We have been seriously neglecting this blog, and for that we are sorry. It is time for an update that isn’t rushed, full of errors (well, we can’t promise that there will be zero errors, we are far from professional bloggers), and missing major events.
Two big things happened between San Marcos, CA and San Felipe that we forgot to include in the last blog posts.
- While leaving Lake San Marcos, we hit some sort of drainage dip in the road and poor Cici’s frame cracked! Paul noticed the motorcycle was hanging down pretty low and we got out to investigate. Sure enough, the frame extension that had the trailer hitch broke and couldn’t support the motorcycle any more. After evaluating the situation, we decided to press on. Paul rode Cicita into San Diego and Meridian drove Cici. Fortunately, we were able to get her patched up to continue the journey (Thanks, Jacob!).
- After driving on the rough road to La Bocana, Paul started thinking that having the motorcycle on the back was too much. It was causing more stress that it was worth and we considered ditching the bike. Luckily for us, our friend Jacob was coming down to meet us for Christmas and was willing to take the bike back with him (Thanks again, Jacob!). So as of San Felipe, we don’t have the motorcycle any more. It was tough getting rid of her, especially since she was such a big help when Cici was broken, but we are glad we did it.
Now, on with the adventures.
Heading South along the Sea of Cortez side, we drove out to Bahia de Los Angeles. To get there, you have to drive through a long stretch of unpaved (mostly washboard) road. In the middle of that journey is Coco’s Corner. A little gem in the middle of the desert. Coco has eccentric decorations, truck trailers you can apparently camp in, and sells beer/soda. Many people stop here to stretch, chat with Coco or other travelers, and enjoy a cold beverage.
After a quick stop, we headed to Bay of L.A. through the Valle de los Cirios. These amazing succulents look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, and are pretty cool plants. They can be as tall as 70 ft, and live for hundreds of years.
Once we arrived, we headed out to Punta la Gringa to camp on the beach. No one else was out there except some coyotes. While we were camped there we wandered around the beach, hunted for oysters, accidentally got stuck on a little tidal island while hiking during high tide, and enjoyed the wildlife. Later we scouted out a different spot on a sandy beach across the bay. It was nice to have sand, plus there was hills to hike around on right behind our spot. The bay was nice and it is a beautiful area, the weather wasn’t quite what we wanted though and we kept heading South to find the sun and the warmer weather.
Our plan after Bahia de los Angeles was to head to a little surf camp near Santa Rosalita, but we were inspired to take a detour to check out the Mision San Borja in the middle of nowhere. That is one of the best things about this trip, no itinerary. We can go wherever we please, whenever we please!
Off we went into the desert through an arroyo (dried up river bed) to find the next adventure. The drive ended up being worth it on its own. We were in awe at the amount of plants, the variety of plants, and the rock formations surrounding us. We got a tiny bit lost and ended up doing some of the drive in the dark, but as the sun went down we got to enjoy an amazing sunset.
When we finally arrived, it was dark and we planned to just pull up to a palapa and pass out. To our surprise, the kind caretaker came out to greet us and let us know his son would take us on a tour of the area in the morning. We were plesently surprised by how thorough the tour was, we got to see the slightly restored church building, the old ruins of the original building, and learned about the history as well (all in Spanish).
Next, we went on a hike around the grounds surrounding the old buildings. He led us through old orchards of olives, mangoes, grapes, and more and in the middle of the orchards was a warm spring pool that had been built up in the 1770’s when the mission was founded. We later got to take a dip in the springs, after hiking through the valley up the original road used by the indigenous people before the mission was even there. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the local history and plants of the area.
His family has been taking care of the mission for seven generations. They do all of this for free and take donations which they use to slowly preserve the mission. (I wish I could remember his name, he was so great) Our guide was patient and helped us practice our Spanish, he spoke a little bit of English and answered lots of questions we had. The whole experience was amazing. To think, we almost drove right past it! Turns out that the unplanned stops can end up being the best.
Next stop – Pacific coast surf camp! Our friend Jake was kind enough to loan his surf board out, and we plan to try and teach ourselves to surf. We headed South and stopped for a night on a little beach near the town of Guerrero Negro. It was mostly just a place to sleep before getting groceries and heading to the surf camp, but it has to be mentioned so we can post the amazing pictures we took.
After a big supply run and laundry day in Guerrero Negro, we finally headed to the surf camp for New Years Eve. The road was rough and slow going, but well worth it. There were tons of people when we first got there, so we parked where we could and set up camp.
We almost made it to midnight for NYE, but baja midnight got the best of us and we retired well before the clock struck 12:00. We still enjoyed some champagne that we bought from a Mexican winery up North, and made some friends along the way. For the next five or six days we enjoyed our home North of Santa Rosaliita with a lovely surf community at a small fishing camp. There were little shelters and we eventually scored one after a few days, and were able to make ourselves more at home. The fishermen even set up a stand and sell yummy tacos with fish, shrimp, lobster, chicken mole, and more – which were super yummy of course. Our time was spent snorkeling, trying to surf, hiking around the hills and sand dunes near by, and relaxing. It was our first long term stop on the road so far, and we enjoyed feeling a bit more settled in.
Meridian enjoyed a tiny bit of surfing (very tiny bit), snorkeling, hiking around, and hunting for seashells on the amazing beaches. There were hundreds (literally) of sand dollars that were deposited each day as the tide went out, and lots of other cool things like bones and other shells. Paul enjoyed working hard on his surf skills, fishing, and hiking around. We had some super cool neighbors that were fun to share a fire with at the end of the day. After a few days of Paul borrowing a wetsuit from the neighbors, our extremely kind neighbor gave Paul his extra wetsuit. Seriously, how nice! This set Paul up to keep working on his surfing skills even when they left and as we continue down the peninsula.
It was tough to leave this place, but the waves were pretty much non existent, the weather was taking a turn for the worse, and we were running out of water (which makes Meridian SUPER nervous). We packed up, said goodbye, and continued on South in search of even warmer weather and more of the Baja feel.