Off to Los Angeles, but not a single celebrity in sight!
Quick Note: We're catching up on our past travels, with post dates showing the actual time and order they happened. To see our current location check our MAP link at the top of the page.
Leaving Gonzaga Bay, we continued south on MX-5 until it merged with MX-1, the highway that begins in Tijuana and continues south the entire length of the Baja peninsula, ending in Cabo San Lucas. The highways in Baja can be a bit scary. What we mean by that is, sometimes the shoulder can be nice and wide, extending beyond the painted white fog line. No problem, right? In some places the shoulder may only be a couple of inches wide, maybe even non-existent, and/or full of potholes. When you have semi-trucks passing you, or coming at you in the opposite direction, you almost feel like you have to suck in your gut and have a steady hand on the wheel to make sure they can get by without ripping off a sideview mirror. Especially with a rig as big as ours. But it gets even better (or worse?). Too frequently the fog line disappeared as part of the lane was missing, having collapsed and been washed away by rushing water. A few times these spots were marked with an orange cone or a stone cairn erected by a fellow concerned traveler. Other times there’s no warning at all...a portion of, or your entire lane, is simply missing. These road conditions, as well as open cattle grazing, are why you’d want to heed the advice of others to not drive at night in Mexico. No worries, Dennis did a great job of getting us from Gonzaga Bay to Bahía de Los Ángeles.
Our friends Braden & Lyndsay that we met later on our trip posted a great YouTube video on their channel showing some of the terrible damage done to the MX-5 during Hurricane Rosa in October 2018. Check out their video HERE and follow their Instagram posts HERE.
Turning east off MX-1 we drove the short 40 miles out to Bahía de los Ángeles, enjoying the numerous cacti, wildflowers and the fantastic view looking down at the beautiful bay. Arriving in town before our friends the Wolfs we pulled into a Pemex gas/minimart store to grab a few grocery items. We were pleasantly surprised to find a few bottles of our favorite ready-to-drink Kirkland brand Golden Margaritas. Yum! This wasn’t the yucky kind made with wine, it was the good one made with real gold tequila. These work really well in our camper as the bottle is unbreakable plastic. Obviously, somebody shops at a Costco to fill the shelves. Who knows how far away the closest Costco is from this remote little place! Later we found Kirkland brand items at other little stores as well, and were happy when we did as they were low-priced and good quality.
There's nothing like a cold margarita to quench your thirst after a day of Mexico travel
About five miles north of town, at the end of an unpaved road, is a quasi-campground called Playa La Gringa, its name plastered with white rocks high up on the side of a hill. We say quasi because there were no toilets and trash cans there were emptied only when a local got around to doing it. We’d find the cans toppled overnight, likely by the coyotes we’d hear howling at night. Along the shoreline is a natural berm of deep rocks on which to park your vehicle. We parked so that the side door of our camper faced the water. There is nothing like the sound of waves to read, lounge, and sleep by. We were so close that we were concerned that high-tide might reach us, but it never did, coming about three feet from us.
The Wolfs relaxing after our arrival
We awoke to more campers, but this kind of Los Angeles rush-hour we can handle!
Hey Jens, how high did you say the tide will come up tonight??
We saw our very first dolphins while walking along the beach one day. They were so close to the shore, it felt like you could almost reach out and touch them. They were very playful. Dennis and Jens both tried their hand at fishing but had no luck. We found the water here a bit too cold for swimming. We saw osprey most days, doing a better job than the guys did fishing for their lunch of fish or small crabs in the shallows.
I see you!
The eye-in-the-sky predator is coming for you!
While our first few nights were OK, the winds later became super strong here. One night it was so bad that our friends, the Wolfs, packed up in the middle of the night and moved back up the beach where there was some foliage, hoping it might provide a bit of protection. We toughed it out, but it was a miserable night. Some local Mexicans setup for a few days of fishing were camped next to us. The winds blew their tents all night, causing them to flap for hours while they tried to sleep. It was bad inside our camper, I can’t imagine how bad it would have been in a tent!
The only thing breaking the wind out here was Mr. Nomad
Even turning around and parking our hard back-end into the wind didn't help
The next morning, we and the Wolfs decided to look for a more sheltered location. We drove out through the piles of trash (have we mentioned how awful the trash is in Baja?) and mounds of broken glass to get around to the other side of the hill. After a bit of searching, we found a secluded spot, and stayed a couple of nights before heading back around the hill to Playa La Gringa. By then, the wind was a bit lighter.
Let's get the hell out of this wind! (Photo credit Jens Wolf)
Ah, this is more like it! (Photo credit Jens Wolf)
After moving back to our original spot Dennis took a stroll one morning with his cup of coffee, and came upon some fellow campers at the end of the berm. We believe they were from Canada. He noticed a man sitting in his camp-chair gazing out at the bay. As Dennis got closer, he noticed the guy was not wearing a shirt, and thought it odd being so early in the chilly morning. Even closer he noticed the guy was not only shirtless, he was bottomless as well, buck-naked! Dennis figured he’d introduce himself to the naturist another day, but they left shortly after this. As it turns out we’d see them again, parked in the same spot, as we made our way north in March 2019. We didn’t note in our travel logbook whether he was clothed or not.
Bahía de los Ángeles
Sunrise over Bahía de los Ángeles
All in all, we stayed a little less than a week, mainly due to the incessant winds. We’d heard the bay is one of the best places to dive with whale sharks but we thought the season was over. Only later would we learn a family we’d met in San Felipe came to the bay a week after we’d left and got to see the sharks before they began their migration away. Back in town, on our way out, we were able to use free Wi-Fi outside a restaurant and stock up on more groceries (and a few more bottles of the Kirkland Margaritas) before departing. Our next destination was to be the Malarrimo Motel & RV Park in Guerrero Negro across the Baja peninsula on the Pacific Ocean.