missing photos

I came across some photos I really wanted to add that I think I missed before from my Baja posts.  We had our first water crossing and first goat crossing driving through Baja.  The goats literally came out of nowhere and crossed over to head down a dry river bed.  No goat herder in site.  Another shot is our first boon dock camping site.  This is the place we drove across drifting sand, got stuck, got pushed out by some Asian folks from California and drove down a crazy rocky bluff to dry camp in the  most beautiful spot you can imagine.  We almost lost our camper (ok, exaggeration here, but it did slide back a little bit) while going up the steep rocky bluff to get out.  To get it back on, we had to do some speed up/brake fast to slam it back into place.  Here are the random photos-enjoy.

la paz

la paz

baja

baja

baja

baja

baja

baja

water crossing in baja

water crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

goat crossing in baja

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boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

driving onto the sand on Baja

driving onto the sand on Baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking on a rocky cliff in baja

boon docking on a rocky cliff in baja

boon docking in baja

boon docking in baja

baja-goat crossing

baja-goat crossing

to Jalisco and the land of Tequila

The drive from Puerto Vallarta to Tequila was absolutely beautiful, we wish we would have had the Go-Pro on.  From Compistale, Nayarit all the way to Tequila (and I am sure beyond) we saw vast sugar cane fields.  I never knew they grew sugar cane in Mexico.  As we got closer to Tequila, the sugar cane was not as abundant, but the blue agave fields took over.  They grow these right up to the road.  We stayed at Delia’s Trailer Park Etzatlan,, about 25 miles southwest of Tequila.  It was a really great place.  The drive here is partially a rock road (about 7 miles of it), but not too bad and they are working on paving it.  There is only one bathroom and it has one shower, but it is clean and hot.  The owner, Bonnie (not sure how she spells it), speaks perfect English and is a wealth of information on all the local sites.  Her father was born in North Dakota.  I highly recommend this place.  There were three RVs from Canada staying here who have stayed here for the last 3 years.  They were very nice and we joined them the next day on a tour through the Jose Cuervo factory and the town of Tequila.  Later that night when we got back to camp they invited us into their camp for happy hour.  We are loving the people we meet.  We went into Teuchitlan and saw some ruins dating back to 300 BC-300 AD.  They are not like the Mayan Ruins, they are actually round.  We had a great tour guide who took us through.  The most interesting part for me is that the discovery and excavation was led by a man who was born in Nebraska (my home state).  It was really interesting.  He worked on it for about 30 years, but when he died, the money dried up as the state of Jalisco will not help in any funding.  Sad, there is still so much to uncover.  The ruins have the most amazing panoramic view of the valley below which is surrounded by sugar cane fields and sits in the shadow of the Vulcan de Tequila (Volcano Tequila).  It has one of the largest obsidian mines around.  We planned to be here two nights, but as all our plans go, we ended up 3 nights here.  We could stay another week and still have lots to see, as there is a new discovery of ruins close by.  However, our nomadic hearts are calling for us to move on.  We are moving on towards Mariposa Monarca outside of Mexico City to see the butterflies.  We hope to make its as far as Patzcuaro. Michoacan tomorrow night, which is close to the capital of Michoacan and has supposedly the most beautiful cathedral in Mexico.

Delia's RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia’s RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia's RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia’s RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia's RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia’s RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia's RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia’s RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia's RV Park in Etzatlan

Delia’s RV Park in Etzatlan

In the town of Tequila.  The 6 Canadians that we met in the RV park are in this picture.  They were very nice.

In the town of Tequila. The 6 Canadians that we met in the RV park are in this picture. They were very nice.

DSC_0600 DSC_0599

glass cutter in Tequila-we loved this guy

glass cutter in Tequila-we loved this guy

The tree is growing right out of the side of the building

The tree is growing right out of the side of the building

DSC_0580

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo

the mother load!  Tequila

the mother load! Tequila

Bob and his buddies in Tequila

Bob and his buddies in Tequila

chulula-my favorite stuff

chulula-my favorite stuff

my to go barrel

my to go barrel

Guess Where?

Guess Where?

