Today we took a last look at beautiful Bahia De Los Angeles and headed north once again to San Quintin (pronounced San Canteen). When heading south we stopped at Catavina, but we decided to get an early start and skip Catavina and push ourselves to drive to San Quintin in one day.
I was a little nervous about the military checkpoint I knew would come up since that is the one where they reprimanded me for taking pictures. This time they asked where we were going and asked to come inside. One very young soldier entered and stayed less than 2 minutes. He was all smiles and very polite. A piece of cake this time to our relief. Once again the narrow mountainous roads with no shoulders was unnerving at times with all the tractor trailers passing on the other side. There seemed to be a lot of truck traffic today.
A few observations. Bill commented that there were very few billboards of any kind. The towns are very small and few and far between, so the roadsides are not cluttered with billboards. Airplanes of any kind have been nonexistent during our time in Baja. The times we camped on the beaches we have seen very few boats and no ships. In the 200 miles between San Quintin and Guerro Negro there is no place to buy gas so you have to really plan ahead. There are no traffic lights the 200 miles from San Quintin to Guerro Negro. The towns have tons of speed bumps and stop signs, but no traffic lights, unlike Escenada which has a traffic light on every corner and the traffic is bad. Bathrooms and restaurants are nonexistent or few and far between. You pass through agricultural areas with greenhouses and vineyards, but after passing through a couple mountain passes the area is desolate, barren desert.
We decided to try a different campground in San Quintin, hopefully one with electricity and water. The entrance to the campground was like driving on a washboard but we were rewarded with a site right on the beach and a beautiful view of the ocean. Our Mexican camping book said this place had electricity and water, but I don’t know what made us think anything had changed in Mexico. Again low voltage and low water pressure, but good water quality. The low voltage is especially a problem for an RV of our size. Regardless, we were happy with our campsite on the beach and settled in. It is costing us $15 a night. In the U.S. a camping spot right on the beach with a view like this would be more than $100.
We loved going to sleep each night and awaking each morning to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Saturday was very foggy and the mist blew by like smoke, but by late morning the skies cleared and the sky was sunny. It has been such a long time since we have seen rain to amount to anything…probably not since Houston in November! We had a relaxing and enjoyable day walking on the beach. We were the only ones in the campground and the beach was deserted. Very nice!
The owner of the campground, Fidel, gave us some firewood and Bill built a great fire on the beach. Fidel sat with us around the campfire and talked for awhile. He said before the 2008 economic down turn in the U.S., many Americans came to Baja and camped. He showed us a photo album with pictures showing the campground full of campers. Now, he said, only Canadians come to Baja. Then in September, 2009, a typhoon hit Baja and his campground was wiped out. Everything he had worked to build was swept away. He showed us pictures of the nice campground he had before the typhoon. We tried to explain to him that one big problem is that Mexico does not have the new highly filtered diesel fuel. Since 2007, the US environmental protection regulations made it so that diesel engines could only use filtered diesel fuel (low sulfur). Our Mexican Connection group was told that Mexico had the filtered fuel, but when we got down here, they did not. There were several in our group who had planned on continuing south but could not because of Mexico not having the right fuel. Luckily our RV takes gas instead of diesel, so it has not been a problem for us. Until Mexico gets the filtered diesel, traveling to Mexico for some travelers will not be an option. Fidel spoke and understood limited English and I don’t think we were able to get him to understand about the diesel, even with the help of a Spanish dictionary.
Sunday was another relaxing day on the beach and we took another walk. We came across some amazing views of the sand dunes carved by wind and water. Since it was Sunday there were more families enjoying the beach and fishing. They drive their cars right down to the beach. It was nice sitting outside catching up on some reading and enjoying our own little Happy Hour.
Later in the day two RVs rolled into the campground and we were so glad that Fidel had some more business for his fledgling campground.
Tomorrow we head back to Ensenada to the Estero Beach Hotel and Resort where we stayed when we first arrived in Baja. They have laundry facilities and fairly good WIFI so we will have a chance to catch up on laundry and email.