Monthly Archives: December 2013

All Wind, No Surfing. East Cape Baja.

All the way down the Baja we had heard great things about the East Cape. Even less traffic. Good surf, and awesome snorkelling. The road from San Jose del Cabo quickly turns to dirt and the towns all seem to be made up of partially finished holiday homes. We spent just under a week free camping on the beach, saving our pesos. We stayed at some well known spots, like Los Frailes. Otherwise, we just pulled up anywhere on the beach that looked semi-legit. Unfortunately however, mother nature was not on our side. The wind was relentless and the swell was non existent. There was nothing much for us to do, except read our books, sip tequila and chill-ax.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mark tried some fishing. He even dressed up for the occasion. Still no luck.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We celebrated Mark’s 30th birthday on the beach. Well on a few beaches. His parents had given him a bottle of fancy tequila, which complimented the sunset perfectly.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

El Tecolote, is a well known boondocking spot near La Paz. It was a good base for a few days, and gave us the chance to get organized before heading to the mainland.IMG_9094 IMG_9096

Hunting for Hot Springs

After a few days relaxing in town we hit the road again and headed south through the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. Mum and Dad got a real taste of van life as we went exploring the back roads in search of some hot springs. The dirt roads up here are rarely graded and the road signs are few and far between.  To make things even more difficult, there are dozens of trails leading off in every direction.50 Cool or Caliente - 08

We spent a night camping amongst the cacti at El Chorro and relaxing around the campfire then continued our hunt the next day.

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Sometimes a wrong turn can be just right. This time, we found ourselves at the Rancho Sol de Mayo where we parked the van and followed the hiking trail down to a beautiful little swimming hole at the base of a waterfall.  We lounged in the sun for a bit and took a swim before heading back to the ranch house for seafood tacos.

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While we waited for lunch, the guy proudly showed us his collection of local animals.  Hairless Mexican dogs, rattlesnakes, tortoises and a weird spotted skunk.

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After a good feed we were ready for one last try at finding the elusive San Jorge hot springs. We took a few more dead ends and detours before we finally felt confident that we were on the right road.  As we climbed higher into the hills the road got smaller and steeper, while the bends got tighter and the bumps got bigger.  We eventually ended up at the place we had searched for.  And it was well worth it. The hot springs here are some of the nicest we’ve visited.  The water that trickles up from the ground is is hot and clean, and it flows into a large pool amongst smooth boulders with a sandy bottom that makes a perfect setting for a good soak.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a few hours relaxing here we found our way back out to the cute little mountain town of Santiago, and then hit the highway again towards San Jose del Cabo.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a really great time cruising around Baja with Mum and Dad and we are so glad that we got to share a bit of this trip with them. We spent the final few days with them in San Jose del Cabo relaxing, eating Mexican food and tasting tequila.  The grande finale was when they took us out for a birthday dinner ands we were serenaded by a moustachioed string band who put their heart and soul into their Santana tunes. See you soon Ma and Pa.

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Lazy Loreto and La Paz

This was our second time in Loreto. Mark and I had passed through this sleepy seaside village earlier on the trip.  We picked up a Canadian hitchhiker who recommended staying at Sukasa and gave us half a bottle of tequila. This was nice of her, as we weren’t at our most chatty. We were still suffering from crippling tummy cramps, aka poo pains. On our second visit, with Mark’s parents, we were in much better shape. We ended up staying at Sukasa, in bungalows along the waterfront. It had been a while since we’d watched a movie, so we raided the VHS collection. Somehow, Double Jeopardy with Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones is not as good as it used to be.

IMG_0650 P1040445 P1040455Sunrise jalk (jog/walk).

P1040486La Paz bound.

La Paz is a cool city. It has a pretty relaxed vibe about it, probably because it’s not really a tourist hot spot. It’s colourful, clean and cosmopolitan.  We spent three nights here in a cute Mexican style apartment. We wandered the streets, visited the markets and struggled with our Spanish. 

P1040530 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn Mexico, they love painting trees white. We haven’t figured out why yet.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur cute neighbours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALa casa, for a few days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACards. Intense.

Oscar needed some TLC. Geraldo’s VW in La Paz was recommended by a fellow on the road and came up trumps. We got the ignition switch replaced for a whopping $28, a free oil change, extra oil and an old fuel pump relay to see if that fixed our stuttering problem. Rogelio, the guy who runs the place, is awesome. He is also confident that our van will make it to Argentina “no problem”.

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We decided to take a trip out to Isla Espiritu Santo, an island off the coast of La Paz. Unfortunately we chose the coldest and windiest day for it. We nearly had to ask the captain to turn the boat around, the water got so rough “mucho olas” (lots of waves). It was too choppy to get out to where we could swim with the whale sharks, but we were able to swim in a protected bay with the sea lions. In Spanish their name, lobos marinos, is translated to sea wolves. Mumma G had the ginger lollies handy, which kept the sea sickness at bay. Still, we were all pretty relieved when we got back on solid ground.

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Until next time, adios amigos!P1040723