The Catherdral in the town square of Tequila.  It took 100 years to build this church

The Catherdral in the town square of Tequila. It took 100 years to build this church

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

interesting lunch.  Pineapple hollowed out and filled with shrimp, pineapple, bacon and topped with melted cheese

interesting lunch. Pineapple hollowed out and filled with shrimp, pineapple, bacon and topped with melted cheese

DSC_0627

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

Ruins near Tequila

Puerto Vallarta Whale Watching

We had a great dinner with Dee Miles and friends last night and had a great time-so glad we could meet up with them.  On our way back, we decided to stop in the casino and see how we did.  It was fun as it was in Pesos and we really weren’t sure what the machine was asking us to do, but it was a casino so Bob figured it out.  We won $140 pesos (which is about $10 dollars).  We also stopped to sign up for whale watching for the next morning, so we will be staying an extra day.  This seems to be the way our trip is going, no real set time limit anywhere, just playing it by ear and doing what feels right at the moment. We got lucky and came across some whales and their baby.  Heading off to Tequila tomorrow-I hate to leave this great camp site, but time to see what else is out there.

flying entertainers in Puerto Vallarta

flying entertainers in Puerto Vallarta

dinner with Dee

dinner with Dee

Bob, Dee and Rick in Puerto Vallarta

Bob, Dee and Rick in Puerto Vallarta

sand structure a guy was building on the beach-this guy was really good

sand structure a guy was building on the beach-this guy was really good

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta-baby

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta-baby

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta-mama and baby

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta-mama and baby

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

 

Puerto Vallarta

The drive here was beautiful through the mountains along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.  We were nervous about finding our way to the campground as it looked tricky and BB (Bitching Betty, our GPS) didn’t seem to be heading in the right direction. Sure enough she took us way off the beaten track because for some reason, there are several streets with the same name and she wasn’t sure which one to take.  We backtracked to the Walmart, which was shown in Church’s book and followed their directions.  Even with that, the place was surrounded by a wall and there is no signage for it  We saw an opening in a wall and some gardeners out front so I got out to ask them if they knew where it was by showing them the book (they spoke no english).  The gardener turned around and pointed to the office door, 4 feet from where he stood.  That was lucky!  The name of the park is Trailer Park Puerto Vallarta and it is perfect.  Walking distance (about 3 miles) to the Malecon, the best showers yet, lots of shade, and best of all, hardly a biting bug in site!!  Each place we have stayed has something unique to offer; great people, great scenery, shower and bathroom facilities, restaraunts, or safety.  This one had almost all. I finally worked up the courage to go parasailing.  I have a very strong fear of heights and of deep water, so of course I had to try it.  So glad I did.  Tomorrow we meet up with Dee and then the next day, off to Tequila, Mexico.

leaving the state of Nayarit and entering Jalisco-home of Tequila!!

leaving the state of Nayarit and entering Jalisco-home of Tequila!!

dancers on the male con in Puerto Vallarta

dancers on the male con in Puerto Vallarta

Trailer Park Puerto Vallarta

Trailer Park Puerto Vallarta

strapping in and ready for take off

strapping in and ready for take off

Up and away-the view is breathtaking (or is it fear)

Up and away-the view is breathtaking (or is it fear)

landing-whew I made it.

landing-whew I made it.

coconuts right about our camp spot-hope they don't come down on us

coconuts right about our camp spot-hope they don’t come down on us

Heading to Puerto Vallarta

We decided to head to Puerto Vallarta (I know very touristy) to meet up with a friend who will be arriving on Jan 2.  Since we have plenty of time, we are taking the scenic route past San Blas.  The trip here was tricky and the GPS kept wanting to take us through Tepic to Puerto Vallarta.  We shut her off (Bob has named her Bitching Betty) when we got close to the exit and followed Church’s guide to Mexican Camping.  We stayed out of San Blas as we had heard the bugs were awful and headed to El Chaco RV park in Matanchen, Nayarit.  It was a beautiful setting along the ocean, with an amazing swimming pool, fun restaurant and bar.  There are only 5 hookups for RVs and they were taken with long-term travelers from Canada and US.  We were able to park on the grass next to them and one guy let us use his hookup.  Beautiful sunsets on the beach and during the day, the beach was full of locals off on holiday (Navidad break).  The biting insects were still out in full force and we literally were bathing in bug spray.  The showers did not have hot water and were quite a jog away from the camping area, but they were clean and it was hot, so it all worked out.  We stopped to check out a swampy area on the way into San Blas to do laundry because we saw signs to be ware of the crocodiles.  Lucky us, we saw three of them.  The next day when we stopped, a boy was throwing bait on a fishing line to get one to snap at it and that was really cool to see.  It was a beautiful drive to get this spot and from here to Puerto Vallarta (PV).  Lots of groves of some huge fruit which we found out was called Yaka and tastes like mango.

view from our back door-we are right on the beach at El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

view from our back door-we are right on the beach at El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

Crocodiles in San Blas-Oh MY!!!!

Crocodiles in San Blas-Oh MY!!!!

