Category Archives: road trip

Coasting through Costa Rica

The friendly car park attendant at Playa Avellanas helped us find a place to camp.

Chatting to our potential host, she pointed to the bathroom and said “el baño, por ppfffffffftttttt (fart noises)”.

I burst out laughing and replied “En la mañana, en la mañana”.

I looked at Mark “this lady is hilarious, we are definitely staying here”.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Me and the poochMe and the pooch

SunriseSunrise

We spent four nights in Costa Rica, surfing our way down the coast. Finally, we are in sync with the van. We drove for a few hours at both dawn and dusk, before the van started to play up. In the heat of the day, we spent time at Playa Avellanas, Playa Esterillos, Playa Dominical and Pavones. At this time of year they all had mellow waves that were great for learning. We had heard on the backpacker trail that Costa Rica is expensive and overrun by North American tourists. The van is great at helping us avoid these places more easily. In Costa Rica we were able to find cheap camping every night. At someone’s house, then at a campground, behind a restaurant and at a palm tree plantation.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Playa EsterillosPlaya Esterillos

Pulling out of Playa Dominical a group of pretty ladies walk past the van.

“That’s a sweet ride”

“That’s the only ride”

Mark doesn’t miss a beat, grinning at me “do you think they’re talking about me”.

“Haha yeah right”.Wax on, Playa Dominical.Wax on, Playa Dominical.

My favourite I think was Pavones, a fairly isolated spot down in the south. It was a beautiful drive to get there and is exactly how I’d pictured Costa Rica. Lush green jungle surrounds the bright blue water of the coastline. IMG_0545

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It was short Costa Rica, but oh so sweet.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Northern Baja

“Well that was the cutest border crossing I’ve ever had” said Mark at the Tijuana border, as the pretty Mexican guard quickly checked the van and sent us on our way. All of a sudden, we were driving on the streets of Tijuana, and no one had even looked at our passports.  The next few minutes went a little something like, “sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t”, as we continued to head south. My palms were clammy as I tried to read the road signs to get us back to the border. With a bit of help, we eventually made it back to immigration and were able to sort out our tourist cards and vehicle permit.

Tijuana was hectic and overwhelming. We were both surprised by the extent of our culture shock. There was so much poverty and despite practicing our Spanish, we were way out of our depth.  After getting past the busy centres, I started to relax. The real Baja beckoned. Our first day was a mission. We followed some directions to try and find an RV park, across a dry and dusty riverbed and down a winding gravel road.  When we got there it was just a bunch of run down abandoned trailers, with no one else in sight.  In the end we decided to try and find somewhere else to stay, eventually arriving at an open campground just before dark.

Since our first day, we have been settling in and getting into the swing of things….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst Mexican Sunrise

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Road to Punta Baja from El Rosario

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA New Additions – Ursula and Ricky Bobby

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Christening

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Boondocking, Punta Baja Sunset

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Room with a view – the Gulf of California. Daggett’s Beach Camp. Bahia de los Angeles.

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Prickly Plants

We spent a few long driving days travelling from Texas back to California. We were glad to stay at least one night in New Mexico, at Rockhound State Park.

I loved the landscape and in particular all the cacti. Some of them were huge, which was a bit of a surprise. We hiked up Picacho Peak in Arizona. It was right off the highway, so not the most tranquil location, but It was still really pretty. It was really good to get out and stretch the legs.

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