Friday 1st June
Los Barriles – Playa Santispac 569 km
Departed Baja Sunrise RV Park 6:30 just as the sun was coming up. Jorge, Sergio and the three dogs -Canella, Rocky and Miel – came out to say goodbye. Los Barriles has been our home for seven wonderful months but now it was time to say goodbye. With heavy hearts we turned onto Mex 1 and headed north, taking in our last views of the beautiful Bahia de Palmas. There are no plans to return but this place does get under your skin, someone described it as having ‘perfect imperfections.’ It is in a beautiful setting, but it is not a picture-perfect resort town. It is a very real working town catering for sport fishing, kiteboarding, retirees and snowbirds which makes for a good mix of locals and visitors. There is an excellent variety of restaurants and markets owned or operated by locals and the atmosphere in town is friendly and relaxed. There is plenty to do, fishing, paddle boarding, kit/wind surfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, pickleball, hot springs, cool lagoons, ATV safari, hiking, biking, arroyo exploring, and so on. We have met some great people and have had to say a lot of goodbyes these past few weeks as gradually, everyone left to go home for the summer. Now it is our turn and Rick and the dogs are the last ones left. We have made many new friends here and have had a busy social life over the months, especially playing pickleball and having one or two margaritas over dinner. We will be taking some very fond memories with us as we leave, and I am sure we will find a way of getting back one day but for now, adios LB.
So, we were back on the road, onwards and upwards to new adventures. Our first stop was Bahia de Concepcion and one of our favourite places, Playa Santispac – 200 pesos per night, no hook ups.
Apart from a couple of campers and four sailing boats moored in the bay we had the place to ourselves.
It had been a long drive and we couldn’t wait to have a dip in the warm, shallow waters of the Bahia. A short walk from the RV was Armando’s restaurant where they make a very good margarita. After an early dinner and another dip in the sea, it was an early night for us all.
Saturday 2nd June
This morning we took the dogs for a walk along the coast to the next bay.
Back at the RV we all went into the sea to cool off. The dogs love the water and are fascinated to see the fish darting about in the shallow water. It was the first time we had seen Kira swim.
Back on the road by lunch time, we continued north to San Lucas, a small cove just south of the mining town of Santa Rosalia. The RV Park was located down a sand track and was quiet, just a few long stay residents still there. We didn’t have any hook ups and the cost per night was 180 pesos.
Our journey so far had not been without incident. First, on arrival in Santispac my mobile was missing. I was convinced it was somewhere in the RV and had just slid somewhere because of the tossing and turning of the Mex 1 road. When we got to San Lucas and had 3G we used FindMyPhone, it turned out its last location was at 2:30 on the 1st June in Loreto. We had stopped at a view point over looking Loreto bay for a sandwich lunch. It’s a mystery how the phone got out of the RV, but it obviously did.
The next incident happened just before we arrived at San Lucas. Tony glanced at the rear-view camera and noticed the bikes were missing. We stopped when a cut out in the road appeared. The bike rack had cleanly sheared off, there was no sign of the rack or the two bikes attached!! We could see where the rack had hit the bonnet of the Toyota which was on the tow dolly but where it happened we have no idea. We saw or heard nothing!
Postescript: a few days later the phone was found. I was outside watching one of the slide outs being extended. I happened to glance underneath and there it was, wedged on a shelf. The phone had obviously slid under the sofa and somehow fallen through to the outside of the slide out! It had crush damage to the top but did turn on. No sign of the bikes tho!
San Lucas Cove is about 15 kms south of Santa Rosalia. We took the car into the town late afternoon. The buildings in Santa Rosalia are very different to anywhere else we have seen in Baja. There are a lot of wooden bungalow style homes, some with very slopping veranda’s or roofs, indicating their age. The town has a French colonial influence because a French company called El Boleo mined copper here in the 19th century.
Iglesia Santa Barbara de Santa Rosalia. The building is made of metal and is said to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Back at San Lucas Cove we went to the small and lovely restaurant they had on site. The food was first class, delicious and the owners, Renee, Janine and their daughter Alexandra made us very welcome.
Sunday 3rd June
Santa Rosalia - Catavina 450 Kms
North of Santa Rosalia we turned inland into the mountains, leaving the Sea of Cortez behind. Traveling through the Sierra de San Francisco and the Vizcaino Desert, crossing the border into northern Baja at Guerrero Negro.
Entering the Valle de los Cirios we come into a sparsely populated desert area that still has very little influence on it from the outside world. Approaching the small community of Catavina, giant boulders and a wide variety of desert plants and cacti in perfect condition appear in this protected wonderland.
We pulled in at Rancho Santa Inez and parked under a large mesquite tree for shade. We paid 120 pesos for the night and had the place to ourselves. No phone signal, no electric light, just perfect desert silence.