and beautiful sea front. Whilst here we decided that we would investigate the Ferry details and sort out the paper work required to take the Rig to the mainland. (To go to the mainland you need to register the vehicle and then place a “hologram”sticker to the windscreen which is to stop you selling the vehicle in Mexico.) The ferry terminal was on the way to Tecolote beach, where you can “free camp” so we decided to head that way and stay a few days on the beach first.

On the way back we pulled up outside the terminal and were just getting out when a young German man came over. Did we know where the office was, he asked. Yes we replied we have just been there and are returning to complete the documentation, come with us. Whilst waiting for the paper work (it is a long process) , we discovered that he, his wife and their 18 month daughter were travelling to South America in their vehicle which was over 25 years old! Looking the motor home we were not so sure they would make their destination, but they will certainly have a good time along the way.

So, we meet some interesting people on our travels. Although for a few, the word interesting could sometimes be replaced with a different adjective like................... uhm let me think of one. Oh I know how about crazy?

We meet:-

That's why we take the bends very carefully!

Fellow travellers, each with their own goals, destination and reasons for travelling. They = interesting.

We meet people who have made their life in a different country, also = interesting.

Local people, happy to share their time with you = very interesting.

People with different views and opinions = Interesting and thought provoking.

Then.......... there are the conspiracy theorists and there are more than a few about.

Now, they = Barking!

As we have been travelling through the election period (bet you thought I would never mention it!) conversations have, in general been very interesting.

We had driven through many States of the USA where we had seen a lot of Trump signs, some where we didn’t expect it so much. We have spoken to many people and listened to the radio for hours, which incidentally was mostly terrible journalism. We started to have an awful feeling Trump might just get in. It appeared that many people didn’t actually examine the facts, lies, and conspiracy theories. It also appeared that few people in the media questioned his lies, his outrageous lies and his crazy, totally impossible statements like “Hilary is going to let in 650 million immigrants”, really? That’s ten times the UK population, most of India or double the amount of the current USA population. Therefore obviously not true.

However when chatting to people, without fail, someone would quote us these “facts” word for word and if we questioned them we established they really believed them.

One campsite we stayed at we got chatting to the owner.

The next day he offered us a lift into town, so we got talking some more. He started about Obama not being American. We didn’t say much. Then he said “didn’t you know that?” We said “no” he then went on to explain in a convoluted, multi layer, completely un follow able (even he got lost) history of Obama’s life. He discussed Obama’s faked birth certificate, faked birth announcement & faked school records, He concluded by saying you can down load a copy of his birth certificate and then separate the layers to see where it had been doctored. We sat in silence, not much you can say really. Then
Playa Santispac.Playa Santispac.Playa Santispac.

Fisheye view
he moved on to the Illuminati and Hilary being a devil worshiper ............. Time to get out. We did ask if he thought Trump would be any good, and he said he would because he is a good business man. Oh Really. The next day we were up by the house to check our emails and could hear him listening to conspiracy theories on the internet! At this point we knew why the election was lost.

Ironically it turned out he was an illegal American immigrant in Mexico, not the first we had met, so that’s OK then?

Each area we travel through offers us a different lifestyle.

Here, we are definitely on Baja time. We get up with the dawn and bed time is often just shortly after dark. If we get up any earlier, Graeme, who is naturally nocturnal, will be rising when he used to go to bed. We lost and then gained an hour as we travelled down the Baja, Then somewhere along the way we lost another one, but we didn’t notice for a couple of days. It was only because we had a “what IS the time ” conversation with some other people who were equally unaware, we realised. It’s like the old joke “how many (put your own nation here)people does it take to change a light bulb” only now it is “how many people do you need to tell the time in the Baha” well so far in our experience it took six.

So what do we think of the Baja so far?

Well, Fidel’s, gave us an empty beach and amazing sun sets. In Catavina, we saw scenery we have never seen before with cacti, bolder fields and shooting stars

At Bahia de los Angeles we watched dolphins and stunning sun rises and at Concepcion saw the whale sharks and flying fish. The coastline is truly beautiful and isolated, the only way to see it is to drive it. Along the way we met some really nice, interesting people and enjoyed their company. This is what we had come for. I think the photos probably give a better idea than my ramblings.

............ LATER

We have arrived at Los Barriles and will now
And Relax............And Relax............And Relax............

Post drive chat with other campers on Tecolote beach.
spend a few weeks in one place!!!

