We found what we needed on the seashores of old Mexico. ~Lyrics from a George Strait song, one of many Mr. Ramble’s favorites.
Once we crossed the border into Baja, Mexico last Thursday morning, we read we should keep driving to get out of the border town area, so we kept driving south on Mex 1. I can guarantee you that we looked like deer-in-the-headlight-Gringos especially with the highway being very rolling up and down mountainous terrain along this highway.
After about 1 1/2 hours, we reached the first area we wanted to check out, Valle de Guadalupe. It is a premier wine making region, gourmet foodie restaurants, and rustic/chic hotel/lodging. It is the Mexican version of Napa Valley. The problem was it was now 930AM and we were driving our motorhome with our pull-behind car.
We didn’t know exactly what wineries to check out and we couldn’t make last second choices for turning onto side roads with the motorhome. And we didn’t want to drink wine mid-morning while planning to continue driving. So, we skipped over this region. I think we were honestly just excited to keep rolling down the road towards the coastline.
Shortly after we drove out of the Guadalupe region, we descended through a mountain range with Ensenada in view on the coastline and the beautiful blue ocean was calling us. We pulled into the city and stocked up on some groceries to get us through a few days as well as more gas. Then we traveled further south on Mex 1 while following the Pacific coastline that moved more inland until we drove further south of the town of San Quintin.
We pulled into the camping area called El Pabellón RV Park on the Pacific Ocean beach of Bahia de San Quintín (Bay of San Quintín). It’s a stunning location with miles and miles of sand dunes, undeveloped coastline, and mellow surf. We couldn’t have picked a better, more beautiful, first night’s camping location in Mexico. As soon as we set up camp, we then strolled down the beach for half mile and back to soak in the fact we had made it to the Pacific in Baja, Mexico.
There was only one other camper there with a couple with whom we shared a campfire. This couple had experience with driving Baja a couple previous times, so they gave us additional excellent advice for the following day’s drive. Turns out there’s a gas gap of almost 200 miles shortly after where we camped for our first night that thankfully our new friends tipped us off on. They also tipped us off about the pot holes we were about to experience during the next leg of the highway. So, the next day we followed them stopping in El Rosario to fill up on gas prior to the gas gap.
Then we drove a couple more hours through the longest stretch of mountainous area of Baja while driving over and trying to dodge pot holes to Cataviña where we camped for the night at Rancho Santa Inez. It’s about a mile off the highway in what is basically a large rancher’s lot. As we set up camp, a couple horses even wandered out near us which catches you by surprise until you remind yourself you’re in Mexico.
This whole area around Cataviña is densely covered with giant boulder fields and many types of cacti. We got settled into to this new location and went for a hike with our friends through the desert around the boulders and cacti. There’s an entertaining 85-year-old American rancher that lives nearby that stopped by for conversation and even helped Mr. Ramble with grounding our tow dolly lights a little better.
The next morning, we started back out on the highway through the terrible pot hole section of highway until we made it to the cut-off highway to Bahia de Los Angeles. This is side trip route 42 miles eastward off the main highway to the Gulf. This cut-off highway was in perfect condition compared to the main highway and a welcome relief.
It’s a beautiful view of the bay coming down out of the mountain range to the Gulf. The town is nothing exciting, but we camped right on the beach at Daggett’s RV Park. There are quite a few islands just off the coast in the bay that make for a gorgeous view. Normally, without taking this side trip highway, you don’t get to see the Gulf until much further south.
We drove our car a few miles north along the coast to check it out and on our return to camp we collected firewood on the side of the highway in the desert. It’s not that there are large trees from which to get firewood, but mostly only scrubby shrub type of plants. Our night was again fabulous with another campfire on the beach while accented by the bright stars.
Our RV Park provided washing machine tubs for campfires. How awesomely resourceful is that so the ground wasn’t messy with a bunch of campfire pits. The tub naturally had ventilation and heat holes while being portable.
After a day in this town and on the bay camped on the beach, we were anxious to get back on the highway again to continue southward. We had to retrace our side trip highway back to the main Mex 1 where we navigated through 80 more miles of pot holes, but the it was the last of them and we reached the town of Guerrero Negro. This brought us back again to the Pacific Coast.
We are thoroughly enjoying Baja while getting the hang of it all! The necessities of water, propane, and dump stations haven’t been hard to find. Finding internet connections was the biggest challenge, but we’re figuring out how to deal with that too. Hasta luego!
C'mon, we want you to RAMBLE Along with us!
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