Rving in Baja-Part 4-Playa Santispac and back…
OK, let’s do it we decided. Sticky slides or not we really wanted to spend a few days at the beach, on the beach really. If we had to pull them open and push them back by hand we would find a way. It is a short 20 km drive from Mulege to the start of the beaches of Bahía de Concepción…there are dozens, starting with the Naranjos and going South, next one is Playa Santispac. Winding roads but in better condition than the Northern parts, less potholes at least:)…and this is why we came….
As do dozens of others to spend a few weeks or months, or days even…sigh, I liked the sound of the months part. We drove past the circled A classes and others side by side, quite close and kept going to the Northern part of the beach-Punta Piedrosa. Not as flat calm but almost no one here…my kind of place:) This part of the beach is overseen by Luis Manuel, and he’ll be by to collect the 100 pesos, $5.00 a day, as well as slew of other folks that sell fresh vegetables, fish, propane and water as well as Mexican handicrafts from the mainland. We had some old gruñones (grumpies) as neighbors a ways away, just as well, their dog Lucy was very friendly and at the end of the beach another couple were tent camping…wonderful. What is not to like?
Was the water warm, sadly no, but just to sit and soak it up…wonderful! There are a couple of small restaurants as well in the bay if you are craving some seafood and company, the wifi was not working the entire time we were there at one of them, but being familiar with satellite internet and bandwidth we understand that all too well. Besides, you do not come here to be connected, but to disconnect, it is a short drive to Mulege for shopping and you can pick up Telcel there if you are desperate to communicate with the outside world…we weren’t:)
Heading North from the beach a small atv/motorcycle road winds along the coast. It was exploding with wildflowers and small birds. I could hear hummingbirds buzzing about and we did finally get a visitor to the feeder, as well as a lovely Gila Woodpecker that was having trouble maneuvering about on the top of the palapa…Groot was transfixed inside watching from the window;)
There is a small bay of mangroves to the South that was full of herons. Rising up above the beach is a small hill you can climb that affords expansive views in all directions. Covered in cactus and other native vegetation it is a spectacular walk to the top.
We also had a wonderful visit fellow Perthites Jim and Jan who’d come over on the ferry from Topolobampo with their camper and got to hear about their amazing trip through the interior and their search for a boat to continue their adventures here, as well as share a glass of Don Julio 1942…”hijole” good, what a wonderful visit, so far away from home. We saw Jan in the township office and Jim’s daughter took riding lessons at our Equestrian Center..so very cool:) It is always nice to run into others who wander, but who are not lost;) They found their boat by the way and I will look forward to their continuing adventures!
Odette and Dominique also made their way back to Playa Santispac, waiting for the part to their transmission, it would be arriving from La Paz in the next few days so they decided a wait at the beach would be much nicer than in town! The 5th time we have run into this wonderful French couple…had me dreaming in French after spending a late afternoon drinking margaritas with them at the small restaurant at the beach! I may be mixing French into my Spanish for the next few weeks! I look forward to following their continuing adventures as well! We have had the fortune of running into such wonderful people over the last few months it renews my faith in humanity no matter what part of the world you come from we belong to the same global community.
Just sitting on the beach you are surrounded by bird life above, and all around you. Flocks of Frigates and Turkey Vultures circle Punta Piedrosa riding the air currents. On the beach Herons and Egrets fish as the tide goes down. The seagulls beg with the ravens for fishing scraps as Pelicans and Cormorants fly by. Another birders paradise:) I thought I’d found a new type of wild geese when a trio swam around the point, I ran out with the camera going “what the…”….domestic geese..hahaha…they belong to the caretaker Luis Manuel, we fed them some corn and watched them waddle about…That water colour had me dreaming of my youth…I have to admit, a sailboat would be the way to see these amazing bays and outer Islands where there are no roads.
It was a tough decison to leave, I could have spent a few more weeks there but getting the slides looked at, now the vanity one was sticking as well was becoming a priority. We called a mobile service in San Diego that said they could come out and take a look when we got there so time to start ambling Northwards. We said our au revoir to Odette and Dominique and headed back. Knowing the road slightly better made things a bit more pleasant as we ended up in Guerrero Negro for the night with it’s endless chorus of barking dogs and then the following night back to beautiful Rancho Santa Ines in Cataviña.
Along the road the wildflowers had exploded South and North of Guerrero Negro following the highway Northwards. A spectacular carpet of yellow and purple blooms with Sierra San Francisco as their backdrop.
Had me thinking of a few things I’ll bring next winter, all my uncle’s books, The Cave Paintings as well as The Last of the Californios and Antigua California to follow the journeys made by the many before us. Also, the Roadside Geology of Baja California, an amazing reference by km down the highway 1 for anyone interested in the why’s of things, as well as The Baja Camping Guide by the Churches, great maps…have to dig these all out of storage! They answer so many questions in areas where there is no internet, no googling and you are scratching your head and wondering:) I love books, and now with the 5th wheel there is actually room to put them!
Happily the kitchen at Rancho Santa Ines had propane this visit and we took advantage of some home cooking for both breakfast and dinner. We met a delightful Canadian couple, Scott and his wife Pauline headed South in their trailer with their lovely lab from Alberta. Pointed out some must places to go, to slow down…they bought us dinner, what sweeties!
Can’t say the same about some loud mouth Caravan leader hollering away to his minions early the next morning…I was cringing at it…I’m not sure I entirely understand this need to mass caravan, perhaps it’s a security issue (perceived) or a lack of speaking Spanish but I can’t help but think folks would be better off exploring in smaller groups…just a thought:) as long as you are out there exploring and not being the ugly tourist, the caravan leader was just that.
Headed North we left the potholes of Cataviña behind for the narrow shoulderless roads and pot holes of San Quintin:) We stopped for a few nights at Playa Santa Maria at El Pabellon, not to be confused with Fidel’s South of there, and then onto Ensenada, feels like our 2nd home we have spent so much time here
We spent last night hunkered down with the wind and the rain here at Estero Beach Hotel and RV Park, but today is a beautiful day, not too much flooding here and life goes on. I always slightly dread a return to the “otro lado”. The pace of life changes, the traffic is mind boggling and no one will look you in the eye until you reach the small towns of rural North America. I so enjoy catching up with my family though and we have a day of digging through our storage shipping container and seeing about these damn slides (we’ll see how our Good Sam Extended Service Agreement works!) I’m sure it will fly by as we plan our route Northwards to British Columbia and then Eastwards to Ontario…new territory for us:) It has been an amazing few months and I am already planning this fall’s return to this amazing place called Baja. So stay tuned, keep smiling and we’ll be back at you after we navigate our way to and out of Sandy Dayglo..San Diego;)..man, I’m going to miss those fish tacos…I miss them already and I’m not even gone;)