Yaka trees-see the big things handing down

Yaka trees-see the big things handing down

Yaka are the big bumpy fruits. They are huge and grow on what looks like citrus trees

Yaka are the big bumpy fruits. They are huge and grow on what looks like citrus trees

in San Blas at the market place

in San Blas at the market place

El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

bob standing outside the back door-this was a beautiful spot to camp-but a bit buggy.El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

bob standing outside the back door-this was a beautiful spot to camp-but a bit buggy.El Chaco RV park at Playa Matanchen near San Blas

 

 

Mazatlan

The drive from Topolobampo to Mazatlan was pretty uneventful, we took the toll road all the way. Our hotel was amazing and right on the beach with a great pool and secured parking. One of our first priorities was contacting an RV repairman that Bob found on the internet to come take a look at our solar panels which had quit working. We arranged to meet him in the morning (Christmas Eve day), so off we went to relax and soak up the local life. We had a great traditional Christmas Eve dinner at a restaurant on the beach, it was beautiful. One of our favorite places was the old town historic area of Mazatlan. One day we took the water taxi out to one of the islands, which was full of locals. We strolled the beach, walked by the huge coconut plantation and ate lunch at one of the palapa restaurants. Bob was really wanting to get a fresh coconut because he was fascinated by the way to cut it up. It was ok, but kind of bland in my opinion. We took he water taxi back to mainland and hung out in the historic plaza for the evening, where we saw the beautiful girls getting there pictures taken for their quincenara. Later the music started and we watched a really great street performance by a band that sang in both spanish and english. The guy on the drums was really good.

CHRISTMAS TREE IS HUNG IN THE CAR

CHRISTMAS TREE IS HUNG IN THE CAR

Wow-2 trees this year.  One in the car and one in the house

Wow-2 trees this year. One in the car and one in the house

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

mazatlan water taxi to stone island

mazatlan water taxi to stone island

quincenera (not spelled right)

quincenera (not spelled right)

bob loved this truck-this is his cousins last name

bob loved this truck-this is his cousins last name

old town mazatlan

old town mazatlan

Angela Peralta Theater in Mazatlan.

Angela Peralta Theater in Mazatlan.

market day in old mazatlan

market day in old mazatlan

on the ferry

on the ferry

i am fascinated with these birds  i wonder if they make good pets

i am fascinated with these birds i wonder if they make good pets

street band in Mazatlan.  they were great

street band in Mazatlan. they were great

cocos on stone island

cocos on stone island

taking the ferry

Well, we never made it to Todos Santos as I came down with a really harsh case of food poisoning.  It happens.  So time to leave Baja.

Taking the Ferry. We arrived at the ferry 2 hours early as recommend by people at the ferry ticket office. Well, for Bob and I, 2 hours early means more like 2 1/2 to 3 hours early. Which was a good thing as we could sit and watch what other people were doing and try to figure this thing out. I was a bit nervous because the driver is the only one allowed to be in the vehicle for loading which meant that we would be separated for the first time in our journey. Given our limited understanding of all things spanish, it usually takes the two of us together to figure things out. This was our first test on our own. Here is how it went:

The driver drops you off at a building that you need to walk into and go through a security screening, while he drives the vehicle onto the ship. As Bob was one of the last passenger vehicles loaded it would go one of two ways-first in first out, or last in first out. We were hoping for a bit of LIFO here. I got in line and waited. It was a very long line. A very nice young lady in line with me noticed I didn’t really have any bags to check and she directed me to a short line where I could go to, stick my bag in the X-ray machine and walk right onto the boat. Ok, that was the first hurdle. tip: if you do not have bags to check, just a carry on, you can go to the short line.

I followed the other passengers onto the ship and found out where to get the key to our cabin. There is only one key and you have to leave your ID as deposit, which you get back when you are ready to depart and return the key. I only had my passport on me and was a bit nervous parting with it, but it is what it is. I went to the room, dropped my bags and now I needed to know how in the world I was going to find Bob. I waited around the lobby thinking that maybe that is where the drivers come after parking their vehicle. After about 20 minutes, I saw him coming through the door looking for me. tip: bring an alternate form of ID with you like your drivers license so you don’t have to part with your passport. Make arrangements on where to meet up when you both get on the boat.

We were puzzled as to why so many of the passengers who did not have cabins were already laying down and sleeping. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon. Hmm… On the recommendation of some people we met in the RV camp the day before, we got in the long line for food, as we had been told that it runs out early. The food is included in the price of the ticket, dessert and soda are extra. After that we went out on deck to watch them finish loading the boat. It took about 2 more hours, so we were an hour and a half late leaving the dock. They really cram those semi trailers on, it was something to see. After loading, we went into the bar to have a drink. It was packed, and all the seats had already been staked out while the boat was loading People are respectful of the fact that if there is a teddy bear, pillow, blanket, etc. on a chair, that table/seat is taken. We scored a couple of seats at the bar thanks to some very nice Mexican guys. Gracias! 1 beer and then we decided to go take a nap in the cabin as it was going to be a long night. tip: the passengers who came in early to stake their spots for sleeping and sitting in the lounge were smart-they had done this before. I should have come in earlier to grab a spot, but am glad I didn’t. We had a cabin and many of these families did not-they needed the spots more than we did.

