Bienvenidos a México!
México at last! So far, we have been to two different campgrounds in Baja. The first was just south of Mexicali, called Campo Mosqueda. It was a very nice site right on the Colorado River before it makes its way south and into the Gulf of California. It had wonderful hot showers, picnic tables, BBQ/grilling stands, a restaurant, AND we had the whole place to ourselves. One of my favorite parts was watching the birds. I don’t know what kind they were, but they were big and white, almost like a heron. If I had to guess, I would say they were egrets. They walked very slowly in the shallow parts of the river to sneak up on their prey. And, they all seemed to hang around in one nearby palm tree. They were very cool.
A beautiful first camping night in México at Campo Mosqueda
After staying just one night at Campo Mosqueda we moved south to San Felipe, a lovely beach town located on the western shore of the Gulf of California (aka the Sea of Cortez). The campground we are in now is called Campo Touristico #1. We learned later it was named this as it was the first RV park created in San Felipe.
The entrance to rustic but nice Campo Turistico #1
Did somebody say beach camping?
We had decided we'd hang out in San Felipe a bit because the Baja 1000 is going to come through town later this week. We have a friend, Michael Boge, that is riding in a motorcycle team, and he’s riding the first leg of the race from Ensenada to San Felipe. We might even stay another week just because it is so nice, and not too expensive at $100 US for a week.
Our friend Michael rides the 2018 Baja 1000 course beside Mexico Hwy 5 on his way to meet his team for a rider change
Michael (helmet off) gets a well-deserved break after riding the first leg of the 2018 Baja 1000 off-road race
Michael passes along knowledge to his teammate that rides the second leg of the race
Campo Touristico #1 also has palapas (simple shaded areas covering a picnic table), BBQs, and a restaurant. The showers are cold, so we will just use the one in our camper. The best part about this place is that it is literally right on the beach. The worst part is that the first few days the wind was relentless, seeming to blow a steady 25 mph. Finally, today we got a break and it was muy bonita. This is the first time since our honeymoon in Cancun that we have seen the sunrise over the ocean.
Dennis setup a makeshift windbreak so he could grill sausages in the seemingly nonstop wind
Sunrise over the Gulf of California...strange for lifelong residents of the West coast that are used to sunsets over the ocean
No shortage of beautiful sunrises in Baja. This local resident collected small clams each morning.
We have already made several friends here. There are a couple of vehicles from British Columbia Canada, one from Colorado, one from Washington, and another from Germany. Some, like us, have sold their homes and are traveling full-time, while others are just here for a short while. Some have small children that they’re home-schooling and others are older couples, like us. It doesn’t matter; we will relish our time together enjoying the culture, the food, and the scenery.
Our new friends the Wolf's (www.wolf16.com) shipped their nice Fuso-chassis rig to Nova Scotia and have been full-time travelers for almost three years!
We are close enough to walk into town, which we have done several times now. We have had lunch along the Malecón (an esplanade along the ocean) and stopped into a local panadería (bakery) for some yummy baked goods. One of our new friends at the campground brought us a carne asada empanada for breakfast. The food here is delicious. Internet friends recommended we check out the tacos el pastor at El Kikiriki and they were delicious! Nearby was a place serving one of our favorite foods, ceviche. We had both the fish and shrimp versions and ended up going back another day for more!
Exploring the Malecón in San Felipe
We had wonderful tacos el pastor at El Kikiriki on the malecón
Fresh seafood at Mariscos El Güero on the malecón
Fresh fish (pescado) and shrimp (camaron) cevice tostadas
As we walked back to our camp in the evening we were sometimes treated to spectacular sunsets over the hills near the beach. We can't get enough of these sunset colors!
Sunset at San Felipe
Sunset at San Felipe, taken offshore thanks to a very low tide due to a full moon
A nearly-full moon rises above the ocean, seen from our beachfront campsite
You may recall from an earlier blog post that I received a drone as a retirement gift. Dennis has spent some time learning how to fly it, and when the wind finally settled down for a few days he was able to get some neat shots of our camp and its proximity to town.
Our campsite showing us at the far left end, with the Wolf's truck beside us
Another view of our campsite
San Felipe as seen from far up above our campsite
One morning, the local Middle School drum/bugle band marched by on the road next to our camp site. How fun is that! They are preparing to be in the parade for the Mexican Independence Day on the 20th.
Middle school drum/bugle band practicing their moves
Our first attempts at grocery shopping here in México have been fun. Dennis wanted to cook a pork butt or shoulder in our slow cooker for some pulled-pork. A trip to the meat counter in the local mercado (market) was hilarious after attempting a Google Translate on our phone. A local American ended up helping us out. Other purchases have been interesting to say the least, finding new things all the time.
Very-loose Google Translate version of pork butt
These turned out to not be as good as they look but Dennis ate them nonetheless
A couple of things we see a lot of here in Baja is trash and dogs. It appears that people just toss their trash wherever. It is all along the roadsides and it makes us sad to see it. Everybody seems to have multiple dogs, but you can’t always tell who they belong to as they seem to just wander around all over the place. Two dogs belonging to a local that lived next to our camp would come down each day to visit and play with Dennis. They were nice, but we wished they could have picked up their messes before they would wander back home. Others would wander the town in small packs, seeming to play chicken with local vehicle traffic. They are friendly enough, but don’t seem to be taken care of or loved as part of the family like they are in the U.S. It’s just one more thing we need to adjust to here in our winter home of Baja México.
The two neighbor dogs that would visit us a couple times a day
A roaming pack of dogs wandering the streets of town
Stay tuned for our next blog post when we'll tell about things like the attempting to learn both Spanish and the metric system, military roadblocks and inspections, buying filtered water, topes (potholes) and other uniquely Mexican things. Until then, Adiós!
Adiós from paradise!