An old city
La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur and is an important regional commercial centre. Returning here completes the southern loop of Baja.
An easy drive today brings us to Campestre Maranatha, a full service RV Park just north of La Paz. Originally a runway for the owners parents who were missionaries. A bible camp still operates next to the campground.
Day 19 and 20 are spent looking around this amazing old Mexican city. The five kilometre Malecon (beach walk) is lined with tourist attractions. Mexican families spend their evenings and weekends on this stretch. We too, enjoyed a walk here.
The group loved and bought pottery from Ibarra’s Pottery. Vicky Ibarra with her Mom and Dad and brothers design and hand make each unique piece.
The end of a busy day, some weary travellers dined in while a few of us dined out at Los Magueyes and had a good meal and a really fun time. The waiter was attentive and very entertaining; telling us jokes in spanglish and we laughed and laughed.
Later, back at the campground, we crawled into bed, closed our eyes and the sound of last nights crashing surf was replaced with sirens of police, firetrucks or ambulance attending to some emergency some where.
Some rain drops were heard during the night which doesn’t happen very often this time of year. After breakfast and a relaxing morning the group was off for more touring; taking in a walk around the city centre and a walk along the Malecon includes Nuestra Senora de La Paz Cathedral and the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History.
RV meets Yacht
Day 21 and a fairly long driving day to the Marina at Puerto Escondido finds previous road construction finished and the new road made for a much gentler drive. Some very scenic views across the Sierra de la Giganta eased the way until the blue of the Sea of Cortez once again in sight and our stop for the day.
We arrived to Puerto Escondido early enough in the afternoon to walk and enjoy the sun and the marina. We all dined out at the marina restaurant and continued with our margarita research. Before turning in for the night Allan and Darcy gave us a guided tour around harbour with their flashlights showing us the fish in the water.
The red sunset and sunrise had a few us standing out admiring but the more impressive aspect of the sunrise was the reflection of the sun lighting up the high rock walls of the mountain range.
Date Palm Oasis
Day 22 and 23 are spent in Mulege, another date palm oasis. This town is situated at the mouth of the Mulege River which makes it vulnerable to floods. Mulege has been the victim of many floods in recent years.
Our stay here was at the Hotel Serenidad which has full hookups for RV’s, restaurant and pool. The campground is in the parking lot at the back but the Hotel makes it all worthwhile. Walks along the beach and the river with a camera and binoculars will have you ready for bird spotting.
Two excursions in town included the Mission, a walk about town and shopping in the variety of interesting shops. We tried to visit the famous prison but it was closed when we arrived there. Also, a visit to the light house with a hike up to the top, then a walk around Loma Linda Hotel which is at this time a crumbling remains of once popular hotel for Hollywood movie stars. This was one of the groups favourite stops.
Opportunities for eating out found us for lunch at Scotty’s for burgers and other tasty morsels. A night out at one of the towns restaurants, Javier’s Hotel Las Casitas provided an intimate dinner for 4 of us.
We enjoyed hanging out on the patio at Hotel Serenidad catching up on e-mail, visiting and sipping margaritas.
Back to the Pacific Ocean and Guerrero Negro
The weather is cooling as we go north; warm sunny afternoons fade into cold nights. Day 24 marks our last day in Baja California South and I think we made it a good one. On this fairly long driving day our first rest stop was in Santa Rosalia and a memorable leg of our journey might be that of the incredible climb out of Santa Rosalia over the mountain range to the across country to the Pacific.
As we passed by San Ignacio a stop we made on our way south, Elaine had tears as she drove past Rice and Beans where we all had the best margaritas in Baja.
Onward and forward with a stop in Viscaino for fuel and lunch we made another memorable moment. Most of us had tacos at a roadside stand and made friends with locals also eating there and with the owner of the stand who was busily chatting to us as he and his staff made all kinds of tacos. We introduced ourselves as Baja Amigos and gave him one of our stickers for his stand. He was so happy and invited us back next time.
We arrived to Marios RV Park and Restaurant at Guerrero Negro with lots of time to walk and collect shells and sit in the sun. Later on a few us went to the restaurant for our evening meal. The others joined us for birthday cake as today was Darcy’s birthday.
Our northerly trend
More beach time; although we didn’t go into the water we walked the beach, toured the town of Bahia de Los Angeles of which the museum was a hit with the group. We dined out at the very popular beach restaurant then sat around the fire pit visiting with Antonio and Betty a local couple who are fun to be with and a real resource of information about Bahia de Los Angeles and Baja in general.
On our last afternoon we played Bocce ball – a very fun game to play and watch.
Lots of visiting and sitting in the sun produced a list of our most useful and most useless thing and a list of what we wished we had brought with us.
The most useful items brought: camera, credit card, blender, fire dancer fire pit, binoculars, GPS, pocket camera, double doodie bags and lastly but not least was; the group appreciated the excursions and the van provided by Baja Amigos.
The most useless items brought: TV, credit card, can opener, anchor, cell phone, generator, hand crank blender.
I wish I had brought: coffee percolator, more diet pepsi and 7-up, solar panels, more pesos, more wine, more bottles of water.
A couple of fairly long driving days brought us closer to the border. We even got rained on for a short distance. In Vicente Guerrero we all dined together in Baja Fiesta Restaurant where we also camped for the night. This was our last opportunity for margarita research. Elaine named the results and we all agreed.
The best margaritas in Baja: 1) Rice and Beans in San Ignacio, 2) Vagabundos in Cabo San lucas, 3) Hotel Serenidad in Mulege, 4) Scotty’s in Mulege.
A scenic drive through the Valle de Guadalupe wine country brought us to Rancho Sordo Mudo our last stop of the tour. The campground offers electricity and a dump site although water at the sights is in the plan. This place is a christian based residential school for deaf children in Mexico. To camp here we make a donation to the school. Individuals can make a personal donation. Money donations buy clothes, shoes, translators and teacher aides. The group said this was the cutest campground they visited in Baja.
The wine tour to La Cetto went well and after the wine tasting we lined up to buy bottles of wine, olive oil, and Baja posters. Back at the campground we sat out to catch the sunset then moved into a shelter with the the fire pit. Food and bottles of wine arrived and we sat and enjoyed our last evening together.
On Day 29 we arrived to a quiet border with only a few cars ahead of us. One by one we had our agricultural inspections and were across the border. A quick goodbye along the road and everyone went their own ways.
We started out strangers and finished friends. The end.