We set the alarm for about an hour before we were supposed to come into port. We got up and went down to turn in our key and try to figure out what we do now. Only the driver can be in the cargo hold, so once again we would be separated and have to figure it out alone. We weren’t sure how this would work or where I was to meet him. After an announcement in spanish that we did not understand, the drivers started lining up so Bob got in line. They took them by the level they were parked on. I waiting till they took him and then I followed some passengers off the boat. Our 2 week spanish class helped me read the signs and follow along to get out of the ship. Bob called me when he got to the truck-he was the last vehicle off the ship (darn that FIFO) and the only overlander on the entire ship. We expected to see others, but it was all locals. tip:the signs that you see as you leave the ship that say passengers (not how they spelled it) sin bolsa (not how you spell it-the sin is the key) is the area where the people without checked baggage go. You wait by the curb and as the vehicles come out of the ship, they drive up and pick you up.

We made it to our hotel which was about 1/2 mile away from the marina. The next morning we knew we were in trouble when we ordered breakfast. We ordered Huevos Ranchers and cafe. the waitress had no idea what we were saying so I pointed to it on the menu. She said it EXACTLY like I did. What the heck? Oh well, on to Mazatlan!!

on the ferry

on the ferry

i am fascinated with these birds  i wonder if they make good pets

i am fascinated with these birds i wonder if they make good pets

street band in Mazatlan.  they were great

street band in Mazatlan. they were great

cocos on stone island

cocos on stone island

mazatlan water taxi to stone island

mazatlan water taxi to stone island

bob on the ferry waiting to go get the camper

bob on the ferry waiting to go get the camper

sunset view from the ferry

sunset view from the ferry

Wow-2 trees this year.  One in the car and one in the house

Wow-2 trees this year. One in the car and one in the house

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

CHRISTMAS TREE IS HUNG IN THE CAR

CHRISTMAS TREE IS HUNG IN THE CAR

pictures of lapaz

La Paz Tailhunter Bar.

La Paz Tailhunter Bar.

La Paz

La Paz

La Paz

La Paz

Mike & Geneva from slowcarfasthouse in La Paz

Mike & Geneva from slowcarfasthouse in La Paz

La Paz at the tailhunter

La Paz at the tailhunter

nopal salad (cactus leaves)with onion and jalapeno-very good

nopal salad (cactus leaves)with onion and jalapeno-very good

Nopal salad

Nopal salad

molcajetas

molcajetas

molcajetes

molcajetes

mexican pizza with chorizo, jalapeños, jamon and frijoles.  YUMMY

mexican pizza with chorizo, jalapeños, jamon and frijoles. YUMMY

nachos with hot dogs.  surprisingly good

nachos with hot dogs. surprisingly good

tacos pescado-i ate these everywhere I went.  Mi Gusta!!

tacos pescado-i ate these everywhere I went. Mi Gusta!!

Bob,s new girlfriend

Bob,s new girlfriend

celebration in La Paz.  Looks like Hawaii!

celebration in La Paz. Looks like Hawaii!

fun festival in la paz

fun festival in la paz

do you want the whole head or just the snout??

do you want the whole head or just the snout??

want to find clams?  follow the pelicans

want to find clams? follow the pelicans

la paz

la paz

Christmas Carols concert-La Paz

Christmas Carols concert-La Paz

at Marina Costabaja for the Christmas Chorus Festiva

at Marina Costabaja for the Christmas Chorus Festival

Jassiel, Adreana, Alexsa 3 of our maestros at Se Habla

Jassiel, Adreana, Alexsa 3 of our maestros at Se Habla

Diplomas!!

Diplomas!!

Bob and Alfonso, one of our maestros at Se Habla

Bob and Alfonso, one of our maestros at Se Habla

graduation day

graduation day

cinders enjoying the fiesta on graduation day

cinders enjoying the fiesta on graduation day

Julie-owner of Se Habla on graduation day

Julie-owner of Se Habla on graduation day

La Paz update

We have enjoyed our stay in La Paz but are getting a bit restless.  We have been here 2 weeks, which is the longest we have stayed in one place.  To summarize our stay:

We have eaten all the local food mostly at the recommendation of our maestros at Se Habla.  Items we have tried:

  • Mexican pizza-which comes with chorizo, ham, beans, and jalapeños.
  • Nopal salad, which is made with nopales (cactus leaves), red onion, jalapeño, and a super dressing
  • tacos pescado-my favorite.  I tried them everywhere we went.
  • Tortillas freshly made from the tortillarilla (reminds Bob of lefse, a Norwegian good).
  • the best tamales sold at a cart outside the local grocery store.
  • Molecajetes-a traditional mexican casseole made in volcanic stone, with spicy sausage, shrimp, chicken, skirt steak, and small onions in a broth

We attended every festival/event we could find.  Our favorite festival was a Christmas concert where the children sang Christmas songs.  At the end of the concert, they sang the song for Las Posadas, which is the story of Jose and Maria (Mary and Joseph) where you light candles and sparklers while singing a song back and forth.  We tried our best to sing along, it was all in spanish.  This was followed by snacks of fresh churros and hot chocolate, and the children whacked the piñata. They were asking for everyone to bring something to donate to FANLAP which is a foundation for underprivileged children.  We had so much fun shopping and this was our first good deed we did on our journey.

