Feb 2014 tour, Part 1

Southbound to the sun and warmth….. NO Snow!

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Pat and Ruth are deeply involved with the fine science of margarita testing, at Rice and Beans.

A happy friendly group heads off with Dom to get their border business done as I prepare tasty morsels for the rendez-vous reception later this afternoon. Everything went smoothly and the group was back to enjoy the rest of the day at Potrero Park. Dom and I quite like this place and like Dan & Lisa feel it is a great jumping off point to Baja.
Day 1, the group embraces the adventure ahead and like experienced travellers manage the city streets and narrow highways with finesse. The scenery is a captivating surprise for new visitors.
The day was going really well until in Ensenada at Costco during our shopping and lunch break one of the rigs got broken into via an unlatched window and a few electronics were taken; a great disappointment to all of us. The police arrived, took the details and started investigating but the likely hood of the items being returned are not likely.
Villarino RV Park in Punta Banda, our destination for the day greeted us with wind and cool temperatures. Never the less the excursion to La Bufadora was not a disappointment. A tired group retreated to rigs for the night but the few that ventured out for the last doggy walks discovered warmer temperatures.

map

Jim’s soon to be famous signed map of the tour.

Day 2, the driving day went well and with the north west winds we all got good gas mileage. Temperatures reached at least 27 degrees celsius but the wind still blew.
In Lazaro Cardenas, RV’s lined the beach at Fidel’s RV Park in a fashion as to make a lee spot from the wind. Wind did not keep us from enjoying the beach as we walked with cameras, and the dogs freely run, and afterwards relaxing in a lee spot reading or visiting. Laughter emanating from Tim and Elaine’s RV peaked my curiosity and I had to investigate. Invited in, I found them swapping stories with Kevin and Gill and soon I was part of it.
An easy afternoon slipped into dusk and the guys lit the fire for the hotdog roast. Wieners, buns and all the fixings and more filled the table. When the coals were just right we roasted and ate and told stories. Fidel arrived and captured the groups attention with stories of his family. Fidel’s English has much improved since we first met him. We find most Mexicans make an effort to speak English with us which in the end cheats us out of using Spanish. We should try harder to use and practise Spanish (even if it is Spanglish); it is a lovely language.  One by one Rver’s turned in for the night until there was Dom & Diane, Wally & Matha, and Fidel but it wasn’t long and we said our goodnights and retreated for the night.

We can still see you, Tim.

We can still see you, Tim.

Day 3, meandering through natures rock garden; a very scenic drive and a quiet highway along with warm weather made for a pleasurable experience. A stop at a roadside Onyx Gift Shop where a young Mexican family interacted with us was a nice break from the road. A little girl posed for a photo by Jane. Gill and I spotted a coffee sign and had to have one.
After lunch we arrived to Ranch Santa Inez, our stop for the day. Once set up we all went off for a short hike to see cave paintings and the stunning vista. Back at the campground we all gathered around Tim and Elaine’s place for happy hour. Other RV’ers and Ralph joined us; we all had a really good visit until we moved over to the restaurant for our evening meal together. The night came and went with the near full moon aglow.

How many explorers can fit into the cave?

How many explorers can fit into the cave?

Southern Baja California

Day 4 takes us to Guerrero Negro and the whales. One of our RV’s had a couple of issues today but with a tweak here and a tweak there we made it to our stop for the day. At Malarrimo’s RV Park we set up then everyone was hungry so went for fish tacos at Tony’s Taco stand on our way to do a little grocery shop.

After lunch Kevin and Pat donned their over alls and went about fixing Patrick’s RV hiccup. Not long and the ever so talented kind hearted men crawled from underneath the RV, brushed their hands off and “there it’s done” . We all went over to the restaurant for our evening meal. Our usual cheerful waiter is quick to pick up on our happy moods and along with good food makes our experience a memorable one but this time a different waiter just didn’t win us over. We ate a delicious meal and enjoyed each others company.
Day 5, the whales impressed all who went. The weather was good and the water was calm. Comments : amazing, fantastic and well worth it. A couple thought it was too long. I guess it all depends on the whales; if they present themselves sooner than later, 4 hours seems long; last tour it was an hour before the whales started to show themselves.
Leaving the Pacific ocean, a short and quiet driving day soon brings us inland to the desert and the date palm oasis of San Ignacio and our stop for the day. At Rice and Beans RV Park we pick our spots between the other RV’s and set up. Soon the group went for a ride in the van with Dom to tour the town, the mission, and a walk about the town square. We would normally go to the museum but it was closed when the group arrived there. With this Rice & Beans laying claim to making the best margaritas in Baja the group had to prove them right; and they were tasty indeed.

