Saturday 1st October
Our last day on the road.
Continuing south from La Paz we soon came to the beautiful Sierra De La Laguna. Passing through the old mining town of El Triunfo.
The countryside was green with a profusion of summer flowers. There were dark clouds over the top of the mountains making for a dramatic looking scene. We passed over dry arroyos, and through the fruit growing valley where there are mangos for sale in the small town of San Bartelo.
Once through the mountains the Sea of Cortez appeared in the distance. After crossing two wide arroyos we entered the outskirts of Los Barriles.
Avoiding the centre of town and the many topes there, we turned off Mex 1 onto a sand track (locally known as the ‘by-pass’) ,
Slowly we made our way to the coast road, turned left and crossed the arroyo to the small hamlet of Buenos Aires, past the horses in their pens and the many cows that roam the area.
Turning into Playa Norte RV Park, Hutch, the Camp Host was there to greet us and we parked up on our beach front site with its beautiful view over the Bahia de las Palmas, home for the next five months.
Sunday 2nd October
We have been so looking forward to getting back to Playa Norte and Los Barriles and the beautiful mountain backdrop to the west and turquoise sea to the east. We never get tired of looking across the sea and the bay, seeing the sunrise from the bedroom window each morning and swimming in the sea each day.
Evenings under the lights of the palapa. Large moth with lovely markings came to visit.
Monday 3rd October
Once we had set up camp, put up the hammock and laid out the chairs under the palapa, it soon felt like home.
Wednesday 5th October
Weather has been hot, in the 30’s mostly but with a nice afternoon breeze. It has been good to sit in the sea and cool off in the crystal clear water.
Have been out in the kayak and managed to give our small Honda engine a good run along the coast heading north past pretty holiday developments towards Punta Pescadero.
Saturday 8th October
El Gecko's Beach Bar and Restaurant. Just a short walk along the beach.
Sunday 9th October
The mosquito proof tent.
Lazy Daze Beach Bar. Twenty minutes walk along the beach across the arroyo.
Back for dinner.
Monday 10th October
Eating Molcajete at El Gecko.
Tuesday 11th October
The local wildlife – Hummingbird and Chipmunk
Wednesday 12th October
Not sure what they were celebrating but they arrived on horseback escorted by friends for a romantic dinner for two on the beach,
Thursday 13th October
Poorly foot! Too much running after Gecko's and Chipmunks.
Saturday 15th October
Sunday 16th October
Sandy relaxing and resting her foot. Pete and Tony kayaking.
Monday 17th October
A trip to Cabo San Lucas and lunch in the marina at Baja Brew Pub.
Tuesday 18th October
Peter, with some delicious looking coconut prawns at La Casita Restaurant in Los Barriles.
Friday 21st October
Fiona and Peter arrive. Hurray !
Guacamole at El Gecko
El Pirata Restaurant in Los Barriles.
It's hot! That calls for humongous Margaritas.
Dinner is cooking.
Saturday 22nd October
This iguana lives in the branch of a tree at the RV Park. It is rare to see the whole of him, it is usually just the end of his tail or the top of his head sticking out of the branch.
Sunday 23rd October
We headed north on Mex 1 into the mountains to the old silver mining town of El Triunfo. The town was built in the 1870’s during the silver mining boom in the area. It was populated by thousands of workers brought in from Europe and China. By 1926 the mine was closed and the town almost abandoned. Mex 1 runs through the town and there are many 19th century Spanish style houses standing decaying along road with the ruins of the mine with its tall chimneystack standing at back of the town. In fact, it is often referred to as a ghost town but there is a busy small community working and living here. Some of the old colonial properties have been refurbished and there is a good bakery/café, restaurant, art, handicrafts and clothes shops.
Our first stop was for coffee at Café El Triunfo. A refurbished house, the building has lots of memorabilia and photographs of families that lived in the house or the town.
We walked around town looking at the old buildings and gardens.
For lunch, we went to Bar El Minero for paella.
Sitting out on the outside patio it was shaded and cool. In the centre of the courtyard are bronze statues of Juan Matute and his mule Sophia. He was the topographer that originally surveyed the area in the 18th century.
Everything was fine until it rained. It was torrential and we made a quick exit into the building.
Monday 24th October
Mum and baby taking their morning stroll along the beach.
Tuesday 25th October
We are off on a road trip in the RV around the bottom of the Baja peninsula. Heading south on Mex 1 our first stop is Cabo San Lucas, the party capital of BCS. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find RV parks in San Lucas because the real estate is becoming too valuable and the parks are being sold off. We stayed at one of the remaining, Club Cabo, a mixture of motel and RV park. It is tucked away down a sand track that looks like it was an old road, however it was very convenient to the centre of town and the marina.
The quality of the facilities here varied but the pool was great.
One of the campsite dogs seemed to have an affinity with Peter.
Wednesday 26th October
Dinner at Rancho Pescadero.
We met up with a friend of Pete’s from his days with IBM, Malcolm with his wife Juanita. Malcolm moved to the US with IBM and after retirement went to live in Baja.
It is never easy to wind yourself into and out of the small Celica interior.
We left Club Cabo to continue our circular journey around the peninsula. Rounding Lands End we left the Sea of Cortez behind and continued north on Mex 19 along the Pacific West Cape. We stayed at Baja Serena RV Park in El Pescadero, although it wasn’t easy to find.
Hitching the car
Thursday 27th October
Before going into Todos Santos we paid a visit to Cerritos Beach. Good surf and a nice beach bar restaurant.
Todos Santos was an old sugar plantation town and then became an agricultural centre. Recent years it has become known for being quite a bohemian place, popular with artists and there are many fine galleries. There are nice shops, selling good quality products, particularly jewellery. There are also plenty of bars, café’s and restaurants.
Of course, there is also the famed Hotel California!
Many of the shops were displaying elaborate Day of the Dead figures and skulls.
We spent some time at this beatifically decorated hotel, that comes complete with Mariachi band figures on the roof. We sat on the outside patio listening to Eagles music. Fiona was particularly delighted because the Eagles are one of her favourite groups
I think the restroom signs made it clear which door to use!
Around the town plaza are some streets with nicely restored 19th century building, some adobe style. Also, in the plaza is the mission church of Nuestra Senora Del Pilar.
Friday 28th October
La Paz and breakfast at Hotel Mediterranean.
The Maranatha RV Park where we stayed has a very inviting swimming pool. To escape the midday heat we decided to have a dip.
All was well, until suddenly this happened! They came from nowhere, a plague of teenagers.
Big Ruby’s for dinner. This restaurant is on the Bay of La Paz in El Centenario.
We sat on the outside patio at a beautiful handmade mosaic bar top, watching the fishing boats coming and going and the pelicans looking for a fish supper. From here there is a superb view of La Paz across the bay and we watched as the glow of the sunset faded and the lights of the city came on.
Saturday 29th October
Time to hitch up the car again and leave La Paz.
We got back onto Mex 1 and passed a rancher herding his cattle alongside the road. We soon passed the Whale tail emblem of the city and headed south towards the Sierra del la Laguna.