We made our 2nd trip to the lavendaria to have our clothes done, with much more success than our first trip.  We were able to do this without any help and even to tell them when we wanted to pick it up.  Progress!  They smell so good when they come back and are folded so professionally.  I will say this many times throughout our journey I am sure, but it is amazing how much pride and care these people put into their work.

We received our diplomas from the spanish language school (yes, they let us graduate).  We leave for the mainland on Monday (3 days from now), but before that we are headed to Todos Santos.  I am hoping to get to see the turtle release and if really lucky, the whales will have made their migration down this way.  I am posting photos from La Paz in a separate post as there are so many.

La Paz continued

Ok, a few updates.  Yesterday, we said goodbye to Sissi and Gunter, some really cool overlanders whom we met in Loreto and saw again here in La Paz. While they may not be headed to mainland Mexico at this time, we hope to meet them again some time down the road.  Until then, we will be following their adventures on their website, alaskawilds.me to see what they are up to.  While in Home Depot today, we ran into some other overlanders we met in Loreto, the flightless Kiwis.  Hola amigos, it was good to see you again.  While they are headed down around the loop (cabo way) and traveling to the mainland sometime after the beginning of next year, we may run into them along the way.

We had a productive and successful week so far.  Taking the advice of Alexsa, our morning spanish teacher, we found the best tamales in all of La Paz, and the best I have ever eaten.  We found the tortillaria and bought some fresh tortillas, which we were dying to do  They were so good and warm, we each ate 2 of them on the way back to camp.  Then to top it off, we went to the MEGA store and found the find of finds, VERANO 1800 Tequela Blanca Sabor Pepino.  Cucumber tequila.  We first encountered this decadent drink of the Gods in La Bufadora and have been on the search ever since.

Our teachers changed this week and our afternoon teacher speaks to us only in spanish, thinking we should be that far along.  But the gringo blood runs deep in my veins and I just sit there with a stupid look on my face and turn to Bob to say, What did he just say????

We sat through a cultural presentation today on Las Posadas de Navidad.  Ok, this is basically the story of Christmas if I get the slide show right, and they gave me a chocolate drink that is made from chocolate and maize.  Or something like that.  It was good for the first few drinks, but a bit sweet for me and the texture was a little strange.  Adios.

 

 

 

 

Things I have learned so far in Mexico

Ok, a few things that I have learned so far on this trip to Mexico.  These are mainly tips for future novices to overlanding, as everyone who has done any overlanding already knows these things.

1.  Always wear flip flops in the showers.  Trust me.

2. Be careful how you say the word pina.  Said incorrectly, you are talking about a male body part.

3. The roosters here cannot tell day from night.  They start crowing as soon as the moon comes up and stop after the sun comes up.

4. When the roosters stop, the barking dogs start in.  Get used to both, before long you won’t even hear the roosters or the dogs.

5. Take LOTS of insect repellent and itch relief ointment along before you cross the border, you will need it.

6. Always carry a little toilet paper to the bathroom with you.  You may not need it, but more times than not you will.

7. Remember to throw the toilet paper in the trash can next to the toilet, do not flush it.

8. If you see a street vendor selling tacos and the policia are eating there, go ahead and give it a try.  If it is good enough for the local enforcement personnel, it is good enough for you.

9. Just in case I was wrong on #8, take some medication along.  Sometime before your trip is over, you WILL get diarrhea.

Ok, that is all I know for certain right now, but will add a few tips along the way as I pick up a few more things.

La Paz continued

Nosotros mucho gusta La Paz.  We are enjoying our stay in La Paz.  We have been to the Mercado, have eaten at the Uruguayan restaurant (aw, beef!), walked the malecon, drank the tequila, attended two music festivals, and shopped the local farmacon.  That’s pharmacy for you gringos.  I almost reached my breaking point a few days ago and was ready to do one of three things: shoot myself, cut off my feet, or fly home.  The no-seums have taken to eating me alive!  They still have denghi (sp) fever from the mosquitos here, so I was convinced I had that.  But, since I haven’t actually seen a mosquito, they are either the fastest mosquitos in the world, or they are not mosquitos and are actually just no-seums.  We were quite proud of our being able to communicate effectively to get the ointment I needed to control the itching.  We even were able to drop a load of clothes off at the lavendaria to be washed.  We will pick them up mañana. It should be interesting to see what we come home with.  We actually had to go next door to get the housekeeper from the spanish language school to help us out.  Shameful!  We have finished our first week of school and can now speak a little spanglish!  No surprise, Bob has picked up on the money part of things really well.  Asta mañana!

