The trip south 2010

23 Nov

Bet you thought I was never going to post on here again didn’t you? Well, no such luck! We’ve been travelling. That’s right folks, we finally got away and headed south for the winter.
We shipped out on the Coho ferry, at 4PM on Monday, November 15th. That put us in Port Angeles at 5:30PM where we promptly found the new local Wal Mart and called it a night. Then up at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning, (well actually 8AM) and on the road. Off on to the I-5 and stopping only for food and sleeping, we crossed the Mexican/US border at 10AM on Friday. Sounds like we missed some really nasty weather!

Our last view of Victoria

I can’t say we enjoyed the trip through the States as the I-5 is in awful repair, especially through California. Most of the road is made of concrete slabs, so the wheels makes a kind of “thudump, thudump, thudump” sound constantly. Plus the slow lane, where we spend most of our time, is breaking up and falling apart and there are huge pot holes where the concrete slabs met. It was noisy, stressful and very hard on the suspension. As well, no matter how we try, we always seem to hit heavy L.A. traffic. There is nothing more terrifying than driving at 100 Km per hour on a 12 lane highway, with people who think nothing of crossing all 6 lanes right in front of you to exit as if they only just remembered where they wanted to go. Signalling appears to be very optional.

 
We went through Tijuana, this time instead of Tecate, as there is massive road work going on south of there. The crossing was fast, smooth and getting our Visa was much simpler. The Mexican Government has changed the rules, and a Visa is required as soon as you cross into Mexico. You didn’t used to need one until you entered Baja Sur, but as the saying goes, when in Rome….
We stopped only long enough in Ensenada (Spanish for cove) to pick up groceries then headed for the only RV park we stay in. A lovely, quiet spot just south of San Quintin, called El Pabellon,(Spanish for The Meeting Place). It’s on the Pacific Ocean and we can camp right on the beach. Plus the local fishermen use the beach for launching and landing their boats and catch. There’s nothing like absolutely fresh fish or our favourite, Stone Crab Claws. That’s right claws. Our friend Jose explains that they catch these crabs, break off one claw then put the crabs back as they will grow another one. Talk about a sustainable fishery! It’s two days of surf, sun, sand, seafood and quiet, then back on the road again.

 

San Quintin, miles of empty sand

Mmmm, Stone crab claws

Our next favourite spot in the Valle Los Cirios. This is a National protected area with some of the worlds strangest plants, the Cirios. You can see from the pictures that they are certainly different and they grown no where else on earth. They always look like upside down carrots designed by committee to me. This is when we really know we are in Baja. Here the Cardon cactus, a slightly smaller relative of the Giant Saguaro, starts to be seen in number along with many other kinds of cactus and Yuccas. We have to remind ourselves that from here on in, almost everything we see, is going to have spines of some form or another and we must be careful where we walk and what we touch!.

The Cirios trees. Strange looking aren't they?

We finally hit our favourite beach on Monday afternoon and no sooner had we come to a stop than our friends started to appear to welcome us back. We’ve already been invited for wine, yoga in the morning, kayaking to the islands and we haven’t even done our laundry yet. Wow, back into the social whirl that’s  Rattlesnake Beach.
So enough for now, suffice to say we’re here, we’re safe and we’re looking to have some fun!
Hasta Luego!

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