The weather in Clarkdale Arizona started to turn cold, and we wanted none of that. We needed to turn in our Temporal Importacion Permit on the van before its expiration date. And our friends www.theslowdutchman.com were in Baja, so we decided to dash down to hang out. It was a great little respite for a couple of weeks!
We crossed in Mexicali and spent the first night in San Felipe. This village has become a city and the population is an interesting blend. Because of its fast growth and proximity to the border, there is really nowhere to boondock nearby. So we settled for a night at Playa Laura RV Park. (insert photo) This location is close enough to stroll down to the malecon and right on the ocean.
The next day we drove to Puertocitos. We were going to stop and enjoy the hot springs, but things have changed there. Visitors must now pay a toll at a gate to enter the village. The fee varies whether camping or using the hot pools. We just weren’t interested in more fees so we drove onward. It was a particularly windy day and we were seeking shelter from the wind with our camping spot. We found that using iOverlander and settled in to a small cove.
This little “fishermans cove” looked beautiful with a black pebble beach and flat parking. We decided to park on the pebbles for less sand in the van. Whew, that was a mistake. Those pebbles were like marbles. We parked Alta-the giant van on top of a bin of marbles and she promptly sunk in! We spent nearly an hour digging, stacking larger rocks and using the TREDs to inch our way out of the pebbles. Back on solid ground we set up camp just thirty feet from the waves. The cove provided some wind block as the ocean raged against the winds. It was a beautiful night.
The next day we noticed on MAPS.ME that we were on the edge of a volcano preserve, so we decided to hike over and check it out. We found a large, briny salt lake and a steep, tall peak. At the base of the peak we discovered some ruins of indigenous peoples. Clearly stacked rock walls, grain storage, fire nooks and various “rooms”. These ruins looked much like native sites we have discovered in Arizona. Beach, desert or mountain- the natives had to work hard to eke out survival. This was a fun exploration hike and the dogs loved all the dead fish parts and rabbit holes!
Our next stop was Gonzaga Bay. This used to require some time on a rough, dirt road. But progress has been made and the road is paved almost to Coco’s Corner. We selected Campo Beluga as our base. No electricity. No wifi. No hot water. No worries! Just beachfront with a great palapa and lots of friendly dogs. Seri fell in love with an adorable ginger fella’. They took long walks along the beach and romped in the sand. He was camera shy, so I missed the photo opp! She was exhausted after the romance, and slept for a whole day in the back of the van. We relaxed for a few days and enjoyed books, walks, sunrises, sunsets and quiet days.
On the way South a traveler has little choice but to stop in Guerrero Negro. It is a company town; built for the salt production plant. But we located a great little cafe. We did laundry, bought groceries and used wifi. We met a couple from Canada who are on their first journey in their unique VW van. They were quite excited about their first trip to Mexico and were headed all the way to Panama. We hope they have a fun, fantastic and safe journey!
The Slow Dutchies were not quite ready to meet up. So we stopped at one of our favorite campsites near the village of Punta Abreojos. This spot offers long, wide, sandy beaches for dogs to run on. and a wonderful variety of beach detritus and dead things to keep them amused. The campsite near Punta Abreojos is a windy location after 11:00 each day. We set up the awning wall to function as a windbreak. It worked well. A few more good books were read. And some serious disconnected relaxing took place. There is no phone signal, no electricity, no humans, no light pollution, etc. But we did have this little visitor drop by two nights in a row. Mike used this time to perform a routine check of all systems on the van. A very real part of van-life is the maintenance of the heart and soul of the “house”. She checked out perfectly and we are thrilled with the performance of the Ford Racing crate motor and Bostig install. Best decision ever to keep this old girl on the road and running strong.
Then we were off to our meet up point with the Dutchies. One of my favorite beaches of our entire travels has been the far end of Concepcion Bay at a beach called Playa Armenta. There are no services, no cell signal and generally no people. It is tended by a goat herder who lives in a wooden shack built into the rock walls. We had selected this location to rendezvous with www.theslowdutchman.com and spend a few days hanging out.
But plans changed and the Dutchies left after just one night! Adios, Dutchies, we will see you again someday. So we stayed a few more nights to enjoy this peaceful cove. We even got a few hours on the paddle board when the wind let up. We settled in to the rhythm of living out of a van.
Then it was time for us to head North again. We made the trip rather quickly. And we did have an unfortunate night back in San Felipe. While we were sleeping, someone snuck around the van and stole a few things from us. We will miss our cool chairs, dish soap, bike seat and scrubby pad…… but we will not miss Mike’s smelly, old flip flops!
I snapped a few fun photos along the way back towards the USA. Keep watching these posts to see what we are up to next. Subscribe below and you won’t miss a thing!