Se Habla…La Paz

Yeah, we got into a Spanish class.  We will be taking a class Monday-Friday 4 hrs a day for two weeks.  We have completed 2 days so far and I am not sure if I am getting it or getting more confused.  By the end of class my brain is so fried I can’t even count to 20 in English!!!  But we have had a great time so far.  We met up with Geneva and Mike from slowcarfasthouse.com (we met them in Loreto) and ate dinner with them at a Uruguayan steakhouse.  What fun and they are a wealth of knowledge and so helpful.  Thanks!!  While we were walking down the street to meet them, we met Dave, whom we have now met up with in 3 different places.  Life is interesting here. Earlier in the day we got many errands done-we picked up our website/business cards, bought our tickets to cross on the ferry to the mainland on the 22 of Dec., got rear ended.  Oh yeah, about that.  Guess who was rear ended in La Paz Mexico by a cop? If you guessed us you guessed correctly. What started out as a potential ticket changed very quickly once he ran into our rear end. Bent our ladder a little and bent his pride a lot. Life is good.  He spoke no english and we (ok Kim) made the mistake of saying she knew a little spanish.  Maybe I thought he wanted me to show him how I could count to 20, or order in a restaurant, or maybe even recite my grocery list.  That would impress him!  No, he wanted to try to tell me about we were swerving and something about hitting something.  I was at a loss and we looked at the damage, which was minimal to our ladder, and said “let it go?”  And he said, “is all cool?”.  I said “si” and off we went.

Loreto to La Paz

Loreto was a great stopping point.  Nice little town and met some great fellow travelers, who were all full of great tips.  We hope to meet up with them somewhere down the road to share adventures.  We are pushing on to La Paz but are making a stop for the night in Ciudad Constitution, just because we want to check it out.  We stayed at Misiones RV Park and had the campground to ourselves.  It had good wifi close to the office and the owner, Paty, was a very warm and welcoming woman.  One of their dogs attached itself to us and hung out at our camp the whole time we were there.  His name was Jasper, but we called him Old Yeller (like the movie).  During the night the humidity went way up and sounded like rain on the roof, but just heavy fog.  The next day we pushed on to La Paz.  We struggled to find the RV park we were looking for because it was closed, so we found Marantha RV Park, which turned out to be a much better spot.  We want too see if we can get into Spanish classes, but we arrived after 2pm on Friday and they were closed, it seems like most things close up around that time here.  We will check first thing on Monday and if we can’t get in, we will push on to Mainland next week.  We have gotten fairly competent on communicating with taxi drivers to get us from one spot to the next using a map and a limited amount of directions.  We love walking along  the Malecon (waterfront) and found a nice hangout, Tailhunter, which has quite a few flat screen TVs playing American stations, especially football games..  We also spent some time getting pedicures as our feet feel like sandpaper from living in sandals in the hot dry climate.  They don’t feel much softer but they did manage to scrub the layers of dirt off them.  Tomorrow, Monday Dec. 8, we go to see if we can get into spanish classes.

Bo and Jasper "old Yeller" in Ciudad Constitution.  The local camp dog.

Bo and Jasper “old Yeller” in Ciudad Constitution. The local camp dog.

Ciudad Constitution

Ciudad Constitution

La Paz

La Paz

La Paz

La Paz

La Paz Tailhunter Bar.

La Paz Tailhunter Bar.

Loreto

On to Loreto – The mission was in great shape for how old it was and the rodeo grounds were really tiny, but so are the horses. Mostly we saw mules and burros, with a few horses that stood way above the others. We could tell something was going to happen in the plaza, but didn’t know what so we decided to head back to Loreto and find a spot. However, the thing that was to happen was the parade of horses, which we had to wait for. As we tried to leave our parking spot, a police officer came over and told us we would have to wait about 40 minutes. We got out and went back up to the plaza and watched the horses come into the plaza and dance (yes the horses were dancing) and then parade through the streets. We thought we could leave after that, but the same officer stopped us and in fact leaned on the front of our truck, so that we would get the hint that we had to wait. Finally, we got to leave and then had a frustrating search to find the RV camp. We found one spot, but I was sure it didn’t look like the picture and it was kind of run down. Driving down the Malecon (waterfront), we heard someone call out “hey Bob”. What are the chances we run into someone we know on a waterfront road in a small town in Mexico? We looked out and saw Alex, Graham and Karen who we met on the beach a few days ago, coming across the road towards us. They were just walking around checking out the town looking for a place as well. I hope they found a spot as once we found ours we didn’t see them again. At our wits end, we stopped at the PemEx and asked if they knew where a camping spot was. They didn’t really know what we were saying, but I had a picture of the place and showed it to them. Back and forth gestures and we think we know the direction and as soon as we pulled in, it matched the picture I had.