Beach Fun in the Sun

Another short driving day to Bahia Concepcion and Playa Santispac our stop for Day 6 and 7. Playa Santispac is a popular RV destination for many snowbirds and for Baja Amigos. Normally we would have made a stop at Santa Rosalia for a walk around town but lack of parking has made this stop impossible. We gladly arrived earlier to the beach.IMG_0515
With calm glistening water to greet us we made a quick scan of the beach for an area for us to set camp. This is a paradise where RV’s pull in or back in along the beach and enjoy hot days, fishing and a bounty of activities.  After a quick lunch the kayaks, supyak and floaties were dragged to the beach and donned in beach wear we set about having a good time.
After supper Ed and Judy hosted a happy hour around their fire pit. We had fun together talking and sharing stories. Eight o’clock rolled around and bedtime for all of us. Just before I settled for the night I took one last peek at the moonlit water from my bedroom window and spotted Patrick and Ruth sitting side by side on the beach looking at the calm peaceful water. So nice.

Our second day started with a red glow of the sun over the water. In the sunrise people sat sipping tea or coffee looking out at the calm sparkling water waiting for their “get up and go” to get up and do something and for me, I went for my sunrise run . Dom & I and Tim & Elaine went kayaking on silken water so clear that we could see fish of all kinds. Through the day everyone took turns in the kayaks. Some tried the standup board and others used the blow up floaties. It is times like this that make toting all this equipment around with us worth while. Late afternoon as I walked the quiet beach, most people were in siesta mode but there was Judy enjoying a last wade in the water.
Gradually the group convened for happy hour then a most delicious potluck meal. I love that word “potluck” because we always have a delicious feast. We are indeed lucky.  We had the pleasure of Bruce and Marion joining us for the evening. Bruce builds the best fires and both tell great Baja stories.

Day 8, another short drive with an incredible vista of cacti landscape and the misty outline of the Sierra Giganta range brings us to one of mine and Dom’s favourite towns, Loreto. The campground Rivera Del Mar is a pretty place with floral trees, rubber trees, ficus trees and colourful birds hopping from tree to tree as if saying “catch me if you can” as you stand with your camera. Yolanda the owner of the RV Park greeted us. The park has tight cozy sites but everyone backed in without a problem and most slides are out and even some awnings are out. All the RV’ers are friendly and I saw our group meeting their neighbours. Travelling in a caravan provides its own community and social group and it might be easy to over look others RVer’s but I haven’t seen it with our groups. They are more than happy to greet and meet.

IMG_1212_2Loreto is a clean tidy town with a cute town centre edged with shops and restaurants, a beautiful malecon for walks and meeting people, and historical buildings and Jesuit missions in and around town.
Dom and I went for an evening walk in town and stopped for a bite to eat. along came Kevin and Gill who joined us then we walked back to the RV Park together.

Day 8 & 9 are spent doing laundry duties, catching up on e-mails and most importantly seeing the sites.
Day 9, a clear sunny sky greets the group as they venture up to Mission San Francisco Javier, the oldest Spanish mission in Baja was well worth it. Beautiful vistas, the Mission and the sites around the Mission kept cameras busy. The group posed for photo under the ancient olive tree.
Back in town we stopped at Conchita’s Curios for a look around and a purchase or two before returning to the campground for lunch. The animated Conchita floated through her shop helping and answering questions.
Two by two the group went off on their own to explore the town. With the town centre and the Malecon within walking distance everyone went exploring.   Tonight’s dinner at the Giggling Dolphin was a giggle as we walked around the restaurant taking photos of the collection of things that decorate the place. Tim peddled the exercise bike with a blender attached to it for blending ice for margaritas.

Its a really old tree, folks.

Its a really old tree, folks.

The Mexican singing group was as good as ever as the group called out requests. Everyone enjoyed their fajita meal and it was unanimous that the re-fried beans were the best beans yet. Back at the RV Park we gathered at the fire pit and the stories rolled off our tongues. Elaine told the funniest (my cheeks ached from laughing) one and now the challenge is out there to try and top it. I can’t wait. Story telling is an ancient form of entertainment and such a fun way to get to know people. Here we are in our tech world doing the same. Not even a good movie would keep us from the circle of new friends around the fire.

Gallery

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