January 10, 2013 – Well we arrived Guerrero Negro yesterday afternoon from Catavina with our January tour, finally starting to get some warm, even hottish weather. Everyone is very pleased to be heading south as our Potrero rendezvous was sunny but cold, brrrrrr! To date other than a shredded tire on one of the trailers the drive has been uneventful, we are fortunate that was all that occurred. After we arrived we headed over to Tony’s Taco stand, just a couple of blocks down from our RV Park; Tony did not disappoint, they were great as usual.
On Day 1 our drive to Punta Banda was very smooth, aside from a short diversion for a couple of rigs on an alternate highway that was resolved in 30 minutes. There was very little traffic on a Sunday morning and also Dia de los Santos Reyes, a Mexican Holiday, which also helped. We fueled up for the first time at the newly opened PEMEX on Punta Banda, only about 10 minutes from our destination, Villarino’s. This was a nice change from the other station on Mex 1 just before the turnoff to Punta Banda, it could get quite busy as you can imagine. After the visit to La Bufadora and folks got settled in for the night we visited our friends Des and Marla who have a wonderful house on Punta Banda and are fulltime residents. We met Des and Marla a couple of years ago through our friend Peter in Cabo, they were also Wagonmasters both on Baja and the Mexico mainland working with Vagabundos Del Mar. We had a lots of fun with many laughs, we really look forward to seeing them again, they were great hosts.
Our drive on Day 2 to Fidel’s was busy but still very tolerable, the new roadway prior to and after the Santa Tomas valley really helps. Unfortunately it had rained heavily in the region the night before and the road into Fidel’s was somewhat muddy, we almost got stuck. However we did not and after much encouragement from Fidel we all persevered and made it to the beach with only some road mud to show for it. The good news was much of the water had abated by the time we departed the next day. Fidel had wood, the fire was hot, and the wieners were great, Andy pulled out the guitar and sang a few songs, it was all good.
Day 3 we headed off to Catavina, folks enjoyed the lack of traffic for sure. The weather was good, not too much wind and lots of sun. A stop at the Onyx shop and we were in Santa Ines where we joined some other RVers who arrived the day before. We had a couple of visits from Ralph who winters not far from the campground, if you ever have a breakdown or vehicle problem of any sort, stop at Santa Ines and ask for Ralph, he is a great resource both knowledge and materials. The gang enjoyed our excursion to the Cave Paintings, we even had to turn on the air conditioning in the Van. Afterwards we got together, had a couple of refreshments and in for the night, to be serenaded by coyotes and their version of Baja blues.
We had a great dinner last night and this morning everyone heads off to see the Grey Whales from Malarrimo’s, they will be talking about this experience for some time.
Dia de los Santos Reyes
January the 6th is a special day in Mexico known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), this holiday represents the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus. The children of Mexico in particular look forward to this holiday as traditionally, gifts are exchanged on this date, not on Christmas day. In Mexico and many other Latin American countries, Santa Claus doesn’t hold the cachet that he does in the United States. Instead, it is the three wise men who are the bearers of gifts, who leave presents in or near the shoes of small children. The holiday is also known by the name of the Epiphany which dates back to the 4th century. Often a big dinner is held on this day to honor the occasion of Jesus’ baptism and to pay homage to the three wise men.
Three Kings Day remains an important holiday for the people of Mexico. In addition to the gift-giving aspect of the day there is also a culinary treat that is specific to the holiday. Known as ‘Rosca de Reyes’ (King’s Cake), this holiday dessert offers much in the way of symbolism. Shaped in the round to signify a king’s crown, this sweet bread holds a special surprise. Baked inside is a small plastic figurine representing the baby Jesus. Whoever finds this token is obligated to host an upcoming party for the occasion of ‘Dia de la Candelaria’ (Candlemas Day) which occurs each year on February 2nd. Lorrie and Andy were kind enough to purchase this cake for all of us to share at our hot dog roast at Fidel’s on the beach. Lisa will remember who found the token which is good because I cannot remember!