The RV park, Rivera Del Mar, is great. It has hookups, a nice ramada, great banos (bathrooms) with clean showers and best find of all, Laundry facilities!!! A week on the road and our bedding needs washed. I have been doing our laundry in a washtub by hand but sheets are too big for that, so we will be spending 2 days here to get some chores done. When I was headed to the bano, I heard a familiar voice and looked to see Dave, another traveler we met on the beach a few days ago. He is a single guy from Florida traveling through in an 1970 VW bus. We are parked next to the German man we met on the road to San Javier. This is the most interesting adventure I have ever been on, life is good!

On the road to Loreto

Dec. 2 – We went through our first water crossing and saw 2 Canadians about our age crossing on bicycles. They started 4 months ago in British Columbia and heading to Nicaragua. Man, it makes me feel like such a sissy because I haven’t quite fell into a comfortable feeling about leaving Baja and heading across mainland Mexico and beyond. I think if our Spanish was better, I would be more comfortable as most of the people we meet can speak it. We need to work a bit harder on that. A little further down the highway and we have to stop for a heard of about 30 goats crossing the road. Where they are going I have no idea, but this is Mexico and anything can happen.
We are planning on going to Loreto for the night, but making a day trip to San Javier Mission as it is one of the oldest in Baja. The drive up was so pretty with winding canyon roads with lots of water crossings, some of which seemed a bit deep, and I was glad we had 4 wheel drive so the vehicle sat a bit higher. When we pulled off to take pictures, two German guys on motorcycles stopped to chat. They told us that the largest festival of the year was going on up there, so we were excited to get up there and check in out. They also told us of an RV camp they were staying at in Loreto so we hope to be able to find it. The festival was full of tent campers, hundreds of them, piled one next to the other, which left the sanitary conditions a bit south of healthy. We parked and walked into the heart of the festival with lots of great looking street food. We found a little spot selling tacos and they were super good. Who would have thought that with all my picky food issues that I would be eating food this way?

Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses!  San Javier

Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses! San Javier

waiting for the horses in San Javier

waiting for the horses in San Javier

San Javier Festival

San Javier Festival

blessings by the Priest in San Javier

blessings by the Priest in San Javier

San Javier festival

San Javier festival

San Javier Mission

San Javier Mission

San Javier Festival

San Javier Festival

Guerrero Negro to Playa Santispac (spelling is wrong)

We have gone through our 3rd military checkpoint so far this trip, and they have gone very smoothly. They ask where we are coming from, where we are going, if we are on vacation, and occasionally if we have any weapons. We are heading to Guerrero Negro to see about the whale watching, Unfortunately, we found out that won’t be happening for another month. So, we found a hotel with RV parking and actually got a room for the night. We were looking forward to a little down time with hot showers, wi-fi and decent bathrooms. The wi-fi was a little slow, but we were able to get Bob’s phone working again, so that was worth the wait. We played some cribbage on our little patio. They had a nice restaurant and we met some fellow travelers who had some good tips for where to stay on the gulf side of Baja. We got up early the next morning to head out, and discovered heavy fog, but figured it was getting light and since we were headed inland it would burn off quickly, like California. NOT. We drove for several hours in the fog, but when it lifted, it was so beautiful and green. We made a stop at San Ignacio in the middle of the peninsula to check out the mission. It was like an oasis in the middle of the desert, beautiful palm trees and lots of water. The mission was getting ready for Sunday services, so we didn’t stay to long. We were heading to Mulege (pronounced moo-la-hay), but there wasn’t anything that made us want to park there. A little farther along the coastline, we came across an amazing beach RV spot, I believe it was Playa Santispac, but I cant be sure of the spelling. For $8.00 a night it was perfect. No showers, but decent toilets and a great restaurant, which filled up each night with the other campers. We met some really interesting people. Parked next to us were two young people from Scotland, Alex and Graham. With them was an English lady, Karen, whom they had met in a hostel in San Diego and she hitched a ride with them as far as La Paz to try to find work as a dive master. Alex and Graham started in Alaska and are traveling on to South America, so we may meet up with them along the way. Next to them were Adam and Anna, two Australians who had started in Alaska as well and going as far as Columbia. They have been on the road 6 months and are traveling on bicycles. Such amazing people we are meeting along the way. The next morning, most people are heading out, but it is so relaxing here, we have decided to stay another day and lie around on the beach, take walks, watch movies and drink tequila. I was attacked by a swarm of wasps and stung repeatedly. Note to self: don’t sit on the chair without checking for wasps and Bob is NOT helpful in a medical crisis

