Sunday, December 08, 2013
We left San Carlos Thursday morning and made it that evening to Puerto Penasco after a confusing bit where the road suddenly ended and we had quite a way of dirt road - no signs at all... hoping we were on the right road, the sun had gone down and it was starting to get dark and chilly. We phoned the little B&B where we had booked for the night and the lady gave us directions as we drove through town. The room was tiny - just room for a queen bed with a foot to spare on either side and a miniscule bathroom but very cute. We had a late dinner by which time it had turned rather cold - for us at least. Being used to temps in the high 70s, mid 40's was decidedly chilly!
Day 2: we drove around the top of the Sea of Cortez past some beautiful scenery, most of which is the nature reserve. We went though 4 military check points on the way, which made a total of 7 since we left home! Each time we had to get out of the car, explain where we came from and where we were going and they tapped all the panels of the car with the back of a screwdriver, presumably looking for contraband. We made it to San Felipe through road works on Highway 5 at lunch time and had a good look around the town. We stayed there 6 years ago and frankly it hadn't changed all that much. The old grocery store expanded, there was a snazzy new one on the main road but the hustlers on the Malecon were still the same... We drove to our destination south of town, a beautiful location but off the grid - well water, solar energy and it was still very cold (to us) Luckily there were lots of blankets in the room!!
Day 3: this was the difficult bit... we had 50 more miles of paved road and then it was 35 miles of very rugged dirt road to join Highway 1, it took us 2-1/2 hours to navigate the rough track but we made it! An hour later we crossed into Baja California Sur (southern Baja), where we were greeted by cloudy skies and cell service :) and off course the unavoidable roadworks at some point. It seems like most of Mexico is being re-paved!
We stopped in San Ignacio at a beautiful place on the river and stayed in a yurt, which sound a lot more basic than it sounds :) The inside was beautiful and it had an attached bathroom with hot and cold running water - such a luxury after being off the grid the night before!
(I tried to post a picture but it didn't work... maybe when we get to La Paz)
Day 4: It's still chilly (mid 40's which is good considering it's snowing at our place in Colorado!) but we had a lovely breakfast in a tent with gas space heaters warming us up. The coffee went down well as did the homemade sausage and homegrown ham with scrambled eggs. We lingered over coffee, basking in the warmth of the gas fires but eventually had to get on the road. We drove to Santa Rosalia, where the ferry from Guaymas (close to our home in San Carlos0 docks - talk about a short cut.. very industrial and not much to see. Next stop Mulege, where we drove to the lighthouse and DH had a beer on the beach (so we could use their rest room!) We followed the coastroad past Bahia Conception to Loreta, a cute town with a Malacon and a huge cruise ship just of shore (that ship will be in Guaymas tomorrow!) further south past Loreta Bay - gorgeous scenery and sea views and then across the mountains to the cent of the Baja and finally we stopped in Cuidad Constitucion in a lovely little motel but no dinner to be had - it's Sunday: everything is closed except for coffeeshops and taco stands. We checked out which taco stand had the most locals attending and had some great food. DH had quesedillas and I had beef (soft) tacos. The hard taco shells are very unusual here - probably a Texas invention :))
We met some nice people in San Ignacio, staying at the same place and traveling the same route - they are going on to stay in Todos Santos on the Pacific coast for the winter. We met up along the way a few times and had a few beers together this evening. We are bound to visit over the next few weeks. I'd love to go and see Todos Santos, I've heard it's beautiful!
Tomorrow is our last day on the road for a while - we should get to La Paz in about 3-4 hours, so an easy day, really. Then it's finding groceries and settling in for a few weeks.
It's been a wonderful trip driving down but we may take the ferry on the way back....