We have booked into a park that was recommended by Karen & Malcolm who we met when we were RV’ing in North America last time, & who stayed here ten years ago. It is an area many “snowbirds” come to for the winter but remains a very Mexican town.

It is the first time we have settled for a while, the table, chairs & BBQ are out. Life is taking on a different pace. The people staying here are mostly Canadian and a few Americans and British (or ex British) It’s a hugely social environment. Walking around the park is pretty challenging, you don’t get far before as you are hailed “join us for a drink”.

Walking around Los Barriles we noticed that most people get around on ATVs. We had only been here a couple of days when we were told there was to be an ATV trip though the mountains. We hadn’t time to rent one so were offered a lift by Bob and Susan. We travelled through the arroyos (dry river beds) and up across the mountains, had lunch at a
La PazLa PazLa Paz

Boats along the Malecon.
little restaurant and then back down to finish at a beach bar.

A week later we enjoyed an ATV treasure hunt laid out by Gordon, who is English. We benefited greatly from this because (a) he used miles and (b) apparently Canadians do not know that those tall things that hold electric wires up are called “pylons” So the instruction of turn left at the 2nd pylon caused considerable Canadian confusion.........

I got a lift with Fred in his RAZR, which is a mega souped up ATV, & Graeme went with Gordon who let him drive most of the way. Not only is it great speedy thrills but a good way to see the surrounding countryside. On first appearances it looks so barren but we saw donkeys, rabbits, vultures, an owl and a small waterfall, which was quite unexpected.

Each day here something else pops up for us to do. There is music on the beach & in the Bars. You can cycle & walk around. We can just potter out to the village to eat, not something we have been able to do for a while. There is good snorkelling & swimming
Jacques Cousteau.Jacques Cousteau.Jacques Cousteau.

The are lovely sculptures all along the Malacon. Here Jacques is looking out to his island.
or you can relax with a massage. Otherwise we just sit and watch the world go by, so essentially, we are taking a holiday. It’s a tough life, but someone...... well you know how that ends.............................

We are thinking of you all getting ready for the festive season, so have a great time,


Additional photos below
Photos: 53, Displayed: 46


Snow Globe InteriorSnow Globe Interior
Snow Globe Interior

And that's after the first sweep through.
Rig first aid, job done Rig first aid, job done
Rig first aid, job done

There is always someone nearby to help.
Pretty Mexican BuildingPretty Mexican Building
Pretty Mexican Building

Captured by Graeme's creative photography. That's before he dropped his phone in the sea!
Very Off RoadingVery Off Roading
Very Off Roading

Enjoying a great day out.
My Current Screen saver.My Current Screen saver.
My Current Screen saver.

The turquoise blues of the Sea of Cortez.

15th December 2016

Hi Mexico!
Hi Intrepid adventurers Wonderful! Keep travelling, keep safe and be happy. Enjoy every moment and have a great Christmas. David and Janice
15th December 2016

Hi you two, reading through your blog always brings back such fond memories and a chuckle..... love the Italian who lost his licence ??? I know on our journey back into the states the wealth seemed obscene.... just as I left the uk, consumerism gone mad. I'm sure a lot of the Americans voting for trump think he will make them rich. Of course he can 300 million people just a small businesses!!! Continue enjoying life. Merry Christmas to you both and all the very best for 2017 xxx
15th December 2016

As Usual
You seem to be having a great time and such adventures. Miss you lots Have a great xmas and new year and look forward to the next Blog - Al xxxxxx
15th December 2016

Going to Mexico
Hi. Glad to hear you are both having a great time (well, most of the time) !!! Happy Christmas and hopefully a Healthy, Happy New Year. xxx.
15th December 2016

Happy Xmas
Baja sounds wonderful, what a great trip. It is cold and grey here, but festive. We are off to the house in Spain for Xmas and NY, happy 2017. Simon & Carolina
17th December 2016
Snow Globe Interior

Hi Graeme and Moira--So glad to get caught up on all of your adventures. Sounds like you are having a whale of a time. We will look forward to your next blog. Take care and Merry Christmas.
19th January 2018
Tim. On his way to Chile

Tim's motorcycle trip
I came across your card in my things today and decided to take a look at the blog. If you're wondering, I didn't make it to Chile this time around. After about 2 months I had a bad wreck in Mérida and ended my trip. I will complete it in the future. Hopefully with a partner next time. Glad to see that your travels continue and that you are having a good time. All the best- Tim

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