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San Ignacio

Go Sioux in Playa Santispac

Go Sioux in Playa Santispac

Go Sioux at Playa Santispac

Go Sioux at Playa Santispac

sunrise on the beach in Santispac

sunrise on the beach in Santispac

Playa Santispac

Playa Santispac

Graham and Karen, from Scotland and England

Graham and Karen, from Scotland and England

Playa Santispac

Playa Santispac

outside San Ignacio

outside San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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San Ignacio

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remote camping in in Santa Rosaliita

Black Friday – Left Cabo San Quintin heading to Santa Rosaliita to camp on the beach. It took us 6 hours to get there, not because it was far, but because we went through some twisting turning mountainous roads.  Two cows jumped up into the road in front of us and later a horse. There was nothing else for miles and miles (hours and hours).  We found the turn we were looking for, but the place wasn’t much, just a few houses and nothing else.  We were confused, but a couple from California stopped and told us the only camping was on the beach and we could follow them. The sand was that fine, drifting kind and we almost got stuck.  Then they led us up, over and down some really tough cliffs to their camp site  where his friends were set up.  They come here every year for the fishing.  It was beautiful and our first really “remote camping” so far.  The crashing waves helped me sleep like a baby.  We left the next morning and did much better on the sand as we were prepared for it.  Off we go! Once we got on the paved road, we got out to check the camper and saw that it had slid back a bit, so some minor adjustments needed to be made.  We used the InReach to send messages to friends since we have no phone service, but it messed Bob’s phone up and it needs to be reactivated, which isn’t going to happen until we find Wi-Fi. He should have bought a phone on Black Friday.  Life on the road is interesting.  Pictures will have to follow later as the internet has been hit or miss.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Mexico

We went to a restaurant for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Ok, not quite what we would call traditional, but there was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and football, so we were real close. We hitched a ride from Jorge (George) in his pickup so we didn’t have to lower the camper. Bob rode in the bed of the pickup and I was able to sit in the jump seat inside the cab. The stuffing was strange and the meal came with coleslaw and macaroni salad, both with fruit in it and both surprising good. We brought the leftovers back for our camp dogs. Later, we went down to the restaurant and met up with George and Toni, and met our campsite neighbors who came to sit with us as well. All great people and so much fun. Baja California does have a lot of Americans, so we are enjoying the companionship for as long as we can because the further into Mexico we go, the less likely we are to find people who speak English. Life in

Thanksgiving day-thankful for new friends

Thanksgiving day-thankful for new friends

catching a ride to Thanksgiving dinner

catching a ride to Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Quintin

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Quintin

Mexico so far is working out well.

La Bufadora to Don Eddie’s in Cabo San Quintin

After Ensenada we headed on to La Bufadora.  It was a beautiful spot and we went to the tourist spot, which was a crazy marketplace, but fun to watch.  Had some great seafood and tequila, then off to find a spot for the niight.  We found a quit spot overlooking the ocean all to ourselves and the camp host, complete with camp dog (which came in handy later).  Sat and enjoyed the view and made dinner by the ocean.  watched a movie and went to bed.  The trusty camp dog started barking around 230 in the morning and sure enough, 5 minutes later we heard a vehicle full of party goers pull onto the dirt road next to us and proceed to party and play loud music all night.  needless to say, this made me a bit nervous as we were in the middle of nowhere, but Bob just rolled over and went back to sleep.  The camp host’s husband came rolling in around 2:45 am so I was a bit note comfortable and fell back to sleep around 4:00 am.  Now off to check out Cabo San Quintin.  Took a bit of trying as our map and GPS did not show us where to go and we had trouble finding anyone who spoke English and our Spanish stinks.  Followed our instincts and headed down what we in US would think is a dirt road, met up with an American once we arrived who confirmed that we were indeed in the correct place.  It’s pretty cool and filled with other traveler’s so I think I will sleep tonight.  Below are a few pictures.  Met some fun Americans last night in the bar and going to a “traditional Thanksgiving Dinner” with them for thanksgiving.  Should be interesting.

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

lunch in La Bufadora

lunch in La Bufadora

repairs in Ensenada

repairs in Ensenada

camp site in La Bufadora

camp site in La Bufadora

camp site in La bufadora

camp site in La bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

Ensenada

Ensenada

La Bufadora - Pina Coladas

La Bufadora – Pina Coladas

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora

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La Bufadora

La Bufadora

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite #5

La Bufadora campsite #5

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

La Bufadora campsite

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin

Don Eddies in Cabo San Quintin