Monday, November 14, 2011

We Made It To Baja

The pretty drive along highway 3
It's been a long time coming.  We've been working our way towards Baja for so long that I thought the day would never come.  We crossed the border at a town called Tecate, about 40 miles east of the infamous Tijuana crossing.  We chose Tecate because the drive was reputed to be very pretty through the northern Baja wine country.  Additionally, Tecate is a smaller and safer town than Tijuana. We scared ourselves silly reading about the random drug-related violence in Tijuana.

The border crossing turned out to be perfect.  We parked at the gas station on the USA side so that we could walk across the border to get our tourist visa at the immigration office.  We walked back to our truck (through USA customs, of course) and then crossed the border by vehicle.  As you drive up to the crossing you are given either a green light, which means don't stop, or a red light, which indicates you must pull over for a search.  Supposedly the lights are random.  We got a red light, and had a 30 second search of our toy box.  That was it!

Fidel's "RV Park"
The drive south was very pretty and quite easy.  We stopped in Ensenada (about 2 hours south) for some groceries and then made our way to a campground a little past San Quintin called Fidel's El Pabellon.  (picture).  We made a few "wrong" turns beforehand trying to scope out other options.  The dirt/sand roads in Baja are no joke. 10 miles = 1 hour of driving.  Needless to say, we rolled up to our campground at dark. Fidel's El Pabellon RV Park is $9 for ocean front "secure" parking with hot showers.  During the next day I chatted with Fidel and learned that he's been running the RV park for 20 years.  He's 41 years old, has 3 kids (24, 22, 10), 3 grandkids, and 10 brothers and sisters who all live nearby.  Yep, you read that correctly, he is 41 and has a 24 year old son.  SHEEESH, that's no way to enjoy your teenage years.  When he was married (!!!) and having kids, I was just getting my driver's license.

Clifftop lovely-ness at Punta Baja
We're so glad to be in Baja.  The days are sunny, the food is plentiful and inexpensive, and we are finally adventuring.  We are currently parked at Punta Baja about 40 miles past Fidel's.  It was a 10 mile dirt/sand road out to the beach that took us an hour to navigate.  Poor El Tigre.  When we arrived, we found a fish camp with lots of boats and some houses/shacks.  We asked the only person we could find if we could park for the night on the clifftop overlooking our morning surf spot.  He said "no problema". A couple of days later, we moved about 2 miles down the beach to a different clifftop spot away from the fish camp.

All I know is that our Spanish needs some work.  We are getting by, but it's pretty rough.  Along that note, I was proud of Scott when Fidel mentioned that his "espani" was very good.  We learned that "espani" is what we call "spanglish" - Gringo spanish.  Since espani is really all we aspire to, Scott was pretty happy to hear it.

Link to November photos

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